DONNA DOES PARIS: It looks like there will be a new face in the front row at the couture shows in Paris July 8 to 13: Donna Karan. The designer is said to be planning a swing through the City of Light as part of a working holiday in Europe. On her wish list of shows would likely be Yohji Yamamoto, who is showing spring ready-to-wear on July 7, and Chanel. But she also will probably make an appearance for her designer colleagues at LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, whose couture houses include Christian Dior, Givenchy and Christian Lacroix.
NEVER MIND FASHION: Life in Milan screeched to a halt for Tuesday’s World Cup game between Italy and South Korea and a conference held on the luxury goods industry was no exception. Altagamma, an association of luxury goods companies, stopped the proceedings just in time to project the game on a giant screen and postpone the second part of the event until the game was over. A sports bar-like ambience took over as executives such as Santo Versace, Tod’s Diego Della Valle, Bulgari’s Francesco Trapani and Vittorio Missoni were transfixed on the game. A TV reporter was even casing the aisles for game commentary from some of fashion’s biggest names. High-fives and hugs were exchanged while Italy was winning 1-0. But the mood soon soured as South Korea scored a last gasp equalizer and won in overtime after a controversial sending off of star player Francesco Totti. No expletives were spared.
Meanwhile, when the World Cup wraps up in Yokohama, Japan, on June 30, soccer fans will begin the countdown to the next tournament in Germany in 2006. And the promotional effort will begin with the help of none other than Karl Lagerfeld. The designer has been tapped as one of Germany’s most famous citizens to star in a promotional film for the event. Shooting starts Friday, along with Claudia Schiffer, Boris Becker and Formula One racing champ Michael Schumacher.
BENDEL’S BOY: London-based French designer Roland Mouret arrived in New York last week for his first U.S. trunk show. Mouret’s designs, which are sold exclusively at Henri Bendel, sold about $10,000 in stock and another $15,000 in special orders.
“That’s a very respectable number for the first time out,” said Ed Burstell, vice president and general manager of Henri Bendel. “You can really see that there is this cult starting with him.”
Some brisk sellers included a Forties-style boucle cape, a double chiffon, off-the-shoulder tunic and the “Glasgow coat” in a hunting twill with oversized buttons and shoulder detailing. Prices ranged from $1,500 to $4,000 for coats, $400 to $600 for skirts and $300 to $600 for blouses.
BIRTHDAY HONORS: Everyone might be yakking about Mick Jagger getting his knighthood, but there were hundreds of others on the Queen’s honor roll. One of them is the London-based fashion designer Caroline Charles, who became an OBE — Officer of the Order of the British Empire — for her services to the fashion industry. Charles, who is celebrating the 40th anniversary of her fashion house, was made an OBE as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honors last weekend. Charles was a fixture of the Swinging London set and designed clothing for Marianne Faithfull and the future Sir Mick.
RENT: A group of British MPs want the minor royals living at Kensington Palace to quit their luxury — and low-rent — digs posthaste. After a recent tour of the palace, members of the House of Commons’ public accounts committee — the watchdog of government spending — were said to be scandalized by the “peppercorn rents” that royals are paying to live at Kensington Palace — which costs taxpayers about $22.5 million to maintain. Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, for example, pay $9,000 a year for their seven-bedroom flat, and the MPs are strongly urging them to “do the decent thing” and vacate. Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth has agreed to publish details of how the $12 million her family receives from the British government each year is spent.”