CLOTHES CALL: As Bruce Weber sees it, if a guy wants to avoid nudity, he can always wear a suit. Those are among the musings of the photographer in a short film he made for Stefano Pilati. It will be screened before Pilati’s Yves Saint Laurent men’s wear show in Paris on Friday and continues the designer’s tradition of mixing fashion and film. Titled “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” the seven-minute film features a band of models, including up-and-coming face Paolo Anchisi, exclusive to YSL. A trailer with behind-the-scenes views of the Weber film is slated to make its debut on Facebook and YouTube when the show starts. Video of the fashion show, and Weber’s film, will go on those sites, plus, a few hours later.

This story first appeared in the January 21, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

COCKTAIL HOURS: Tuesday evening, a duet of post-work affairs had New Yorkers racing around town. First stop for many was the Valentino boutique, where the New York City Ballet hosted a cocktail and shopping night in anticipation of its annual luncheon (sponsored by Valentino) on Feb. 10 honoring principal dancer Darci Kistler, who will be retiring this year after three decades with the company. Alexandra Kerry, Nina Griscom, Candace Bushnell, Jennifer Creel and a slew of Valentino-decked young ballerinas milled around the store.

“It’s really the same as always,” said Kistler of her impending departure, as she stood near husband and NYCB’s ballet master in chief, Peter Martins. “I was just saying to Peter how there are no schmaltzy feelings. I mean, I don’t know how I’ll feel after — I’m not there yet.”

Meanwhile, many blocks downtown at The Bowery Hotel, women’s rights charity Vital Voices hosted a cocktail benefit. Creel and Griscom eventually joined other socials such as Amanda Brooks at the fund-raiser, making its debut on the social calendar. Honorary chair Anh Duong explained she first heard about Vital Voices many years ago through Diane von Furstenberg but only recently got involved after being contacted by friend Joan Tobin, whose daughter, Alexis, chaired the event.

TOP PRIZE: From launching an innovative iPhone app to m-commerce functions and a groundbreaking virtual runway show for its Rugby brand, Ralph Lauren has become something of a fashion industry pioneer when it comes to embracing technological innovations. And now the company has an award to further validate that status. Polo Ralph Lauren just received the 2009 Mobile Marketer of the Year award from Mobile Marketer, the trade magazine for the mobile marketing, media and commerce industry. The win was based on submissions from readers and members of the magazine’s editorial team, which voted for the company because “it understands the times we live in and the wants and needs of its customer,” the magazine stated. “And, in this day and age, that means having a robust set of mobile offerings and really being present in the hands of your consumer.”

UP AND OUT: Save for using unauthorized images of the First Couple in billboards — as Weatherproof and People Against the Ethical Treatment of Animals recently did — it is pretty tough to have an outdoor ad banned in advertising-laden Manhattan. But Equinox managed to join that club after posting a gigantic vinyl wrap on its Greenwich Village club and subsequently taking it down at the urging of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Ironically the “My Body, My Biography” campaign, a montage of club members’ photos and inspirational stories, is meant to draw outsiders in. Equinox creative director Bianca Kosoy cooked up the idea and worked with Stephen Niedzwiecki, president and creative director of Yard, to develop it. “We wanted it to extend into the community,” he said. “What we didn’t want was the typical ‘I weighed 185 and now I weigh 155 and I fit in a dress very well now.’” The neighborhood certainly took notice.

SOUTHERN BELGIUM: Diane von Furstenberg is set to be a southern belle this spring, if only for a weekend. Savannah College of Art and Design has said DVF will receive its André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award during the school’s 2010 commencement weekend in May. Fellow New York designers and SCAD Style Lab mentors Bryan Bradley, Catherine Malandrino, Angel Sanchez and Zac Posen also will be in attendance. As the Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, von Furstenberg, who received an honorary degree from the school in 2005, is in good company: Past recipients include Marc Jacobs, Miuccia Prada and Oscar de la Renta.

JOINT HONORS: Marc Jacobs and Nathalie Rykiel are the latest designers to be honored by the French government for services rendered to the fashion industry. Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand will decorate both as Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) in a ceremony on Friday, scheduled to coincide with men’s fashion week in Paris. Jacobs has been artistic director at Louis Vuitton since 1997, while Rykiel is president and creative director of the Sonia Rykiel label founded by her mother. Elisabeth Ponsolle des Portes, the president of Comité Colbert, France’s main luxury association, will be named an Officier des Arts et des Lettres at the same event.


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