GUARDING MANOLOS: Kimora Lee Simmons really wanted one of the silent auction items at the gala she chaired for the Martha Graham Dance Company on Wednesday night: to name a Manolo Blahnik shoe from a forthcoming collection. In fact, she wanted the honor so badly that she asked her manager to guard the bidding sheet (by now on its third page) away from other guests for the final minutes of the auction. She won, of course, but at a pretty penny: $16,000.
FAINTING SPREE: Amy Fine Collins, looking fine and refreshed after fainting at the party for Plum Sykes’ book “Bergdorf Blondes” Tuesday night, made it through a lunch at La Grenouille for Agnona without even so much as a dizzy spell. “Plum has promised me that she will faint at my book party,” the Vanity Fair contributing editor said. Collins’ book, “The God of Driving: How I Overcame Fear and Put Myself in the Driver’s Seat (with the Help of a Good and Mysterious Man)” won’t be out until September, so Sykes has plenty of time to learn how to break a fall.
BEST DUDS: Bill Rancic, one of the two finalists of “The Apprentice,” was hoping to give the fashion industry a plug Thursday night in the show’s final episode. Rancic spent Wednesday morning at Neiman Marcus in Short Hills, N.J., getting outfitted for the big showdown against Kwame Jackson. After looking at six combinations, Rancic chose a Giorgio Armani Collezioni navy blue pinstripe single-breasted suit; an Armani blue windowpane dress shirt; a striped Zegna tie, and black Gucci loafers. The Chicago native told the NM staff he hoped to come back there and shop again if he was told by Donald Trump, “You’re Hired!”
DESIGNER-PRODUCER HYPHENATE: Tom Ford may be ready for his Hollywood close-up, but in the wings, the curtain is rising for Max Azria. His expanding universe now includes BCBG Max Azria Entertainment, a company formed by Azria and Charles Cohen, who was an acquisitions adviser for promoter SFX Entertainment (now called Clear Channel Entertainment). The duo has partnered with production house 7Art, formed by Elie Chouraqui, Albert Cohen and Dove Attia, for their first show, “The Ten Commandments, the Spectacle Musical,” debuting Sept. 18 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Since seeing the production five years ago in Paris, Azria has sought to bring it to the United States. “Producing the ‘Ten Commandments’ will allow me to immerse myself deeper into the arts,” he said in a statement. That immersion includes designing the costumes for the 50-person cast of singers and dancers.