Los Angeles-based designer Richard Tyler launched his first bridal line last week with a show in Manhattan at Barneys New York. The designer's Los Angeles boutique has dedicated an entire room to the collection of some 20 gowns.
Priced from $3,500 to $9,000, the gowns are modern, sophisticated and very Richard Tyler in their simple, straight lines. But the gowns do have some traditional romantic embellishments, such as lace and rolled roses.
Bridal gowns can be a lucrative business, so it's no surprise Tyler is venturing into the field.
Each of his gowns is a special order, so brides who are especially petite or full-figured will be able to find a fit. Veils are also available.
And for the groom, the Richard Tyler Couture Boutique also provides custom-made tuxedos.
RodeoDrive.com Opens Its Virtual Doors: As more people migrate to 3rd Street and Robertson and Melrose avenues to do their shopping, Beverly Hills has stepped up its public relations campaign. First, there was the Beverly Hills shopping guide, which came out this spring, and now Rodeo Drive is going online.
RodeoDrive.com offers a virtual drive down this tony boutique-laden street. Those in a hurry can click onto the street map. Soon viewers will get an interior view of the more than 80 member shops, including Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Christian Dior and Baby Guess. The site also includes a history of Rodeo Drive for those who want to impress friends with trivia. In October, viewers will be able to buy online.
At-Home Couture Shopping: New York-based fashion designer Randolph Duke has purchased a 2,700-square-foot home in Laurel Canyon. The home, besides being "an L.A. crash pad, will be a place to really work with celebrities," Duke said.
Duke, whose clothes are favored by Hollywood's young actresses for awards shows, said he felt like a peddler having to set up shop in hotel suites, with racks and racks of evening wear.
"The concept for the house is a haven, to work with clients in way that is completely different," Duke said. His clients have included Minnie Driver, Geena Davis and Angelina Jolie. The home will give more privacy to stars who want to shop his collections.
David Rainey will feng shui the house.
Duke, who has residences in Manhattan and the Hamptons, lived in Los Angeles previously to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and work for sportswear designer Anne Cole.
Designers Council Adds Members: The Council of Fashion Designers announced Wednesday that Kate Spade, Vera Wang and Diane von Furstenberg were named new board members. The New York group also added new members, including Kevan Hall of Halston, JonValdi's German Valdi and Jonathan Meizler, Narciso Rodriguez, Charles Chang-Lima, Angel Sanchez and John Scher; menswear designers Sandy Dalal and Matt Nye; and accessories designers Miranda Morrison, Kari Sigerson, Tony Valentine, David Yurman and Ex Ovo's Katrin Zimmermann.
These are the latest changes at the designer group since designing legend Oscar de la Renta, one of the council's founding members, left the CFDA after 16 years.
De la Renta resigned because of the group's widely panned American Fashion Awards gala on June 2. De la Renta told Women's Wear Daily, "People whom I trust have told me they [CFDA] have lost all sense of style and seriousness. Fashion deals with style, not with bad taste."
The show, which aired in an edited two-hour version on E! Entertainment Television, ran for 6 1/2 hours in a hot room with little air conditioning at the 69th Regiment Armory. Attendees complained they couldn't see each other (and, to fashion people, that is the whole point!).
Honorees Cher and Sophia Loren, both recognized as style icons, were no-shows. Presenter Chris Rock joked about the tedious show: "For the finale, Yves Saint Laurent is going to hem a pair of pants."
In another development, Calvin Klein announced his resignation from the council's board, claiming he no longer had the time to serve on the 26-member board. But he was careful to defend the 200-designer member group.
New York 'Glamour' Comes West: Theresa Duncan, the fashionable New York multimedia artist, was in town Saturday to attend a special screening of her film "The History of Glamour."
The event, organized by Works on Paper gallery, which first screened the film in December, followed a party hosted by the sister jewelry team of Heath and Landon Slane (Slane & Slane). They opened their Robertson Avenue store after hours to guests, who sipped cocktails and mingled amid chunky silver necklaces and bracelets.
"Glamour" follows the adventures of a small-town girl who leaves the sticks for Manhattan's hot spots, only to find out fame does not suit her.
Duncan, who recently showed up on Vogue magazine's 100 best-dressed list, has mixed feelings about the world of fashion and style. The blond beauty, dressed in black capri pants and Gucci platform sandals, said, "Style is just one tiny part of a well-rounded character, not the most important thing."
Also at the screening was the film's animator, New York artist and Cal Arts graduate Jeremy Blake. His recent work is on view through next week in the "Fourth Annual Flaming June" exhibition at Works on Paper.
Duncan's current project is writing, animating and producing "Closet Cases," a series that will premiere in February on the Oxygen online network.
She explained, "It explores how the vocabulary of fashion is tied up with our identities."
Balmain Cosmetics Line Premieres: Gilles Dufour, ready-to-wear designer for the house of Balmain, was in town recently to launch a new line of Pierre Balmain cosmetics at a cocktail party and fashion show at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Karl Lagerfeld's right-hand man at Chanel for 15 years, Dufour has been with Balmain since September. Oscar de la Renta designs couture for the fashion house. Dufour hopes the line will help bring brand awareness to the Pierre Balmain name. "It's a great name, with magic and a great past."
Pierre Balmain, who died in 1982, opened his Paris haute couture fashion house in 1945, designing intricately embroidered evening gowns and ensembles that brought first ladies, royals and actresses such as Katharine Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot to his studio.
The Balmain line of skin care products and cosmetics--Beverly Hills-based Luxelle International is the licensee--will be available only through a Web site (http://www.bcosmetics.com) and via a network of independent sales associates, a la Avon.
Barbara Thomas and Booth Moore can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.