PEARL TWO: Karl Lagerfeld does fashion collaborations like most people breathe. Hot on the heels of his H&M gig, the designer has teamed up with Robert Wan to launch a line of fine jewelry for his Lagerfeld Gallery brand. Showcasing Wan’s expertise with black Tahiti pearls to full effect, the collection spans necklaces, a ring, a bracelet and two styles of earrings — some with inset diamonds.

BRAVO MEET BANANA: Add one more perk to the bounty list for the winner of Bravo’s “Project Runway”: a mentorship at Banana Republic’s design team. The retailer has signed on as a sponsor of the new reality show, which premieres in late November with supermodel Heidi Klum as host. Other sponsors include L’Oréal and Cotton Incorporated. It is Banana Republic’s first TV marketing effort. During the 10-episode run, 12 aspiring designers will be winnowed down to three hopefuls who will each debut a collection during February’s New York Fashion Week. Rather than tucking traditional commercials into the broadcasts, Banana will offer trend-spotting tips and fashion advice scattered throughout each show in short promotional segments. Contestants also will have free reign of the Banana Republic Accessories Bar while styling their designs. “‘Project Runway’ brings a heightened sensibility about fashion design to a wide audience, making it a perfect fit for the direction of our brand,” said Jack Calhoun, the brand’s executive vice president of marketing. Deborah Lloyd, executive vice president of design, who will serve as a guest judge in one of the episodes, added, “We look for individuals who are passionate and who know how to use clothing to emotionally connect.”

STAGE LIGHTS: Hedi Slimane, who has contemporary artists create fitting rooms for his Dior Homme stores, just can’t keep himself away from that world. This fall, the designer will share the ultrahip Paris art gallery Almine Rech with two large-scale works by James Turrell. For his part, Slimane plans to show images from his new photo book, “Stage,” in slide and wallpaper formats. The show bows Sept. 11.

This story first appeared in the July 28, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

MOURET IN L.A.: To mark its expanding distribution in Los Angeles — and begin making inroads into Hollywood — London’s Roland Mouret sent out managing director Sharai Meyers and sales director Lorraine Abela last week for the house’s first official visit. The pair hosted a parade of stylists, editors and significant others (including burlesque queen Dita Von Teese, who performed at a Mouret event in London last January) at their Chateau Marmont suite. Well, not until after they waited for the room upon check-in: Evidently an all-night party by the previous tenants left damage that included a broken window. “That was our very first L.A. moment!” enthused Meyers, the slender Scot who also serves as Mouret’s muse. She and Abela presented the fall collection, along with a colorful resort group, hitting such L.A. stores as Satine, Tracey Ross and Neiman Marcus. New is Mouret’s first swimsuit, a retro-flavored bikini in a custom print good to go for poolside cocktails in heels. With stars such as Naomi Watts already turning out in the label and two seasons at New York Fashion Week, the fledgling company — which this year will have sales approaching $2 million — realizes the U.S. plays a key role in its growth, according to Meyers. To wit, that “very American thing known as the trunk show” is in the plans for L.A., she says, and “Roland will definitely be out for it. They’ll love him here.”