Women’s Wear Daily
04.25.2014
fashion-scoops
fashion-scoops

Fashion Scoops: Iconic Tommy... Wild Man Blues... Mommy & Me...

Book signings aren't new fare for designer and five-time author Tommy Hilfiger, nor for advertising legend George Lois, who's penned seven.

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Tommy Hilfiger and George Lois at Rizzoli
ICONIC TOMMY: Book signings aren't new fare for designer and five-time author Tommy Hilfiger, nor for advertising legend George Lois, who's penned seven. So for their joint book, "Iconic America: A Roller-Coaster Ride Through Eye-Popping Panorama of American Pop Culture," the duo had a pro lineup Monday night. First, their publisher, Rizzoli, hosted a signing at its 57th Street bookstore, where some fans even brought all five of Hilfiger's books for him to autograph. "This should be a history book in schools," said Hilfiger, flipping through pages featuring the likes of a Playboy bunny staring at Marilyn Monroe's curvy backside. "But by the time that gets approved, I'll be in heaven — I don't know where he'll be," he added, looking at his longtime friend Lois. Afterward, downtown at STK, André Balazs and GQ hosted a cocktail party, where Hilfiger clan members Andy and Ally joined up. Singer Kat DeLuna, whose second single comes out soon, was there with her new friend Richie Rich, as was Bill Pullman, currently starring on Broadway in Edward Albee's "Peter & Jerry," and a number of other Broadway actors, apparently taking advantage of their new free time during the writers' strike.

WILD MAN BLUES: He's best known for designing gowns and furs for a harem of adoring socials, but who knew Gilles Mendel had a rock alter ego? As lead guitarist for the Born Again Baldwins — a band formed by a group of friends with whom he shared a house in Water Mill, N.Y., this past summer — the J.Mendel designer gets to add another string to his Stratocaster. "This is my Woody Allen moment, when I go play lead guitar for a couple of hours and I'm Eric Clapton," said Mendel, who first picked up the instrument as a teenager. "It's my moment of fame." So far, Mendel has yet to perform in public with the Born Again Baldwins. (Several of the members resemble the movie-star brothers, hence the name.) He was unavailable when they played a Nov. 3 gig at New York's Espace, but there was plenty of social wattage that evening, even without him: Denise Rich, whose son-in-law Richard Kilstock plays guitar in the group, sang, and Donald Trump was in the audience. "These kids are very connected," Mendel explained. "They asked Ron Perelman if he wanted to play the drums." (He declined.) Their next booking is still up in the air, but Mendel put the kibosh on a Born Again Baldwins invasion of Bryant Park anytime soon: "I never really was a strong believer in putting a live band in a runway show," he said. And the other members, who range from businessmen to lawyers, are not exactly fashion insiders. Mendel has, however, passed the bug on to his 13-year-old son. "He rocks," the designer said with a laugh. "I bought him his first Fender guitar."
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