WHAT’S ANOTHER DAY OR TWO?: Los Angeles-area Chloé devotees anticipating this week’s scheduled opening of the French brand’s long-awaited Melrose Place boutique will have to wait just a little longer. The 2,500-square-foot, town-house-style store — the brand’s first stand-alone outpost in Los Angeles — was to debut Wednesday and was fully stocked with accessories and ready-to-wear, but remained shuttered after city inspectors found several code violations requiring correction, including replacing a white handicapped decal in doorways with a blue one and modifying a door, before the store gets the green light to open to the public. Store staffers now have their fingers crossed for a Saturday debut. The Los Angeles boutique already has been a long time coming. Chloé leased the space about two years ago, but extensive construction and permitting delays meant many months of unanticipated work on the store structures. After all this time, perhaps patient fans will be willing to wait a few more days, or can make a shopping trek 50 miles south to Costa Mesa’s South Coast Plaza mall, the nearest open boutique.
This story first appeared in the March 27, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
TOLEDO TIME: Organizers of “Isabel Toledo: Fashion from the Inside Out,” an exhibition that will launch at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology June 17, are trying to wrangle the lemongrass ensemble First Lady Michelle Obama wore to the presidential inauguration. The designer, who dressed the First Lady on that historic day, is being honored with what is being called a midcareer retrospective that will include 70 pieces from the Eighties until the present. Known for her high-minded approach to fashion, the show will be classified into Origami, Suspension, Liquid Architecture, Shadow, Shape, Organic Geometry and Manipulated Surfaces. Toledo’s husband Ruben’s illustrations will also be on view through Sept. 26.
TIMBERLAKE DOES OPRAH: William Rast will get a big publicity boost when Justin Timberlake talks up the fashion brand he cofounded with Trace Ayala on The Oprah Winfrey Show today. The pop star is scheduled to appear during Oprah’s “Fridays Live” chatfest from Chicago, which, unlike other days of the week, is not taped. Timberlake will showcase men’s and women’s looks from his fall “New America” collection, which he showed at the Bryant Park tents last month.
RICCI’S SPECIAL EDITION: Nina Ricci’s fall collection got a preview off the runway at London’s Dover Street Market Wednesday night. Customers were invited to preorder pieces from the line — Olivier Theyskens’ parting shot for the house — including the gravity-defying glittery shoes from the label’s fall runway, with suspended heels that seem to float above the floor. Stephen Jones was one of the partygoers who made a beeline to examine the sparkling footwear. And as part of the accessories collection, the house has produced a tote bag that’s exclusive to Dover Street Market. The French blue calf-leather bag, with black leather ribbon details, retails for 1,530 pounds, or $2,210. All the bags’ linings have a plaque engraved with “Dover Street Market,” to mark the collaboration.
BLASS FROM THE PAST: Peacock International Holdings LLC is on the hunt for a new creative director for Bill Blass, which it bought from NexCen for $10 million a few months back. Executives declined comment but are said to be readying to rev up the women’s and men’s collections later this year.
BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIAN: Saks Fifth Avenue has picked up “Project Runway” winner Christian Siriano’s fall collection for its flagship store’s new third-floor boutique featuring up-and-coming designers. Siriano has also teamed up with pal Marta Abrams and her partner Elise Rosemarin to up the fashion quotient at the West Coast-based maternity loungewear line Moody Mamas. The aptly named spin-off collection, Fierce Mamas, features chiffon dresses, jersey T-shirts, cotton maxi dresses and linen separates. The spring collection ranges from $25 to $112 wholesale and is available at Nordstrom and specialty stores nationwide. The partnership will continue through fall. To top it off, Siriano has signed on to create costumes for the Uma Thurman flick “Eloise in Paris” that begins filming this summer in Barcelona and Paris. “I have my hands in all these little worlds to make my brand real,” Siriano said. “It’s been a real struggle, especially with this economy, but I think it’s starting to pay off.”
ROOM SERVICE: This just inn: Christian Lacroix, who already designed two hotels in Paris, is starting on his third. The couturier said construction starts today to overhaul the hotel at No. 1 Quai St. Michel, right in front of the Notre Dame church.