THE UPPER CRUST: Leave it to couturier Jean Paul Gaultier to mount an exhibition at a Paris art museum and not include an actual dress. Instead, when his show opens June 6 at the Cartier Foundation, the couturier will give us this day some high-fashion bread. Yes, we mean the crusty stuff made with yeast. In a show titled “Pain Couture,” (pain being the French word for bread), the designer plans to transform the museum with ephemeral designs using bread instead of taffeta or muslin. A spokesman for the designer said Gaultier’s idea was to make art and fashion more “vital” by using a basic of human sustenance. Museum-goers can even take home a Gaultier baguette, baked fresh on the premises. Who said carbohydrates were no longer in fashion?
Speaking of product extensions, along with its first cocktail set Gucci introduced for spring, the company is offering $60 rubber ice cube trays that form cubes in the shape of its signature “G.” A feature on the item on Daily Candy on Friday had some wondering if the trays were in any way inspired by Gucci’s choice of its new chief executive officer, frozen foods pro Robert Polet. Alas, that idea was on the rocks. When asked, a Gucci spokeswoman, scoffed, “Not even a little bit.”
TURNING JAPANESE: Hedi Slimane is set to take Tokyo by storm this week. He will be in the Japanese capital to fete the recently opened Dior Homme store there with a party (featuring a live performance by Phoenix), and to unveil an exhibition of his Berlin photos. But that’s not all. Slimane will be the first men’s designer to receive the prestigious Designer of the Year award from Fashion Editors Club.
TWO TIMING: Gianfranco Ferré is performing double duty — he’s winging into New York to co-chair the American Ballet Theatre’s spring gala Monday night, creating a special gown for co-host Blaine Trump, and then he’ll host the opening of his Madison Avenue store on Tuesday.
Farther west, Texan socialite Becca Cason Thrash is planning a big shindig at her Houston home on Friday to introduce the Versace fall collection with 50-foot video screens and a silent auction to benefit AmFAR, followed by a trunk show at the local Versace boutique. Donatella herself won’t be there, as she’s busy working with Giorgio Armani and Carine Roitfeld co-hosting an AmFAR benefit in Cannes on May 21. Versace’s responsibilities include tabletops and auction items.
BERGDORF BLAIR: Washington socialite Deeda Blair has long been known for her philanthropic endeavors. Now that she’s moving to Manhattan for good, where better to start hosting cocktail hours for her favorite foundation — the Harvard AIDS Institute — than Bergdorf Goodman? And that’s where she found herself last Tuesday slyly coaxing partygoers to bid on the silent auction of porcelain flower sculptures by artist Vladimir Kanevsky. The owner of several pieces herself, Blair waxed on about the pluses of having a few about one’s home. “Whenever I’m having people over for dinner, running late and don’t have time to buy flowers, I just put a couple of Vladimir’s in the middle of a table as a centerpiece,” uttered Blair in a hushed, but cultured tone. Ever the hostess, she clearly always has her mind on her next fete as she sought out the recipe for the mayonnaise dip that was being served. Such a hands-on approach clearly works. First week sales of the pieces were $18,000.