TURKISH DE-LIGHT: Louis Vuitton has bagged another hot artist for its Champs-Elysées flagship in Paris, which already boasts permanent works by James Turrell and Olafur Eliasson. The French luxury brand commissioned acclaimed Turkish video artist Haluk Akakçe to create an abstract work for the 12 giant screens that shoppers whisk past on their way up a 70-foot elevator. Akakçe’s piece, accompanied by specially commissioned music, is slated to arrive at the end of this month for a one-year stay. Akakçe also created an installation for the flagship’s windows, which will remain all summer, a Vuitton spokeswoman added.
ROBERT’S HONOR: Robert Lee Morris, who is receiving the inaugural Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Awards next month, on Thursday is getting his own personal warm-up event for the big night. The CFDA is taking over the Rose Bar in the Gramercy Park Hotel to honor the jewelry designer. CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg and Lambertson Truex’s Richard Lambertson will be the co-hosts of the night, which also will celebrate the creation of the Geoffrey Beene endowment. The Geoffrey Beene Estate has given $5 million to the CFDA for scholarships in the late designer’s name to support design students.
NEW COUPLE: Alfonso (Alfie) Fanjul, the sugar billionaire and co-owner of Casa De Campo in the Dominican Republic, married his longtime companion, Raysa Herrera, on Tuesday at St. Ann Church in West Palm Beach, Fla. The ceremony was followed by a quiet family lunch at Fanjul’s house in North Lakes, which previously belonged to Henry Ford and which Fanjul doubled in size. The newlyweds are heading to New York this week and then are flying off to sail along the Amalfi coast of Italy for a few weeks’ honeymoon.
THE NEXT CHAPTER: Monday night’s book party for Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the eldest of Robert F. Kennedy’s 11 children, had all the makings of an Irish limerick or a SAT brainteaser, depending on how you deciphered her family tree. Sisters Kerry and Rory (with husband Mark Bailey) were on hand, as well as brother Robert and his wife, Mary. Kennedy cousin Ted Jr. also turned up, as did Carole Radziwill, a family member by marriage.
This story first appeared in the May 2, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Kerry Kennedy told the standing-room-only crowd at Meera and Vikram Gandhi’s Upper East Side town house, “Vikram said, ‘Invite as many people as you like.’ That is a dangerous thing to say with our family.”
Fittingly for the Democratic clan, the celebration for Townsend’s book, “Failing America’s Faithful: How Today’s Churches Are Mixing God With Politics and Losing Their Way,” was held at Eleanor Roosevelt’s last Manhattan residence. Glenn Close and Pilar Rossi (who provided the pink suit the author wore for the festivities) were among the well-wishers. Townsend, nicknamed “the nun” as a child for her no-nonsense view of good and evil, described an upbringing that included daily mass, and morning and evening prayers with her family. The book makes references to heavier childhood times, like her uncle John’s murder and Jimmy Hoffa’s threatening to throw acid in her eyes during her father’s investigation of him during the Senate Rackets Committee hearings.
WALK THE LINE: Walking the red carpet in a pair of stilettos may seem challenging — but soon the highest bidder will find out what it’s like to walk in the shoes of Teri Hatcher, Sharon Stone or Mandy Moore. Piperline.com, the online shoe shop from Gap Inc., will auction off celebrities’ shoes to benefit Soles4Souls, a foundation that facilitates donations of new and gently used shoes to the needy. Over 30 stars, including Jessica Simpson and Rosario Dawson, have autographed lightly worn shoes to be auctioned on the Web site, starting Thursday. Bidding concludes May 14.
DEACON’S DAY IN PARIS: Giles Deacon plans to show his pre-spring collection in Paris during the next round of couture shows in July. “It makes sense for me: All the buyers and editors are there, and it’s where I do my selling, anyway,” he said. Deacon won’t be staging a runway show, but will unveil the collection at the offices of his Paris press company, MO Communications, at 33 Avenue de L’Opera. Deacon has been experimenting with different ways to show pre-spring. Last year, he had Daniel Jackson shoot the clothing on model Agyness and e-mailed the pictures to stores.