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Fashion Scoops: Big Spender … Dateline Milan … Mum’s Not the Word …

BIG SPENDER: Sean "Puffy" Combs certainly knows how to throw a good party and he’s sparing no expense when it comes to his show Saturday night at Harry Cipriani 42nd Street. Word is the designer plans to spend close to $2 million on the event,...

BIG SPENDER: Sean “Puffy” Combs certainly knows how to throw a good party and he’s sparing no expense when it comes to his show Saturday night at Harry Cipriani 42nd Street. Word is the designer plans to spend close to $2 million on the event, which will include a glimpse of his first-ever women’s wear. While Combs’ camp is keeping mum on the details, the mogul clearly wants good attendance: he was working the phones himself this week calling key editors to make sure they would be attending. Such spending isn’t new for Combs, though; he was said to spend $1.5 million on last season’s runway extravaganza.

This story first appeared in the February 6, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

DATELINE MILAN: The international fashion pack still awaits a final runway calendar for Milan before making their travel plans. But here’s one solid date: Tom Ford will help kick the Italian collections into high gear on Feb. 27, when he hosts a cocktail party to fete the new Yves Saint Laurent store on Via Montenapoleone.

MUM’S NOT THE WORD: Howard Rubenstein clued in 125 movers and shakers Wednesday, including Henry Kissinger, David Dinkins, Lachlan Murdoch and Jeanette Wagner, about how to deal with “Crisis Communications: Surviving Bad News.” His advice? “Don’t lie; don’t take a bunker mentality; don’t say ‘No comment;’ don’t fight with reporters; don’t bad-mouth people, especially at cocktail parties; don’t be arrogant even though you’re successful.”

During the Q&A after the breakfast at the 21 Club, Rubenstein begged off questions about Martha Stewart, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Dominick Dunne and the Catholic Church due to professional conflicts or personal ties (and some of whom clearly don’t listen to his advice). To which, an attendee piped up, “I thought you said, ‘No, No comment.’” Rubenstein laughed, “That’s my son.”

Dinkins said Bill Rudin’s routine response for pesky reporters is, “No comment and don’t quote me.”

The former mayor inquired about getting a glimpse of postmortem publicity. “Is it possible to go see your obituary?” Dinkins asked. “I’m told they have them. The first paragraph will describe all your negatives. When you get to be a certain age, you start to be concerned about these things.”

Kissinger offered, “They have them. The question is will they let you see them.”

PARIS MATCH: Is there more to the new unauthorized biography of Bernard Arnault than meets the eye? In his explosively titled book, “Angel Exterminator,” author Airy Routier acknowledges in the very first sentence that many will assume the book is a paid missive from François Pinault, the archrival of Arnault. Readers will ultimately decide, but in the introduction, Routier acknowledges he’s had conversations with many of Pinault’s deputies and once took advantage of Pinault’s private jet to attend the funeral of a mutual friend. The author, a journalist at the news weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, also devotes an entire chapter to a report by a private investigator who looked into Arnault’s financial dealings at LVMH. Routier says in the book the investigator was paid by Pinault and that the document landed on his desk. By accident?

CAFE SOCIETY: It’s not every day you see male go-go dancers frolicking amongst the tables at La Palette on Paris’s Left Bank. But they were spicing things up Thursday afternoon when Celine unveiled its “Macadam” collection inspired by the streets of Paris. The limited-edition items, including three handbags, a cap and a vest, are slated to arrive in Celine stores in April. But among the first to wear the denim twill pieces was up-and-coming French actress Emma de Caunes, also on hand as female eye candy.