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STELLA’S NEW PROJECT: Stella McCartney‘s brood is getting bigger. A source close to the designer said she is expecting her third child at the end of this year. McCartney already has a son, Miller Alasdhair James Willis, born in 2005, and a daughter, Bailey Linda Olwyn Willis, who was born in December. A spokesman for McCartney declined to comment. However, given McCartney’s past form, the pregnancy isn’t likely to slow her down — the designer was working on her fall 2005 collection hours before giving birth to her son, and was back to work the day after he was born.
CHANGE IN SPAIN: Arnaud Maillard‘s stint as creative director and head designer of Sybilla was short-lived. Maillard, an alum of Karl Lagerfeld‘s studio, designed the iconic Spanish label’s fall-winter collection shown on a Paris runway in March — and now he’s out, confirmed Alba Gómez Zabalo, Sybilla’s Madrid-based deputy fashion managing director. “It wasn’t a good fit….The collection was not what we wanted,” she said. Sybilla, 43, and her design teams will pick up the reins of her namesake brand and a junior spin-off line called Jocomomola. In addition, Sybilla’s planned international retail expansion has been put on the back burner, Gomez Zabalo said.
REMEMBERING VERSACE: The special performance Sunday night’s performance at La Scala in Milan to honor the late Gianni Versace will conincidentally be held precisely a decade after the designer’s murder. July 15 was the only available date for the renowned Milanese opera house, until 2010. “I really didn’t care about the date, September would have worked just fine, so I guess it’s a sign,” joked Donatella Versace. “It was meant to be. I can already see Gianni shaking the crystal chandelier and directing the ballet.”
A crowd of 1,400 is expected, including Karl Lagerfeld, Jessica Alba, Silvia Venturini Fendi, the entire Missoni clan, plus Gianni’s favorite models — Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Nadèje and Marpessa — along with artists such as Mimmo Paladino and Arnaldo Pomodoro.
This story first appeared in the July 13, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Donatella and Santo Versace will also host an après-opera dinner at Palazzo Reale for 500 of Gianni’s friends and staffers.
The performance includes a ballet called “Grazie Gianni Con Amore” (“Thank You Gianni, With Love”), choreographed by Gianni Versace’s longtime friend Maurice Béjart. The two met at La Scala in 1983, when the French-born Béjart was on a quest to refresh his costumes.
“I can still picture Gianni adding the finishing touches to those marvelous costumes he invented in the cloakroom of the Cirque du Soleil in Brussels,” said Béjart. “He was crouched amidst heaps of clothes, painting embroidery gold or applying invisible lace to the folds that only he and I could see.”
The 80-year-old artist added that when he would ask Versace to sketch 10 new looks, he would get 30, even 40. “Gianni loved life too much not to love the theater. He wanted to turn every woman into Greta Garbo and every boy into James Dean.”
Sunday’s spectacle will meld portions of a dozen ballets that benefited from Gianni Versace’s hand. The curtain will rise on a big white box from which some 50 dancers will climb, each in a costume designed by Versace for Béjart. The ballets include “Pyramid,” “Dyonisis,” “Malraux” and “Souvenir de Leningrad.”
The second act features new choreography with 15 costumes designed by Donatella Versace that she described as “modern and clean,” sheer, with cascades of macro Swarovski embroidery.
“Gianni’s costumes are so extraordinarily beautiful….It was so hard to compete with him, so I went for something completely different,” she said. However, she kept her brother’s tradition of crafting the costumes in the house’s atelier instead of shipping them off to specialists.
“Gianni insisted that they be handmade in the atelier using the best materials,” Versace said. “Then, at the last moment, we discovered that the dancer couldn’t lift her leg, so we had to make amends with patches of Lycra.” The fact that the first rehearsal onstage at La Scala isn’t until Sunday doesn’t help Versace’s jitters.
“I’m so nervous,” she said. “But it’s like going back to the [early] Nineties, when everything was so last-minute, and we were still sewing a dress when the show had started.”
DARYL’S NEWEST: Daryl Kerrigan is heeding the call of contemporary with a new line for spring ’08. Called simply Kerrigan, it will be the third collection in her stable; in addition to mainstay Daryl K, the designer also launched an exclusive line with Barneys New York named Daryl K 189 & Co-op in 2005. In fact, although the latter was a relaunch of a secondary label she had in the Nineties, K 189, this new Kerrigan collection is actually closer to it in spirit. “It actually really will embody the old K 189 that I used to do,” Kerrigan says. “It’s going to be younger and will have more street in it, with the kind of music-reference styling I used to do.” To that end, she promises plenty of hardware-embellished dresses and T-shirts — “to make them a little more punky and new wave” — as well as bright colors in her famously tailored skinny jackets and pants. And the line will have the tomboy feel inherent in a name like Kerrigan, which was actually an old childhood moniker of hers. The best part? Wholesale prices cap off at $150.
SIMPLE CEREMONY: Wedding bells were set to ring Thursday night, but ever so quietly, for Nina Griscom and her longtime beau, Leonel Piraino. Griscom opted for a small, simple ceremony in the Fifth Avenue apartment of her parents, former Ambassador Felix and Liz Rohatyn. Former New York mayor David Dinkins officiated. Afterward, the group of immediate family and a few close friends were to head to the nearby Knickerbocker Club for a celebratory dinner. But Griscom didn’t plan to buck all tradition: Though eschewing a full-length gown with train, the bride ordered a custom-made Champagne silk shantung dress with matching jeweled jacket, designed by — who else? — Vera Wang
MANCHESTER MADNESS: The empty Laurent-Perrier bottles had barely been cleared from London’s Serpentine Gallery, which hosted its annual summer party Wednesday night, before art world hotshots were already on to their next adventure. Last night, Matthew Barney, Miuccia Prada, Stefano Pilati, Sadie Coles, Doug Aitken, Trisha Donnelly, Liam Gillick and Olafur Eliasson were in Manchester for the world premiere of a group show called “Il Tempo del Postino.” The experimental, live performance, which featured 15-minute segments dreamed up by artists including Barney, Aitken and Donnelly, took place at the city’s opera house during the first biannual Manchester International Festival. The show, cocurated by the Serpentine Gallery’s co-director Hans Ulrich Obrist and artist Philippe Parreno, will run for three nights. In February, it will move to Paris’ Theatre du Chatelet, and will later go on a world tour.
ANN TAKES SEOUL: After Hong Kong and Tokyo, Ann Demeulemeester is planning to open a shop in Seoul. The Belgian designer said she would open a 3,500-square-foot boutique in the South Korean capital this September. “We’re building the entire building,” she said. Demeulemeester also has a shop in her hometown of Antwerp, Belgium.
HAVE BUBBLY, WILL TRAVEL: Alice Temperley has an affinity for Champagne. The British designer has teamed up for the second time with Moët & Chandon to create a limited edition accessory. Last year she collaborated on a tiara, and this time around Temperley drew inspiration from old Louis Vuitton steamer trunks to create a canvas tote with black leather trim and gold accents. The tote, of course, comes with a special bag to carry a bottle of Moët. The bag will retail for $1,599 at select specialty stores and Temperley London boutiques in New York and Los Angeles starting this fall.