LOVE, ANGEL, MUSIC, HANDBAGS: Although Gwen Stefani will be sitting out this New York Fashion Week, her back-up singers will be working overtime. To celebrate their latest handbag collection, Harajuku Lovers will be performing at New York’s Bloomingdale’s locations throughout next week. First stop is 59th Street, where today, from 12:30 to 1 p.m., they’ll be singing from inside the windows. On Friday, they’ll make another public appearance from 12 to 2 p.m. before heading downtown to the SoHo department store from 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, Bloomingdale’s is turning to another singer, actor Terrence Howard, to help kick off the store’s fall fashion campaign. Howard will perform songs tonight from his debut album, “Shine Through It,” at the flagship at a party sponsored by Vanity Fair and Infiniti.
HORSING AROUND: Nan Goldin’s fashion snaps formed the center point of a hipster-packed Japan Fashion Week bash Tuesday night, hosted by Dior Homme’s Kris Van Assche. The photos were exhibited at one end of an alley linking Tokyo’s Le Baron and L’Amour Clubs. Titled “Wild Horses,” the photo series features ambient shots taken by Goldin at the Dior Homme men’s show in the Jardins de l’Observatoire in Paris in June. Justice’s Xavier de Rosnay supplied the music. Van Assche, who curated the current issue of A Magazine that also features shots by Goldin, said the pair met through mutual friends. “One day she just popped by, and then I guess she liked the energy and she decided to come by again,” he said. The exhibition next will be on show at Dior Homme’s Tokyo flagship Sept. 14 to Oct. 13.
CHELSEA KIDS: It seems as though Tia Cibani is turning into a Jane of all trades. When she isn’t designing the Ports 1961 collection, Cibani is creating looks for the luxury children’s wear label Kicokids. On Monday — just days before Ports 1961’s spring 2009 runway show — Kicokids opened a pop-up store in Chelsea Market on Ninth Avenue and 16th Street in New York. Cibani worked with Swedish design firm Our Children’s Gorilla to create the store interior. It will be filled with fun-house mirrors, a fabric mini circus tent that doubles as a dressing room, and wooden monkey forms swinging from the ceiling. The shopping kids and their parents also can draw self-portraits in a special activity corner. Cibani, whose Ports 1961 collections can have an artsy travel bent, also created an adjoining art gallery that will display exhibits tailor-made for children.
NEXT DAY SERVICE: With the fashion cycle spinning faster and faster, it was only a matter of time before fashion junkies would want to get their hands on actual clothes right after a show’s final exit. Halston and Net-a-porter.com played with the notion in February. This time, it’s Gen Art’s turn to give shoppers the ultimate in instant gratification. Gen Art is teaming up with Yoox.com to make select looks from JF and Son, one of its Fresh Faces labels, available on the e-tailer on Thursday — one day after Gen Art’s 14th Annual Fresh Faces show takes place on at the Manhattan Center. JF and Son was selected by a panel that included executives from Gen Art and Yoox.com, as well as Holly Brubach, the former New York Times style editor who consults for the e-tailer. This year’s other Gen Art Fresh Faces are Ideeen, Sariah, Lialia, Richard Ruiz, Chree, Hyden Yoo, Philip Sparks, Antoinette Lee Designs, Deka Ray, Heutchy and TNC Studio.
RARE EVENT: Well-heeled guests wanting to playact a Gilded Age fantasy had all the props at hand during Newport, R.I.’s Tiffany Ball. There was, first of all, the setting: The Breakers, the towering Renaissance-style palace built by Cornelius Vanderbilt II to show up the other Bellevue Avenue robber barons. Then there was the host: Gladys Szapary, the Vanderbilts’ youngest daughter who inherited the house in 1934 and opened it, fully furnished, to the public through the Preservation Society of Newport County starting in 1948. She greeted guests at the door flanked by a line of waiters holding silver trays of Champagne. Szapary had even convinced her designer cousin Gloria Vanderbilt to lend the family’s century-old Tiffany & Co. china, sterling flatware and crystal for the evening.
“It was a wonderful gesture, done brilliantly,” said Tiffany & Co. group director Peter Engelhart, who oversees the brand’s Rhode Island and Connecticut operations.
This was the third Tiffany Ball, but the first in more than 40 years. At the inaugural gala in 1957, Newport patron Mary Whitehouse wore the 128-carat yellow Tiffany diamond, one of only two women to ever wear it (the other was Audrey Hepburn in a publicity shoot for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”) Although the famous diamond remained at Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue flagship this time around, plenty was hauled out of safety deposit boxes. Co-chair Mary Van Pelt wore Paloma Picasso pearls and a diamond-and-ruby bracelet and ring her husband’s grandmother wore to the first Tiffany Ball in 1957.
The event raised $300,000 for the Preservation Society, which manages 11 properties open to the public, including seven of Newport’s most opulent mansions.