CELEBRATING GIAMMETTI: Get the vodka ready: Valentino is throwing a five-day birthday bash in Saint Petersburg, Russia, for his longtime business partner GiancarloGiammetti. The selected party of 15 includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Stella McCartney and her boyfriend Alasdhair Willis and Bulgaria’s Prince and Princess Saxe Coburg, among others. The merry-makers flew out Tuesday in a private plane in order to be at the Eyoussupov Palace in time for the birthday, which falls today. And what birthday is Giammetti celebrating? Don’t ask.

NEW BATTLEGROUND: Gucci and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton have found a new ground to wrangle over — property. Both companies are negotiating for spots in Milan’s historic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, confirmed city spokesman Antonio Cattaneo. Louis Vuitton is vying to take over a space now occupied by a travel agency just across from Prada’s oldest store. Meanwhile, Gucci aims to replace Il Salotto, one of the many coffee bars heavily frequented by tourists. But not everyone is happy with the new shopping opportunities. Talk of the Galleria newcomers has sparked a debate among local politicians, with some complaining that there should be a variety of businesses and fewer stores to enliven the city center. "They complain that downtown isn’t livable and that the Galleria is already a tomb at 8 p.m.," city official Stefano Di Martino told Corriere Della Sera. "What if we close the only bars we have?" A Louis Vuitton spokeswoman confirmed the French company has made a play for the space. Gucci declined to comment.

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