GRUAU IN LONDON: The late fashion illustrator Rene Gruau, known for his work with Dior in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, is having a moment in London. Today, an exhibition of his work with Dior, called “Dior Illustrated: Rene Gruau & The Line of Beauty,” will open at Somerset House in London. And last week, an exhibition of Gruau’s cover art for International Textiles Magazine opened at the Fashion Illustration Gallery in London’s Mayfair. “If you ask any fashion illustrators [today], Gruau was such a big influence,” said Claire Catterall, curator at Somerset House, at a preview for the Somerset House exhibition Tuesday. “His illustrations are of their time, but so completely modern — I think it’s because they’re so pared down with such simple lines.”
The Somerset House exhibition runs through January 9, while the Fashion Illustration Gallery exhibition runs through December 4.
VUITTON GETS REAL: Those formerly ubiquitous fake Louis Vuitton handbags might be harder to find this year. According to Kenneth Klug, Louis Vuitton North America’s director of criminal enforcement, efforts to stem the tide of fakes into the country have had a measurable impact. In fiscal year 2010, U.S. customs officials seized only 200,000 items bearing counterfeit Louis Vuitton trademarks, down from 2 million in 2004, Klug said Tuesday at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, where he spoke on a panel about intellectual property rights enforcement. The reduction was due in part to successful U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement efforts targeting shipping containers of counterfeits coming through domestic ports. While online sales of fake goods are a significant problem for Louis Vuitton, most fake bags still enter the U.S. in large container shipments through ports in Los Angeles and New York because the shipping costs are lower in bulk than mailing each individual item, Klug said.
A FASHIONABLE GOVERNMENT: Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has tapped a number of fashion and retail names as part of his coalition government’s Business Ambassadors project, which is intended to promote “the U.K.’s excellence in overseas markets.” Among the 32 ambassadors are Tamara Mellon, founder and chief creative officer of Jimmy Choo; Anya Hindmarch; David Reid, nonexecutive chairman of Tesco, and Brent Hoberman, one of the founders of mydeco.com and lastminute.com. The ambassadors will undertake duties such as briefing U.K. ministers and ambassadors on key business priorities, undertaking overseas visits for the government department UK Trade & Investment and carrying out meetings for UKTI when they travel on business. They will also help U.K. businesses to recognize and exploit business opportunities.
DRAMA QUEENS: A trio of “Real Housewives of New York” descended on GMHC’s annual Fashion Forward runway show and fund-raiser on Monday evening at Metropolitan Pavilion, including fabrics maven Jill Zarin, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps and model-turned-jewelry designer Kelly Bensimon. A Bravo camera crew followed the loquacious ladies, filming the fourth season of the hit reality show. “This season it’s all about authentic friendships,” said Bensimon, without a hint of irony. “I’m not walking into scenes and pretending there’s big drama. We have real-life problems.”
On hand to witness any potential issues unfold — as well as help raise $250,000 for GMHC’s HIV/AIDS prevention programs — were Lydia Hearst, Wendy Williams, Deborah Cox, Jeffrey Costello and Robert Taglapietra and the CFDA’s Steven Kolb. The evening was emceed by “Project Runway’s” Tim Gunn, with a runway show featuring looks from Diane von Furstenberg, Anna Sui, Narciso Rodriguez, Richard Chai, Yigal Azrouël and Simon Spurr.
HAZZARD SCHOLARSHIP: Parsons The New School for Design has established the Charles Feltus Hazzard Jr. scholarship, which will benefit design education students from underserved communities. Hazzard, former vice chairman and chief operating officer of Vera Wang, died in 2005. He was an owner and partner to Wang for 15 years. Hazzard’s former life partner E. Peter McLean is funding the scholarship. which will benefit graduates of the pre-college scholars program at Parsons.