CONCRETE JUNGLE: And then there were 24. The Fashion Center Business Improvement District on Thursday revealed the names of the final eight designers to be honored on the Fashion Walk of Fame. They are Stephen Burrows, Lilly Dache, Perry Ellis, Marc Jacobs, Betsey Johnson, Norma Kamali, Mainbocher and Willi Smith.
This summer, white bronze medallions bearing their names, signatures and sketches will be set into the sidewalk along the east side of Seventh Avenue on the blocks between West 37th and 38th Streets and West 40th and 41st Streets.
Current plaques on the walk honor Geoffrey Beene, Bill Blass, Bonnie Cashin, Oscar de la Renta, Giorgio di Sant’Angelo, James Galanos, Rudi Gernreich, Halston, Charles James, Donna Karan, Anne Klein, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Claire McCardell, Norman Norell and Pauline Trigere.
But what of the designers who didn’t make the street?
FCBID executive director Barbara Randall said she hoped designers would understand the importance of exclusivity.
“There are a few designers that it would have been lovely to have in there, that are important American designers, but we also don’t want to dilute it,” she said. “We thought about doing the other side [of the street] but none of us on the committee want to dilute it by having so many slots that it’s not meaningful.”
HAIR TODAY: Walking down Madison Avenue toward Ralph Lauren’s show on Thursday morning, passersby got a glimpse of a striking new window concept being set up at Calvin Klein’s flagship that takes a big detour from his past minimalism. The windows feature the wild red, white and blue graphic logo treatments the designer unveiled in his spring ad campaigns. Further proof he’s letting his hair down, literally, is a video projection playing against a wall in the background that shows a wave of hair in motion.
TICKET TO RALPH: Even though Michael Gross is writing an unauthorized biography about Ralph Lauren, he landed a second-row seat at the fashion show. “I always get an invitation to Ralph,” said Gross, who’s about a third of the way through with the Lauren book, which will be published by HarperCollins. Gross declined to divulge when it’s going to be published. So what did he think of the show? “I could only see from the waist up.”
FAY ON FASHION: Fay Weldon, who last year penned a novel for the Italian jeweler Bulgari, is back on the luxury beat. The gadfly British novelist reports on the latest Paris couture shows for the fourth issue of The Fashion, the twice-yearly magazine that hits the newsstands Monday. Is there a risk of Weldon — champion of the un-glamorous, underdog woman — morphing into a fierce fashionista? “I am by nature someone who puts her trust in Marks and Spencer+a person largely indifferent to the cut of cloth, the shape of a heel or the swirl of a pattern,” she writes. “Five days in Paris and I can see I might end up a fashion junkie.”
DRAMA QUEEN: Victoria Gotti was sitting front row at Bob Mackie’s show at Bryant Park on Thursday Afternoon. So how does the drama in Mackie’s show measure up to her own marital melodrama? “My marriage is gone, so the drama is here.”
SHUTTER BUG: Could there be friction at Harper’s Bazaar between photographer Craig McDean and editor in chief Glenda Bailey? “He’s not under contract,” said one insider, “and his vision is not geling with Glenda’s proletariat leanings.” McDean’s people claimed the report was just a rumor, but Bailey didn’t exactly offer a ringing endorsement of the star lensman at the Helmut Lang show: “I’m not going to comment on that. You’ll just have to read the magazine and see what appears.” There is no work by McDean — an HB contributor since the Liz Tilberis days — in the March issue.
LOVE IS IN THE AIR: Susan Lucci has it all. Sitting front row at Bob Mackie’s show on Thursday, she wore a bright red suit for Valentine’s Day. It was from Valentino. And who’s her Valentine? Why, her husband, of course — Helmut Valentin Huber.
MAC PARTY: Sometimes, being one of fashion week’s darlings isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Just ask Luella Bartley. Wednesday night at Theo, where MAC Cosmetics threw a party for her and fellow Brit Matthew Williamson, Bartley wound up sobbing into her cell phone at midnight in the hallway. Sources say it was a combination of stress and boyfriend problems. But never fear, the guest of honor recovered and boarded a plane at 3 a.m. for a weeklong holiday in Costa Rica.
Also in the crush of bodies at Theo was a bundled-up Fran Drescher, fresh from dinner at Da Silvano with Dan Aykroyd and his wife, Donna Dixon. “Everybody was there,” whined Drescher. “Tom Freston, Denis Leary, Robert Evans. They all came by our table.” Drescher isn’t really in town for Fashion Week. She’s here to promote her new book, “Waiting for Dick,” which hits stores in May. “It’s my personal story about my struggle with uterine cancer, breaking up with my husband, falling in love with a younger man and having a radical hysterectomy,” explained Drescher. According to the actress, “Waiting for Dick” will also become a one-woman Broadway show, starring her. Plus, she plans to host a daytime talk show for MTV. We can’t wait.