PAS DES DEUX: If Olivier Theyskens hadn’t been the only boy in his ballet class growing up, he might have danced down that career path rather than becoming one of fashion’s hottest young designers. But he quit and now indulges his passion by attending ballet performances. Fittingly, his Nina Ricci brand, owned by Puig, will be the sponsor for American Ballet Theatre’s Spring Season Gala taking place at the Metropolitan Opera House on May 19. If Theyskens makes it to New York for the event, it won’t be his first time at Lincoln Center. The designer came from Paris for ABT’s new “Sleeping Beauty” during the 2007 spring season and has attended the company’s rehearsals.
ON THE DOT: Movado is a champion of the arts and the stars of its ad campaign — such as dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and actress Mia Maestro — represent that. But at least one of its brand ambassadors is tapping an art outside her field. “I just finished directing my first music video,” actress Kerry Washington said at the brand’s fete celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Museum Dial watch at Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. While a fan of hip-hop — the video Washington directed was by Common — she, and other guests including Maestro, Baryshnikov, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos and Movado chairman and chief executive Efraim Grinberg all jammed to the tunes of jazz legend Wynton Marsalis. “I’ve known him forever,” said Baryshnikov of Marsalis. The honorees for the second annual Movado Future Legends: Honoring Emerging Artists of Exceptional Talent were also revealed. The recipients included design team Doshi Levien, and dancers Kirk Henning and Doug Letheren.
CFDA’S L.A. BASH: Diane von Furstenberg, along with CFDA executive director Steven Kolb, welcomed Los Angeles CFDA members to her Coldwater Canyon mansion Thursday night for an evening of cocktails and conversation. “We wanted to let you know that we haven’t forgotten you,” von Furstenberg told the group, including Koi Suwannagate, Laura and Kate Mulleavy, James Perse, Magda Berliner, Louis Verdad, Kevan Hall and Bradley Bayou. “In fact, we are often jealous because everyone in Los Angeles is so cool and stylish.” Then she made a beeline for actress Perrey Reeves, who was wearing a vintage DVF print from 1976, and even snapped a photo. After the designer addressed issues ranging from copyright protection to CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund eligibility, one guest said, “I have another question: Can I stay here when you’re not home?”
SURF’S UP: Luella Bartley isn’t one for taking it easy. After unveiling her first stand-alone store in London in September, the designer is now taking her quirky style to the beach. Bartley — who lives for part of the year in the English surf-spot Cornwall — has collaborated with surf brand O’Neill to create a 30-piece line of sweatshirts, swimsuits, T-shirt dresses, jeans and board shorts to be sold in Europe for spring, dubbed Luella for O’Neill.
“As a novice surfer myself, I wanted to get across a different side of the female surf look,” said Bartley of the collection, adding that she looked to the Seventies skater and surfer Peggy Oki and “sun-bleached Venice Beach surfers” for her inspiration. “I wanted something that looked harder and more iconic than current surfwear for girls…part urban graffiti, part rave, part Seventies hippie.” In that vein, eagle-eyed music fans will recognize the face of the line as singer Lovefoxxx (real name Luísa Hanaê Matsushita) from the Brazilian electro band CSS. The singer — who’s best known for the sequined catsuits she wears onstage — is pictured posing on rugged beaches in a spray-painted leopard print top and a peace-logo hoodie in the campaign images, which were shot by Tom Allen.
The line, which will retail from about $32 for a tank top through to $170 for a suitcase, will initially be sold in European O’Neill stores and selected retailers in the region from March. A spokeswoman for O’Neill Europe said Bartley — who has named all the pieces in the line after beaches on England’s South Coast — would also design a fall 2008 collection for the brand.
SHOW BOAT TO CHINA: Karl Lagerfeld, who staged a Fendi show on top of the Great Wall of China earlier this month, seems to have kick-started a trend. Next up: Yohji Yamamoto is headed to Beijing to stage a fashion show for his Y’s line next April at the invitation of the Chinese government. “Maybe Yohji is not considered a commercial act, but an artist,” mused Keizo Tamoto, Yamamoto’s executive vice president and chief executive officer. “It’s a really big thing.”
FRENCH ACCENT: Pierre Rougier is opening a branch of PR Consulting in Paris, with business partner Sylvie Picquet-Damesme. Nathalie Ours, formerly with Yohji Yamamoto, will be their Paris-based partner. PR Consulting Paris, with offices on Rue de Provence in the 9th arrondissement, will start by representing Narciso Rodriguez and Proenza Schouler in Europe. In New York, Rougier has such fashion clients as Balenciaga, Jil Sander, Dries Van Noten, Phi, Pierre Hardy and Osklen, as well as beauty and lifestyle divisions.
SO SORRY: Christian Lacroix has sent his regrets to the San Francisco Ballet’s Auxiliary. The designer was planning to attend a Nov. 16 Lacroix ballet fashion show and lunch hosted by Saks Fifth Avenue, but opening delays at his Manhattan boutique put his City by the Bay trip on hold, as well. However, the Saks luncheon and show will go on with the designer’s directrice of haute couture Marie Martinez Seznec and Lacroix president Nicolas Topiol headlining the event. A reception the night before at the Pacific Heights home of Ann and Gordon Getty is also still a go.
NIGHT HAWKS: Jane Birkin, Jean Paul Gaultier, Danielle Steele, Julie Gayet, Chantal Thomass, Jean-Paul Goode and William Klein were among a flock of fashionable night owls who poured into Hermès’ renovated Parisian flagship last Tuesday for the house’s 24-hour-long party. “I hope I’ll manage to keep going all night,” said a worried-looking Guillaume De Seynes, Hermès’ executive vice president, as he greeted guests at the event’s kickoff. A flurry of acts awaited inside, from pint-sized ballerinas twirling on Hermès hat-boxes to Indian dancers. But the night’s most poignant act had to be a performance by Birkin, the gap-toothed muse behind one of the store’s most iconic bags. Birkin belted out a run of old Serge Gainsbourg numbers on the store’s central glass staircase — dressed in a pair of scruffy cargo pants — and even dedicated a song, “As Time Goes By,” to Gaultier. who sang along. Earlier, Gaultier admitted he’d probably fade around midnight. “I need my sleep too much and, anyway, dreaming can be just as much fun as partying,” he joked. For Colette’s Sarah Lerfel, however, staying up was a matter of practice. “We’re gearing up to open a 24-hour ephemeral boutique in Los Angeles on Nov. 9,” she said, adding that Marc Jacobs, Martin Margiela and Jack Spade are some of the other brands participating in the event, in collaboration with Paper magazine.