SHOP TALK: Could Stella McCartney be looking to open her first boutique in Paris? Sources said the designer is eying the arcades of the Palais Royal, one of Paris’ most elegant — and hottest — retail addresses. Ralph Lauren is also heading there with one of his brands. And if all that wasn’t enough to lure shoppers to the palace and gardens, Sweden’s Acne Jeans said it would also open its first Paris flagship there alongside the likes of Marc Jacobs and Rick Owens. Acne also said it will open its first New York store on Greene Street in SoHo next year.
PEDAL PUSHER: Paris’ popular rental bikes, known as Velibs, are looking so last-season and shabby next to this: a Chanel bicycle, complete with two quilted saddlebags. Karl Lagerfeld dreamt up an ergonomic, aluminum-frame bike with a comfortable seat and eight speeds. Priced at 8,900 euros, or about $13,200 at current exchange, it arrives in Chanel stores next month, equipped with a theft-proof lock welded to the frame.
RUSSIAN AROUND: Ralph Rucci is opening his first freestanding boutique. The American designer, in Paris last week, said he has a deal with Russian retail group Mercury to open a shop in Moscow in March. Meantime, Rucci is expanding his business at home. He said he just opened a new 7,000-square-foot workroom in Manhattan, in addition to his existing 15,000-square-foot space in SoHo, to accommodate demand. “Business has been incredible,” said Rucci, who shows his collections on the Paris runway. Next up? Rucci is working on a fragrance thanks to a deal he recently reached with Givaudan. “It’s been a dream of mine,” he said. “I designed the bottle in 1987.” To be called Ralph Rucci, the fragrance should hit stores by 2009.
CROSSING THE POND: Those who have made a trip to France or England in recent weeks may have come back with pair of Gap shoes from a capsule collection of Pierre Hardy. Those who haven’t, though, need not fret: They may soon be able to get their hands on a pair here. The line, which is part of Gap’s Design Editions program and initially targeted the European market, is said to be heading to Gap stores in the U.S. next year. Few details could be learned, but the move would mirror Gap’s strategy for Roland Mouret, whose capsule collection of dresses first launched in Europe and was then brought over for limited distribution Stateside last year. Stay tuned.
DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL: Nina Ricci on the radio? Ricci designer Olivier Theyskens will be the subject of a 75-minute documentary set to air on France Culture in spring. The segment is being produced by Pamela Golbin, curator in chief at the Museum of Fashion and Textiles in Paris, who is also doing a fashion talk with Theyskens next month at New York’s French Institute Alliance Française.
HATTER CROWNED: Philip Treacy is used to adorning royals with his outlandish hat designs, but last week it was the royals doing the decorating. The British milliner was appointed an honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his services to the British fashion industry, and was presented with the award by Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall Nov. 19.
MOSS PIT STOP: Since opening her flagship at 20 East 63rd Street in Manhattan last April, interior designer Charlotte Moss has tried to mix clothing with her homey tchotchkes. Her latest find is the Irving & Fine collection of blouses. Founded by Carolina Irving and Lisa Fine, the collection is inspired by travel — something Moss could relate to easily. “Carolina and Lisa live their lives as expressed by their collection, Irving & Fine,” Moss said. “The shapes, choice of textiles, embroidery and exuberance of their color palette reflect their enthusiasm, curiosity and joie de vivre for travel, for the experience.” The collection on hand at the store will retail from $250 to $1,400 for hand-embroidered limited editions. Moss is slated to hold a trunk show for the design duo’s merch today.
LONDON LIGHTS: Kate Hudson, Christopher Bailey, Ozwald Boateng, Patrick Cox, Philip Treacy and Galen, Hilary and Alannah Weston browsed the glittering jewelry and watches in Selfridges’ new Wonder Room before Stevie Wonder — who is not related to the room — began a performance Tuesday night. “People always worry about having a party in the store at night, but I love it,” admitted Alannah Weston. “It’s like that movie ‘Mannequin,'” she said with a laugh.
The previous evening, rainy London got a taste of more tropical climes when Rena Sindi transformed the rooftop pool of London’s Shoreditch House into a runway for a presentation of Chloé’s spring collection, Sea, Sex and Sun. “It’s just divine — it’s so Rena,” said Lillian von Stauffenberg, as models wearing Paulo Melim Andersson’s printed dresses tottered precariously around the — thankfully heated — pool area on 6-inch platforms.
After guests including Lily Allen, Camilla Al Fayed and Noelle Reno had taken in the show, they drifted into dinner, served on white tablecloths splattered with multicolored paint and chairs covered in black PVC — an homage to the dresses in the collection. “You know, I think I had a pair of white dungarees exactly like this when I was a child,” mused Amber Nuttall, examining the tablecloth.
As guests dined on tuna tartare and grilled wild sea bass, a three-piece band serenaded the different tables with Motown hits. “I got them from the beach in Saint-Tropez,” said Sindi. “Everyone keeps recognizing them!”
PREGNANT PAUSES: “I can’t remember, I can’t remember anything,” said a heavily pregnant Helena Bonham Carter at the launch of “Long Way Down,” the latest book by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman at the Smythson flagship on London’s Bond Street. Bonham Carter, who was wearing a black dress with a pale pink lacy cardigan, couldn’t recall exactly who designed her getup — but that’s pregnancy hormones for you. Meanwhile, Samantha Cameron, creative director of Smythson, and wife of David Cameron, leader of Britain’s Conservative Party, was trying not to look pregnant in a navy blue smock cocktail dress from COS. “I was worried about how I would be photographed. I didn’t want people thinking I was pregnant again!” said the mother of three. Guests at the event included McGregor, Amber Nuttall, Tim Burton and Jamie Dornan.