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INSIDE OUT: Karl Lagerfeld is heading to Versailles next month, but for a photo, not a fashion show. The peripatetic designer is exhibiting 40 large-scale black-and-white photos he took of the legendary French chateau in the apartments of Madame de Maintenon. The display opens to the public June 10 and runs through Sept. 7.
SEASON’S GREETINGS: If you think fashion terms like “pre-coll” or “pre-fall” have as much charm as a root canal, then you have a friend in Stella McCartney. The London-based designer is hosting a garden party in New York on June 3 to present her spring 2009 collection. Clearly a season by any other name would not smell as sweet. Look out for a McCartney summer collection on the runway in October, to be followed by autumn and then winter collections, just as nature intended.
DESIGN DOCTOR: Yohji Yamamoto has been awarded an honorary doctor’s degree by the University of the Arts London. The designer traveled to the British capital last week to receive the degree, which recognizes outstanding contributions made by an individual in his or her chosen field. Other fashion figures who have received the academic nod from the school include Giorgio Armani, Mario Testino, Celia Birtwell and Rosita Missoni.
HEAVY METAL: The artsy set came out Tuesday evening in Paris for an LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-sponsored visit of American Richard Serra’s towering metallic sculptures on view at the Grand Palais. Actresses Ines Sastre and Elsa Zylberstein, Marisa Berenson, Antoine and Delphine Arnault and Charlotte Aillaud were among those who mingled below the hulking steel slabs Serra installed for the exhibit. Most marveled at the sheer size of the work, which comprises five, 55-foot-tall steel plates set at slightly off-kilter angles. Others remarked his sculptures still seemed dwarfed by the scale of the soaring glass-and-metal venue. “It’s really quite impressive,” said Betty Catroux, who was accompanied by her husband, François. “Yet I can’t help feeling that the space still looks empty.”
PHOTO JOURNAL: “L.A. is clearly more affluent than when I came here in the Eighties,” said photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia, as he set up his retrospective that opens today at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. DiCorcia returned to the city where he had perfected his street-casting oeuvre while shooting hustlers on Santa Monica Boulevard. In the next decade, he went on to document pole dancers and random passersby weaving through various international cities. DiCorcia’s solo show features the debut of his new series, titled “Thousand,” a collection of Polaroids amassed over 20 years when the New York-based lensman snapped portraits of his family and outtakes from fashion shoots for W magazine. Having helmed the first — and only — ad campaign for the now defunct Anne Klein line designed by Isabel Toledo, he still shoots for W. But he said major retailers like Target usually shy away from his melancholic work. “I don’t think I’m the happiest photographer,” diCorcia said.
HOUSE PARTY: Tinseltown’s young cognoscenti who are bored by store opening parties got a chance to stimulate their minds on Wednesday at model-turned-vintage retailer Justin Kern’s salon in the Hollywood Hills. Following previous gatherings at his Forties bungalow — where cult writer A.M. Homes read from her novel “This Book Will Save Your Life” and Weimar New York crooned cabaret tunes in front of a crowd including Mario Testino and Dita Von Teese — Kern invited starlet Jena Malone and her two-person band called The Shoe to tickle the keys of a toy piano and xylophone. “The performances began as an incentive for people who bought stuff,” said Kern, who flits between selling Courtney Love’s rejected designer heels at his appointment-only consignment shop in his house and modeling for a Dolce & Gabbana ad campaign. The next performer to hit Kern’s living room will be Devendra Banhart. For Malone, the view of Hollywood seen from Kern’s living room is a drastic improvement from downtown dive clubs. “It’s the nicest place we’ve played,” Malone said. “And our album is for sale on the porch.”
BETROTHAL BAUBLES: In another bid to offer every fashion-related category possible, Badgley Mischka is launching fine jewelry. The first collection, which includes 37 styles of engagement rings, was created with Zalemark Corp., which holds the license for the collection. In September, the Iconix-owned brand will unveil a full jewelry collection with prices starting at about $2,000 for a small diamond and pearl piece to $250,000 for a ruby and diamond suite. The engagement ring collection, which ranges from $1,800 to $5,000 for the mountings without the center stone will bow at the Couture jewelry trade show in Las Vegas on Wednesday. There are plans to distribute the collection in department stores and guild jewelers. “We’re diamond fanatics,” said Mark Badgley. “Fine jewelry is such a logical expression of luxury. Customers of our couture all wear fine jewelry.”