Fashion Scoops: Love 'Em and Leave 'Em... Viva Italia... Sparkle Plenty

Ellen Barkin watched from a private viewing room at Christie's in New York on Tuesday as she unsentimentally unloaded more than 100 pieces of jewelry for...


SPARKLE PLENTY: Michelle Trachtenberg is the latest starlet to jump on the jewelry bandwagon, revealing on Sunday that she's designing a line of semiprecious stone bracelets and necklaces called Bella Veritas, which will launch at a Women's Cancer Research Fund benefit at Intuition boutique in Los Angeles on Oct. 24. The line will also sell at Milk boutique on Third Street, but quantities are limited, as the actress makes each piece herself. Pal Lydia Hearst has already worn a necklace from the collection, which Trachtenberg calls "a little side project. If I'm ever late on set, it's because I'm sitting in my trailer making jewelry."

PRECIOUS GEM: Summer Phoenix and her partners in retail, Odessa Whitmire and Ruby Canner, hosted a party last week to fete the opening of the Los Angeles location of their boutique, Some Odd Rubies. The trio's many celebrity friends and family members made the trek east to the low-key Los Feliz neighborhood for the soiree, including Ben Affleck, Kevin Smith, Clea Duvall, Eva Mendes, Scott Caan and Casey Affleck, Phoenix's husband. The retailers launched the first Some Odd Rubies, which specializes in original, reworked vintage apparel, on New York's Ludlow Street in 2003. "We all loved shopping vintage," said Whitmire, a former flame of Matt Damon's, "but sometimes vintage doesn't fit so well. We'd end up cutting it up ourselves."

"The store is about originality, uniqueness — it's about cultivating a style," said Phoenix. "We're making [the store] a destination. People will come east, just watch."

PICTURE SHOW: "I'm lost in thought," Manolo Blahnik said, after studying a supersized 1989 photo of the late model Tina Chow, taken by Herb Ritts. "She was so beautiful, and she was born with it." Chow's enlarged profile was one of hundreds of portraits on display at a San Francisco gallery and used in the Gap's advertising since 1974. The photos also appear in the retailer's new AIDS fund-raising book, "Individuals."

Blahnik stopped by the packed party last week at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to celebrate the book's West Coast launch. The designer's own 1990 seated portrait with hands on hips, also by Ritts, is in the book, and among hundreds of images by famous photographers lining the gallery's walls and columns. However, Blahnik didn't want to linger. Weary from a flurry of cross-country store appearances, he said he wanted to stay fresh for his sold-out Saturday talk at Manhattan's Supper Club, as part of The New Yorker magazine's three-day fall festival. "I'm terrified of appearances before large audiences. I mean, five people is a good number for me," Blahnik said.

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