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Patriotic Thread... Lagerfeld Gets Around... Belloni Cashes In...

Fashion houses, from Alberta Ferretti to Missoni, help celebrate the 150th birthday of Italy's flag by redesigning it.

Flag design from Roberto Cavalli
Flag design from Missoni

Flag design from Missoni

Photo By Courtesy Photo

PATRIOTIC THREAD: Twenty-four Italian fashion houses, in collaboration with Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, donated their creative talents to help celebrate the 150th birthday of the country’s flag by redesigning it. The tricolor reinterpretations, crafted by the likes of Alberta Ferretti, Emilio Pucci, Etro, Max Mara, Missoni, Moschino, Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo and Trussardi, are currently on display as part of a bigger exhibit, called “Omaggio al Tricolore,” at the Vittoriano museum in Rome until Jan. 6.

BARBOUR TIES WITH TEMPERLEY: Barbour is upping its design credentials with a new higher-end line, Barbour Gold Label, that will debut for fall 2011 with an initial collection designed by Alice Temperley. “Our popularity as a fashion lifestyle brand has grown rapidly, and launching a premium women’s wear collection is the next natural step in satisfying this demand,” said Steve Buck, Barbour’s managing director. The collection marks a second designer collaboration for Barbour — Anya Hindmarch designed four Barbour jackets for the label for fall 2010. The Barbour Gold Label by Temperley collection will be sold at selected Barbour stores and at premium retailers worldwide. Prices for the line have not been released.

Temperley added, “Launching a premium…line with Barbour, one of my favorite British brands, is the perfect fit for Temperley. As we plan to celebrate our 10th anniversary in 2011, this collaboration comes at a significant time for our brand and offers our customers even more to choose from than ever before.”

MAN IN MOTION: Karl Lagerfeld sure gets around. Over the weekend, he was spotted in Ravenna, Italy, snapping photos of its spectacular mosaics from the 5th and 6th centuries. Turns out they’re for a book the designer is compiling for Chanel’s Metier D’Arts fashion show on Dec. 7 in Paris. “I had no time to make a movie,” he shrugged, explaining the Paris-Byzantium theme of the collection, which links to the Chanel founder’s penchant for Byzantine-style jewelry — a link rich enough to set Lagerfeld’s imagination racing. Lagerfeld also recently shot the Dior Homme campaign and cast his favorite male model and frequent sidekick, Baptiste Giabiconi. The forthcoming spots, which he described as graphic and modern, telegraph a move away from the edgy youths long associated with the brand. “There’s a move back to handsomeness,” Lagerfeld declared.

CASHING IN: Antonio Belloni, managing director of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, recently pocketed 17.6 million euros, or $24.7 million at current exchange rates, by cashing in stock options. Belloni exercised 250,000 options on Oct. 25 for a purchase price of nearly 10.5 million euros ($14.7 million), and sold the entirety the same day for a total of 28.1 million euros ($39.4 million), or 112.35 euros a share, according to filings with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, France’s market regulator.

Belloni is LVMH’s highest-paid executive and will earn 3.2 million euros ($4.4 million) in salary and 2.2 million euros ($3 million) in performance-related bonuses this year, according to company documents.

Another of the company’s directors, Patrick Houël, exercised 30,000 stock options for 1.7 million euros, or $2.4 million, also on Oct. 25. He sold some 8,300 shares on the same day for a total of nearly 1.1 million euros ($1.5 million).

GEM DANDY: Leave it to a Place Vendôme jeweler to choose a venue that sparkles on the hour. On Friday night, Lorenz Bäumer summoned his family, friends and colleagues to the first level of the Eiffel Tower in Paris to witness him being decorated as a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. Françoise Montenay, president of the luxury association Comité Colbert — and Bäumer’s old boss from the days when he anonymously designed the fine jewelry at Chanel — did the honors before the likes of Pietro Beccari, senior vice president at Louis Vuitton, where Bäumer is artistic director for fine jewelry, in addition to having his own line. Montenay recounted Bäumer’s international upbringing as the son of a diplomat, and his education at an elite Jesuit school in France. “Maybe that’s why he loves purple,” Montenay mused to a round of knowing laughs — Bäumer is forever in a black, custom-made suit with a deep purple lining.

With the lights of Paris laid out behind him like so many scattered jewels, Bäumer talked of his passion for collecting things, from 19th-century tie pins to contemporary photography, and thanked a broad “collection of people” dearly important to him, from his wife, Geraldine, to his surfing coach.