Theyskens Sticks To His Guns At Nina Ricci; Retail Bigwigs Trade Insults

  • Olivier Theyskens is holding true to the fundamentals. “When the economy changes, it’s not like you want to start eating bad-tasting chocolate,” he said, after showing his pre-fall collection for Nina Ricci. [WWD]
  • Serial rapist Anand Jon, the former celebrity designer, is scheduled to be sentenced today. The penalty for his 16 counts of sexual abuse against models, including 7 counts of forcible rape of women aged 14-21 is a mandatory life sentence, with earliest parole eligibility in 2075. Regardless, his mother was apparently overheard approaching wealthy guests at a hotel in Chennai, India, asking for money for an appeal. Jon's website greeting page opens with a quote from Gandhi: "Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth." [NY Post]
  • Nixonite dirty trickster Roger Stone — subject of an excellent Jeffrey Toobin profile last year — apparently thinks himself a fashion maven. Taking up the mantle of the deceased Mr. Blackwell, Stone inaugurated a new annual feature on his website, a worst- and best-dressed list. Though occasionally wacky ("Lobbyists are the only elegant men left in America"), his advice isn't all off the mark: Obama and Carla Bruni tops the men's and women's lists, respectively, and he says Tom Wolfe "looks like he's a cross-dressing character in a lesser Dickens novel." [The Stone Zone]
  • Designer Vivienne Tam held a fashion show in Beijing to raise money to save the panda habitat destroyed in last year's Sichuan earthquake. The five one-off outfits she auctioned featured panda motifs. Adorable. [Reuters]
  • As part of his prize for winning the 2008 CDFA/Vogue Fashion Fund award, Alexander Wang gets one year of professional mentoring from none other than Diane von Furstenberg. Runners-up Vena Cava and Albertus Swanepoel are to be mentored by Patrick Robinson and Andrew Rosen, and Andy and Kate Spade, respectively. [WWD]
  • Ellen Tracy has inked a licensing deal for intimate apparel. Expect to see "sleepwear, at-homewear, robes, foundations, shapewear and lingerie" everywhere Ellen Tracy is sold as soon as this fall. [WWD]
  • WWD has a good round-up of the status of designers' venue preparations for New York Fashion Week, just one month away. IMG is not introducing a fourth, off-site presentation venue this season, as had been floated, meaning rental at the Bryant Park Tents proper will cost $28,000-$48,000. Many designers are opting for cheaper locales. Calvin Klein is moving its show to the ground floor of the company headquarters, Vera Wang is holding hers in her new SoHo store, smaller labels are banding together for shared shows, and others, like Thakoon and Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, are showing in Chelsea gallery spaces. Meanwhile, Tommy Hilfiger is back to the tents after a multi-season absence. Marc Jacobs, as usual, intends to use the Lexington Avenue Armory. [WWD]
  • Sass & Bide are down for the count entirely. Although they intended to return to fashion week this season, co-founder Sarah Jane Clark's third pregnancy means the Australian duo will stay home. What a happy event to spur such a sad occurrence. [Fashionista]
  • High dudgeon at a retail bigwig confab: J. Crew's chief executive Mickey Drexler reportedly took Neiman Marcus' chief executive Burt Tansky to task over luxury markups. Drexler told Tansky the days of the $800 high heel are over. “Wall Street is over,” he continued, and “more wealth has been created on non-productive [financial] transactions” than ever before. When the market comes back, Drexler said, consumers will not be tricked into paying department store margins again. “There’s a whole reset button that has been pushed," he said. Tansky responded by saying “It’s premature to start denigrating what the affluent customer will want.” This fight sounds like it was awesome and very, very awkward. [WSJ]
  • The man behind the "Save Anna" t-shirt has a new thing for you to wear: A Rachel Zoe "bananas" shirt with a Warhol-esque screenprint of the stylist-approved fruit and the phrase "I die. Bananas." underneath. Eating disorder, tanning club card, and giant hippie dress optional. [The Cut]
  • NY Mag has a sweet video of Marc Jacobs in bed talking about the Stephen Sprouse graffiti collection, which was recently relaunched. "I have a lot of Stephen's clothes and the thing is every time I look at them, they never feel old-fashioned to me, they never look out-of-date. I don't originate or create anything, I'm just here putting things together or re-putting things together, and I like it that way," says Jacobs. [The Cut]
  • Wait, what? Stephen Alan for Uniqlo? Please let this not be like that time Amy Winehouse said she was doing a clothing line. [The Cut]
  • Dolce & Gabbana's new campaign, shot by Steven Klein, is being proudly trumpeted as a potential source of controversy. Inspired by the Visconti film The Leopard, about a Sicilian aristocratic family at the time of Italian unification, the ads will feature images of male models praying. "For sure they will say we are offending religion," sighed either Domenico or Stefano, reports Reuters. "Instead it could be read as a return to values. And there is a need for that at this time." Yes. For "values," and, presumably, for valuable clothes. [Reuters]
  • Remember how Domenico Vacca and John Varvatos both claimed to have dressed Jeremy Piven for the Golden Globes? Turns out it was a tie. The actor's publicist says he wore a Domenico Vacca jacket and John Varvatos pants. Which might be true, or it might be her trying to stay on both companies' good sides after pledging separately to each to wear its clothes and screwing that up royally. How much you want to bet pissed reps for both labels are poring over photos trying to tell their lapel notches from the competitor's as we speak? [WSJ]
  • Nonetheless, expect more of the same as award season wears on through the grim retail market. The thin consumer dollar means designers are even more eager to get their gears on a red carpet. Katie Holmes' Golden Globes stylist even received personal phone calls from several solicitous designers. "That never happened before," said the stylist, "usually I just hear from their publicists." And cows walk upright and eat manburgers in this strange opposite world! [WSJ]