PEEPING TOM: A vodka tonic in hand, his shirt unbuttoned down to there, Tom Ford was surely the most photographed and in-demand person Friday at the giant Silmo eyewear trade show in Paris. There to launch his signature eyewear collection with Italy’s Marcolin Group, Ford welcomed a steady stream of editors and well-wishers, and encountered forests of outstretched cell phone cameras whenever he emerged from the dark, velvet-lined booth. “I don’t smile,” he said, teasing them. Turns out Ford’s debut collection of 23 oversized styles are somewhat autobiographical. Although styles named Farrah and Ryan refer to Seventies style icons Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O’Neal, other eyeglasses hit closer to home: the Whitney, named after his longtime assistant, Whitney Bromberg; the Buckley, named after his longtime companion, editor Richard Buckley, and the Falconer, after Ford’s first boyfriend. And might he have a little something for the business tycoon? Of course: the De Sole, named after his longtime business partner, former Gucci Group honcho Domenico De Sole. “It’s the most classic of them all,” Ford explained. “He hasn’t even had a chance to see it. I miss him.”
SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED: Carolina Herrera added to Los Angeles’ fashion mix last week as she blew into town Tuesday to tape an Oct. 29 segment for “Larry King Live.” “I get horribly nervous on camera, but he knows how to ask all the right questions to put you at ease,” said the designer, who signed copies of her Assouline book Thursday night at Nathan Turner in West Hollywood. “The more my eyes go, the bigger the signature gets,” she joked. Herrera also found time to lunch with Nancy Reagan and do some shopping on Melrose Place.
CINEMA VERITE: Giorgio Armani’s latest celluloid collaboration is Steve Martin’s “Shopgirl,” which opened Friday. The actor wears Armani throughout the film, and his co-star, Claire Danes, has a Cinderella moment in the Rodeo Drive boutique. Those watching closely also will spot several Armani Casa items in Martin’s character’s postmodern pad: a sterling silver tea set, three tables and a leather chaise. Lastly, the house’s cosmetics line gets a close-up as cameras pan through Saks Fifth Avenue’s makeup department. To drive the point home, film stills and selected wardrobes from the movie will be on display in the boutique’s windows this week.
BAG IT: Speculation is heating up in Europe that Compagnie Financière Richemont, the Swiss luxury group that owns Cartier, Chloé, Piaget, Van Cleef & Arpels and Montblanc, among others, wants to sell Lancel, the French leather goods firm it purchased eight years ago. Reached Friday, a spokeswoman for the luxury conglomerate declined to comment. But Richemont boss Johann Rupert has been streamlining the firm’s portfolio. Last June, he unloaded the Hackett men’s business. Together, Dunhill and Lancel last year lost 40 million euros, or $48 million at current exchange.
TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL: Thursday’s book launch for Australian denim label Tsubi at the Chateau Marmont drew the honor roll of Hollywood starlets and fashion insiders, including Selma Blair, Mena Suvari, Jeremy Scott, Alexandra von Furstenberg and Costello Tagliapietra’s Jeff Costello and Robert Tagliapietra. Mary-Kate Olsen, who recently dropped out of New York University, came with her twin sister, Ashley, who is still in school. Lindsay Lohan swung her long red mane as she gyrated to Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” in a Pucci minidress. The sixth-floor suite overlooking Sunset Boulevard was packed with gold-colored books, simply called “Tsubi Book 2000-2005,” that chronicled the history of the renegade label owned by George Gorrow and Dan Single. Angelenos can look forward to more of these raucous parties after Gorrow and Single move to Los Angeles from Sydney next spring. “We hit the ceiling at home,” said Single, who was squeezed into the company’s skinny, tapered pants printed with black and white triangles. “It’s about time to get another adventure.”
DONNA HEADS WEST: Donna Karan hasn’t had a fashion show in Los Angeles for eight years, but that’s set to change on Nov. 15 when the designer stages a reprise of her spring show at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills. The show is part of a benefit luncheon with all proceeds helping Step Up Women’s Network. Karan has been a longtime supporter of the charity, which raises money for women’s issues. It wouldn’t be a Los Angeles luncheon without a smattering of Tinseltown glamour: Teri Hatcher, Anjelica Huston, Debra Messing, Mena Suvari, Jessica Alba and Connie Nielsen will be the luncheon hosts.