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FAMILY MATTERS: Ralph Rucci has nixed his couture show in Paris, which had been set for Jan. 25, following the death of his mother over the holidays, as well as deaths in the families of two of his top assistants. But Rucci said his Chado high-fashion collection for summer would still be produced and presented instead at his ready-to-wear show Feb. 11 during fashion week in New York. Rucci said he plans to return to the Paris couture calendar this July.
FOR SALE: It looks like the newly refreshed Donatella Versace is paring down her wares. Italian auction house Porro & C. confirmed that it’s organizing two auctions on the designer’s behalf in Milan and Como on April 7 and May 7, respectively. Neither Porro nor Versace could provide further details about which of her personal effects are going on the block, but Italian daily newspaper Finanza & Mercati values the lot of furniture, paintings and bronze sculptures at about 7 million euros, or $9.3 million at current exchange. Donatella is an art lover much like her brother Gianni, whose vast collection fetched millions of dollars in auctions after his death in 1997.
FRENCH TIES: Lars Nilsson has a chic new design studio director over at Nina Ricci: Vanessa Bellanger. If her name rings a bell, it’s because Bellanger recently was design director for women’s Collection at Polo Ralph Lauren. Before that, Bellanger was part of John Galliano’s team at Christian Dior and one of his muses.
SHULMAN’S HONOR: Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue, has received an Order of the British Empire for her services to the U.K. magazine industry. The award is part of the British government’s annual New Year Honors List to acknowledge distinguished service to the arts, sciences, public services and charity organizations. During Shulman’s 12-year tenure at Vogue, circulation has risen to more than 200,000 copies from around 170,000. Prior to Vogue, Shulman worked for Tatler, GQ and The Sunday Telegraph, where she continues to write a weekly column.
ALL DOLLED UP: Cynthia Rowley isn’t scheduled to give birth to a new son or daughter until later this month but already she’s playing with dolls. Just in time for the baby’s arrival, a new Barbie doll wearing Rowley-designed duds will hit stores. The limited-edition doll will retail for $80 and be available at Rowley’s four stores nationwide. And for any grownups who are still feeling a bit deprived that they never owned their own Barbie dream house, Barbie’s handbag can be had in a life-size version for $250.