Noted fashion designer (and Jew) Donna Karan says that John Galliano's anti-Semitic rants were "blown out of proportion." She told New York magazine, "I know John. I've met John. He's a wonderful designer, a brilliant designer, and he probably needs help and support right now. To be a designer's a very taskful situation, and sometimes it can push a few limits." Yup, give it six months and he'll be fully back in the fashion industry's good graces.
It's been a tough year for Annie Leibovitz, but maybe she can start fresh from here on out? The financially challenged photographer turns 60 today. Others celebrating: designer Donna Karan is turning 61. Kelly Ripa turns 39. Lorraine Bracco is 55. Sting is 58. Actress Camilla Belle is turning 23. '80s pop star Tiffany is 37. And two of Hugh Hefner's latest girlfriends, Karissa and Kristina Shannon, are turning 20. A roundup of a few people celebrating birthdays this weekend—including Al Sharpton and Liev Schreiber—is below.
Kate Winslet walking in the meatpacking district with her son ... Donna Karan eating lunch outside with a friend in SoHo ... Jon Stewart walking with his wife and son in Tribeca ... Mischa Barton running errands with her dog ... Brad Pitt with son Maddox catching a flight at JFK ... Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg shooting scenes for The Other Guys in Chinatown ... Gerard Butler walking downtown ... David Byrne riding his bike near the West Side Highway ... Model Kara Young walking home from the gym in the West Village ... Sarah Jessica Parker leaving the Serge Normant Hair Salon in the meatpacking district, and later arriving at Barbra Streisand's performance at the Village Vanguard ... Clive Owen walking with a friend in SoHo ... and Jay-Z leaving dinner with a bunch of bodyguards.
Because the fashion industry really, really wants you start shopping again, it's pulling out all the stops for Fashion's Night Out, the hyped-up retail pep rally scheduled for September 10. The latest PR offensive: A TV commercial featuring Sarah Jessica Parker, Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Isaac Mizrahi, Diddy, Tory Burch, Lazaro Hernandez, Ashley Olsen, and a whole bunch of others—all jam-packed into a spot that's less than a minute long. If you watch the commercial—and you can do so above—make sure you're paying attention at the 0:30 mark. It's not every day that you get to see Anna Wintour come off as a giddy schoolgirl.
Amy Sacco's Bungalow 8 has certainly seen better days. But you can expect the club to get a jolt of publicity in the months ahead. Sacco is filming a reality show for Bravo about her efforts to take the faded franchise to Amsterdam as well as open a new "as-yet-unnamed New York club." So what's it going to be like? "It's a reality show, but I don't know if anyone's going to believe my reality," Sacco tells WWD today. "It's going to be funny. It's about what's so awesome about this city, and the great characters I've gotten to know. We've shot with Yvonne Force Villareal, Patrick McMullan and Donna Karan." Just wait until Bravo's marketing department begins to meddle and Bethenny Frankel and Danielle Staub start making regular appearances at the club. [WWD]
More than 1,200 people descended on Skylight Studios on Wednesday night for the Whitney's annual Art Party. Sponsored by BCBG Max Azria, the designer (left, with co-host Camilla Belle) and wife Lubov welcomed the likes of Lake Bell, Lydia Hearst, Gretchen Mol, Hilary Rhoda, Calvin Klein, Jason Wu, Tinsley Mortimer, Genevieve Jones, Fabiola Beracasa, Ali Larter, Lindsay Price, Stacey Bendet, Olivia Palermo, Meredith Melling Burke, Alexis Bryan Morgan, Ivanka Trump, Byrdie Bell, Bradley Cooper, Alexis Bledel, Selita Ebanks, Hana Soukupova, Claire Bernard, Amber Tamblyn, Adam Lippes, Alexandra Richards, Anne Slowey, Lydia Fenet, Roopal Patel, Gilles Mendel, Lela Rose, Brooklyn Decker, Zani Gugelmann, Allison Aston, Esteban Cortazar, Jessica Joffee, at least two members of the Willis clan (Tallulah and Scout), and the man who runs the show at Whitney, Adam Weinberg. [PMc, Wireimage, FWD, WWD, VF, Style.com, ArtInfo]
New York turned out to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the historic Apollo Theater on Monday night. Prince, Mariah Carey, Steve Harvey, Bill Cosby, Fantasia Barrino, and Chanj all took turns on the stage; Jamie Foxx introduced Quincy Jones, who was inducted into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame; and the crowd included Michael Bloomberg and Diana Taylor, New York First Lady Michelle Patterson, Patti LaBelle, Dick Parsons, Al Sharpton, Gayle King, Sherri Shepard, Phylicia Rashad, Clarissa and Edgar Bronfman Jr., Ruby Dee, Ron Perelman and daughter Samantha Perelman, Sade Baderinwa, Devyn Simone, Kevin Liles, Jonelle Procope, Susan Magrino, Robin Roberts, Doug E. Fresh, Bryant and Hilary Gumbel, Bethenny Frankel, Denise Rich, and designer (and secret soul music fan) Roberto Cavalli. [PMc, Wireimage, VF]
