CIRCLE OF FRIENDS: Donatella Versace is much-loved by celebrities, and she can always rely on her famous friends to show their support. Case in point: Thursday night’s Fashion Group International Night of Stars. Versace is being honored with the evening’s Superstar award, and Prince and Jennifer Lopez will be among her guests for the occasion. Meanwhile, Lady Amanda Harlech, Linda Evangelista and Steven Meisel will be guests of honoree Franca Sozzani, while honoree Carla Sozzani’s guests are Azzedine Alaïa, Stephanie Seymour and Peter Brant. Movado, a sponsor of the event, will bring Kerry Washington. Phillip Lim, Richard Chai and Alexander Wang are also expected to make their way down to Cipriani at 55 Wall Street, where the gala is scheduled to take place.
This story first appeared in the October 21, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
LEGENDS OF THE FALL: Takashi Murakami, Julian Schnabel and Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel were the winners at Thursday’s Pratt Legends awards dinner, but a few seasoned commentators also made the rounds. The evening’s emcee, Charlie Rose said, “Civilization is defined by people who make this art, who write these poems, and who show us the way to the truth.” Dick Cavett, who presented to his Montauk neighbor Schnabel, was more lighthearted. “The late Jack Parr taught me five or six tricks on using a teleprompter that make it impossible for the audience to detect you are using it, and I have never given one of them to John McCain,” he said.
Decidedly more low-key was Edward Albee. Before dining with his friend and preservation activist Diamonstein-Spielvogel, the octogenarian said his latest play, “Me, Myself and I,” is headed for Broadway next year, but don’t expect anything autobiographical by the three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. “I never write about myself. I always wrote about interesting people,” he said.
GHOST UNDER THREAT OF ADMINISTRATION: Ghost is the latest U.K. fashion label that risks going into administration, the U.K. equivalent of filing for Chapter 11. Arev Management, the Icelandic investment group that owns the business through the private equity fund Kcaj, together with the retail entrepreneur Kevin Stanford, has filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator, according to a source close to the company. The source added the move, which gives the business protection from its creditors, is due to funding problems for the label. Those problems, the source said, aren’t linked to the collapse of Iceland’s banks over the past few weeks. Ghost was founded by Tanya Sarne in 1984, and became known for its floaty, feminine dresses. However Sarne quit the label in 2006, after Arev and Stanford bought a controlling stake in the business in 2005. At the time, Arev said the plan was to lower the line’s price points and focus on U.K. retail. It closed the brand’s stores in London and New York and halted its wholesale distribution. A spokesman for Arev declined comment. The source added that several different parties had expressed interest in buying the business as a going concern.
Earlier this month, Hardy Amies, the Savile Row couture and ready-to-wear house, appointed the restructuring company Kroll as an administrator. “Sadly, fallout from the credit crunch has meant this celebrated business has struggled to survive,” said Peter Saville, a partner at Kroll. Biba, another storied London label, that also fell on hard times earlier this year. The company appointed London-based Grant Thornton as administrators in April, upon which the business ceased to trade. A spokeswoman for Grant Thornton said Monday the assets of the business, including its stock and its trademarks, have now been sold.
ZADIG & VOLTAIRE HITS LONDON: French contemporary label Zadig & Voltaire is ramping up its presence in the U.K. The brand, which already has four stores in England, has a further five openings planned in the region. The label will launch a space in the soon-to-be-opened Westfield center in West London this month, along with units in the village-like neighborhoods of Hampstead and Marylebone and a concession in London’s Selfridges over the next few months.