VERA’s 2-4-6-8: Vera Wang sure likes her sports. After designing ice skaters’ costumes, she’s moved onto cheerleaders. The Philadelphia Eagles cheering squad will be wearing Wang’s uniforms on Monday Night Football tonight, when the Eagles square off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Thanks to the designer, the squad will be clapping and kicking in new uniforms for the first time in a decade.
“It’s a cross between rock and jock,” Wang said of the boy-long shorts, bandeau top, bolero jacket and other abbreviated outfits. “The mission I was given was to make them really sexy, but they’re wholesome, too. This may be my naïveté, but I believe there’s a certain purity to sport.”
Her philosophy wasn’t an easy sell with management that also pitches their pom-pom girls in a lingerie calendar. “They wanted sex and I wanted taste, style and athletics,” said Wang, who has outfitted Olympic skaters Michelle Kwan and Nancy Kerrigan.
NFL cheerleaders need functional attire, too. The girls’ varying proportions, especially in the bust and hip areas, proved to be a challenge. “It’s not as though they can walk out in a bikini like Pamela Anderson and still jump and kick. They also need fabrics that are going to perform in different climates like Green Bay in the winter. It was like trying to dress 20 bridesmaids in the same dress.”
ONE A DAY: Forget apples. Paris-based interior architect Andrée Putman is prescribing a necklace a day for her first foray into jewelry. Her debut collection should be unveiled before the end of the year, WWD has learned. Meanwhile, Putman is about to launch her first scented candle — an extension of the fragrance she introduced two years ago. And yes, she still makes furniture — she was slated to present her latest laminated wood and enameled wares to the press today in Paris.
MAD ABOUT PLAID: Dr. Ruth Westheimer turned out for Thursday’s opening party for the Burberry shop at Bloomingdale’s, but Michael Gould was more jazzed about how Burberry’s new digs and a forthcoming World of David Yurman shop are helping to “dramatically upscale” the flagship.
Dayle Haddon, Malaak Compton-Rock, Cynthia Lufkin and Felicia Taylor co-hosted the event, which benefited Safe Horizon, a violence prevention group.
Fresh from a month with her grandchildren, Haddon said her daughter, Ryan, Christian Slater’s wife, is heading back to work full time for E!
Family matters were top-of-mind with Compton-Rock, whose husband, Chris, goes on tour next month and has been trying out his new material on her. “I always get the first laugh —and the last laugh,” she said.
HOMEWARD BOUND: Who says you can’t go home again? Oksana Baiul is heading to the Ukraine this month to meet her father, who deserted her as a child. If all this sounds like a made-for-TV movie, you’re on the right page. A “20/20” camera crew will be in tow for an upcoming segment, with Elizabeth Vargas reporting.
DESIGNER LUNCH: Dana Reeve skipped out on rehearsal for “Portraits” Friday afternoon to host a luncheon with her husband, Christopher, at Jean Paul Gaultier’s Madison Avenue store. “I’m playing hooky today. If I show up in this look, this is very different from my role, which is a Jersey housewife,” she said, gesturing toward her short suede Gaultier skirt.
But opening night for the off-Broadway show at the Union Square Theater is still two weeks away and the luncheon was for a good cause — the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. No time to shop, even with the 30 percent discount, Reeve eyed a rust suede dress with an asymmetric hemline.
That was something her husband missed, since he exited before the fashion show. So is he interested in fashion? “No, but he’s interested in women,” laughed his wife, looking out at the roomful of blondes.
PICTURE PERFECT: In the five years since she retired from full-time catwalk duty, Helena Christensen has turned her hand to photography. On Thursday night, she unveiled her first solo exhibition, “People and Portraits,” at Proud Galleries in London. Guests included Tracey Emin, Sadie Frost, Rankin, Matthew Williamson and Roland Mouret. All guests were invited to bid for prints, including one of Michael Stipe on his tour bus in Denmark; Orlando Bloom in Hyde Park; Marianne Faithfull in Paris, and a portrait of Bono, in addition to Christensen’s personal photographs of friends and her four-year-old son, Mingus. “In many ways, it was photography that prompted me to enter modeling,” said Christensen. “I don’t view that I’ve been a model, and now I’m a photographer. I think that the time is now right for me to pursue my own personal goals.” The exhibition runs until Oct. 4 with all proceeds benefiting the AIDS charity, Terrence Higgins Trust.