ANISTON SAID LOOKING: Jennifer Aniston is said to be shopping around for a beauty deal, according to market speculation Wednesday. “We’re not in a position to confirm or deny this,” a representative for Aniston’s manager said, while a rep at her talent agency, Creative Artists Agency, said, “We have no comment” and that “we don’t comment on deals.” Her publicist could not be reached for comment. If the reports are true, it would mean Aniston will continue the celebrity beauty trend that has especially dominated the fragrance business, joining names ranging from Sarah Jessica Parker to Jennifer Lopez to the Beckhams and Mariah Carey. Welcome to the club?
GREAT KATE: To Kate Winslet, her nude love scenes in the film “The Reader” were the furthest thing from erotic. “I don’t think I looked very sexy,” said the best-actress Oscar front-runner at a luncheon in her honor at the Plaza’s Oak Room. Fans flocked, including Gayle King, Bob Balaban, Sandra Bernhard, Whit Stillman, Chuck Scarborough and actresses Stephanie March and Stephanie Block. Fresh from picking up awards at the BAFTAs, the SAGs, the Critics Choice Awards and the Golden Globes for her moving performance as a former Nazi concentration camp guard, Winslet was finally back home in New York for a brief respite before the Oscars.
Dressed down in a fitted gray jacket and black pants, her hair pulled back into a ponytail, the star said she has a very sensible approach to red-carpet dressing: “It’s just about what’s comfortable, really,” said Winslet, who relies on stylist Jessica Diehl to sort through possible ensembles. “It wouldn’t be possible to figure it out otherwise.” As for the rigors of the red carpet itself, she said she doesn’t mind. “It’s great fun — the day I start saying it’s a drag is the day I should hang up my hat.”
And while Elie Weisel couldn’t make it to introduce Winslet and hostess Gloria Steinem, Mort Zuckerman was there to make a few remarks. “I’m the closest Jew in Peggy Siegal’s Rolodex who knows anything about guilt. Right after Weisel is Zuckerman,” cracked the honcho to guests.
HIGH ART: Jason Wu has Philip Crangi. Thakoon Panichgul has Fenton. And Elise Øverland has Alexander Calder. No, she didn’t have to raid the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s current exhibit of Calder’s jewelry when accessorizing her fall looks, to be shown Saturday evening. Instead, good friend Sandy Calder (Alexander’s grandson) has loaned her pieces from his personal collection, most of which date from the Thirties and Forties. It is the first time he has collaborated with a fashion designer.
“She’s so rock ’n’ roll, and the jewelry is so audacious, it was a great combination,” explained Calder (who, himself, regularly sports a pair of silver cuff links and a gold necklace of his grandfather’s design).
Overland borrowed a selection of hammered brass crowns, brooches and necklaces, whose kinetic, undulating shapes take their cues from surrealism.
“One thing about Calder is he was relevant to the culture in each decade he worked in,” said the grandson of the artist who passed away in 1976. “He really stayed within the cultural conversation.”
With the approximate value of each piece ranging from $500,000 to $1 million, a few guards wouldn’t be remiss. “I’m a strong Viking,” said Overland of her current security measures.
HIS AND HERS: Stefano Pilati is muscling in on New York Fashion Week — and London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks, too. It’s all in support of his Edition Unisex capsule collection for Yves Saint Laurent, a range of styles for women inspired by YSL spring-summer men’s wear. In New York, the Unisex and men’s clothing will be sold side by side at a pop-up boutique starting today through Feb. 21 at a former gallery space at 55 Great Jones Street. The merch then will get a showcase at YSL boutiques in the three European fashion capitals during their respective weeks before a final stop in Hong Kong in early April, where a pop-up shop will operate out of Dentro, a furniture and art gallery.
TEAM PLAY: Designers looking to get through these tough times should only hope to emulate Yigal Azrouël. The designer has not only been tapped by Mercedes-Benz for its “Mercedes Benz Presents” program, but eBay also has jumped on board to be the exclusive online sponsor of Azrouël’s men’s and women’s fall runway shows. As the benefactor of the Mercedes-Benz initiative, which has been granted to Chado Ralph Rucci, Peter Som and Monique Lhuillier, among others, the designer will be showing at the Bryant Park tents for the first time in many seasons. At the runway presentation, which the designer says will feature a sharply edited 28 looks along with jewelry by Pamela Love, guests will receive a custom-designed Yigal Azrouël for eBay T-shirt made by Alternative Apparel using environmentally sustainable fabric. Those who don’t get to go to the shows need not fret, however. EBay will be selling a limited number of the T-shirts at a special charity sale from the spring collection in June, benefiting Natural Resources Defense Council. They also will be previewed at eBay’s fashion week Style Suite Feb. 19.
KELSEY’S NEW BAG: It’s no secret that fashion and liquor make not-so-strange bedfellows, so what better way to promote a new vodka flavor than to design a bag for it? At a party Tuesday at the Royalton bar, Belvedere vodka gave a select few a taste of its new raspberry-infused vodka and a peek at the Belvie bag designed by rising accessories talent Jonathan Kelsey. And since every bag needs a girl, British singer Estelle of “American Boy” was on hand to get a look at the oversize croc-embossed and metallic leather fringe-trimmed hobo bag big enough, well, for at least a few bottles of the popular libation. The bag will hit stores in the spring.
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