MIAMI VICE: Karl Lagerfeld and the Chanel team have arrived in Miami and taken over the Raleigh hotel for Thursday’s cruise show. Those who won’t be able to join them need not break down in despair, however. Always on the technological forefront, Chanel is launching a widget the day after the show. It will allow Chanel fans to view clips from the show, red carpet interviews and images of the celebrities, which are expected to include Diane Kruger, Anna Mouglalis, Zoe Kravitz and Cat Power.
HOT WHEELS: Though a good 20 blocks north of Hell’s Kitchen, the Park Avenue Armory will get some wheelie action on May 28 at the opening night preview for the 11th annual Sculptural Objects & Functional Art Fair. As a mix of dealers and collectors wait to enter the Upper East Side space, two custom motorcycles by Fusion Motorcycles will arrive carrying models decked out in sculptural necklaces by Dan Jocz and eveningwear from Fashion Institute of Technology designers Yon Yan and Bonkuk Koo. Ladies, start your engines.
STYLE SUPREME: The Supremes star Mary Wilson swept into London’s Victoria and Albert Museum Monday to launch “The Story of The Supremes, From the Mary Wilson Collection,” an exhibition of 50 gowns from the Motown group’s performance history, taken from her own archive. “The U.K. was one of the first places that embraced The Supremes,” said Wilson, who was wearing a simple black jersey dress. “I remember [U.K. music television show] ‘Top of the Pops’ and performing at Drury Lane in the Sixties, so it’s very appropriate to have the exhibition here.”
The exhibit, which runs through Oct. 19, includes examples of the group’s glittering, sequined gowns from the Sixties, including a set of three orange and yellow beaded, psychedelic-print butterfly dresses with sweeping chiffon sleeves, and plush black velvet Bob Mackie dresses with glass jewels embroidered around the deep necklines. “The heaviest dresses we had were 35 pounds each,” remembered Wilson with a laugh. “We were typical women, buying clothes all the time.” These ornate gowns contrast with a simple yellow sweatshirt printed with the words “Love Child,” which Diana Ross wore on the cover of the group’s socially conscious single of the same name. Indeed, the dresses and record sleeves in the show are exhibited alongside text and news footage that explains the political climate in Sixties America that The Supremes performed against, charting the race riots in Los Angeles in 1965 and Martin Luther King’s assassination in 1968. “Segregation was widespread, but music brought people together,” said Wilson. “It’s not only [about] beautiful gowns.”
L.E.I. GETS COUNTRY: Junior denim brand L.E.I. is looking to build excitement for its move into Wal-Mart with a celebrity endorsement. Parent company Jones Apparel Group Inc. has tapped country artist Taylor Swift to represent the brand in its back-to-school ad campaign, its first since abandoning the department store channel to sell exclusively at Wal-Mart. Swift will appear in print, mobile and online advertising with the “This Is L.E.I. Country” tag line.
THE ROYAL TREATMENT: Princess Beatrice is no royal slacker. According to reports in the British press, the 19-year-old began work this week as an intern and personal shopper at the London department store Selfridges. While a spokeswoman for Selfridges said the company does not comment on its interns, several reports have had Beatrice selling items by Matthew Williamson, Burberry and James Jeans to the store’s customers with aplomb. The internship could be the beginning of a career in fashion for Beatrice — according to reports, she’s planning to study textiles and design at London’s Goldsmiths College in September.