CLOTHES HORSE: Tracey Ullman, who will host the 2009 CFDA Fashion Awards on Monday, clearly seems to know it always helps to play the field when faced with a tough fashion crowd. She will have two outfit changes that night, going for three generations of female American designers. In the course of the evening, which will take place at Alice Tully Hall, Ullman will don a vintage Claire McCardell dress, as well as dresses by Doo.Ri and Donna Karan, whom the comedienne recently lampooned on her Showtime series “State of the Union.” Doo-Ri Chung’s red dress is actually inspired by McCardell, whom Chung has admired since her days at Parsons The New School for Design, where she wrote her thesis on the American fashion icon. The dress will be accessorized with a belt studded with crystals from Swarovski, which is underwriting the awards.
This story first appeared in the June 11, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
LUELLA’S LATEST MOVES: Luella Bartley is restructuring her company, and may be parting ways with Club 21, her brand’s global licensee for ready-to-wear and accessories since 2003. Industry sources in London say Bartley may even be looking to take back control of her label. A Club 21 spokeswoman declined comment. Last summer, the label took on its first-ever president, Regis Rimbert, who has been putting in place long-term strategies for the brand and upgrading the quality of the collections. The label’s estimated turnover is about 9 million pounds, or $14.6 million at current exchange.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Whether it’s the environment with her sustainable ready-to-wear line called Lauren Pierce, or supporting the United Nations World Food Programme with her FEED Projects bag initiative, Lauren Bush is on a quest to make philanthropy fashionable. Her latest endeavor is in tandem with Bergdorf Goodman, which is launching an exclusive FEED 2 Kenya bag this week. The bag, which uses local Masai fabric and hand beadwork, costs $195 and is made by Kenyan artisans. The bags each take a day and a half to bead, by women and students from a school for the deaf. One hundred dollars from the sale of each bag will go to feed two Kenyan children in school for a year. Bush’s goal is to feed 2,000 kids, or raise $100,000 for the cause. “As a designer, Kenya is really inspirational,” said Bush, who has visited twice. “We’re trying to highlight the traditional Kenyan culture.” The FEED initiative has already raised nearly $3 million for the WFP. Bergdorf Goodman will fete Bush and her undertaking with a party on Tuesday night.
NATALIA ON DECK: Kate Moss isn’t the only model with designer aspirations — Natalia Vodianova will be the guest designer for Lutz & Patmos’ pre-spring collection. The Russian beauty follows in the footsteps of Jane Birkin, Kirsten Dunst, Sofia Coppola and other style-minded folks.
WANG’s NEWEST ROYAL: Vera Wang’s got a new princess: Zoë Kravitz, who is taking over as the face of the designer’s popular Princess fragrance franchise this fall. Kravitz assumes the role from Camilla Belle, whose contract expires at the end of July.
Ads featuring Kravitz — the actress-musician daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet — are expected to begin running in late fall. A spokeswoman for Coty Prestige, which holds Wang’s fragrance license, declined to name the photographer or specific run dates for the Kravitz ads, but said that both TV and print are planned. Kravitz is currently filming “Twelve,” a story of teen drug addiction which also stars Chace Crawford, Kiefer Sutherland and Emma Roberts.
AT THE MOVIES: Prada has reconfigured its Transformer structure in Seoul to stage a program of 14 films selected by Oscar-nominated director Alejandro González Iñárritu. The program, entitled “Flesh, Mind and Spirit,” kicks off June 27 and spans various decades and genres. “It is a great privilege and a great joy for me to be able to share these masterpieces with the people from Seoul, since they are not easy to see nowadays in a screening room,” González Iñárritu said. “Selecting a dozen films is a difficult task. You become an immediate traitor of a hundred others, but all these films provoked in me appetites that I never know I had.” Prada said the Transfomer’s inaugural exhibition of “Waist Down — Skirts by Miuccia Prada,” which closed May 24, attracted more than 25,000 visitors in four weeks. After the film festival, the structure will host an art exhibit by Nathalie Djurberg called “Turn Into Me,” due to open in mid-August.
TAKE A STROLL: SoHo Stroll, a three-day event, gets rolling tonight, offering shoppers and diners special offers such as gifts-with-purchase and discounts. Organized by the Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless and the SoHo Partnership, the event includes 100 businesses such as Bogner, Billionaire Boys Club, Bloomingdale’s SoHo, Costume National, Diesel, DKNY, Nicole Miller, Paul Smith, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, Tommy Hilfiger and Tretorn. Shoppers will be eligible for deals by buying a $20 silicone bracelet at the SoHo Stroll Welcome Booth located at the corner of Spring and Wooster Streets. Bogner, for example, will offering a 30 percent discount on the current spring-summer line, as well as 70 percent off winter 2008-09 skiwear.
While the ailing economy was a factor, it was not the impetus for the event. An A.C.E./SoHo Partnership spokeswoman said, “SoHo is so much about shopping and the SoHo Partnership is always trying to establish relationships with local stores. This seemed like a good way to raise money for the organization and to bring in some much needed traffic into the stores.”