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YOUNG TALENT: The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising annual scholarship gala in Los Angeles had something for everyone: a runway show by the school’s 10 advanced fashion design graduates; a musical tribute to Liza Minnelli and Judy Garland (complete with lip-syncing impersonators) featuring the work of six theater costume design grads, and a presentation of chairs designed by textiles and interior design students. For a dose of fashion reality, there was the Guess Design Challenge, in which the 10 advanced students each presented a denim look to Guess chairman and co-founder Maurice Marciano, who selected Brittany Vu’s leather and denim look as the winner. The prize was a design assistant position in the women’s apparel division of Guess, working for vice president of women’s design Stephanie Hollingsworth.
WE ARE FAMILY: Say bye-bye to the slashes. The retail grouping of Mitchells/Richards/Marshs/Wilkes Bashford has decided to simplify matters by creating a new logo to accommodate its growing size. The company now will be known as Mitchells Family of Stores. “It’s been the most debated topic in our family over the past five years,” said co-president Bob Mitchell. “We want to maintain the local character of our stores but create a brand that wraps them all together.” The new logo, which lists the store names beneath it, accomplishes that. “It’s important that we’re not looked at as another chain,” Mitchell said.
CLOTHES WITH A CONSCIENCE: On the heels of her successful Feed Bag initiative, which benefited the United Nations World Food Programme, Lauren Bush is spreading her feel-good fashion sense to shoppers at Barneys New York, selling made-to-order dresses in fabrics hand-dyed by women from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The one-of-a-kind dresses from her line, Lauren Pierce Atelier, range in price from a $495 mini to a $590 one-shoulder shift, with shoppers choosing their own fabric, size and silhouette. Upon receipt, the dress tag notes the recipient’s name along with the name of the woman who dyed the fabric.
“It’s women giving back to women,” said Bush, who launched the collection at Barneys in New York and since has made the rounds to Barneys’ stores in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, with appearances in Scottsdale, Ariz., today and Dallas on Saturday (maybe she’ll stop by to see uncle George W. Bush while there).
Bush also has been linked to David Lauren for some time. On that relationship, Bush, who dined at Ralph Lauren’s restaurant, RL, while in Chicago, would not elaborate other than to say, “David’s great. We’re doing well. He’s a great boyfriend.”
BROADWAY’S NEW RUNWAY: Francisco Costa, Michael Kors, Isaac Mizrahi, Diane von Furstenberg and Carmen Marc Valvo are among the designers who have signed up to design one of the 30 mannequins that will be lined up along Broadway from Times Square to Macy’s. Borrowing a page from the Cow Parade, which was a hit with tourists and locals several years ago, the Fashion Center Business Improvement District will unveil the Fashion Center Sidewalk Catwalk exhibition on June 24 with Macy’s Terry Lundgren, participating designers and other notables. In addition to sponsors Macy’s and Materials Connexion, Ralph Pucci is pitching in the customized mannequins. The nonprofit Materials for the Arts and local suppliers such as M&J Trimming also will be lending some support to dress up the neighborhood.