Geoffrey Beene, the designer for whom the fashion industry had to create a special award - a Coty Award honoring his success on the world market - will get similar notice from the Italians as well. It is the first Ideacomo Award, to be presented Sept. 21 at a reception at the American Embassy in Rome. The award salutes Geoffrey Beene's boost to the Italian fabric industry with his made-in-Italy collections, identical to the Beene couture and Beene Bag produced and sold here. The fashion show cum reception, hosted by U.S. Ambassador to Italy Richard Gardner and his wife, which will benefit Save Venice, is the first in a series of events showcasing creative American artists, including writers, artists and actors.
Beene's next Italian venture will be the simultaneous manufacture of his Beene Bag for Men collection in Italy as well as here. The same principles as the Beene Bag collection that he does for women apply to men, particularly the fabric mix, the unrestricting and uncomplicated cuts, and the adaptability, like the black double-faced corduroy jacket, vicuna cashmere knit vest and grey flannel trousers for evening, or a darkest navy double-faced wool blouson top, or red wool hunting stripe overshirt over a plaid flannel shirt over a red dickey, ail teamed with gray flannel trousers. They are just the clothes Beene wears himself.
Translations from the French ready-to-wear collections have already shown up in local stores. Among the favorites, the feminine blouse, trimmed with ruffles or lace and sometimes both. It was a hit in Paris worn with pans or skirts, a strong look with black velvet knickers from Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, France Andrevie and others. A current version pictured above from Gregory and Goldberg has a Pierrot collar (It's available at Lord & Taylor.)
Also in the same fragile mood coming into the stores here - Victorian jewelry including lockets, miniature charm necklaces and bracelets. Antique looking shawls as well as authentic old ones are part of the same scheme. In London the mood is so strong it shows up clearly in home furnishing with tiny floral prints, lace trims and the like.
California designer Harriet Selwyn, whose collection of parts, which she calls Fragments, leaves the option for simple clothes to be worn many different ways, has some sensible ideas for "unlayering" to stay cool this summer. Among the suggestions; wear a T-shirt under a big tent dress (itabsorbs the perspiration), or a peasant blouse over it (a cool layer to change the look). She also suggests taking a man's vest and wearing it over summer cotton dresses and separates, a warm-weather variation of a Paris favorite for fall, the oversized man's blazer.
Designer Diane von Furstenberg got more than she bargained for when she picked up plates at 10 cents each at the tag sale near her Connecticut home. If the plate pattern doesn't make it for her dresses, it may show up as part of a china pattern. Von Furstenberg already has place mats, table cloths and napkins so china is a natural next step.
The Design Laboratory at the Fashion Institute of Technology has acquired a 1952 straw hat decorated with real peanuts. It could pass as a campaign hat, but the bonnet, donated by Olga Goodman, with shellacked, unshelled peanuts decorating the narrow brim, rates a place in fashion history as a prime example of "found-objects," decorated hats that were popular in the 1950's.
In a water short period, don'tforget there are dry shampoos that require no water at all.