CHEZ VERA: Vera Wang had her doubts about the turnout at Thursday’s opening night party for her new store at 158 Mercer Street in New York. “I’m very happy that everyone came. Only I would open a store three months late and in the rain,” she said. Anna Wintour, Shelby Bryan, Glenda Bailey, Tory Burch, Pamela Fiori, Tom Florio, Patrick Robinson, Samantha Boardman, Aby Rosen, Anne and Mario Grauso and Steven Kolb were among the well-wishers. The store’s architect, Michael Gabellini, also received a few pats on the back, but it was Wang’s husband, Arthur Becker, who seemed to be the most celebratory. “I’m pleased it’s over. The reason people have a party when a store is built is because it’s over,” he said. But Becker still had reason to open his wallet for daughters Cecilia and Josephine, who needed a little “dinero” for a night on the town.

This story first appeared in the December 8, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

CUSTOM PLAN: Could Tod’s be stepping into haute couture? According to sources, the Italian luxury shoe and leather goods label is planning to launch couture footwear and accessories in Paris in January. It was unclear whether Tod’s creative director Derek Lam was designing the pieces. A spokeswoman for Tod’s declined to comment.

CACHAREL NO-SHOW: French fashion house Cacharel plans to give the runway a skip in March, making it the latest brand to scale back in the face of the painful economy. Last month, the house ended its association with British design couple Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto, known together as Eley Kishimoto. A spokeswoman for the firm said the collections were presently being designed by the in-house team as well as freelance designers.

HALL MARK: Karl Lagerfeld is weaving a literary tale for a forthcoming Chanel handbag campaign, inspired by Colette’s “Chéri,” the novel about a young man and his relationship with a woman almost twice his age. And he cast none other than Jerry Hall in the latter role, with model Baptiste Giabiconi, fresh from his appearance in Lagerfeld’s mini film for Chanel’s Paris-Moscow show, seeking her affections on a bed strewn with a quilt — and a quilted bag.

BERGDORF BABE: Victoria Beckham can talk about her own collection like the best of designers, so it’s no surprise Bergdorf Goodman sales associates and personal shoppers applauded her Friday morning at a private gathering before the store opened. Beckham was in town to introduce her spring dress collection to a crowd of about 65. Wearing one of her own designs, she showcased the new dresses on three models and described each look. An early delivery of the collection arrived exclusively at Bergdorf’s last Thursday. “Our team has been tremendously impressed with how thoughtfully Victoria Beckham approached her first collection,” said Bergdorf’s president and chief executive officer Jim Gold. Beckham’s dresses are already proving to be a hit in some other quarters of the world. At a private shopping event at Selfridges in London and in Manchester, customers got to meet Posh and buy dresses, with some items already generating waiting lists.