The brouhaha of who’s wearing whom to the Oscars hasn’t got anything on who’s wearing whom to the World Cup. Initially, Valentino was the man who was going to give the Italian soccer team a new look; now it’s Giorgio Armani. Armani is cinching an agreement with FIGC, the Italian Soccer Federation, to redo the off-the-field uniforms for Italy’s national soccer teams, including the squad that’s coming to the U.S. for the World Cup this summer. It seems that the Italian Federation will pay 35 percent of the total costs and Armani and his licensees will cover the rest — an agreement that may not have suited Valentino, who pulled out of negotiations at the last moment.
The Sunday Times of London could have predicted what it would get when it asked Nicholas Coleridge, managing director of Conde Nast U.K., to review the new book “The Designer Scam” by fashion historian Colin McDowell. The biographical note accompanying Coleridge’s review points out that his own competing book, “The Fashion Conspiracy,” is about to be reissued. Coleridge gave McDowell’s tome a thumbs-down for its alleged inaccuracies and lack of fun. On a more personal note, Coleridge also claims that McDowell was inaccurate in writing that Coleridge’s promotion to managing director was one of the reasons Liz Tilberis left British Vogue to go to Harper’s Bazaar. Odd then, that a story in the same Sunday Times on British Vogue’s new editor, Alexandra Shulman, says Coleridge’s promotion “gave her [Tilberis] the final sharp push to take the American money and run.”
Gianni Versace isn’t quite ready to head back to Milan. After his long post-show relaxation period in his Ocean Drive palazzo in Miami, he will spend some time in New York to launch his latest book, “Designs,” the English version of the two-volume set he published in Italy last November. Versace will be interviewed by Charlie Rose on PBS on Monday, March 28, sign copies of the book in his boutique in Bergdorf Goodman on the 30th, and will also appear on “The Today Show.” The night of the 30th, Ingrid Sischy is hosting a dinner for the designer at Barocco. Expected is an eclectic crew including Fab Five Freddy, Anna Sui, Harold Koda, Ricki Lake and maybe, just maybe, Raquel Welch.