AND YOU SAY HE'S JUST A FRIEND: Miuccia Prada will be on hand Monday night to fete her artist chum Tom Sachs and his new book, which was published by Fondazione Prada. Art-world types and the socials who love them — including Vanessa Beecroft, Will Cotton, Timothy Greenfield Sanders, Brigitte Lacombe, Damian Loeb, Miranda Brooks, Brian Grazer and Gavin Brown — will join the designer, who is in town for undisclosed personal reasons, at Prada's SoHo store. Just to make sure everyone's in a party mood, Biz Markie, of the Eighties rap hit "Just a Friend," will be spinning at the DJ station all night long.

BABY ANTOINETTE: It appears that speculation Sofia Coppola wishes to give birth in Paris could be true. The pregnant director, who was spotted shopping in the Fendi boutique on Thursday, said she's in town spending time with her boyfriend, Thomas Mars, a singer for French band Phoenix, preparing the apartment for the baby's arrival in December. "I'm just this big thing at the moment so I don't really have much choice about what I can wear," she said.

ON THE HUNT: Nothing can stop a bargain shopper — even pouring rain. Just ask the crowd at Wednesday night's Lucky Shops VIP preview party, which included Tory Burch (who had a shop at the event), Katie Lee Joel, Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, Rashida Jones and co-chairs Molly Sims and Jessica Seinfeld. Just an hour into the party, which benefited Seinfeld's Baby Buggy charity, the handbags in the Marc by Marc Jacobs shop quickly proved to be one of the hottest sellers. Blocks away from the shopping mania, James Truman, André Balazs and Rita Konig, a blogger for Domino magazine, celebrated Leanne Shapton's new book, "Was She Pretty?" at the Mercer Hotel. Shapton (an illustrator, publisher and Truman's girlfriend) has been featured in Elle, Glamour and O, The Oprah Magazine). Those who stopped by included actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Smith, Hugo Guinness and Noah Baumbach, a filmmaker. Shapton graciously accepted praise for her new book, but stopped momentarily when she viewed a guest eating a plateful of hors d'oeuvres. "Do you like them?" she asked. "I made them myself."ONE-HIT WONDER: Not every company is high on constant designer collaborations as a strategy. The Nine West effort, which parent Jones Apparel Group touted as a strategic move to lift the brand's overall image, now looks like it's going to be a one-season initiative. "It was always a one-year deal with a possible second year option, and we did meet some amazing designers for 2007 and began working on some product," conceded Stacy Lastrina, Jones Apparel's executive vice president for marketing and creative services. "However, for many reasons, we are moving on to other exciting concepts for the Nine West brand." Nine West kicked off the initiative with collections by Vivienne Westwood, Thakoon and Sophia Kokosalaki in September at select Macy's and Nine West doors.

NO SUGAR COATING: Despite it's sugar-coated title, the film "Candy," which the Cinema Society and Cole Haan screened Monday night, was anything but a lighthearted joy ride. Instead, the movie follows two young Australian lovebirds who are also smitten with heroin — to devastating effect. Guests such as Ron Howard, Claire Danes, Margherita Missoni, Keira Chaplin, Elettra Wiedemann, and Marjorie Raein braved the showing, though co-star Abbie Cornish (of Ryan Phillippe fame) was notably missing. The film's other star, Heath Ledger, made an amiable and low-key appearance, sans Michelle Williams or publicist. Though the actor has never indulged in heroin, he didn't have too difficult a time imagining certain parts of his role. "I've certainly smoked a joint before, so I know what it feels like to be high," he said. "And I've been addicted to cigarettes and gotten headaches from caffeine withdrawal, so I get that part, too."

MEOWS AT MARC: Marc Jacobs and Robert Duffy are clearly feeling feline these days. Next Tuesday, the duo is hosting an event and dinner for Grace Coddington to celebrate "Catwalk Cats," the new book she put together with her partner, Didier Malige. The window displays at the Marc by Marc Jacobs store on Bleecker Street will be dedicated to the book, and Vogue's creative director will be on hand to sign her tome on tales and illustrations of fashionable cats. The boutique also will be selling copies of the book, and Jacobs has created a special series of T-shirts emblazoned with cat images, including one in Paris holding a baguette, and another in a football uniform. Each T-shirt back will feature four drawings by Coddington of cats in looks from Jacobs' spring 2007 collection. The proceeds from the $20 Ts, which will be on sale at select Marc Jacobs stores, will go to the City Critters organization, which is devoted to rescuing animals and caring for them.

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