FASHION SCHOOL: “I’m not sure what it is, ask my stylist,” is an oft-heard phrase on the red carpet among nonschooled actresses, although many have index cards, BlackBerry messages or otherwise commit their credits to memory. At Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Ellen Page had the luck to be caught on-camera uttering those very words. While the 20-year-old best actress nominee did know her dress was by Zac Posen, she blanked on the shoes (Manolo Blahnik) and the bag (Anya Hindmarch). And no bling for this starlet: Page, who doesn’t wear jewelry when she’s off duty, didn’t see the need for it on Sunday. A bit refreshing, considering most actresses are grab-happy for freebies and paid deals these days. In fact, even lesser actresses are getting love from greater fashion houses: Marchesa’s Keren Craig was in town to personally fit Amanda Bynes, Rebecca Gayheart, Anna Paquin and Nicollette Sheridan; Carolina Herrera dressed Laura Leighton (the ex-“Melrose Place” actress is married to supporting actor Doug Savant of “Desperate Housewives”), and Roberto Cavalli dressed Andrea Bowen, who plays Teri Hatcher’s daughter on “Desperate Housewives.” But not every designer lost focus: Cavalli also dressed best actress winner Julie Christie in a timeless tuxedo that was also the most weather-appropriate choice of the soggy evening.
PEBBLED BONUS: Forget Uncle Scrooge — in a generous move, Tod’s Group chief Diego Della Valle just handed out a $2,000 bonus to all Tod’s workers as a grazie for their dedication and to help them weather the penalizing price increases that are putting average Italian salaries in the doldrums. The group employs 2,492 people. “We see this as a signal of solidarity and a thank-you to our employees who have largely contributed in elevating the Tod’s name worldwide,” the company said.
This story first appeared in the January 29, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
LOOKING FOR BARGAINS: With just a few days to go until New York Fashion Week, you’d expect most designers to be holed up in their studios pulling all-nighters. But Thursday evening, Mark Badgley and James Mischka took a break from their work to help host the Winter Antiques Show Young Collectors’ Night at the Park Avenue Armory. In addition to dressing (and bejeweling) co-chairs such as Genevieve Wheeler Brown and Tatiana Papanicolaou, the two designers had interior decorating on the brain. “We just bought a horse farm in Kentucky and it doesn’t have a single piece of furniture in it,” explained Badgley. However, even with the never-ending aisles of goods on display in the Armory, it seemed unlikely that the duo would be picking up any pieces that night. “These are the serious antiques,” said Badgley. “We buy the junk.”
ROWLEY ROARS BACK: Target may be losing Isaac Mizrahi, but it is gaining an old friend in Cynthia Rowley. The designer is said to be returning to the mass chain this year with a new, limited edition brand called Whim by Cynthia Rowley. According to sources, Whim will not be part of the Go International initiative, and there will be no apparel. Instead, it will focus on novelty items such as outdoor games and inflatable pools, all given Rowley’s irreverent touch. The collection is expected to hit Target stores at the end of April. Rowley is no stranger to Target, where she once had the Swell collection, which was quietly phased out more than two years ago.
HOT SCOTS: Dougray Scott may relish his Celtic roots, but when it comes to the traditional cuisine, he’s less convinced. “I can’t eat haggis. I only have it once a year; it’s too heavy,” he said, referring to the traditional Scottish dish made from sheep intestines. “Also, I’m vegetarian. So I get special vegetarian haggis in Harrods,” added Scott, one of the guests at Christopher Kane’s Burn’s night party last week.
Meanwhile, Amara Karan was less picky. “I’m so not one of those actresses who doesn’t eat. Have you tried these? They’re really good,” she joked, swooping up a handful of haggis canapés. Guests included Claire Forlani, Kane, Imogen Lloyd Webber, Razorlight singer Johnny Borrell, Jasmine Guinness and Sandi Thom.