CHARLOTTE’S WEB: Nicolas Ghesquière dipped a toe in the celebrity pool for the first time with his spring-summer advertising for Balenciaga, tapping Jennifer Connelly. And it seems the water is still fine. Rumor has it French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg, a friend of Ghesquière and a house regular, will be the star of the fall campaign. Balenciaga officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
DIAMOND DAYS: The Material Girl appears to deserve her name. Madonna turned to Chopard to create the diamond “M-dolla” knuckle ring and Happy Diamonds cross she wears on the cover of her new — and much hyped — album “Hard Candy,” which will be released April 28. Chopard co-president Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele designed the ring, which spells out “M-dolla” in 258 brilliant cut white diamonds with a Chopard signature mobile diamond in the flourish of the letter M. This isn’t the first time the Swiss jeweler and watchmaker has worked with Madonna: for her 2005 “Confessions on a Dance Floor” album, it designed the pavé diamond “Hung-Up” necklace she wore onstage.
FITTING LENNY: Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera may have had Roberto Cavalli design the costumes for their tours, but now Lenny Kravitz is getting into the game with outfits designed by Gucci’s Frida Giannini. The rocker will debut the 20 full looks (not counting a few separates) that the music-loving designer made for him at the opening show of his “Love Revolution” European tour in Vigo, Spain, on May 29. Luckily, Giannini’s aesthetic dovetails with Kravitz’s signature style: included in the clothes she designed will be figure-hugging pants, big belt buckles and fitted jackets.
DIDDY TV: Sean “Diddy” Combs certainly is getting his media moments. Tonight at 10 p.m., MTV will air “If I Were King,” a documentary that chronicles and celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Sean John label. The 90-minute documentary shows Combs going through the process of designing a line and bringing it to the runway. He is shown picking fabrics and models, playing with his four children and walking through Central Park (as if designers have time for that). “The whole process of putting on a fashion show is so crazy and I feel that the audience really has no idea what it’s like,” Combs said, before adding, “This will showcase everything a designer goes through — there’s laughter, pain, drama…all the makings of a movie. Also, since I haven’t done a show in five years, I was a bit insecure, which I thought would be interesting to show on camera.”
Then, on April 12 at 2 p.m., MTV will show “Sean John: Internship by Design,” where four students will compete with professional models strutting the catwalk in their own designs. The prize? One will get to intern at Sean John. Judges will include Zac Posen, stylist-author June Ambrose, celebrity stylist Marni Senofonte and, of course, Combs.
HINDMARCH HITS SHANGHAI: Anya Hindmarch is looking East. On Monday, the London-based designer unveiled her second store in China, a 1,000-square-foot space that she has opened in partnership with the Pedder Group in the Plaza 66 complex in Shanghai. Hindmarch also has a store in Beijing. And Hindmarch isn’t stopping her expansion there. The designer is building on her existing network of 47 stores across the U.K., the U.S. and Asia, and has openings in Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait and Qatar planned for 2008, in partnership with Villa Moda. The stores will carry Hindmarch’s complete collection of bags, footwear, ready-to-wear, luggage and accessories. In addition, Hindmarch is set to open a store in Russia, in partnership with Moscow department store, Tsum. Its opening date is yet to be confirmed.