Banana Republic's monogram adventure opens in the West Village today, Gwen Stefani makes even pricier handbags, and John Galliano's minions do manual labor.
• Recession who? Banana Republic opens its first "BR Monogram Collection" store today, where you'll find Banana Republic clothes at 30 to 40 percent higher prices than regular BR stores. We don't know why either. [WWD]
• Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. line will soon include $1,500 handbags inspired by vintage British sports cars. Maybe she didn't get Xtina's memo about "what a girl wants." [WWD]
• On designer Graeme Black's first day working for John Galliano, he painted the walls; on his second day, he cut chiffon. So that's how they start out (cough, Project Runway, cough). [WWD]
• The fake counterfeit operation Louis Vuitton set up at the Takashi Murakami opening-night party included faux vendors hissing at passersby in fake Chinese and African accents. How politically correct. [NYT]
• The place mats from the Takashi Murakami–Louis Vuitton dinner party are selling for $2,000 on eBay. Maybe counterfeiters really should rethink the handbags. [NYDN]