SHELF LIFE: Karl Lagerfeld is going underground — to find creative storage space for his sprawling 230,000 volume book collection. “It’s a big problem, no?” asks the passionate bibliophile, ever the master of understatement. His solution: a storage facility at his house in Biarritz — underneath the tennis court. The 20,000-square-foot, climate-controlled subterranean complex will also include a photo studio, but the centerpiece of the project is a 10,000-square-foot, 20-foot high space where he plans to erect a library. What’s next, the return of the sexy librarian at Chanel?

TIED DOWN: Looks like the Four Seasons is taking the current heat wave seriously. The restaurant recently relaxed its tie requirement for men during lunch and dinner, a standard that Le Bernardin and La Caravelle follow. At lunchtime, men at La Côte Basque and Jean Georges need not bother with a jacket, either. “During the summer months, it gets extremely hot, and people just aren’t wearing ties,” explained Julian Niccolini, the Four Seasons’ managing partner, who insisted that come fall, the former dress code will be reinstated. Among the restaurants where the right to loosen up is refused: Le Cirque and Ducasse, where jacket and tie are required at lunch and dinner.

This story first appeared in the August 14, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

BACK TO JEWELS: Nan Kempner will bring her wit and encyclopedic knowledge of good taste to the podium at East Hampton’s Guild Hall Thursday afternoon to discuss important jewels and the women who have worn them. It will be co-hosted by Christie’s senior vice president Simon Teakle, who heads up the jewelry department at the auction house. Talking points: the dazzlers owned by Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn, Eva Peron and Babe Paley.

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