THE BALENCIAGA TOUR: For his first appearance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit on Monday, Nicolas Ghesquière is bringing a date whose latest act precedes even the 18th-century subject matter of the museum’s “Dangerous Liaisons” show. He’s expected to arrive with Diane Kruger, who stars in the upcoming release of “Troy” as Helen of Troy. The duo also will host a private dinner at the Hudson Hotel on Tuesday night, followed by a party to open the hotel’s Private Park at Hudson, and on Wednesday, Ghesquière will present his fall Balenciaga collection, along with interpretations of six vintage couture styles from 1932 to 1968, at a party at his Chelsea flagship. “What more could I expect from a short stay in New York?” he quipped.
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Look who’s back in front of the camera: Lucie de la Falaise Richards, famous as the face of Yves Saint Laurent in the early Nineties and for campaigns for designers from Chloé to Donna Karan. The 31-year-old was invited to do some modeling by her designing aunt, Loulou de la Falaise. The shoot of Loulou’s fall-winter collection wraps up today in Paris, with the pictures destined for a catalogue to be distributed to press and buyers in July, when de la Falaise will host a presentation during couture week at her Rue de Bourgogne boutique. Her niece, a fashion celebrity in her own right, is married to Marlon Richards, son of The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards.
UNTIED KNOTT: In the latest sign that business is rough for independent designers, Jean Paul Knott, the Paris-based Belgian who worked at Féraud and Krizia, said he is shuttering his four-year-old signature business. He blamed difficult market conditions. “I believe it’s almost impossible for an independent to survive these days,” said Knott, whose clothes were sold in Galeries Lafayette and Maria Luisa in Paris. But Knott added that he’s not disappearing. He will collaborate this fall on lingerie with French firm Dim and he has designed a hotel room for the Royal Windsor in Brussels. He’s also consulting for several fashion companies in the Far East.
DON’T FORGET MOM: Ann Taylor stores unveiled a Mother’s Day-themed window and tower promotional campaign Thursday, shot by Annie Leibovitz. The campaign features models Karen Alexander, Cordula and Cindy Joseph with their children, who were asked: What traits do you think you inherited from your mother? What makes you most like your mother? and What do you like most about your mother? Their answers are woven into the displays. In Joseph’s case, her daughter said, “Her laugh, cheekbones and chin, and free will.”
BLUE JEAN BABY: Barneys New York was like London abroad on Thursday afternoon as Sir Elton John swept into the store in support of his longtime friend, the British designer and bespoke tailor Richard James, who was making a personal appearance to launch his first men’s fragrance, not surprisingly called Richard James. Tagging along with John was artist Sam Taylor-Wood, while Cornelia Guest also stopped by. Yet niceties weren’t the only thing on John’s mind. Ever the shopper, he managed to snap up several dozen of James’ ties, while the store’s candle selection also was significantly depleted after his departure.
TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT: Childhood memories and science fiction would be a messy combination for most, but multimedia artist Anthony Goicolea thrives on it. His image of two ski-masked boys crouched in the snowy woods lighting a candelabrum near a formal tea set is bound to turn heads in Calvin Klein’s Madison Avenue store next month. The disturbing image from his latest video work, “Tea Party,” will be the exhibition’s centerpiece on the main floor, where visitors will have to walk through a wooden house-type structure to watch it. Goicolea’s installation will be part of the fifth annual Madison Avenue BID’s “Where Fashion Meets Art,” to be held May 3-15.
Francisco Costa, design director of Calvin Klein Collection for women, recommended the artist after meeting him recently. At 32, Goicolea is known for using cameras to digitally manipulate short narratives. Self-portraiture is an important piece of his work, and he often casts himself in different roles, and sometimes clones himself. The Pratt grad has shown his work at the Whitney, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and at Yale.