ROCKER CHIC: If you see rock stars at the 50th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday all decked out in Elie Saab gowns, H.Stern bling and Hugo Boss suits, then you know they dropped by the styling suite held at Smashbox Studios in Hollywood to pick up the free duds. The week before the ceremony, the Grammys sponsored the suite to allow clothing brands — including England's Vivienne Westwood, Los Angeles' Thrive, Australia's Toni Maticevski and Scandinavia's Moods of Norway — the opportunity to dress the nominees, presenters and their entourages.
Singer Kelis didn't even bother introducing herself to Karl Lagerfeld's representative before she started pulling black leather pants from the designer's namesake line and admiring a silver lamé motorcycle jacket from his more casual label, K by Karl Lagerfeld. "That's great," said Kelis, who's married to nominated rapper Nas.
The Black Eyed Peas' Will.i.am worked both side of the tables, checking out Thomas Pink's tuxedo shirts and offering Ts and bomber jackets from his i.am line to visitors.
Ali Hewson, who started Edun three years ago with her rocker husband, Bono, and New York designer Rogan Gregory, was a first-time participant in the styling suite, though she's been to the Grammys many more times with Bono and his band, U2. "This is calm," she said, comparing the styling suite with the Grammys' backstage chaos. And gifting Edun's japonica-printed silk shifts and other items to musicians made her feel like part of the Grammys. "Before, I was just turning up with someone else who had a reason to be there," Hewson said.
TYSON'S CORNER: This season's attempt at using more diverse casting hasn't exactly floored Tyson Beckford in terms of its diversity. Before Thursday's Reem Acra show, he said, "It's a problem we're working on. A lot of designers are aware of it, but we want to make more designers conscientious of it. I don't mean just black. We're also talking about Latino and Asian. [These companies need to know] your customer is not just one race. You never want to cater to just one race. You can call that racism."
MARCH ON D.C.: Copyright protection has long been an issue near and dear to Narciso Rodriguez — particularly when faced with the indecency of an estimated eight million knockoffs of the slipdress he designed for his friend, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, sold by other vendors. On Thursday, Rodriguez plans to hit the nation's capital with Council of Fashion Designers of America executive director Steven Kolb to make a case for a pending bill to protect original designs. The two will participate in a special hearing on design protection with the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, and Rodriguez will lobby for the bill's approval and discuss how it can protect the industry's health.