THE BIG PICTURE: Alexander McQueen’s appetite for art is bigger than his apartment. That’s why the designer recently bought a second London residence, primarily to accommodate a collection that includes large-scale works by Joel-Peter Witkin, Abigail Lane, Nick Knight, Steven Klein and Patty Chang. “I have to rebuild. Everything is too big!” McQueen said. Renovations on the new place in east London will take about a year. Besides an apartment in north London, McQueen also owns a 300-year-old cottage near Hastings.
FAST FRIENDS: During Paris Fashion Week, Louis Vuitton held a dinner in honor of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, who collaborated with Marc Jacobs on Vuitton monogram accessories for spring. Now Murakami will play host. Jacobs is traveling to Tokyo next month to meet with local press, tour stores — and pay a visit to Murakami’s studios just outside the city.
BAGGING IT: Montblanc is thinking big for the opening tonight of its new flagship on Paris’ Champs-Elysées. The Richemont-owned firm commissioned six contemporary artists, including Gary Hume, David LaChapelle and Sylvie Fleury, to create monumental 10-foot-tall shopping bags that will remain on display outside the boutique through the New Year. Designed by Jean-Michel Willmotte, the new shop concept will be rolled out to Montblanc’s other boutiques around the world.
FUR EXCHANGE: When Language designer Ana Abdul reworked a few vintage fur coats in her fall collection, she figured it would simply be an editorial piece destined to sell only in her Mulberry Street store. But in a case of cross-trends, where vintage meets arts-and-crafts, Abdul’s handpainted and embroidered coats turned out to be a hit with retailers like Henri Bendel and Linda Dresner, which placed orders for more than 100 of the $2,700 coats. Now, Abdul just has to get the message out to sell them. To make them more visible, she’s sending out freebies to several high-profile Language customers, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Iman, Gisele Bündchen and J.Lo.