RUTTENSTEIN’S RECOVERY: Kal Ruttenstein is on the mend and says he’ll be back at work in a month after recovering from an ulcer problem. “I’m feeling good, but I’m not going to Europe,” he said Monday. Ruttenstein, Bloomingdale’s senior vice president of fashion direction and a front-row regular at all the major collections, was sidelined from New York’s Fashion Week this month due to the ailment. According to an associate, “He’s doing fine. He has been doing some work from home.”
JUST A GIGOLO: Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton, who starred in “American Gigolo” oh-so-many years ago, will be the special guests at the opening of Giorgio Armani’s upcoming fashion exhibition at London’s Royal Academy. Not only that, but Mercedes-Benz, which is sponsoring the show, will ship the original Mercedes SL convertible, which the Armani-clad Gere drove in the film, to London for the opening. (Armani’s design for a limited-edition Mercedes was unveiled Monday in Milan. See story on page 2.) The Armani exhibition, originally presented at the Guggenheim Museums in New York in 2000 and Bilbao in 2001, will travel from its current venue at Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie and open at the Royal Academy on Oct. 14.
The following night, as reported, Armani will be one of 18 designers to stage a catwalk show as part of the mega Fashion Rocks event at the Royal Albert Hall. Each show will be accompanied by a different performer — and in Armani’s case, it’ll be Beyoncé Knowles. Knowles, who will be in the front row of the Emporio Armani show in Milan today, will take advantage of her stay in Milan to choose some outfits for Fashion Rocks. The event, to be hosted by Elizabeth Hurley, will also feature shows by Alexander McQueen, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Burberry, Gucci, Chanel, Christian Dior and Donna Karan and performances by Bryan Ferry, Robbie Williams and David Bowie.
CLEANING OUT THE HOUSE: Fresh on the heels of landing the auction of Bill Blass’ property, scheduled for a three-day sale from Oct. 21 to 23, Sotheby’s plans to hold a sale on Dec.12 of 20th-century furniture from designer Wolfgang Joop’s homes. That includes some pieces from Joop’s East 57th Street apartment in Manhattan, which was, coincidentally, owned previously by Blass.
Among the midcentury furniture highlights in Joop’s collection are a leather and red glass console that was originally commissioned for the office of Jacques Adnet, president of Sud Aviation, estimated to fetch $60,000 to $90,000; a six-branch floor lamp by Jean Royère, estimated from $40,000 to $60,000; a Charlotte Perriand twin-pedestal desk, estimated from $80,000 to $120,000, and a carved mahogany armchair by Alexandre Noll, estimated from $100,000 to $150,000. The entire collection is estimated to raise between $2 million and $2.6 million.
Joop is also selling a painting from his large collection of works by Tamara de Lempicka, which is said to be rivaled by only that of Madonna. “Portrait of Romana de La Salle,” executed in 1928, will separately be auctioned on Nov. 5 during Sotheby’s sale of Impressionist and Modern Art. The painting has an estimated value of $2 million to $3 million.
PLAY DATE: It helps to have fashion connections. When RoseMarie Torenzio, communications director at Me & Ro, and her partner, Robin Chambers, set out to produce an Off-Broadway play, they found wardrobing help in Torenzio’s own backyard. For the New York opening of “Touch” tonight at the Women’s Project Theatre, Chaiken designer Jeff Mahshie designed costumes for the female cast members, while the Gap and Banana Republic donated clothes for the male characters, including Tom Everett Scott and Matthew Del Negro. Me & Ro supplied the jewelry, naturally. The show runs through Oct. 26.
NO PLASTIC ONO: The obsession with looking youthful has made rich the doctors of many of the Los Angeles women at a luncheon Thursday at the Beverly Regent Wilshire, but the event’s honoree, Yoko Ono — given the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Distinguished Women in the Arts award — isn’t going there. Her pal, David Geffen, presented her with the plaque, while son Sean Lennon and longtime friend Bijou Phillips applauded away. Celine’s fall collection capped the afternoon. “I like to think I’m receiving this award as encouragement of my future art…and encouragement of people not having to feel like they’re 18. I don’t want to be 18 again!” Yoko happily exclaimed. Of course, the fabulous-looking 70-year-old artist and activist, dressed in a white driver’s cap and slim navy trousers, appears to be having yet another life, what with the new dance mixes of her earlier hit songs filling discos and a new generation hailing her as a pioneer of avant-garde and feminist art.
WORLD OF WONDER: Wonders never cease in Hollywood. Nearly every actor who appears in “Wonderland” said the gritty film was just what they were looking for at Wednesday night’s Grauman’s Chinese Theater premiere sponsored by Details and Guess. “I was dying to be in the movie, even though it took a lot to get me there,” said Lisa Kudrow, who shed her goofy persona to play the wife of alleged murderer and porn star John Holmes. Similarly, sweetheart starlet Kate Bosworth said she took the role to break out of her “Blue Crush” bubble. “I was like, ‘Sex? Drugs? Bring it on,’” she said. But best of all was the logic of Dylan McDermott, who plays a hardened killer. “My wife, Shiva, really liked the beard and the ’do rag. Sometimes I still have to put it on for her at night.”
V FOR VICTORY: Spanish Elle has bestowed its annual Style awards, and the winners were Valentino (Best International Designer) and Victoria Beckham (International Woman of the Year). Posh was there, Val wasn’t. But his chief executive, Michele Norza, and ravishing muse, Paloma Cuevas — in Val red, of course — accepted on his behalf. Cuevas’ hubbie, the elegant matador Enrique Ponce, couldn’t make it, she said. (Other no-shows were Pedro Almodóvar and Inés Sastre.)
Posh thanked Madrid “for making me feel so welcome,” although reportedly she told Elle organizers she’d beat it if hounded by the press. In her first social outing since husband David was contracted for upward of $40 million to kick for Real Madrid, the former Spice Girl wore a silver shimmy dress by Dolce & Gabbana.