TARGETING TOWELS: If you think art is everywhere, wait until the summer when the fashion-conscious art crowd unfurls its Target limited edition art beach towels on the sands of Sag Harbor and Fire Island. The four towels feature works by major contemporary artists and are available at target.com and worksonwhatever.com. WOW (Works on Whatever) is organized by the Art Production Fund, whose mission is to reach new audiences in nontraditional places — like on the sand — and ignite a passion for art. The towels cost $50 a piece. There’s Ed Ruscha’s “The Study of Friction and Wear on Mating Surfaces,” a legend in white painted on a purple and blue background; Karen Kilimnik’s watery scene populated by star fish and sea horses, and Julian Schnabel’s painted over map of Martinique. Raymond Pettibon contributed the painting of a surfer caught in a giant blue-green wave. The works on terry cloth made an appearance during Art Basel Miami from Dec. 4 through 7 at the Standard and the Raleigh hotels, where they were sold to guests and spread across chaise lounges by the pools.
OUR HOUSE: Karl Lagerfeld, who recreated Chanel’s Rue Cambon headquarters as a spectacular backdrop for ready-to-wear last October, is still very much in the middle of this street when it comes to fashion shows. Word has it Chanel’s couture show on Jan. 27 will take place at 46 Rue Cambon, just up the road from the mother ship at 32. The venue, now called Pavillon Cambon-Capucines, was formerly Crédit Foncier, a bank. Isn’t it rich?
FIRST FASHION: While the fashion world is busy scrutinizing the wardrobe of America’s First Lady-to-be Michelle Obama, France’s Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has been up to a bit of benevolent closet cleaning. For an AIDS benefit auction scheduled to be held Saturday in Paris, the style icon has donated the Christian Dior silk bustier evening gown she wore to the Guildhall state banquet in March, during the Sarkozys’ state visit to England. The sale will take place at Paris’ Le Grand Inter-Continental hotel.
NO SECONDS: For several years, Zac Posen has talked about his wish to launch a secondary line, which would bring his design aesthetic to the contemporary market. But much to the contrary of recent press reports, any plans the company had to move forward with it are currently on hold. “In light of the current economic conditions, any plans for a secondary line are on hold,” a company spokeswoman told WWD on Monday. “Our focus is the collection and servicing our current retailers.”
ACNE AND LANVIN, REDUX: With their resort 2009 denim collection, Acne/Lanvin, hitting stores December 18, the two firms have already collaborated on a second outing. About 10 pieces from the resort line, which consists of 28 pieces, will be reproduced entirely in white denim for summer 2009.
THE ART OF TAHARI: It’s no secret Elie and Rory Tahari have a penchant for art. They filled their SoHo triplex with it, and accentuate many of the Elie Tahari boutiques with paintings, photography, sculpture and midcentury modern furniture. Next month, Elie Tahari will sponsor the Young Collectors Night at the Annual Winter Antiques Show, which will take place at the Park Avenue Armory on Jan. 29. He is expected to unveil this partnership this morning, when he and his wife are holding court at a Sotheby’s breakfast for The Young Collectors of The Winter Antiques Show, which also features a preview of Sotheby’s upcoming sale of “Important 20th Century Design.” As a teaser of the big night, the Taharis, along with committee members like Olivia Chantecaille, Gillian Hearst Simonds, Phoebe Gubelman and Bronson van Wyck, will host a kick-off party on Jan.13 at the designer’s boutique in SoHo. A portion of sales will benefit the East Side House Settlement. The Winter Antiques Show runs at the Park Avenue Armory from Jan.23-Feb.1.
NOW IT IS EVERYTHING AND THE KITCHEN SINK: A new kitchen system by Giorgio Armani will be unveiled in April at Milan’s international furniture and design exhibition, the Salone del Mobile. The system will be produced and distributed under a partnership agreement with Dada, which is part of the Molteni Group, one of Italy’s leading furnishings companies. Dada also produced Armani’s first kitchen — the “Bridge” model — introduced two years ago. The collaboration will result in the new brand, Armani/Dada, which will create systems for both the residential and contract sectors. Projects include the development of kitchen systems for 144 Armani Residences within the Burj Dubai and also on the 57th floor of the Federation Tower in Moscow, which is being built near the Kremlin and will be the tallest tower in Europe.
WHITE HOUSE: White walls, white coats, white balloons and no designer in sight. That can only mean one thing: Maison Martin Margiela has unveiled a new store, in London’s Mayfair. A congregation of London hipsters including Gareth Pugh, Roisin Murphy, Kabir and Juergen Teller feted the iconoclastic designer’s latest outpost on Bruton Street on Thursday night. Housed in an 18th-century building, Maison Martin Margiela stripped back the 2,000-square-foot space to expose the original details, and added smoked glass walls, a silver floor and mirrored surfaces. “It’s very different to the other store,” said Murphy, who was standing beneath a cluster of disco balls suspended from the ceiling.
CASHMERE CALLING: Gilles Dufour has a new gig — in China. The Paris-based designer has been named artistic director of Erdos, China’s largest producer of cashmere, which employs some 15,000 workers. Dufour said he started recently with the firm and already has traveled several times to Beijing to work on collections for the company. Dufour, who formerly worked at Chanel and Balmain, said Erdos also planned to launch a line under his own name this March. Erdos runs some 1,500 retail outlets in China.
SUNDANCE SLIMS DOWN: While the Park City, Utah-based Sundance Institute has a full, star-studded lineup of indies in competition at next month’s festival, the number of Hollywood and New York press and publicists attending could be down this year due to snipped budgets. At least one New York-based film public relations firm decided to scrap the fest, with more likely to follow. Hotels and condominiums, which usually require up-front, nonrefundable payment for the full Jan. 15 to 25 run of the fest, regardless of how many nights customers actually stay, are now offering rooms for any number of nights at considerably lower rates. While small exclusive events for talent agencies and films are still on the table, large-scale bashes that usually pack hundreds of people into Main Street’s largest venues could lessen. “I think [the economic crisis] will actually cut out a lot of the events and people that didn’t need to be there anyway,” said one publicist. “You’ll still see Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher there.” Even Anna Wintour is said to be touching down in the Rockies, for the premiere of the documentary, “The September Issue.”
CAPITAL SHOPPING: Neiman Marcus and the St. Regis Washington hotel are teaming up to offer a makeover for inauguration attendees who will likely brave wintry conditions and an expected crowd of millions to celebrate the swearing in of President-elect Barack Obama next month. Neiman’s will create an in-lobby boutique at the St. Regis, complete with an “Eye Bar” offering makeup services and a Manolo Blahnik shoeshine and bow-tieing service. It will be open to the public Jan. 16 to 21. The landmark Washington hotel, which recently underwent a 16-month renovation, including the addition of Alain Ducasse’s Adour restaurant, is located two blocks from the White House. Those looking for last-minute inaugural party items can choose from an array of products in the Neiman’s boutique, including brands such as Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, Loro Piana, Judith Leiber, Brioni and Ermengildo Zegna. Neiman’s consultants will also be on hand for any “fashion emergencies” and will coordinate a courier between the Neiman’s store in Mazza Gallerie mall and the hotel boutique for last-minute alterations and purchases.