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VALLEY OF THE DOLLS: It was enough to drive any little girl mad: Nearly 90 dolls dressed by top designers were displayed at the Mini Palais in Paris Monday night ahead of an auction benefiting UNICEF. While most dolls were decked out sumptuous evening gowns by Lanvin or Oscar de la Renta, others were slipped into colorful and comfortable frocks, like Christian Lacroix’s freestyle patchwork. Chantal Thomass went cubist, making hers entirely with Ladurée pastry boxes. “I wanted to do something different this year,” she said. “And I love Ladurée.” The dolls will be auctioned at Drouot Montaigne auction house and on the Internet on Nov. 27.
OH BEAUTIFUL: Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. will get a shout-out for its donation to the restoration of the Star Spangled Banner, when the Smithsonian Institution dedicates its new Star Spangled Banner Gallery today.
In 1998, Ralph Lauren stepped up with a $13 million donation for the 195-year-old flag, after then-first lady Hillary Clinton asked the designer to help out with the Save America’s Treasures campaign. “The flag has always been an inspiration and I wanted to preserve it for our children and generations to come,” he said. Roger Farah and David Lauren will be in the Beltway for this week’s festivities at the National Museum of American History.
POWER SUITING: Michelle Obama isn’t the only one generating fervor with her fashion choices. Her husband’s penchant for Hart Schaffner Marx suits also has attracted interest with Chicago-based Hartmarx Corp. looking to capitalize on the affiliation. The retailer has added this box to its Web site’s home page: “Dressing Presidential. Pick Your Power Suit. President-elect Barack Obama Found His at Hart Schaffner Marx.” Plans also are under way for a “West Wing” collection, company insiders said, but it couldn’t be learned whether the president-elect will be the poster boy for the new line.
HAPPY FEET: Terry Richardson may prefer his models overexposed, but for the forthcoming 2009 French Vogue calendar, distributed with the magazine, his subjects will at least be wearing shoes (and bits of lingerie). Made in collaboration with Louis Vuitton, the images feature footwear from Vuitton’s cruise and summer collections. The work is to be feted during a cocktail at Vuitton’s Paris headquarters on Nov. 26.
OLD IS NEW: Leave it to Karl Lagerfeld to make wearing past seasons’ styles de rigeur. Katie Holmes, Milla Jovovich and Lily Allen are among a handful of celebs recently spotted with the new Chanel Vintage bag, based on the house’s quilted 2.55 classic first released in the Nineties.
FOR KICKS: Raf Simons is the latest designer to put his stamp on Dr. Martens, with a spring-summer 2009 collection slated for January deliveries to stores. The Belgian also did a final collection of bags for Eastpak and his collaboration with Fred Perry is ongoing.