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COVER GIRL: Cynthia Rowley and her husband, gallerist Bill Powers, are known to have an affinity for contemporary art. It comes as little surprise, then, that the two are well-known figures in the auction world — so much so they’re featured on the cover of Phillips de Pury & Co.’s latest “Saturday@Phillips” auction catalogue. Rowley and Powers are participating in the auctioneers “Tastemaker” series, discussing their favorite artworks. They were photographed at their West Village townhouse by Dean Kaufman enjoying cookies at their dining table — the hand and cookie popping up through the table belonging to their nine-year old daughter, Kit. The catalogue goes on sale Wednesday.
DECONSTRUCTING DOV: Woody Allen has been publicly mum on his pending lawsuit against American Apparel, but he was hardly understated on the subject in a December deposition. In excerpts released Wednesday from a previously confidential transcript, the filmmaker called the retailer’s characteristically soft-core ads “sleazy” and “infantile.” Allen filed a federal suit against American Apparel in March 2008 over the firm’s unauthorized use of his image in a billboard campaign. “If I’m going to do a commercial, it would have to be for, as I said, a large amount of money, it would have to be a very clever, kind of witty or intellectual-style commercial…” the director said under oath on Dec. 15. He went on to say American Apparel has a “sleazy image” and that the company’s ads, which often bear the imprint of chief executive officer Dov Charney, he had seen were “sexually gross in a witless and infantile way.” Earlier this month, the Los Angeles-based company filed a motion to compel Allen to produce evidence related to his divorce from Mia Farrow and subsequent marriage to her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn. Lawyers for American Apparel contend the scandal that surrounded the marriage dragged Allen’s potential endorsement lower than the $10 million he is seeking in the suit. Allen’s team responded with the portions of the deposition as proof that he had fulfilled his obligations for the discovery phase of the trial, during which plaintiff and defendant trade evidence. His lawyers accused American Apparel of using a “scorched earth” approach to the case and attempting to turn discovery into an “unfettered exploration of Mr. Allen’s family life, personal finances and career.” The two sides are due to meet at trial on May 18 in Manhattan.
CALVIN’S STAGE MOMENT: In 1990, Calvin Klein created costumes for Martha Graham’s “Maple Leaf Rag” production. Collaborating with Graham directly, Klein designed low-slung skirts to accentuate the torso, and other pieces that are still used for the production worldwide. Through Saturday, Klein’s designs are once again in the spotlight, as the Martha Graham Dance Company will performs “Maple Leaf Rag” and several other dances at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet. There’s no need, however, to fly to Paris to sample some vintage Calvin: The production moves to New York University’s Skirball Center May 12 to 16.
COAST TO COAST: The Art of Elysium has set its sights on the East Coast. The Los Angeles-based charity — known on the Hollywood party circuit for its annual pre-Golden Globes soiree — opened an office in Harlem last week and is throwing a bash in Manhattan to celebrate.
Co-hosts including Joy Bryant will be in attendance at the fete, which will take place on May 1 at quirky downtown hotel The Jane, and will feature a live performance by Santigold. Proceeds from the evening will benefit The Art of Elysium, which encourages high-profile actors, artists and musicians to donate their resources to children with serious medical conditions.
PRADA TEST RUN: Prada’s much-hyped Transformer project is one step closer to making its mark on Seoul. Eunmin S&D, the project’s contractor, has completed the structural work and the first rotation test of the building, which will morph its shape to accommodate a film festival, a contemporary art exhibition and other events over the coming months. The building’s movable geometric components are covered with an elastic, white membrane normally used to cover and store machinery like old airplanes. Miuccia Prada and Rem Koolhaas, who designed the structure, will host a cocktail April 23 to fete the Transformer’s inaugural exhibit — a reprise of the traveling exhibit “Waist Down: Skirts by Miuccia Prada.”
SHOP TALK: Tony Parisian department store Le Bon Marché is making it easier to achieve that je ne sais quoi style of hip French starlets: It has invited actresses Géraldine Pailhas and Julie Gayet to select their summer must-haves from the store’s designer collections and will display them from Saturday to May 2. Meanwhile, designer Anne Valérie Hash is set to test an innovative retail concept. Spurred by the success of her recent ephemeral store in Paris’ Palais Royal, the designer plans to open a boutique in her headquarters on Paris’ Boulevard Bonne Nouvelle next month, also offering a made-to-measure service.
A BLING THING: Talk about spending your way out of a recession: Selfridges has just unveiled a 2,000 pound, or $3,000, Swarovski crystal-encrusted bikini, dubbed the bling-kini, which will go on sale Monday. Designed by Pistol Panties, the multicolored swimsuit is joined from bust to base with sparkly gold rope. It is on display under a glass case. Three are available now, and the waiting list is already full. “We had one woman in our Notting Hill store who wanted to wear the piece to a fabulous party in Ibiza,” said a spokeswoman for Pistol Panties. “We think that there is definitely a demand for blingy products such as this one.” Last week, Selfridges reported a 33 percent increase in swimwear sales year-on-year. “There is still a huge demand for these kinds of [blingy] pieces,” said a Selfridges spokeswoman.