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MOVING ON: After three successful years helping design Versace’s men’s wear with Donatella Versace, Alexander Plokhov is amicably parting ways with the fashion firm. The Russian-born Plokhov, who worked at the now-defunct Cloak for six years prior to joining Versace, is off to pursue other interests. Versace is actively looking to fill the position that will report to Donatella Versace. In six seasons, Plokhov helped the company set a new template for the Versace man, removing him from his glitzy rocker past to pursue a cleaner and more modern direction.
READY, SET, ISAAC: Guests at Isaac Mizrahi’s runway show could revel in the scenery — a photograph of Manhattan’s skyline served as the backdrop, a canopy of hand-painted trees hung from the rafters, the runway resembled a city sidewalk and artificial snow fell before the finale. Consider this a primer of sorts for the designer, who created the set and costumes for “A Little Night Music” at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, which will run from June 6 to 19. It will also mark his directorial debut.
WHISTLER’S ANNA: Anna Sui whipped up a T-shirt with illustrations by Sara Schwartz to celebrate James McNeill Whistler’s iconic Peacock Room in Washington’s Freer Gallery of Art. The T-shirt will be featured in Sui’s fall line and was doled out to 250 guests at her show Wednesday night. Proceeds from the shirt will support the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler galleries to benefit the appreciation and study of Asian art and culture. The public will be able to purchase the shirt through the Freer and Sackler galleries’ shops and Web sites, Sui’s showrooms and Web site and additional retail stores in September.
COVER TUNES: Karaoke just got cool. Paris promoter Rasmus Michau is preparing to launch what he hopes will be “the most beautiful karaoke bar in the world” in a former theater in the French capital. Le Renard, a 130-seat restaurant designed by architect Franklin Azzi, will open its doors in March following a one-year renovation costing 1 million euros, or $1.4 million at current exchange. The retro-style venue is a joint venture between Michau, co-founder of creative agency Hmm and Addy Bakhtiar, owner of Le Milliardaire and Régine’s. The concept was inspired by the Sunday-night karaoke sessions at Cipriani Downtown in New York, Michau revealed. “We want to turn it into a high-class karaoke joint where people dress up to come and sing,” he said.
AT ATTENTION: A former dancer and singer in her native South Korea, Sang A Im-Propp is used to having the spotlight. But on Monday evening, the New York-based luxury accessories designer shared the platform with her artist friends. Im-Propp hosted an event alongside Ann Caruso, Olivia Chantecaille, Karen Duffy, Lauren Goodman, Genevieve Jones, Mary Alice Stephenson and Ferebee Taube at the Mixed Greens Gallery to reveal a collection of one-of-a-kind clutches on which she collaborated with several artists. Rudy Shepherd, Sirichai and Eung Ho Park are just a few artists who Im-Propp has tapped to decorate her signature Flash clutch, which is part of her namesake line, Sang A. “Many of the artists that I worked with for this project are friends of mine from either New York or Paris,” said Im-Propp. “I envisioned them with unique, fun and innovative designs.” The one-of-a-kind clutches were sold in a silent auction during the event with all proceeds benefiting Free Arts NYC.
A HIGHER AUTHORITY: Todd Oldham is taking his breach of contract case against Old Navy up the judicial ladder, as promised. A judge in U.S. District Court dismissed the designer’s lawsuit against his former employer last month. On Wednesday, Oldham’s L-7 Designs Inc. appealed the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan. Oldham served as creative director at the largest unit of Gap Inc. from September 2007 until early last year when, court documents showed, the parties couldn’t come to terms over an eponymous Todd Oldham line. In his January decision, Judge Denny Chin found that the retailer could not be held liable for breach of contract because it had made good faith efforts to strike a deal. Todd Oldham Studio vice president Tony Longoria said at the time of Chin’s ruling that the designer planned to appeal.
HAMMER TIME: The final spring 1987 collection designed by Christian Lacroix for Jean Patou’s now-defunct couture business, which was presented a week before Lacroix left the company to start up his own brand with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and was never commercialized, is to be auctioned off on March 27 and 28 at Paris’ Drouot Richlieu auction house. The sale, organized by Chayette & Cheval, will include about 60 dresses as well as accessories and scent bottles. The seller is Patou’s great nephew, Jean de Mouy.
NOT AMUSING: Designer Richie Rich and former playmate Pamela Anderson finally brought their eco-conscious clothing collection, A*Muse, to New York — after unveiling it in New Zealand last year — with a raucous party and runway show on Wednesday night at Amnesia. A strange array of celebrities (read: socialite Tinsley Mortimer, Amanda Lepore, ANTM’s CariDee English, Constantine Maroulis of “American Idol,” Nicole Murphy and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Terrell Owens) came out to support the duo, some even taking to the runway. But other than the aerial acrobats, an odd Josephine Baker-like dancer and the fact that Anderson arrived more than an hour late, there was little to talk about. The collection was full of uninventive silhouettes — T-shirts, bikini briefs, jumpsuits — all spattered with inane prints and embellishments that may satisfy the club-kid scene, but will largely leave the fashion community confused.
WATCH OUT: Actor Andy Garcia is the latest celebrity to work for Swiss watchmaker Baume & Mercier for free. Like other celebrities who have taken part in the Baume & Mercier & Me campaign, now in its fifth year, Garcia will donate all his royalties to charity, as will photographer Greg Gorman, who shot the campaign. Previous participants include Kiefer Sutherland, Meg Ryan, Kim Basinger, Teri Hatcher and Ashton Kutcher.