TOUTE SWEETS: Fashion fans who can’t swing designer labels right now can still get a taste of fashion at The Berkeley in London’s Knightsbridge. As part of its Prêt-à-Portea afternoon tea, the swanky hotel is serving up sweets inspired by a Victoria Beckham crocodile tote, a Tory Burch orange and pink dress and a navy and white Miu Miu bikini. Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell are said to be fans of the hotel, and sometimes even designers treat themselves to different kinds of sweets, as was the case last year when Anya Hindmarch enjoyed the biscuit inspired by one of her classic handbags.
PEERING AHEAD AT TORY BURCH: Tory Burch is looking to bolster its executive ranks and support its global growth. The design house has searches out for a chief financial officer as well as a chief operating officer. Vicki Cantrell, who had been chief operating officer, has left the company. There’s been speculation that the search, particularly for a cfo, is a precursor to an initial public offering. Tory Burch broadly fits the profile of a company that could go public: it has established enough of a presence to prove its viability, but still has room to grow. A spokeswoman, however, stressed, “We have absolutely no plans to go public.”
SOFIA’S WEDDING: Sofia Coppola is due to wed French rock star Thomas Mars on Aug. 27 and she’s paying tribute to her Italian roots by choosing Bernalda, Italy, as the location. The small village, about 25 miles from Matera, is famous as the setting of Mel Gibson’s 2004 drama “The Passion of the Christ,” and is the hometown of Coppola’s great-grandparents. The civil ceremony will be celebrated in the garden of Palazzo Margherita, a historical building on the city’s main street that Francis Ford Coppola bought a few years ago and restored. The American film director assigned the conservative reconstruction project to architect Bartolomeo Conterio and French designer Jacques Grange, who counted Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé among his clients. “The ceremony will mark the end of renovations at the palace, which will soon be inaugurated as a resort, open to the public,” said Coppola’s great-nephew Gaetano Russo who, on the day of the wedding, plans to screen scenes from both the father’s and the daughter’s movies on the facades of about 10 buildings in the village.
As expected, the event is generating a lot of buzz on Bernalda. Francesco Montemurro, the owner of Giardino Giamperduto, a chic country house hotel nearby, said, “We’re already fully booked and four of our 11 rooms have been reserved by people linked to the wedding.” The general mood among the townspeople runs high, said Gianni Lacanfora, who manages Al Vecchio Frantoio, a traditional restaurant a few steps from Palazzo Margherita. “Even if Francis Ford Coppola and his daughter are superstars, they still remain our ‘paesani’ [compatriots] and we are proud of them,” he said.
SPARKLING STEPS: Miu Miu has added to its shoe line by launching a new sneaker collection. Debuting in the brand’s stores and online on miumiu.com this month, the line consists of a classic tennis style realized in various materials, including patent leather, arabesque lamé and velvet. Following the trends shown on the Miu Miu winter catwalk, all the models — available in pale pink, silver, gold and black — are embellished with sequins, metallic studs and crystals for a glamorous, glittery effect. Prices range from $450 to $585.
LOOK OUT: Look, the French brand that claims to have invented the pivot binding for skis, is to launch a range of clothes that can be worn on the slopes or in the city. The capsule collection, comprising a cashmere sweater, a down jacket and a hat, will go on sale at trendy Paris boutique Colette at the end of August. Look was founded in 1951 and has a following of Olympian skiers, including Jean-Claude Killy, Jean Vuarnet and Alberto Tomba. Retail prices range from 70 euros, or $100 at current exchange, for a hat, to 1,200 euros, or $1,735, for a down jacket.