THREE’S A CROWD: Sure he’s worked with Anne Klein and is a longtime friend of Donna Karan. Now CFDA award-winning jewelry designer and sculptor Robert Lee Morris is partnering with a new young design duo: Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. According to sources, the trio has been hard at work for the past few months on a collection of jewelry dubbed Robert Lee Morris for Elizabeth and James. Apparently the twins long have been fans of Morris and pored over his vast archives in at his headquarters in downtown Manhattan. The line of silver and brass dagger necklaces, amorphous knuckle rings and edgy earrings will bow in the next few months. A representative for Morris could not be reached for comment.
SPORT MORPHS AT ST. JOHN: Word is St. John will be rolling its Sport division into its Collection line while elevating the fabrications to create a new luxury sportswear category. While details, such as whether the new category will get its own name, are still to be revealed at next month’s shareholders meeting, the move would be the first significant change to the company’s apparel business. Accessories and other brand extensions are being reintroduced to the mix.
This story first appeared in the May 30, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
TALKING CAVALLI: While it may be a landmark for scholars, at Oxford University Wednesday evening, the most pressing question put to Roberto Cavalli was far from intellectual. “Who is your favorite Spice Girl?” piped one student to the designer, who was guest speaking at the Oxford Union, the Oxford University’s debating society. “They’re all very nice,” he replied. “Who is the blonde one? Emma? She’s very nice, at least she can sing.” Of friend Victoria Beckham he added: “She’s afraid to move sometimes, afraid to show herself. Before she comes out [for an appearance] she is so scared, but when she comes out she’s fantastic.” He would know. The Italian designer dressed the pop group for their recent comeback tour.
BERGE BLACKBALLED: Pierre Bergé may have to wait awhile before he is admitted to France’s prestigious Académie Française. The Yves Saint Laurent dean’s campaign to join the ranks of the so-called Immortals, who are the custodians of the French language and responsible for writing the French dictionary, fell short last week when Jean Clair, an art historian who has written extensively on the painter Balthus, beat him in voting. Clair got 16 votes to seven in favor of Bergé. The latter organized a cocktail party at his Left Bank house directly after the vote to celebrate or to offer him condolences. Though he was visibly disappointed in the result — many of his friends offered conspiracy theories against him — Bergé remained stoic. “With everything that I’ve had in life, I can hardly complain about one little setback,” he quipped, adding that he intends to continue his quest for a seat under the Académie’s gilded dome. “There’s always next year,” he shrugged.
DRAWING A CROWD: When the doors open each morning at Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street, there’s always a crowd. But Wednesday at around 10 a.m., with the filming of “Bride Wars,” a 20th Century Fox film set to be released in the spring, it was more like a mob scene between the production crew and the paparazzi battling to get a shot at the two movie stars, Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway. “It’s an important point in the movie where they’re exiting the store and plotting and scheming against another bride,” said a Bloomingdale’s spokesman. Bloomingdale’s has been used as a backdrop for several movies, including “Moscow on the Hudson” and “Splash.” Clint Eastwood drove by in a cab in “Coogan’s Bluff.” “We get scripts all the time,” the spokesman added. “I got a copy of Woody Allen’s next comedy.”
BRINGIN’ UP BABY: At a dinner honoring Usher’s upcoming limited edition fragrances Wednesday night at Philippe on East 60th Street, the star of the evening turned out to be the singer’s six-month-old son, Usher Raymond V — or Cinco, as his proud father calls him (“I’m Quatro,” the singer said.) “I also call him Rabbit — he’s always hopping,” said Usher. Turning serious, he added, “he’s the inspiration for everything I do now.” And Usher soon might be making a profit on it: He said he’s working on several projects inspired by his son, including a baby fragrance with his licensee, Liz Claiborne Cosmetics, which was acquired by Elizabeth Arden earlier this week.