THE DEVIL SHOPS ONLINE: When Amazon.com launched a boutique themed around the summer film “The Devil Wears Prada” last week, executives never thought a handbag from the special collection would shoot up to the number-one spot in the Amazon Apparel & Accessories store within hours of the launch. And it remained there all last week. The $79 brown studded bag was worn by Andrea, the character played by Anne Hathaway, and designed by Patricia Field, who created the costumes for the film. “It transforms from clutch to tote and pairs with everything from denim to silk,” reads the description on Amazon.com. But for those eager to get their own piece of the movie, unfortunately, there was this on the Web site Monday: “Due to overwhelming demand, we are temporarily out of stock. More will be ready to ship beginning Aug. 1.” Other “Devil” items include the “Devil Wears Prada” Tendre Set of four Prada fragrances for $65, a “Devil Wears Prada” baby T-shirt, $14.99, and a tank top, $12.99.
NOTHING LIKE A DAME: Vivienne Westwood may have just become a dame, but she certainly hasn’t lost her naughty streak. The British designer arrived at Buckingham Palace last week to collect her Dame of the British Empire honor from Prince Charles. She was wearing a black silk polkadot dress from her spring collection and a pair of gold Swarovski horns perched on her head, an ancient symbol of fertility.
Westwood couldn’t hide her delight over the award, saying: “The badge you wear at the waist is sensational, I’m wearing it every day.”
And while her outfit this time around was more staid than the one she wore to the palace in 1992 to collect her OBE — a semisheer body stocking with strategically placed fig leaves — Westwood admitted she’d yet again gone sans underwear. The designer later celebrated her honor by taking a weekend trip to Cornwall with her family.
FINAL FOUR: Fashion Fringe has narrowed the field down to four finalists — Gavin Douglas, Stephen Harper, Six and Seven-Eighths and Antonio Santana — from a field of 270 designers vying for the U.K.-based organization’s third annual award. Conceived by Colin McDowell, Fashion Fringe is intended to support innovative talent. To this end, the organization awards a 100,000-pound, or $187,738 at current exchange, prize to the winner of the contest. For the last stage of the competition, the four finalists will be given a grant by Fashion Fringe for materials and will be offered technical staff and studio space through London College of Fashion. Their capsule collections will be showcased during London Fashion Week in September.
Fashion Fringe continues to raise its profile. It’s being chaired this year by Tom Ford with an international advisory committee that includes Anna Wintour, Miuccia Prada, Alexander McQueen and Marc Jacobs. Yoox.com, the official online retail partner of Fashion Fringe, will exclusively sell the winner’s first full collection for spring-summer 2007.
Past Fashion Fringe winners include Basso & Brooke and Erdem.