CANDY IS DANDY: No one would ever accuse Madonna of being buttoned-up, but the same cannot be said of her backup dancers. For her “Sticky and Sweet” tour, they are taking to the stage in Brooks Brothers’ Slim Fit 10-pleat wing collar and tennis collar tuxedo shirts. Costume designer Arianne Phillips requested them for the opening number, “Candy Shop.”
ERIN ON AMAZON: Details about Erin Fetherston’s collaboration with LU Biscuits, announced last September during New York Fashion Week, are finally out. The limited edition tins for the company’s Crème Roulée rolled wafers will debut Sept. 10 and be sold exclusively on Amazon.com’s U.S. site. Each tin, priced at $39 for a pack of six, features a fashion sketch by Fetherston of a girl holding giant-size wafers — “they do kind of look like rolls of fabric” — against a handwritten script that reads “I Love Lu.” “The company is really expanding into America,” says Fetherston of the French brand, which was bought by Kraft Foods in 2007. “Since I started [my business] in Paris, but am American and based here now, it seemed like the right fit. And, I mean, I always had the cookies at my house.”
MINNIE DINNER: A ritzy crowd descended on Montauk’s quaint Surf Lodge on Saturday night to toast the Minnie Mortimer collection. On hand at the al fresco dinner for 50 (plus assorted crashers) was Mortimer’s husband, the Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Stephen Gaghan, Lauren and Andres Santo Domingo, Amanda Hearst, Alex Kramer, Prada USA chief executive officer Graziano de Boni, Tim and Helen Schifter, Real Housewife Kelly Bensimon, Cinema Society’s Andrew Saffir and Marie Claire’s Nina Garcia. The event was something of a family affair — Mortimer’s half-brother, Paper columnist Peter Davis, organized the shindig. “Minnie and Stephen are surfers, so the Surf Lodge was the perfect spot,” he noted.
An intense and sudden downpour ended the dinner as dessert was being served, and many of the younger guests fled to an after party at the house of Phil Radziwill. Mortimer, a regular on the society circuit, launched her own label earlier this year with a tightly edited collection of dresses, skirts and tops sold in about 25 boutiques around the country. While visiting her old Hamptons stomping grounds following a recent move to California, Mortimer is also squeezing in business meetings with Bergdorf Goodman and Intermix this week.
TOPMAN ADDS SOUND: Could Topman be gearing up to be as much of a hangout for men as Topshop is for women? In September, Rough Trade Records, the famed London chain of independent record stores, will open a concession in Topman’s Oxford Circus flagship. A spokesman said Monday the concession will be part of the expansion of the flagship. Rough Trade, which is known for championing new artists, has stores in Notting Hill in West London and Brick Lane in East London.
SAC RACE: Balmain, a hot ready-to-wear brand, is flirting with the handbag business. Retailers in Paris for the pre-collections are being shown about a half dozen styles, including black leather messenger bags pavéd with crystals or studs, and a fringed, rock ’n’ roll number with silver hardware.
TRACEY TEAMS UP: Tracey Ross, the Los Angeles boutique pioneer who shuttered her iconic store on Sunset Plaza at the end of last year, is teaming up with noted cosmetic surgeon Dr. Fran Ryan to design clothing with philanthropic flair.
Ryan, who’s had a Beverly Hills practice for 15 years, is collaborating with Ross to design a collection of California surf-inspired casual and activewear that will be sold to benefit underprivileged and inner-city youth through Ryan’s charitable foundation, Bony Pony Ranch. The foundation supports a working ranch in Malibu with horses and other animals, where underprivileged youngsters stay. Kids benefited by the foundation will participate in the design process for the new line.
Ryan already has some Bony Pony Ranch apparel — with a logo drawn for Ryan by the late legendary animator Joe Barbera — that supports the ranch and is sold at Lisa Kline’s stores, but is looking to expand a more fashion-forward line.
Ross, who said she’s had numerous business offers to use her name since December, hasn’t been idle since closing her boutique — she’s consulting for Stella McCartney’s Los Angeles store and is active with a number of local charities.
Ryan is staying busy, too. He’s collaborating with brow guru Anastasia Soare and has plans to open a medi-spa near his office with a focus on the use of Zerona, a new “lipo-laser” that emulsifies body fat and is becoming wildly popular with the Hollywood set.
WAKELEY RETURNS: Amanda Wakeley will return to London Fashion Week in September after buying back her designer business earlier this year. The designer had skipped the February ready-to-wear season as she was trying to regain control of the business. Earlier this year, Wakeley’s new vehicle, AW Atelier LLP, purchased the company for an undisclosed sum from Jason Granite, a corporate restructuring specialist who late last year had bought the business from Wakeley’s longtime investor, Walid Juffali. The deal marks the first time the designer has owned her own label in more than a decade. Wakeley will continue to trade from her flagship and headquarters at 80 Fulham Road. Her line is sold at retailers including Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Selfridges.