SPRING AWAKENING: Mark Badgley and James Mischka will launch the spring season of their American Glamour Badgley Mischka line on HSN next week and, to mark the occasion, the duo and the network brought out a few friends to a dinner at Bottino Tuesday night. HSN chief executive officer Mindy Grossman donned a sequined dress from the designers’ new Mark & James line. “I have known James for such a long time that I keep calling it James & Mark,” said Grossman, who first worked with Mischka at Williwear 25 years ago.

“I am happy I never burnt my bridges with Mindy,” Mischka said.

This story first appeared in the March 11, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Guests included Jane Holzer, Stefani Greenfield, Steve Stoute, Iman and Kelly Rutherford. The “Gossip Girl” star bonded with the iconic model over motherhood, Iman’s flawless skin and, of course, pieces from the spring line displayed at the dinner. “I want all of this jewelry,” Rutherford said.


CARRIE ON STAGE: There won’t be any telephone-shaped hairpieces or Kermit the Frog minidresses for Carrie Underwood when the singer takes the stage during her “Play on Tour,” which kicks off today in Reading, Pa. Instead, the “American Idol” winner and country superstar will wear a series of slightly more refined — though still dramatic — looks by costume designer Soyon An, who won an Emmy for the beaded numbers she whipped up for contestants on “So You Think You Can Dance.”

An’s ensembles for Underwood include a button-down shirt paired with a full-length fringe skirt bejeweled with Crystallized-Swarovski Elements and a strapless gown with a bottom that detaches midperformance to become a playsuit.




GUESS WHO: Guess and the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising are collaborating to launch the Guess Design Challenge during the fashion school’s annual graduates gala on Saturday. Every year, 10 students selected for FIDM’s advanced third-year design program each present a 12-piece collection at the gala, and this year each will also present one denim look to Guess executives and Maurice Marciano, chairman and co-founder of Guess, who will select a winning look to be incorporated into a future collection. The winning student will also be offered a design assistant position in Guess’ women’s apparel division. “Anyone who touches product should have an influx of young talent in the design room,” said Guess vice president of design John Landis. Future plans may include collaborations with celebrities, but as to whom, it’s anyone’s guess.

ALL FOR A CAUSE: “That’s the biggest check we’ve ever received,” said Greg Mortenson, thanking Chevron chief executive officer John Watson for donating $350,000 to the Kuwait America Foundation annual fund-raiser hosted by Rima Al-Sabah, wife of the ambassador of Kuwait. Mortenson, founder of the nonprofit Central Asia Institute, has opened more than 130 schools emphasizing girls’ education in remote mountain villages of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan. In all, Al-Sabah’s gala fund-raiser, heavy on petroleum executive donations, raised $2.3 million for the Montana-based philanthropist. Al-Sabah, wearing a black Emilio Pucci cocktail dress, credited her absent guest, Teresa Heinz, with telling her about Mortenson. But it was Mortenson’s best-selling book, “Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace,”’ that gave Al-Sabah the idea for what to put in her 168 Hermès goodie bags. Each guest got a Hermès cup and saucer, decorated with a bright red Moorish ironwork design, along with a copy of Mortenson’s new book, “Stones Into Schools.”

Leading the cast of Obama White House darlings was White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and his wife, Amy Rule, who snagged the top protocol seat, to the right of Kuwait Ambassador Salem Al-Sabah. Outgoing White House social secretary Desirée Rogers, in Isabel Toledo, made sure to dodge the spotlight. “I’m not leaving until the end of April. I want to get to see people because I never had any time before,” Rogers quietly told friends.

Following his own rules of protocol, actor Michael Douglas, who flew back to New York with petroleum pals Susan and John Hess, took care to avoid walking off with more than a Hermès goodie bag. “I have to check out my pockets because otherwise I always end up with a bunch of cocktail napkins,” said Douglas, who makes a habit of stuffing them into his pocket after each hors d’oeuvre.


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