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STANDING TALL: Tuesday’s 18-count indictment of Brooke Astor’s son, Anthony Marshall, and one of her former attorneys, Francis Morrissey, was not cause for schadenfreude from the late doyenne’s longtime friends David Rockefeller and Annette de la Renta. In fact, when Rockefeller heard of Marshall’s courthouse walk, he said, “It really is very sad news,” according to his adviser, Fraser Seitel.
De la Renta was also “saddened,” Seitel said.
The 83-year-old Marshall stands accused of grand larceny and other charges for allegedly pilfering money from his mother to pay the captain of his yacht’s salary, as well as the income for a social secretary for a theater production company he ran out of his mother’s apartment without her knowledge. Astor, who died in August at the age of 105, was said to have left behind a $132 million fortune and an additional $60 million trust. Last summer, Rockefeller and de la Renta signed affidavits calling for the appointment of a personal and financial guardian for Astor. Morrissey, who is out of the country, is expected to turn himself in Friday, according to a spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Roger M. Morganthau. Marshall and Morrissey are due back in court Jan. 30.
AVOIDING THE BUG: While she is often criticized on the subject of health care, Sen. Hillary Clinton appears to be determined about staving off cold and flu season while on the campaign trail. On Tuesday, the Democratic presidential candidate stopped by Petticoat Lane, a store in her hometown of Chappaqua, N.Y., with her daughter, Chelsea, to buy winter hats by Eric Javits. Clinton — a longtime Javits fan, who even wore one of the designer’s hats to Princess Diana’s funeral a decade ago — chose a black rain hat and Chelsea chose the Stork style. No word on whether the Clintons have yet ordered inauguration-apropos chapeaux.
DESIGNER DANCE OFF: Designers have been collaborating with dance companies for years, but now Mark Badgley and James Mischka are tweaking that formula. The pair will suit up the Alvin Ailey Dance Company’s 15 female principal dancers for the troupe’s opening-night gala tonight at the New York Sheraton. The flexible ones will wear Badgley Mischka Platinum dresses. But no two dancers will be dressed the same.
EXHIBITIONISTS: Fashion designers continue to flex their artistic muscles — and clout. Helmut Lang plans to open his first solo exhibition next month at Brooklyn’s trendy Journal Gallery. Lang’s installation is said to include a multifaceted mirrored object and photos of colorful ornaments against a backdrop of black-and-white porn. “The idea relates to the Janus mythology, representing time as one half respects the past and the other one looks into the future,” Lang told Neville Wakefield in a 20-page interview in the gallery’s journal.
And, on Wednesday night, Hedi Slimane lifted the curtain on his solo exhibition at the Almine Rech Gallery in Paris. Titled “Perfect Stranger,” the show includes photos of young rock fans, a source of inspiration for Slimane since his Dior Homme days.
HOMECOMING OF SORTS: After years of absence, Prada will again attend the Pitti Uomo men’s wear exhibition. But don’t expect to see the entire Prada men’s collection on the runway. In true Prada style, the fashion house will present only a new sneaker with its staple red band, designed in different materials, at Pitti Uomo, which runs Jan. 9 to 12.
TIME TO DIAL: Watch brands are the latest branch of luxury leaguers courting the cellular phone market. Tag Heuer, the LVMH-owned Swiss timepiece maker, has inked a license deal with ModeLabs Group, a Paris-based customized cell phone specialist, for the production and distribution of its first cell phone, to be released in the second quarter of next year.