Dolce & Gabbana are helping Italy celebrate the historic 100th running of the Giro d’Italia bike race (Italy’s equivalent of the Tour de France) that will take place in May. The duo whipped up their version of the Maglia Rosa, or pink jersey T-shirt, first created 77 years ago and worn by the winner of each stretch of the race. It’s the first time a fashion house has used its creative whim to design this zipped T-shirt. The two designers personalized it by creating a juxtaposed effect, stitching the logo around the neckline and inserting bands with Italy’s green, white and red colors. Dolce & Gabbana are no newcomers to athletics, having sponsored and dressed the A.C. Milan soccer team, as well as the Italian national soccer squad, rugby and tennis players.

This story first appeared in the December 15, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

HOUSE OF WAX: Coco Rocha certainly stole the spotlight from her two mannequins at the Rootstein Gallery cocktail event in her honor on Thursday night. The Canadian is the latest model to be immortalized by Rootstein Mannequins, which previously replicated Twiggy, Pat Cleveland and Agyness Deyn. It was the first time Rocha was showing off her brand-new, flaming-red hair courtesy of Louis Licari for a January Vogue shoot. While the look was reminiscent of early Nineties Linda Evangelista, Rocha said it reminded her of the strawberry blonde locks from her childhood. “I look like my mom’s daughter,” she said, wearing a Rootstein white tuxedo jacket, Proenza Schouler wide-leg pants, American Apparel tank and H&M beaded flower brooch. In fact, Kevin Arpino, Rootstein creative director, who designed the replicas through a collaboration between Visionaire and Elite Models had only seen Rocha’s new do the night before and had to re-dye the forms’ hair. While she described the mannequin experience as her highest accomplishment thus far, she added demurely, “It’s a little strange to see all these people here. I would rather be sitting home, watching TV.”


WHEN CAMILLA MET VIVIENNE: The Duchess of Cornwall cast caution to the wind and donned her first-ever Vivienne Westwood gown for a night out with Prince Charles at the London Palladium. On Thursday night, the duchess wore a one-off, draped gown in a petrol-colored silk double duchess satin for the 80th Royal Variety Performance. According to a Westwood spokesman, it was Philip Treacy — Camilla’s milliner of choice — who persuaded her to take a chance on Westwood. Camilla invited Westwood and her husband Andreas Kronthaler to Clarence House earlier this year for a first meeting. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that one.

BEING USEFUL: Marie Gray, co-founder and current consultant for St. John, has heard more than a few compelling tales from women sharing their memorable St. John-clad moments. Gray, who made an appearance at Neiman Marcus in both Chicago and suburban Oak Brook Friday said women have told her about getting married in the iconic knit brand or attending high-profile functions at the White House, but the most surprising story involved a woman who administered CPR and saved a man’s life while wearing her favorite St. John suit. “That was an all-time first,” said Gray, who noted women also use the opportunity to share what’s missing from the line. In Chicago, they want boot-length skirts to battle the elements, said Gray, who said her role with the company, like that of her daughter Kelly, is supportive in nature. “We’re there just to help in any way we can,” she said. “Some days it’s on the technical level, some days it’s personal appearances.”

BIG SCREEN: On Tuesday afternoon, Cynthia Rowley managed to stop throngs of Times Square pedestrians when she partook in the Style Series event presented by Diet Coke. Rowley appeared on the Nasdaq and Reuters electronic billboards, and hundreds stood and watched a live interview with her replete with looks from her holiday and spring collections. “As exciting and groundbreaking as the whole thing was, it’s still terrifying to see your face six stories tall,” Rowley said.


PAMPERING THE LOYAL: Shopping isn’t exactly a national pastime at the moment, but to ease the grind for those who do partake, the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District has set up a “by invitation only” two-day hospitality suite at the Hotel Plaza Athénée, 37 East 64th St. It opened Saturday and reopens Sunday, Dec. 21. Retailers on Madison Avenue invited their favored clientele to visit the suite and take advantage of complimentary gift-wrapping, coffee and hot chocolate. But best of all for those spending $1,000 or more on Madison, a gift bag created by Madison & Mulholland awaits. Each has at least three items from Madison Avenue boutiques with a total value of $150 or more.

RALPH AIDS RIVERKEEPER: Anyone at a loss for what to give their loved ones this holiday season should have stopped by the Ralph Lauren store in New York’s SoHo earlier this week, where Amanda Hearst was doling out advice to clueless shoppers. Her favorite items? Men’s flannel shirts and long-sleeved polo shirts. “My brother Randy lives in flannel,” she said. Fifteen percent of the evening’s sales benefited the environmental charity Riverkeeper, founded by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Hearst is on the organization’s executive committee and cochairs the junior council with Luigi Tadini. She said she tries to maintain an eco-friendly lifestyle. In addition to using energy-saving lightbulbs and unplugging her phone chargers. “I send my dry cleaning out in garment bags so they don’t have to use the plastic ones, and I visit eco-resorts and eco-lodges when I travel,” she said. But this Christmas she’ll be staying somewhere not exactly known for its austerity — the ornate Hearst Castle in San Simeon, Calif.

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