RUNWAY GOLD: Perhaps the only thing rarer than a 41-year-old Olympian is a 41-year-old model walking the catwalk during fashion week. But fresh back from the Olympics with three silver medals in hand from Beijing, Dara Torres continues to defy stereotypes as she prepares for her runway debut Sunday in Charles Nolan’s show. Nolan is a fan of using real people and athletes in his runway shows. For example, last year he featured dancers from the American Ballet Theatre. “What influences my design the most is the reality of the lives and needs of my customers,” Nolan said. “All of these astonishing women today, accomplishing amazing things and changing the world are inspiring.”
LINGERIE TO EMPOWER WOMEN: Microfinance has made its reputation in the philanthropy world for empowering women in poverty around the globe with small business loans, and now Lingerie Miami is channeling the power of lingerie to raise funds for the cause. Renata Black, founder of 7Bar Global, Saturday night at Cipriani Downtown is hosting the philanthropic lingerie show, which features Agent Provocateur, in which celebrity models will walk to raise funds for women in their own countries. Lingerie Miami also is launching “The Circle of 7,” an alliance of American female ceo’s, which is made up of Eva Jeanbart Lorenzotti of Vivre, Sabine Feldmann of Shape Magazine, Eva Hughes of Vogue Espanol, Susan Ivey of R.J. Reynolds, Kristi Wetherington of Capital Institutional Services, Elizabeth Funk of UNITUS Financial, and Nina Vaca of Pinnacle Technical Resources — some of whom will attend Saturday’s event.
LIZ’S BIG BROTHER: Earlier this week Liz Claiborne staffers were reminded by higher-ups to keep mum with outsiders about all things business. Company brass lowered the boom, after sketches of Isaac Mizrahi’s first collection for Liz Claiborne were anonymously sent to WWD. Employees were also told their conversations would be recorded and e-mails would be read.
DARK IS THE NIGHT: Derek Lam, Gilles Mendel, Maria Cornejo, Kate Mulleavy, Yeohlee and Thom Browne didn’t let their looming fashion shows from catching Thursday’s opening of “Gothic: Dark Glamour” at the Museum at FIT. Those who wanted to keep a low profile could easily do so if they were dressed in black, thanks to the numerous crowd members that see Goth as a way of life.
YEAR IN REVIEW: Some saw Steven Meisel photographs in Italian Vogue’s All Black issue as a real boost to the advancement of African American models, but Bethann Hardison isn’t content to see how far that will take things. Nearly a year to the day that Hardison first publicly challenged the fashion industry for a lack of diversity on the runways, she plans to examine how, if at all, the game has changed. Even though the Sept. 15 event at the Bryant Park Hotel is not a public forum, she doesn’t plan to do all the talking. “We don’t want to stop because we had Italian Vogue or anything else. Things go away; things become trendy. We don’t want this to be trendy,” Hardison said. “This will be a report card. Last time we wanted to start a dialogue without criticizing anyone. Now we’re going to talk about what has really happened and what hasn’t happened.”
HADDON HOSPITALITY: Dayle Haddon is helping Talbots bring back the days of “the hostess, highballs and hobnobbing.” She will talk fashion, beauty, health and wellness at 10 of the 60 upcoming “hostess” events planned in the retailer’s stores. First up is one in Greenwich Tuesday. Talbots is also tapping local VIPs to invite all their friends to check out the brand’s new look.
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