COOPERATIVE DESIGNS: Knitwear designers Annalisa Dunn and Dorothee Hagemann filled the London runway with a collection filled with graphic color blocks, bold stripes and a patchwork of contrasting textures and weaves that was inspired by the iconic Italian furniture design group Memphis. And they’ll soon be transferring their talents to New York. For spring, they’ll be doing a capsule collection for Henri Bendel as part of the store’s guest designer initiative. Henri Bendel New York Limited Edition Spring 2009 by Cooperative Designs will feature dresses and cardigans in both skinny and oversize shapes in primary colors, stripes and intarsia. “They won our hearts immediately,” Ann Watson, vice president, fashion director at Henri Bendel, said of the duo, who met at Central Saint Martin’s. Dunn and Hagemann, who still hand-knit some of their designs, say much of their inspiration comes from the art world. “Annalisa convinced me to work with her during the Gilbert and George show at Tate Modern,” said Hagemann. “How could I say no?”
DONATELLA DOES LONDON: Donatella Versace doesn’t waste time: She swooped into London Thursday to help judge the annual Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden competition. And as soon as the winner was named, she was headed home to Milan. “My show is next week and I still have to finish the collection. But we’re almost there,” said Versace, the newly appointed honorary chair of Fashion Fringe.
ROYAL APPROVAL: Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie don’t regularly make the London Fashion Week rounds so, not surprisingly, there was a paparazzi bun fight when the royal duo took their seats in Issa’s front row on Thursday night. “We love Daniella, and we’re very happy to come here and support her,” said Beatrice, who added they weren’t planning on taking in any other shows. “We’re just here to support our friend,” she said. And while the pack of photographers lingered in the hope that Kate Middleton — who’s often photographed wearing the label — would turn up with Prince William in tow, they settled on snapping Middleton’s younger sister, Pippa. She joined a celeb-packed front row that included Rosamund Pike, Charlotte and Alice Dellal, Charlotte Casiraghi, Tom and Sara Parker-Bowles and Tamsin Edgerton, while Naomi Campbell sashayed down the runway for a guest appearance.
WHAT A RELIEF: There wasn’t a whiff of recession among the happy bidders at Fashion for Relief, the annual runway show organized by Naomi Campbell that took place Wednesday night in the British Fashion Council tent at the Natural History Museum. London’s big spenders outbid each other for looks donated by designers including Alexander McQueen, Zac Posen and Christopher Kane. Models including Monica Cruz, Jo Wood, Lizzie Jagger, Estelle, Jamelia and Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley sashayed down the runway in their designer garb and in jewels provided by Garrard. The spectacle raised funds for The White Ribbon Alliance, a coalition of organizations for the protection of pregnant women and newborn children around the world.