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POINTS EAST: No Forbidden City for him. Karl Lagerfeld had his nose to many grindstones in Beijing on Thursday, not only conducting a massive, international casting call for his Fendi show tonight on the Great Wall of China, but also lensing fashion shoots for Chinese Vogue and all 19 international editions of Elle. The designer said he is the first to photograph in the new Herzog & de Meuron-designed Olympic Stadium. Meanwhile, an army of Fendi folks, from seamstresses to major LVMH brass, are in town for Fendi’s sunset spectacle, along with a gaggle of actresses, including Zhang Ziyi, Kate Bosworth and Thandie Newton.
HONORING GALANOS: James Galanos’ career was feted Thursday with a Walk of Style Award plaque placed in Rodeo Drive’s sidewalk and a luncheon in his honor at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons. Longtime client Nancy Reagan, wearing a dark Galanos suit, joined in the festivities, as did Betsy Bloomingdale, Connie Wald, Peggy Moffitt, Cameron Silver and Ralph Rucci. “If we were in Japan, we’d have an expression and call him our national living treasure,” said Rucci, speaking to the crowd about Galanos. “The standard that the man upheld could only be surpassed by the man’s behavior.” Galanos responded jokingly, “I don’t know why I’m here in the first place, but I like it.” Galanos is the 11th person to receive the award. Floating Island desserts, reportedly Reagan’s favorite, topped off the event. “It’s comfort food,” Moffitt explained, while taking a spoonful.
STARRY NIGHT: Those planning to attend the Fashion Group International’s 24th Night of Stars on Oct. 24 can expect quite a lineup of presenters. Among those confirmed are Kerry Washington, who will hand the night’s Superstar Award to Jean Paul Gaultier, and Jennifer Hudson, who will do the honors for Lord & Taylor Fashion Oracle Award winner André Leon Talley. The night, themed “The Rule Breakers,” is also expected to feature Nadia Swarovski giving an award to Hussein Chalayan; Barneys New York’s Julie Gilhart to Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier; Carolina Herrera to Patricia Wexler; Vogue’s Anna Wintour to Barneys’ chief executive officer Howard Socol, and former Citigroup ceo Sandy Weill to Josie Natori.
ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR ONE: While not many people would want to stay indoors when the sun is shining brightly in Venice, Calif., Rosario Dawson, Josh Hartnett, Lauren Bush, Rhona Mitra, Sean Penn and Pete Nordstrom holed up in a bungalow on Tuesday afternoon to fete the launch of the second limited edition T-shirt designed by Edun’s Rogan Gregory and Ali Hewson for the One campaign benefiting the Apparel Lesotho Alliance to Fight AIDS fund.
Along with co-host Helena Christensen, Gregory and Hewson welcomed dozens of stylish philanthropists to Project7ten, one of the most eco-friendly houses built in the Golden State, where they gazed at Christensen’s portraits of Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow, Liv Tyler and other luminaries wearing the T-shirt decorated with what Gregory described as a “personal and soulful” depiction of the African continent as a fingerprint.
Though Nordstrom, president of merchandising, typically doesn’t do many tie-ins with charities, he said One was an exception.
With each T-shirt sale, $10 will go to the ALAFA fund to help families in Lesotho, where the T-shirts are made. Plus, the Seattle-based retailer will match the donation up to $100,000. “This is more than philanthropy,” Nordstrom said. “It won’t work if the businesses [in Lesotho] aren’t self-sustaining.” The celebrities were sustaining themselves by networking, flirting and nibbling on tofu spring rolls and curried shrimp. Political blogger Arianna Huffington reconnected with Susan McCue, One’s chief executive officer, who previously served as chief of staff for Nevada’s Sen. Harry Reid. Penn observed the crowd from behind Ray-Ban Aviators while smoking a cigarette on a bench, and Hartnett trailed an attractive blonde around the patio without noticing that his ex-paramour Scarlett Johansson was the cover girl for the November issue of Elle, which produced the photo campaign. Carrying the World Feed bag that she helped design to raise money for the U.N. World Food Program, Bush said she planned to meet with West Coast retailers to start wholesaling the burlap bags by yearend. Even though philanthropy and environmentalism are gaining popularity in the fashion industry, Bush hoped it’s not just a trend. “I hope it’ll grow, as it should,” she said.
SAVING GRACE: The Grace Kelly lovefest descends on Saks Fifth Avenue today, with dresses inspired by the late princess and designed by Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Ralph Lauren, Zac Posen, Ralph Rucci and Vera Wang now up in the flagship’s windows. The Saks initiative is one of several being held this month to mark the 25th anniversary of Kelly’s death.
The gowns will fall under the gavel Wednesday at the Casino Couture Night at Sotheby’s cohosted by Steve and Elaine Wynn of Wynn Resorts with proceeds benefitting the Princess Grace Foundation-USA. Herrera, who dreamed up an interpretation of one of Kelly’s ensembles from “Rear Window,” said in a statement, “Grace Kelly was a great beauty whose classical American elegance put her in a class by herself. As an actress, she was fire and ice; an unbeatable combination.”
Six recipients of the Princess Grace Foundation awards will model the dresses on this morning’s “Today” show, and will wear Estée Lauder’s limited edition Princess Grace Coral lipstick, the same shade Kelly wore on her wedding day.
SANDER’S NEW DIGS: Jil Sander will open a temporary store at 1042 Madison Avenue Saturday. Raf Simmons’ magic touch will not be seen in the new space, but the search is still on for a permanent New York location uptown as well as one downtown.
SIMPLY (SMALLER) VERA: Maybe Middle America is not as corn-fed as the fashion world perceives. As Vera Wang presented its spring collaborative line with Kohl’s, Simply Vera, a few additions made their way into the sophomore collection: costume jewelry, sunglasses — and smaller sizes. Spokeswomen for the designer said the line had sold universally well in different geographies, and that the biggest surprise had been the size demand had skewed smaller than expected. For spring, the line will include more small sizes, after initial media reports had noted the clothes for the moderate-priced line were cut generously for the sizing.