Memo Pad: Pilati's Russian Dolls... Loving LA... Female Factor...

A doll for 33,000 euros... Though publishers are turning a worried eye... The lighter side of Paco Underhill...

EXPENSIVE TOYS: A doll for 33,000 euros. But what a doll. Half a meter tall, with a short black bob, black lipstick and an unusually shapely body for high fashion, it was Yves Saint Laurent designer Stefano Pilati’s take on the Russian matryoshka, or nesting doll. Its new owner? Naomi Campbell.

Campbell, Mario Testino, Darya Zhukova, oligarch Alexander Lebedev and others attended Russian Vogue’s 10th anniversary party in Moscow on Thursday. Thirty-one matryoshkas from designers including Versace, Gucci and Ralph Lauren were offered in a charity auction. Crisis or not, they hauled in 706,000 euros.

Giles Deacon presented a doll wearing bondage gear, with “Hellraiser”-style spikes sticking out of its head. Martin Margiela’s abstract design had partygoers cooing: It was simply painted white, with a black streak of paint on its head. Moschino made their matryoshka into a lamp, while Dries Van Noten’s didn’t have a face. The top lot was Russian designer Valentin Yudashkin’s matryoshka, which the organizing auction house bought for $100,000. Camilla Al Fayed picked up Margiela’s doll for 26,000 euros. Mikhail Kusnirovich, who runs the GUM luxury shopping mall, claimed the Oscar de la Renta design for 14,000 euros. The Versace matryoshka went to a mystery buyer for 36,000 euros. “They’re like my 31 children, I feel like I have a huge family,” Alyona Doletskaya, the Givenchy-clad editor of Russian Vogue, beamed as she surveyed the hall.

Organizers excitedly promised a surprise guest, which turned out to be Campbell. Wearing a little black dress and fur from Alexander McQueen, she strode in to flashing cameras holding the hand of her Russian boyfriend, real estate entrepreneur Vladislav Doronin.

Testino’s design for a doll, he said, would probably include nudity. That’s just the kind of guy he is. “Some people say that everyone ends up naked in my pictures, as well.” The financial crisis was a frequent topic of conversation, though being down the road from the Kremlin also seemed to weigh on some guests’ minds. “The matryoshka reminds me of the independent political institutions that are lacking in our country,” said Lebedev, a part-owner of Aeroflot. Attracting almost as many glances as the dolls was the outfit donned by performance artist Andrei Bartenev. Only the outlines of his facial features could be seen through the crimson sheath over his face, and there was a teddy bear hat on his head. He explained: “I wanted to wear something red today.” — Alastair Gee

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