The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center hosted its second annual Spring Ball at the Plaza on Tuesday night. More than 350 people turned out for the NBC Universal-sponsored event, including NBC Universal president Jeff Zucker and his wife Caryn (left), Mort Zuckerman, Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower, Julia and David Koch, Tory Burch and Lyor Cohen, Hilary Geary and Wilbur Ross, Jonathan and Somers White Farkas, Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss, Peter and Jamee Gregory, Ginny and Tiki Barber, Sherman and Chris Meloni, Frank and Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, Peggy Siegal, Natalie Morales, Valesca Guerrand Hermes, Jennifer Creel, Renee Rockefeller, Alexandra Lebenthal and Jay Diamond, Danielle Ganek, Kimberly Kravis, Muffie Potter Aston, Hilary Gumbel, Dr. Harold Varmus, Dennis Basso, Heather Mnuchin, Anne Grauso, Sylvester and Gillian Miniter, Gigi Mortimer, Sara Ayres, Shafi Roepers, Leslie Jones, and LL Cool J. [PMc, Wireimage, NYSD]
• The obsession with Michelle Obama's travel wardrobe continues: For an appearance today at the Royal Opera at Covent Garden, she wore a dress by Jason Wu and an asymmetrical cardigan by Junya Watanabe, which was either a "kooky combo" or her "edgiest fashion statement yet," depending on who you ask. [NYT, LAT]
• Speaking of Michelle in London today, can you believe that she and the Queen touched? The Queen "made the first move," reports the Daily Mail, although it was still "an electrifying moment of palpable majesté and a breach of centuries-long protocol." [DM]
• These may be difficult economic times, but Donna Karan would still very much appreciate it if you bought a pair of her new jeans for $595. [NYP]
• Roberto Cavalli can't decide if he wants to sell his company or not, but he's conducting discussions with investors anyway. [NYM]
• Men's retailers are hoping to get men to linger inside stores by handing out free booze. If anything is going to do the trick, that's probably it. [WSJ]
• Reloxin is kinda like Botox except it works quicker and lasts longer. [NYT]
• The fashionable women on line outside Topshop today. [Pipeline]
Vanity Fair and USA Network celebrated the launch of "The Character Project" photo exhibit at Stephen Weiss Studio last night. Editor Graydon Carter, the mag's publisher Edward Menicheschi, and NBC Cable Entertainment president Bonnie Hammer were on hand to welcome Mena Suvari, Christian Siriano (left), Lucy Liu, Donna Karan and daughter Gabby De Felice, Katie Lee Joel, Rachel Roy, Rosie Perez, Jeff Goldblum, Peggy Siegal, Rose McGowan, Sylvia Plachy, Michael Musto, Gigi Stone, Lisa Anastos, Caryn and Jeff Zucker, Paz de la Huerta, Sky Nellor, Jeremy Kost, Josh Bernstein, Yigal Azrouël, Elise Overland, Bettina Prentice, Sarah Sophie Flicker, Kipton Cronkite, Liam McMullan, Izzy Gold, and Gossip Girl's Amanda Setton and Dreama Walker. [PMc, Wireimage, Getty, VF, NYO]
amfAR kicked off Fashion Week with a gala at Cipriani last night, where the long list of attendees included Donna Karan, Mary J. Blige (left), Anna Wintour, Calvin Klein, Rachel Zoe, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Liza Minnelli, Candy Pratts Price, Robbie Myers, Jessica Stam, Lily Donaldson, Kenneth Cole, Stefano Tonchi, John Demsey, Stacy Bendet, Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict, Lisa Dennison, Terence Koh, Vito Schnabel, Noemi Lenoire, Harry Belafonte, Mary Alice Stephenson, Jennifer Creel, Natasha Richardson, Stanley Tucci, Taylor Momsen, Maggie Rizer, Doutzen Kroes, Robert Verdi, Mario Cantone, Eliza Dushku, Kipton Cronkite, Derek Blasberg, and Howard and Cindy Rachofsky. [PMc, Wireimage, WWD, NYO]
A bevy of models turned out on Wednesday night to celebrate Australian photographer Russell James' new book at the Stephan Weiss studio. Host Donna Karan and guests like Alan Cumming, Desiree Gruber, Ally Hilfiger, Douglas Hannant, Veronica Webb, and Josh Bernstein mingled with models like Alessandra Ambrosio (left), Angela Lindvall, Erin Wasson, Doutzen Kroes, Brooklyn Decker, Noemie Lenoir, Julie Henderson, Zuzana Gregorova, and Oluchi. [PMc, Wireimage, FWD]