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Mamma Mia… AmfAR Nears… Simon Doonan Tops Jude Law…

Mother’s Day came early this year to the DVF studio in New York, where a stylish set gathered to support the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood.

Diane Von Furstenber, Christy Turlington Burns and Georgina Chapman.

MAMMA MIA: Mother’s Day came early this year to the DVF studio in New York, where a stylish set gathered to support the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood and take a peek at Christy Turlington Burns’ documentary, “No Woman No Cry.” Diane von Furstenberg designed a T-shirt for the cause with “love is life” spelled out in white ribbons, which will be sold for $145 at DVF stores and on its Web site. “Maternal mortality is so tragic because of the hundreds of thousands of deaths every year, 90 percent are preventable,” lamented Burns, looking angelic in a white Zero + Maria Cornejo dress. The mood lifted when conversation turned to Mother’s Day gifts. “I always ask for breakfast in bed. And cuddling, that’s the best,” said Maria Cornejo, who had just returned from jurying the Hyères Festival in France. Tory Burch greeted expectant mother Georgina Chapman, who at 24 weeks was considering her options for maternity wear. “I’ve been changing all my dresses, adding elastic and things like that. I wouldn’t mind doing maternity wear, having gone through this,” she said. Von Furstenberg reminisced about her mother, a Holocaust survivor. “The doctor told her she absolutely could not have a child yet but, before you know it, I was born. So my birth was very much a miracle. Every birth is really a miracle,” she said.

This story first appeared in the May 6, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

AMFAR NEARS: Move over Met gala: AmfAR’s next Cinema Against AIDS Gala is looking rich in the glitz factor. Scheduled for May 20 at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, stars due to attend the black-tie charity event, which this year will be hosted by Alan Cumming, include Emily Blunt, Diane Kruger, Kirsten Dunst, Elizabeth Banks, Cuba Gooding Jr., Marion Cotillard, Benicio Del Toro and Eva Green. The night will include a performance by Mary J. Blige. The designer contingent, meanwhile, will include Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford, Roberto Cavalli, Silvia Fendi, Peter Dundas and amfAR chairman Kenneth Cole. Past AmfAR host Sharon Stone, who won’t be able to make the gala due to filming commitments, has recorded a video message.

FOR A CAUSE: Speaking of the Met, those still recovering from Monday night’s Costume Institute benefit should know that they didn’t party in vain. This year’s gala, which celebrated the “American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity” spring exhibit, had some 725 guests, and in total raised $9 million — the event’s best results ever. By contrast, last year’s shindig, which kicked off “The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion” exhibit, raked in $5.4 million for the Costume Institute.

SIMON TOPS JUDE AND HUGH: Note to Hollywood producers — Simon Doonan seems to make hearts beat faster than Jude Law and Hugh Jackman, combined that is. Bidding for Christie’s online “Green Auction: A Bid to Save the Earth” is coming to an end today and, late on Tuesday, the bid for lunch with the Barneys New York creative director, his exclusive preview of the store’s holiday windows and a $5,000 Barneys gift card was at $60,000 — higher than any other lot. By comparison, the highest bid for a day for two with Jackman on the set of “Real Steel” was at $8,000, while a date with Law on the set of one of his future movies had a bid of just $1,100 (presumably Sienna Miller might be hanging around). “I always assumed Jude Law and Hugh Jackman had infinitely more wattage than me, but clearly I have to reevaluate,” Doonan said. “It hasn’t changed me at all, but I am going to have my office lined in a leopard carpet and wear a smoking jacket and ascot to work.” Only Doonan will know whether he merits the high price. “I am going to make it worth it and pull out all the stops,” Doonan promised. “I will do some serious shimmying when the lunch comes around.”

A JONAS BROTHER SHOP CLERK?: Nick Jonas, retail associate? Jonas played that role at a Forever 21 store in the Los Angeles area last month for an episode of CBS’ hidden-camera reality program “I Get That a Lot” slated to air in May. If he quits his day job, Jonas apparently would be a good hire. Although only briefly instructed on Forever 21’s protocols and given no formal training, Jonas, 17, handled customer requests and wore clothes from Forever 21’s 21 Men line. “He was great and…tried his best to sell our items to the many [unsuspecting and] suspecting customers,” said Kristen Strickler of Forever 21’s marketing department. “Quite a few girls were convinced he was Nick Jonas and he denied, denied, denied.” Jonas’ retail career was short-lived. He is heading out on the road for a Jonas Brothers concert tour starting in July.

TECH GOES GLAM: Love it or hate it, Katy Perry’s illuminated dress at Monday night’s Costume Institute gala has benefited at least one camp: the London-based designers who created it, Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz. The duo, who design under the label CuteCircuit, fashioned the dress from “meters and meters of silk chiffon,” fitted with a micro computer and LED lights, which Perry could control to flash yellow, green, pink and blue. “When she arrived she looked very demure, then all of a sudden the lights switched on,” said Rosella, who along with Genz accompanied Perry on the red carpet. “Katy was great to work with — she really understands innovation and is really thoughtful about how she dresses.” Rosella said that Perry’s dress had been in the works for months, after her stylist approached the duo to design a dress for the singer inspired by their Galaxy dress, a gown that flashes with 24,000 LED lights and is on display at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. Rosella, who has in the past worked as a designer at Valentino and Esprit, started the label with Genz in 2004, after they’d met while studying for master’s degrees at the Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea, Italy. While the label’s regular wares include T-shirts dotted with LED lights, Rosella said she’s now looking at designing “more party dresses.” “I think it’s the first time someone has worn wearable technology for a red-carpet event,” noted Rosella.

 

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