FRIDA AND MARTY: Giorgio Armani isn’t the only designer to befriend Martin Scorsese, a longtime wearer and collaborator of Armani’s. Now Gucci’s Frida Giannini is getting into the act and at the Cannes Film Festival on May 15 will cohost a dinner with Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter at the Hotel Du Cap to honor Scorsese and his Film Foundation. This is the first time Carter will share top billing with a designer for the annual VF dinner and party. Invites to the dinner went out to about 120 people, while 250 to 300 will hit the party. Not that Giannini is a Johnny-come-lately to the Scorsese fan club: Gucci has supported the foundation for the last five years, donating a total of $1.5 million for the restoration of cinema classics.
The latest $900,000 contribution went towards the 4K digital restoration of Luchino Visconti’s “Il Gattopardo,” which premiered at Cannes in 1963, winning the Palme d’Or, and whose restored version will premiere at this year’s festival. The second movie to get a makeover is Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita,” which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and whose restored reel will be screened at the Rome Film Festival this fall.
This story first appeared in the April 27, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“Gucci has a long history with film dating back to the late Forties, and we’re proud to support the work of Martin Scorsese and The Film Foundation to keep these vibrant, timeless films alive,” said Giannini.
For his part, Scorsese thanked Gucci for its ongoing support. “Visconti and Fellini are filmmakers whose impact on cinema has been enormous and both these films are as powerful today as they were when they were first released,” said Scorsese. — Alessandra Ilari
THE VISIONARY’S VISIONAIRE: If you thought the editorial tributes to Alexander McQueen had run their course, think again. Visionaire’s 58th issue, “Spirit,” due out in June, is dedicated to the late designer and promises to be tough to top. According to the Visionaire team, a McQueen-themed edition has been a long time coming: “In 2003, McQueen came to our SoHo ofﬁce and gallery to discuss collaborating on an issue of Visionaire…an issue that never came to be. This is our tribute to him,” said Stephen Gan, Cecilia Dean and James Kaliardos in a statement. Nick Knight, Lady Gaga, Steven Klein, Mario Sorrenti, Steven Meisel, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, David Sims, Mario Testino, Sean Ellis and Sebastian Faena are among the 20 creative types contributing to the tome, which will print in a limited run of 1,500 copies and sell for $295. As for the content (a preview of which goes live today on Visionaireworld.com), Klein came up with a new portrait of McQueen, Lady Gaga produced a sound clip, and Sorrenti and stylist Camilla Nickerson contributed a new image from McQueen’s final collection, fall 2010. Meanwhile, the actual physical product goes beyond the garden-variety magazine memorial: Each issue comes in a case designed by the McQueen studio and wrapped in a metallic brocade from the spring 2010 collection. And the stock is special loose leaf embedded with wild flowers (poppies, snap dragons and such) that bloom when planted and watered, for those who want to give their limited edition back to the Earth. — Jessica Iredale
THE BIG REVEAL: Trysts with sports legends, propositions from politicians, nightclub shoot outs and exotic getaways with Arabian royalty. In this case the source behind these stories isn’t a Rachel Uchitel type but April March (née Velma Fern Worden), a 75-year-old former burlesque star from Oklahoma City. “Oh, I met all kinds of people. I was engaged to Mel Tormé for a short while,” said March, just one of the beauties profiled in Leslie Zemeckis’ documentary “Behind the Burly Q,” which is now playing in New York.
The subject matter isn’t as random as it seems. Zemeckis, an actress who’s at work on a book version of her film, took an interest in burlesque history while researching her own Gypsy Rose Lee-inspired show and its title character, Staar, which inspired her to look up the real-deal dancers such as Tempest Storm, Blaze Starr and Lili St. Cyr. After sponsoring a reunion for the ladies in 2006 at the Stardust in Las Vegas, she started filming. “I realized that no one’s ever done this before,” said Zemeckis. “And a lot of these women had never talked about it, not even to their children.” But put them in front of a camera, and it’s full disclosure. “They were really forthcoming about sex, the mob and drugs.” says Zemeckis.
For her part, March can name-check with the best of them. “I dated Joe DiMaggio — we became very good friends. Geez, I met Robert Lansing; I knew Mickey Shaughnessy; I knew Joe E. Ross from ‘Car 54.’ Dale Robertson — I had a date with him, and I stood him up in Oklahoma City,” said March, who also takes credit for setting up Congressman Wilbur Mills with Fanne Foxe, the stripper with whom he was entangled in a sex scandal. March cops to as many brushes with the law as with fame, including dodging bullets at Miami’s Place Pigalle and being arrested for indecent exposure while belly dancing. “They banned stripping in Miami Beach for a while, so I had met some abdicated person from South America — it was in Batista or something, I don’t know. Anyway I had met his attorney and gone out on a yacht with the dictator and his girlfriend, her poodle and the attorney,” said March. “The attorney was an expert in belly dancing. He taught Nejla Ates how to belly dance. He also taught me, so I did a belly dance instead of stripping for a while.” — J.I.