NEW YORK -- Big Bucks
Christian Francis Roth probably didn't intend his dollar bill dress to be taken up as a banner for the budget crisis, but it cold be. Imagine the politcal statement it would make at a Washington fundraiser. Then again, you could be accused of conspicuous consumption.
Whatever the outcome, the lifesize prints of George Washington's portrait raise a legal question: Doesn't the secret service, which guards against counterfeiting, frown on currency copies?
"I made a lot of phone calls," said Roth's business partner, Hannah Bradford. "The secret service told me a copy had to be one and half times larger than a real dollar bill. Of course, we blew ours up by more than 50 times. But we're also required to print it in black and white and not green. Unfortunatley, we found that out after we had our samples made."
So, Roth plans to put black and white versions into stores. The organdy shirts, tunics and dresses will retail from $500 to $1400.
Iman's Liaison Dangereuse
When Iman needed a dress for the Fashion Group's annual Night of Stars gala at the Plaza last week, the statuesque model rang up Azzedine Alaia in Paris and he sent her something appropriately skimpy.
"I love it," she gushed as photographers flashed the black body-glove gown with ample decollete. "But I wonder if it's not a little dangerous."
Not at the Plaza, anyway.
Iman was one of 12 women honored by the Fashion Group for what it called their "extraordinary impact on the world of style." The other style makers were architect Gae Aulenti, decorator Nina Campbell, accessories designer Isabel Canovas, publicist Eleanor Lambert, journalist Juko Ouchi, editor Paige Rense, graphic designer Deborah Sussman and clothing designers Margaretha Ley, Rosita Missoni, Adrienne Vittadini and Anouska Hempel.
Party Shots for the Seventh Avenue Set
All those familiar faces, the clink of glasses and the spill of gossip in the lobby of the Paramount Hotel made for strange bonhomie in a crowd normally prone to the social equivalent of the left uppercut.
The Council of Fashion Designers' annual cocktail party last week drew a crush of about 400 editors, retailers and designers. It also served as a launching pad for the industry's upcoming "7th on Sale" benefit. Donna Karan, wearing beads over her "7th on Sale" T-shirt, formed a receiving line with Ralph Lauren, Carolyne Roehm and Vogue chief Anna Wintour, who wore Gianni Versace's silk shirt printed with Vogue covers. The four are chairing the AIDS benefit, which is stacking up as the biggest sample sale Seventh Avenue has ever seen.
Bill Blass was holding court near the bar, discussing Hoosiers (he's one), fashion and his longtime muse Laura Montalban. He tries out his many exuberant ideas on her, though she is firmly committed to black. "She's really my devil's advocate," said Blass, who's firmly committed to color this spring.
Isaac Mizrahi, pursued by a posse of editors with note pads drawn, was just wrapping up a television interview. "I've got a fitting at 8:30," whispered the designer, who has been successfully dieting for the past year. "I've lost 25 pounds and I want to lose another 15." Then he was swept into the crush.
"Has anyone seen Ralph?" asked a frantic editor, waving her note pad in the air. "Where's Ralph?"
But Ralph, as in Lauren, had already come and gone.
Into the Night
Arnold Scaasi, who dresses Barbara Bush and says he is in Washington every month, hosted a small luncheon -- baked chicken with mushrooms -- to talk about his new bath products and unveil his first sleepwear collection. No slouch when it comes to luxury, Scaasi showed his slender black lace nightgowns and hothouse prints nearly as lavish as his party clothes. Actually, some of his quilted bed jackets and gowns could almost be worn out of the house.
"I've taken women from the ballroom to the bathroom and now to the bedroom," he announced, looking pleased.