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LITTLE PRINCE: “I don’t really do contemporary art. I collect early 20th century works, but Richard and I are old friends,” said Bryan Ferry, who hobnobbed with arty types at the opening of Richard Prince’s exhibition Thursday night at Paris’ Galerie Patrick Seguin. “It’s a nod to Louis Vuitton, who made a nod to me,” said Prince of one fiberglass nurse hat chair, part of his first collection of furniture that was unveiled at the event. Later, at a dinner atop the Centre Pompidou, the artist said that, in addition to his upcoming exhibition at New York’s Gagosian Gallery based on “black and white people on the same page,” he’s customizing a 1970 Dodge Charger driven by Dennis Hopper in “Blue Velvet.” “I was also approached [for a project with] Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, but I’m not going there; there’s no connection for me,” he drawled. Meanwhile Paris-based interior designer India Mahdavi, clutching an oversize Richard Prince for Louis Vuitton bag, said she’s working on a new bistro concept with Thierry Costes, due to open on Rue de Buci. “There’ll be twisted design elements. It’s going to be a bit baroque, a bit rock ’n’ roll,” she said. Charlotte Sarkozy, who’s married to Nicolas Sarkozy’s half-brother Olivier, said she was in Paris for a vacation. Asked if she’d be visiting any family, she said: “I think the president’s a bit busy.”
NOT FOR SALE: Tory Burch said her hot apparel and accessories company isn’t on the block. Although the designer conceded “we’re talking to some people,” without elaborating, she quickly added, “but the company is not for sale.” Sources said in July the New York-based firm, which is estimated to generate as much as $200 million in wholesale volume annually, was shopping around a 30 percent stake. The asking price — before the devastating declines in global stocks — was said to be $935 million to $1 billion self-valuation for the entire company and about $300 million for a 30 percent stake. Appearing at a private shopping party benefiting the New Profit Inc. charities at Saks Fifth Avenue Boston on Wednesday night, Burch, citing the economy, said, “I’m looking at every aspect of the business differently because of it. I don’t think women want to be over-the-top anymore. They want something that’s chic and elegant, but not such a big statement.”
AT THIS MOMENT: Sarah Jessica Parker is tackling time with her new scent collection, Lovely Moments. The collection will include three fragrances based on different expressions of time — Dawn, Endless and Twilight — and will launch on HSN in February, to be followed by a one-month brick-and-mortar exclusive in Ulta. The scents will enter full global distribution in April. Michael Thompson shot Parker for a TV and print campaign; national print ads will break in March magazines, while TV dates are still being determined.
PARTYING LIKE IT’S 1999: Though it might seem like an undesirable time to open a store, the scene at Hugo Boss’ new Meatpacking District outpost Thursday resembled a pre-financial crisis bash. Young members of the fashion flock like Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Chris Benz and Peaches Geldof danced to the turntable stylings of Alexandra and Theodora Richards, while an eclectic mix of Hollywood headliners including Maggie Gyllenhaal, Brooke Shields, Mena Suvari, Stephen Baldwin and Cuba Gooding Jr. were ushered upon entering to a makeshift VIP area in the back of the 14th Street boutique. Shields, for her part, put a positive spin on the occasion’s somewhat awkward timing. “It’s very brave of Hugo Boss to open a store now. It’s like my show [‘Lipstick Jungle’] — some people look at it and say ‘Why?’ But in these times you need a break from CNN,” the actress said. “It’s a little different in my case because TV is free.” Gyllenhaal, meanwhile, showed her attention to the economy by sporting a high-low mix of the brand’s suit and a necklace that “my mother gave to me. She got it at a flea market in London.”
ONE AND ONLY: While H&M is known for its collaborations with top designers like Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Comme des Garçons, things are a little different in the new store in Berlin’s hip Hackescher Markt neighborhood. In a one-of-a-kind collaboration with the young Berlin designer duo C.neeon, H&M is offering 300 limited edition T-shirts in their signature geometric patterns. The T-shirts retail for 24.99 euros, or about $34.50 at current exchange, and all proceeds will go to Berliner Tafel e.V., a charity which provides food for the homeless.
“It all started when they asked us if we could do some illustrations for the walls, and then came the idea for the charity T-shirts,” said C.neeon designer Doreen Schulz.
PARTY CRAWL: Those not attending the Fashion Group International’s awards Thursday evening had no shortage of other party options at their disposal. First stop for many was the Hermès store on Madison Avenue for cocktails to celebrate Kelly Klein’s new book, “Horse,” which features photographs by the likes of Helmut Newton, Bruce Weber, Richard Prince and Ellen von Unwerth. A group of NYPD cavalry acted as a receiving line for guests such as Tory Burch, Calvin Klein, Narciso Rodriguez and Aerin Lauder. Inside, a black Hermès-clad Klein worked her table signing copy after copy. “I’ve been asked to do a book on horses for awhile and put it off and put it off,” explained the avid equestrian, who rides almost every day at her Bridgehampton home. “I wanted to give it an edge and show some sexy pictures and extremes.”
A block away, the Associates Committee of the Fountain House Fall Fete gathered at the Valentino boutique for drinks before heading to the Racquet and Tennis Club for dinner and dancing.
And in SoHo, Susan Sarandon and Eva Amurri helped host the opening of the first New York outpost of hip French brand Comptoir des Cotonniers. “I’ve been a fan of their clothes and am excited to have a store in New York,” said Amurri. “The clothes are such a high quality, but reasonably priced.” After perusing the signature cotton trenches and cool basics, a mix of editors and Francophiles enjoyed dinner in the garden of nearby Raoul’s.
MOSCHINO’S MANSE: The first Moschino hotel is taking shape. The Italian luxury brand unveiled mock-up rooms of the hotel during TTG Incontri, Italy’s leading trade show for the tourism industry, which started Friday. The Moschino hotel is expected to open in 2009 in partnership with Hotelphilosophy SpA, Mobygest Group in a former neoclassical railway station, which dates back to 1840, in Milan’s Viale Monte Grappa, near the trendy Corso Como area. Rossella Jardini, creative director of the maison, is in charge of the hotel concept, which revolves around a fairy-tale theme. “‘To sleep is perchance to dream,’ and dreams are fairy tales that we are allowed to experience first hand, the fables of a fantasy world that we have created,” said Jardini. “This is an alternate life in which we direct and stage the scripts of our very own play.” For example, in a bedroom, the chandelier is embellished with red rose petals. Below, the bed’s coverlet is made with red rose petals that appear to have fallen from the lamp. In the hall, lamps are made to look like clouds. Jardini said that, in the hotel, “the ordinary world is painted with a brush of surrealism,” in line with Moschino’s.