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TEMPERLEY TIME: After flying the flag for the British high street, and wearing pieces by retailers Whistles and Reiss for her engagement pictures, Kate Middleton is dipping back into designer duds. Middleton wore a black-and-white embellished Temperley London cocktail dress on Saturday night for her first official appearance with Prince William since her engagement in November. The dress, which Middleton wore with a tailored black jacket, was a Temperley London autumn 2009 look known as the Titan dress. Middleton and Prince William were attending a fund-raising event for the Teenage Cancer Trust, held in Thursford, Norfolk, in the east of England.
HOW’S HE DOIN’?: Weatherproof’s Freddie Stollmack has enlisted former New York City Mayor Ed Koch to publicize its second annual Coats for Clunkers charitable drive. Koch will be at New York’s Penn Station this morning giving out $100 vouchers good toward a new Weatherproof coat in exchange for a gently used coat donated to New York Cares. And how did the Weatherproof folks persuade the 86-year-old Koch to hobnob around Penn Station during rush hour? The old-fashioned way: They paid him.
ARMANI’S GREEN FINGER: In a burst of civic pride, Giorgio Armani has donated 50,000 euros, or about $65,600 at current exchange, to the city of Milan to revamp an existing green area in one of Milan’s most historic piazzas — Risorgimento Square — located in the heart of the city. The donation won’t involve billboards or marketing strategies and stems from the designer’s desire to improve the city. Over the years, he has often voiced opinions about Milan lacking in urban aesthetics.
CHUKKA CHAT: Cartier, which long has sponsored the celebrity-studded day of matches at England’s Guards Polo Club every summer, is likely to wind down its support after 26 years.
According to sources in London, Cartier International Day, which takes place in association with the Hurlingham Polo Association, the governing body of polo in the U.K., will happen for the last time in July. A source said Cartier is seeking more exclusive polo events to sponsor.
The Cartier International Polo Day has evolved from a socialite- and film star-heavy day of cocktails, lunch, polo watching and afternoon tea, to one with increasing numbers of guests from the TV and music worlds, including Geri Halliwell, Paloma Faith and Duncan James, a former member of the boy band Blue.
The company said, “Over time, Cartier has forged a powerful link with the sport of polo worldwide. Cartier U.K.’s sponsorship contract of the International Day at Guard’s Polo Club will come up for renewal in 2011, and the company will take this instance to review different patronage opportunities of the sport in the U.K.”
COOL AID: Munich’s night owls have found a new perch at the Polar Bar on the roof terrace of the five-star Bayerischer Hof hotel. The snowy outdoor bar, a temporary installation designed by the young Hansandfranz team of Horst Wittmann and Konstantin Landuris, will stay open until March, and has the rugged look and feel of a polar station. To help keep the chill off guests wanting to chill out, Wittmann and Landuris turned to Stone Island, Italy’s function-meets-fashion sportswear specialists. Stone Island’s collaboration went beyond outfitting the bar staff with jackets. The company provided its heat-sensitive Ice Jacket Fabric and glass microsphere-coated Reflective Fabric, here, used for fleece-lined blankets, rolled up like sleeping bags as well as the covering of the bedlike lounges that line the terrace.
BRIGHT STAR: Tiffany & Co. has teamed with the Municipality of Milan once again to sponsor the city’s signature Christmas tree in Piazza Duomo, the base of which is a 2,150-square-foot temporary store in the form of a giant Tiffany-blue box.
This project has been making national headlines for weeks, due to the heated negative reactions it drew from several local politicians including Mayor Letizia Moratti, who questioned the correctness of placing a high-end jewelry store in front of the church in a time of economic crisis.
The two sides, however, reached a compromise over the weekend, thus allowing the project to move forward sans political ire. Tiffany will devolve 9 percent of its of sales and no less than 100,000 euros, or $131,210 at current exchange, to nonprofit cancer research organization LILT and to Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo (the organization responsible for maintaining and restoring the cathedral).
The 157-foot spruce fir tree and Tiffany store were officially inaugurated on Saturday evening and will remain in the main piazza as planned until Jan. 8.
Y-3 IN LONDON: Y-3, the collaborative line between Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas, will open its first stand-alone store in the U.K. in February, on Mayfair’s Conduit Street. The store, which will be across the street from London’s Yohji Yamamoto boutique, will be opened with a retail partner, Hervia. Hervia operates eight stand-alone stores in the U.K., including seven of Vivienne Westwood’s U.K. stores. The London store is the latest in a series of store openings for Y-3, which recently opened units in Los Angeles, Milan, Beijing and Dubai.