Chloë Sevigny

<B>SURPRISE:</B> Marc Jacobs’ <B>Robert Duffy</B> hit the big 5-0 last Thursday and, to celebrate, the company’s public relations director, <B>Kate Waters</B>, planned a night-before surprise party for 80 or so friends at Jefferson. How...

SURPRISE: Marc Jacobs’ Robert Duffy hit the big 5-0 last Thursday and, to celebrate, the company’s public relations director, Kate Waters, planned a night-before surprise party for 80 or so friends at Jefferson. How surprised was the birthday boy? Plenty. Duffy had returned from the Louis Vuitton show in Paris feeling a bit under the weather, and left work early on Wednesday to go home to bed. Naturally, Waters fretted, and dispatched some friends to literally drag Duffy out of bed to the restaurant.

At the party, Jacobs, who flew in from Paris for the event and the CFDA/Vogue Fund award dinner on Thursday, declined to address rumors that Vuitton is courting Uma Thurman for its spring campaign. When talk turned to the recent collections, he did, however, express been there-done that empathy for Stefano Pilati, who garnered rough reviews for his first effort for Yves Saint Laurent. “The first collection [for a storied house] doesn’t even count,” Jacobs said. “The first time, you’re just settling in and clearing your thoughts. You really get started with the second collection.”

RELIGIOUS FUN: Who says Mormon fundamentalism can’t make an interesting TV series? Certainly not HBO. Chloë Sevigny said at Saks Fifth Avenue’s Key to the Cure event last week that she’s currently working on “Big Love,” an upcoming series that will take a black-humor approach to religion in the way “Six Feet Under” does to death. Sevigny is set to play one of three wives of a polygamist — “and I’m the one that sort of has status because my father was a Mormon prophet,” she said of her character, with a laugh. According to Sevigny — who also is appearing in Woody Allen’s next film, “Melinda and Melinda” — the series also will star Harry Dean Stanton, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Bill Paxton.

FUR LIBERIA: Janice Combs, Jocelyn Wildenstein, Lloyd Klein, Kerry Kennedy, Tara Rockefeller and Cindy Adams piled into the St. Regis’ rooftop ballroom last Tuesday afternoon for Chie Imai’s fashion show and sale. At Francine LeFrak’s suggestion, the event benefited the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. Afterward, Klein said he is looking into doing a fur collection and Wildenstein raved about the mosaic furs. But Kennedy had weightier things on her mind — war-torn Liberia, for starters.

This story first appeared in the October 18, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Well aware that the United Nations has received only half of the $520 million that has been pledged by various countries, she has been busy lobbying the delinquent nations to pony-up the payola.

Asked if she had her eye on any of Imai’s coats, Kennedy hesitated and then said with a laugh, “I can’t afford to, working on Liberia. Maybe if I was working on something else.”

HOTEL STORIES: It was a bustling day Thursday at Milan’s Hotel Bulgari. Spike Lee presented his latest film, “She Hates Me,” due to be released in Italy at the end of October, and said his next movie on World War II will be filmed in Italy. American Express, meanwhile, cordoned off the restaurant to launch Centurion, its legendary black card, in continental Europe. Bulgari’s chief executive officer, Francesco Trapani, was handed — naturally — the first Italian black card, now hand-forged out of titanium.