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DIAMOND LIFE: It’s never too early for a retrospective, at least for Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier. The Italian luxury house, part of Gucci Group, on Wednesday night invited its Paris clients to an overview of its fine and costume jewelry collections, which were launched in 2006 and 2003, respectively. Creations from the house’s fall collections were also on display in Bottega’s Avenue Montaigne flagship, including antique silver insect-themed costume jewelry pieces, featuring an iridescent lacquer containing makeup pigment, and a collection of belt-inspired bracelets featuring woven gold threads. Across town, designers Claude Montana and Marc Audibet took in the opening of Les Arts Décoratifs’ latest exhibition on Seventies and Eighties fashion, in which they both feature. Audibet, whom some credit with having invented stretch apparel, lamented that young designers today are less inventive. “Things are more artificial now. Everything is avant-garde today, to the point where I wonder what it really means,” mused Audibet, who worked at Prada from 1991 to 1996. So did the exhibition make him feel nostalgic? “All of the designers in the show gave a soul to their clothes,” said Audibet.
ROGER’S STILL HERE: Anyone wondering if Roger Farah, Polo Ralph Lauren Corp.’s president and chief operating officer, will be directly affected by this week’s promotions of Charles Fagan to executive vice president and chief of staff to Ralph Lauren and Alfredo Paredes to executive vice president and chief retail creative officer can relax. Farah’s contract expires Saturday, the last day of the company’s fiscal year, but is automatically and annually extended in one-year increments unless he or the company gives notice the highly lucrative relationship is to be discontinued at least 180 days prior to the end of the fiscal year. Because no such notice was given before Oct. 5, Farah should be around to collect his annual base salary of $900,000, as well as various bonuses subject to performance goals, until April 3, 2011, at the earliest. And if there’s a change in the relationship, it should be clear by next October.
This story first appeared in the April 2, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
PAUL SMITH AT THE TABLE: Paul Smith has lent a pop of color to Danish design firm Stelton’s tableware, to celebrate the firm’s 50th anniversary. Later this month, Stelton will launch a collection of stainless steel pieces that Smith designed, taking inspiration from the design firm’s archive. The collection includes Smith’s reworking of architect and designer Arne Jacobsen’s Cylinda line of tea and coffee pots, which Jacobsen originally designed for Stelton in the Sixties. Smith has added handles in colors such as pink, green and yellow for his versions of the design. In addition, he has reworked Jacobsen’s cocktail set for Stelton in black steel — those designs are engraved with quirky quotes from the designer, such as “take pleasure seriously,” or “start something new” — and has designed a set of bowls, whose insides are painted with block colors that range from white and baby pink to purple and vivid orange. “I was unsure whether I should take on the task of reworking such a beautiful, timeless set of designs,” said Smith of Jacobsen’s work. “However, once I realized that I would just give a new lease of life through color, I felt more comfortable.” The collection will launch at the Paul Smith store on New York’s Fifth Avenue in the middle of this month, and is priced from $75 for a bowl to $599 for a coffee pot.