OSCAR’S NEW FAVE?: With two beige Suburbans and a team of sweltering Secret Service agents in tow, Cindy McCain paid a visit to Oscar de la Renta’s showroom Tuesday afternoon to peruse the White House-worthy clothes of fashion’s most diplomatic designer, who already has dressed both First Lady Laura Bush and Sen. Hillary Clinton. How long exactly had the potential first lady been shopping? “Way too long,” replied one of her fully dressed security agents, who was posted in the 95-degree heat outside 550 Seventh Avenue, moving only to wipe the sweat from his Ray-Bans.
And for what was the taut Mrs. McCain shopping? An inauguration, perhaps? “Nothing in particular,” she said. “Just looking.”
Earlier in the day, she attended a New York Women for McCain Finance Luncheon at the Women’s National Republican Club on 3 West 51st Street on Tuesday on behalf of her husband, Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee.
It was unclear whether McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, a fashionista in her own right, accompanied her mother to de la Renta’s offices. Meghan McCain writes vignettes about her experiences on the campaign trail and her father’s “Straight Talk Express” bus tour on her own blog, mccainblogette.com, where she posts photos and anecdotes of the campaign events, often naming the “best-dressed” journalist at each stop. According to her blog, which she jointly runs with two of her friends, the site provides “Musings and Pop Culture on the Political Trail.”
EARLY ORDERING: Donna Karan’s resort collection was praised by quite a few editors, and on Monday night, some of her top customers had the chance to view it and place their orders in the company’s first-ever resort trunk show. Karan followers such as Grace Hightower, Heather Mnuchin, Patricia Cisneros and Ulla Parker came to the designer’s 10th Avenue home showroom, and in just 90 minutes, the company raked in more than $350,000 in orders.
THE BUTLER DID IT: Paul Burrell is serving up jewels as part of his latest venture. The ex-butler of Diana Princess of Wales will launch a line of jewelry on Shop NBC this weekend inspired by the late icon’s taste in gems. Dubbed Effy Signature Range, the line will bow in the U.S. on Saturday. The television retailer has described the collection as “breathtaking, with regal appeal.” Burrell, who lives in Florida, will promote the line with a series of guest appearances on the channel prior to the launch. The former royal servant, who once described himself as the princess’ rock, is now less in demand in Britain, where news of his jewelry line has fueled Burrell’s infamy. The former servant has reportedly netted 10 million pounds, or $19.5 million, since Princess Diana’s death through the sale of his books, appearing in reality television shows and even launching a wine variety — Royal Butler Wine. Pieces in the jewelry line include an 18-karat Tri-Color 1.14-carat Diamond Flower Ring retailing at 860 pounds, or $1,699.95, and a white and rose gold 1.85-carat Diamond Flower Pendant with chain for 1,275 pounds, or $2,499.95. For those who can’t afford it, the wine is priced more modestly at approximately 6 pounds, or $11, a bottle.
KICKING AROUND THE BEACH: It’s soccer year-round for Dolce & Gabbana. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who already sponsor and outfit the A.C. Milan team and provide official uniforms for the Italian National team, are now tying their names to Milano Beach Soccer, Italy’s champion team for the seasons of 2006 and 2007. The Dolce & Gabbana GYM collection will be dedicated to sports activities and leisure time. “We have just recently discovered Beach Soccer and we instantly became fans of this sport, which is the summer version of soccer,” said the designers. The Milano Beach Soccer team dates back to 2002.
MORE SPORT: Speaking of soccer, IWC, the Richemont-owned watch brand, wants to score a goal. The company is teaming up with retired French soccer star Zinedine Zidane to create a limited edition watch. Zidane also is becoming a global ambassador for the brand, which is known for its sporty, vintage-style timepieces. The watch, which will be limited to 1,000 pieces, will be introduced Monday at a party in Paris.
CROWN ABOUT TOWN: Annie Leibovitz will be adding a royal spin to the Parisian stint of her photo retrospective, “A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005,” with the addition of two portraits of Queen Elizabeth II. The show kicks off Monday at the city’s Maison Européenne de la Photographie (European House of Photography), cohosted by Louis Vuitton.
MADE IN THE SHADE: Aptly, it was sunny in Paris Tuesday morning when Emanuel Ungaro’s men’s designer Franck Boclet unveiled a signature sunglasses-shaped pastry at the Hotel de la Paix restaurant. “I’m not into sweets. I like salty dishes better,” he confessed. But still, inspired by memories of “After Eight,” he and chef Laurent Delarbre created a fresh mint mousse, topped with a thin layer of black chocolate. Boclet rounds off the Café de la Paix “Designed by Men II” desserts collection, which proposes a new pastry designed by a fashion personality each season. His goes on sale mid-September.
WHAT’S IN STORE: Earnest Sewn is in the mood to party. On Thursday night the denim brand feted the launch of Earnest am I — its wallet-friendly collection for men and women — at its Meatpacking District outpost. Isabel McNally (daughter of restaurateur Keith) played host to the likes of Jack McCollough, Ben Cho and Carlos Quirarte, while Spencer Product and Ruff Club took to the turntables. By midnight, revelers headed to nearby boîte Santos Party House. Come Oct. 16, the Earnest Sewn party train will head to the Left Coast when the brand throws a bash at its soon-to-open Los Angeles flagship located on the corner of Beverly & Gardner.
BELOVED BAUBLES: “I couldn’t pick a favorite, I love them all,” cooed Browns owner Joan Burstein as she surveyed jewelry on display at her central London flagship on Monday. Burstein, along with co-host Daphne Guinness, was feting “My Most Treasured,” an exhibition of personal and treasured gems donated by fashion friends including Manolo Blahnik, Stephen Jones, Paul Smith, Trudie Styler, John Galliano, Matthew Williamson and Natalia Vodianova. On hand to fete the occasion were Smith and Poppy de Villeneuve, among others. The items on display are so treasured their owners can only bear to be parted from them for less than a week — the exhibit closes Thursday.
GREAT ESCAPE: Everybody is working for the weekend. Or so believes Samsonite Black Label, which is launching a new ad campaign featuring model, musician, actress and designer Milla Jovovich and her husband, Paul Anderson. The photos, taken by Norman Jean Roy, show the couple pausing by the car on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles along with their travel gear from the new Samsonite Black Label Weekend Collection. The campaign will run until the end of August in magazines and newspapers across North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Jovovich will be present at a launch event for the new collections this month in Los Angeles.