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CALVIN TIME: There will be a lot to celebrate at the Calvin Klein fashion show Friday. Besides being Valentine’s Day, it’s the day Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. will close its deal to buy Calvin Klein Inc. for $430 million up front, with additional payouts of as much as $270 million in the coming years.
In the meantime, Calvin Klein is the latest American iconic designer to get the bio treatment, this time from Lisa Marsh, retail reporter for the New York Post, who’s left her job at the paper to devote herself full-time to writing (yet another) book about Klein. It will be called “The House of Klein: America’s Last Great Designer” and will be published this fall by John Wiley & Sons.
But don’t expect Klein to be any more cooperative with Marsh than his Bronx friend was with Michael Gross. “Calvin is personally not cooperating,” Marsh admitted, while a CKI spokesman declined comment.
Meanwhile, in other acquisition news, sources said Lawrence Stroll and Silas Chou paid roughly $50 million — not the $100 million originally speculated — for their 85 percent stake in the Michael Kors business. A spokeswoman for Michael Kors had no comment.
WE WON’T ALWAYS HAVE PARIS: Fashion week will be a Hilton short. Paris Hilton broke the news Friday that she was heading to Los Angeles on Saturday to work on a film project with Kate Hudson called “Raising Helena,” then going to work on Fox’s reality TV remake of “Green Acres,” in which she’ll go live on a farm and actually milk cows. “I’m scared,” she said from the front row at Heatherette on Friday night. “I don’t want to touch the cow’s nipples!” But maybe it will provide her with some inspiration for her project after that: recording an album. A hip-hop version of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” perhaps?
And for those who will miss Paris, fear not. Big mom Kathy Hilton and lil’ sis Nicky plan to pout their way through plenty of shows — and in an official capacity covering the week for “Entertainment Tonight,” so no bitching.
STEPPING OUT: Gwen Stefani, Eminem, Eve and, now, Patti LaBelle. The belter of Philadelphia soul was at the Fusha Designs show Saturday night and may or may not have been looking for inspiration for the October launch of her own clothing collection on the Home Shopping Network. LaBelle, dressed in a camel leather shirt and mini skirt with Roberto Cavalli’s multicolored thigh-high boots, said: “This is the right moment. I’ll do clothes that I’d wear, in sizes two to triple-triple-X in fabrics that won’t wrinkle. I’ll also design a men’s line for the queens. It’ll be for my friends…to bring them out.”
CHEST OF DRAWERS: Hard to believe, but society’s brassy new bombshell, Jacqueline Anderson, had never been to a fashion show until Friday, when she kicked off a tour of the runways. Everyone knows by now that Anderson, who is married to Whitney Museum director Maxwell Anderson, is not the traditional museum director’s wife, having ruffled a few conservative feathers by turning up in Jean Paul Gaultier catsuits and couture that accentuate her positives. But here’s the real news: the part-time actress, featured recently in a Bud Light commercial, might soon be headed to the more time-honored stages of Broadway — or at least Off-Broadway. Anderson has been approached to take on the title role in “Debbie Does Dallas,” the musical revue of the classic porn film, currently playing at the Jane St. Theater.
THAT’S SHOE BUSINESS: Dustin Horowitz, son of Tommy Hilfiger chairman Joel Horowitz, called in an order for 16 pairs of men’s black Chelsea boots from J.M. Weston on Friday, paying $625 apiece — or $10,825 total, with tax — according to sources at the Madison Avenue shop. They were shipped to Tommy Hilfiger’s offices. Whatever could they be for?
LEVI’S IN LEATHER?: Levi Strauss & Co. is reportedly getting into the leather outerwear game. Sources said the jeans giant is looking to up its designer-end denim looks by signing a license with Andrew Marc, which would eventually be expanded into cloth outerwear as well.
CHANEL ON ICE?: Figure skater Sasha Cohen took time out from her CT training for a photo shoot Saturday with Seventeen magazine, and decided to stop in at Gen Art and Heatherette with her sister Natasha “for a fun weekend in the city,” she said. But when asked who she’d get to design her fantasy figure-skating costume, she promptly answered, “Chanel.”
NO MAN’S LAND: Shawn Ashmore is destined for big celebrity status, considering he’s got boy-band good looks and a starring role in the upcoming “X-Men” sequel. So it was a fortunate catch for French designer Lloyd Klein to land the actor in his front row, alongside that inveterate crew of celebri-models Ivanka Trump, Mia Tyler and Carol Alt. “This is my first time in New York for fashion week,” Ashmore said before the show, wearing a Lloyd Klein jacket, and noting he was shopping for some looks to wear to upcoming events to promote the film.
One problem: Klein, who was expected to show both his women’s and men’s collections, couldn’t get his men’s evening samples to New York in time, so he just showed the women’s collection. It left Ashmore, and several men’s wear editors to ponder what went wrong. No matter, said his publicist later in the day, as the young star was planning to look at John Varvatos’ collection as well.
And he may yet prove to have what it takes to be come a full-fledged front-row fashion diva. By the time Ashmore showed up for Gen Art’s show that night, he had changed into another outfit, wearing a suede shirt from Theory.
WHAT IS WHEN? A mere two weeks before the Milan collections begin and fashion editors and retailers are still in the dark about the schedule. The Milan calendar has always been a source of contention and this season is no exception. Sources here say it was all ready to go on Friday, but then at the eleventh hour Fendi reportedly requested to move up its show date from March 1 to Feb. 27, throwing the Camera della Moda into a frenzy — and probably many editors’ travel plans. In addition to Fendi, it now looks like Dolce & Gabbana and Dean and Dan of DSquared also are scheduled to show their debut women’s collection on Feb. 27.
HEART TO HEART: Retired couturier Yves Saint Laurent has a date for Valentine’s Day — with his longtime muse Loulou de la Falaise. That’s when she inaugurates her new boutique and fashion label with an intimate cocktail party. A bigger fete for the entire fashion flock is slated for Paris Fashion Week.
BREAK TIME: Kenzo confirmed Friday that it will skip the runway this season during Paris Fashion Week March 4-6. A spokeswoman for the house said its women’s wear designer Gilles Rosier is preparing a fall collection, but that the house is concentrating its energies elsewhere, including the June opening of its megastore in Paris next to La Samaritaine department store.
MCNALLY’S NEW TITLE: Anne McNally is official at last. She’s been named fashion director of Vanity Fair based in New York. But there’s a catch — she’ll share both the title and responsibilities with Elizabeth Saltzman Walker, who’s based in London but spends a lot of time in New York. It raises the question of who really will call the shots (pun intended), but McNally isn’t a new face at the magazine. Formerly a contributing editor, she’s been with Vanity Fair since 1996 and subbed for Saltzman Walker while she was on maternity leave.
SECOND CAREER: Knitwear king Pierrot has been known to cast some off-type models for his shows in the past and Sunday, he brought out a lot of friends by showing his line on drag queens, some zombie types and Amanda Lapore. One additional model was recognizable to many editors in the crowd: designer Benjamin Cho.