style file, donatella at the whitney

Photo: Charles Eshelman / Film Magic

designer update
Donatella At The Whitney

What with throwing last month’s BCBG-sponsored Art Party and hosting last week’s intimate Lou Reed concert, the Whitney has been feeling awfully chic of late. Cue Donatella Versace, who stilettoed into the museum this afternoon to make that three for the trend. The occasion was the launch of Art Unites, an initiative from Versace and the Whitney committed to bringing art to children in need. Drawing was on the day’s agenda, but Versace, a self-declared non-sketcher, left the art-making to the experts: namely, some really adorable kids from the Starlight Children’s Foundation, which benefits children with chronic or life-threatening diseases. Wielding Magic Markers, the youth set worked on drawings while the designer worked the room. “She seems really nice,” one budding artist concluded after Versace left her table in an aura of flashbulbs. The drawings, 900 in all, along with those created by children from Jet Li’s One Foundation in China, will be made into one-of-a-kind tote bags available this fall online from Gilt Groupe, and will retail for $200 to $250. In addition to being made into Versace bags, two drawings chosen by Donatella will make their way (and not necessarily in tote bag form) into Versace’s Fall RTW show. “I’m not looking for talent or theatricality,” Versace said of eventually picking the winners. “I’m looking for emotion.” Her future design collaborators had been told as much. “I’m looking forward to seeing what you make today,” she told the assembled group, “and I hope it comes from the heart.”
—Alison Baenen