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HONORING JOHNSON: Betsey Johnson will be honored by The National Arts Club’s fashion committee today, when she will receive the Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement in Fashion. The black-tie event will be held at the club located at 15 Gramercy Park South in New York, beginning at 6:30 p.m. “I’m so excited, honored and thrilled. It doesn’t get any better than this,” Johnson said of the award. Johnson’s business partner, Chantal Bacon, will introduce the designer along with International Fashion Syndicate editor Marylou Luther. Artist Dianne B. Bernhard is also at work on a painted portrait of Johnson that will be presented to the designer and eventually hang at the club.

This story first appeared in the October 13, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

GEM PALACE: Podium Jewellery has arrived in Paris. The high-end Russian retail concept, which specializes in edgy, handcrafted jewelry creations, has opened a 900-square-foot boutique a hop away from Colette, at 334 Rue Saint-Honoré. “These are conversation pieces,” said Polina Kitsenko, co-owner of the store, which stocks brands such as Loree Rodkin, Garrard, Delfina Delettrez Fendi and Kristen Farrell, as well as its own Podium Fine Choice line. The store’s eclectic interior, which mixes brushed metal cabinets with aged oak parquet flooring, glass domes and floral wallpaper, is meant to evoke a medieval jewelry workshop. The retailer operates four freestanding Podium Jewellery stores in Moscow and one in France’s tony ski resort Courchevel.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: “It’s not some porridge-colored fabric,” said Katharine Hamnett, praising the organic cotton produced by the Indian company Pratibha Syntex on the sidelines of the RITE Group conference in London. “They make a highly sophisticated product: My jersey slogan T-shirts are produced in 120-gram organic cotton,” added the designer, who is also at work on an organic denim line. RITE stands for Reducing the Impact of Textiles on the Environment, and Hamnett was speaking at the group’s annual conference. She introduced Shreyaskar Chaudhary, the vice chairman and managing director of Pratibha Syntex, which also invests in organic farming in India, supports cotton-producing communities, funds schools and encourages farmers to keep their children in education. Hamnett said she admired the company’s “total respect for man and nature. If I couldn’t do design sustainably, I’d have to go and live on a farm and grow my own fruit and veg.”

GLASS HOUSE: House of Lavande is bringing its goods to Gotham. On Thursday, the Palm Beach-based vintage costume jewelry dealer is exhibiting its couture collection for the first time at Henri Bendel. Designer Erin Fetherston and stylist Veronika Borchers will be on hand to fete the line before it goes on sale to the public the following weekend. Highlights include a Schreiner for Pauline Trigère bib necklace with glass crystals and stones retailing for $5,998 as well as a late-Seventies Givenchy purple and blue marbled resin heart necklace priced at $948.

JAPANESE GEMS: Van Cleef & Arpels this month will stage a retrospective exhibition in Tokyo, offering an overview of more than 250 pieces selected from the jeweler’s own bounty, as well as private collections. The exhibition will be held at the Mori Arts Center in Tokyo’s Roppongi from Oct. 30 to Jan. 17. Key pieces include a tiara worn by Princess Grace of Monaco, Etruscan-inspired gold bracelets owned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as well as a ruby-and-diamond bracelet commissioned by Marlene Dietrich. The collection is expected to travel subsequently to Beijing, New York and Paris. The jewelry house is also publishing a glossy volume later this month, “The Poetry of Time,” showcasing a selection of its high-end timepieces.

PRETTY IN PINK: Padma Lakshmi held court last week at the Blue Fin restaurant in New York, showing her support for Revlon and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer this weekend. “I’m still wearing my own clothes, but I can’t button my jeans anymore,” said Lakshmi, who revealed last week that she is pregnant. While she won’t be participating in the walk, the “Top Chef” host spent the morning cooking up conversation with editors touting Reebok’s Pink Ribbon apparel and footwear collection.


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