BLACK IN BUSINESS: Madonna, Marc Jacobs, Kate Moss, Elton John, Manolo Blahnik and Norman Foster are among the 25 celebrities who will create one-off, black-inspired pieces of art for a major fashion and design event to be hosted by Alexander McQueen and American Express. The Black event, which will take place in London on June 3, will celebrate five years of the American Express Centurion black card. Other big names who have agreed to showcase their work include Sam Taylor-Wood, Jade Jagger, Nick Knight and Philip Treacy. The art will be auctioned off during the evening, and the proceeds will go to the London-based charity Lighthouse, which offers services to people in the U.K. living with HIV. McQueen will stage a runway show featuring specially created designs and a selection of archival pieces. American Express will unveil a limited-edition Centurion card, designed by McQueen. More celebrities are expected to confirm and more than 500 guests will attend.
DESIGNER SPILLOVER: Donna Karan, Narciso Rodriguez, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez all beat a path to the Maritime Hotel’s La Bottega Caffé on Monday night — each arriving punctually at 7 p.m. for a cocktail party for the nominees of the Swarovski’s Perry Ellis Awards, which are in the emerging talent category of the Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Awards. (Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour had got the word out that they should arrive on time.) Apart from nominees — Derek Lam, Zac Posen, Patrick Robinson, Eugenia Kim, Anthony Camargo and David Nakard — designers on hand included those from a range of generations — Arnold Scaasi, Richard Bengtsson, Peter Som, Alice Roi, Patricia Underwood, Marc Bouwer and Sandy Dalal.
If that’s not enough, there happened to be another set of designers downstairs at Maritime’s other restaurant, Matsuri, where Som headed afterward. While Betsey Johnson arrived and left early, the big arrivals were fashion’s king and queen of minimalism — Calvin Klein and Jil Sander — who were seated in neighboring booths. Klein dined with Bianca Jagger and Christopher Makos, while Sander hosted stylist Joe McKenna, publicist Marion Greenberg and a posse of seven friends. (And, upon her exit, Sander did stop by to say a polite hello to Klein.)
PACKED HOUSE: La Grenouille was buzzing during lunchtime Tuesday with a center-table party for Betsey Bloomingdale attended by Lynn Wyatt, Nan Kempner and Kenneth Jay Lane, among others. Lane, dapper in a tan linen suit and lilac tie, said he’d just returned from Rome and, more importantly, his first visit ever to Naples. Wyatt, meanwhile, was in town drumming up support for the Houston Opera, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary next year with concerts by everyone from Renee Fleming to Sir Elton John. “I want to make it approachable,” said Wyatt, wearing a black pinstriped trouser suit, a vivid orange satin shirt and a natty electric blue silk pocket square.