LUELLA’S VIEW: Alexander McQueen is leaving London next season, but for fall, the major absence has been that of Luella Bartley, who, as reported, will show her collection in Milan on March 6th. But the designer was only too glad to provide a glimpse of what she’ll do next: punk. “But she’s a nice punk,” Bartley said, laughing. “She’s a skinhead wearing Doc Martens but she’s jolly and friendly.”
Bartley was inspired by classic Vivienne Westwood, who seems to be having a renaissance on the London runways this season. “That whole Seditionaries, Buffalo Girl and Pirates era was amazing,” Bartley said. The result: suspender dresses, bib-fronted shirts, ragged-edged denim vests, sloppily oversized striped knits, super-tight tailored jackets, mohair minis and knits, striped mohair duffle coats, chain-link belts and lots of leather jackets, coats and skirts.
But Bartley seems proudest of having her own Luella bag, which was developed by Bottega Veneta (whose space she’s using for her show). And she even has her own-label buttons and zippers. “That was my major thing of the season,” she admitted. “Forget the collection — I have the Luella nylon zip!”
SNOWBOUND: Burberry’s presentation for its Prorsum line was the hot ticket on Friday but two of its stars missed it — the models Yasmin and Stella Tennant had their flight delayed by the New York snows and arrived literally as the presentation finished. A breathless Tennant was holding her baby who, surprisingly, was wearing Petit Bateau and not the baby line she designs for Burberry.
TEMPORARY HOME: Hussein Chalayan isn’t holding a runway show this season, but is busy preparing the collection he plans to wholesale during the Paris shows. The word around London is that Chalayan has been given a boost by none other than Gucci creative director Tom Ford. Gucci has temporarily loaned Chalayan some studio space so he can reestablish his company, and he may show again next season.
BLASS BOOK: Cathy Horyn, fashion editor of The New York Times, has her work cut out for her in the next few months: the manuscript of her biography of Bill Blass is due in January. Horyn has been doing intensive interviews with Blass and his extensive circle of friends. “It’s both a biography and an oral history,” she said, adding that she plans to begin writing the book this summer.
LONDON FLOAT: There’s clearly money to be made in fashion shows. First 7th on Sixth was acquired by IMG, and now New Media Industries, the creative services group that markets London Fashion Week, plans to float it on the Alternative Investments Market in an effort to raise $7 million. The company is partially owned by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, and its other customers include Boots, Barclays, Procter & Gamble and Sony Music.