FIT TO BE TIED: Tom Ford was in hot demand at the party he threw Friday night to show off his new Milan flagship for Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. While he sipped vodka tonics off the dance floor and chatted up French actress Emmanuelle Seigner, the new face of Nu fragrance, upstairs Domenico De Sole’s eldest daughter Laura was eagerly awaiting the chance to introduce the design star to a gaggle of her friends. True Ford fans, they had the goods to prove it. Laura proudly announced that they all did some shopping at the boutique earlier in the day.

This story first appeared in the March 3, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

TIES THAT BIND: At least one man isn’t choosing sides in the ongoing and acrimonious rivalry between LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Gucci Group. Tod’s chief executive and LVMH board member Diego Della Valle slipped into the Gucci show Saturday with little explanation other than that saying its chief executive, Domenico De Sole, “is a friend of mine.” But evidently, being the ceo’s pal doesn’t guarantee you a prime seat. Della Valle was spotted crouched on the staircase. Meanwhile, De Sole plans to pay his respects to an industry colleague — and fellow Calabrian — Santo Versace. He’s accepted an invitation to Donatella Versace’s show on Tuesday.

FOOL-ING AROUND: Paris fashion week will not be interrupted by any stunts by Imitation of Christ, which last season shuttled models in ambulances to parade outside the Christian Dior shows. Instead, it seems IOC’s Tara Subkhoff is plotting an April Fool’s joke on Los Angeles. “I like the date,” she said with a smirk at the Roberto Capucci show on Friday. One of the designers picked by Capucci’s new owners to revive the brand, Subkhoff will unveil her first designs in the fall.

BEING SQUARE: Trust twin designers Dean and Dan Caten, party boys to the core, to turn a standard “re-see” into a rollicking blowout. The duo took over the presidential suite of the Principe hotel to replay the video of their women’s D2 show Thursday night for editors who only arrived on Friday. But by 1 a.m., they kicked it up several notches, with bouncers at the door letting in the likes of Carmen Kass and Philip Treacy, but keeping dozens at bay. Inside, the DJ cranked up the tunes and revelers dove into the in-suite pool and hot tub, some with clothes, some without. Next stop for the party boys is Los Angeles: They’re in the running to design costumes for the concert tour of the summer: Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera.

BLOWING IN THE WIND: What could Isabella Blow, fashion director at Tatler and a woman whose personal style veers toward the extraterrestrial, have in common with Ferragamo? Time will tell, but the British stylist was slated to meet members of the Ferragamo family today to discuss a new project. In the meantime, Blow is turning heads with a Barbarella-esque cloak made of iridescent silver paper scales, designed by her latest discovery: the Thailand-born designer Teerabul Songvich. “I call him ‘Terrible,” Blow quipped.

CAVALLI SOUNDS OFF: It didn’t take much prodding to get Roberto Cavalli talking war and peace. Speaking to a small group of journalists before his Just Cavalli show Saturday, the designer preached his pacifist “no war, more wear” slogan. But he allowed that trying times can also be formative ones. He said the death of his father in World War II prevented him from pursuing his studies. “If it weren’t for the war, I would have been a lawyer or an architect,” he said. Imagine the leopard-print buildings.

EVERYBODY SAMBA: What do you expect when you have half-naked dancers, a gyrating samba band and 700 guests who drank 1,000 caipirinhas and 30 cases of Sambadoro beer in under three hours? Saks wasn’t sure either, but what turned out was one very energized party celebrating Rio’s Carnival last Thursday evening. Rumor has it a few of the revelers were using the (un)dressing rooms to help get into the spirit of the evening. Not to worry — the attentive staff kept a watchful eye to make sure the rooms were being used properly. Flavio Gomes dos Santos, the wife of the Brazilian Ambassador to the U.S., was in attendance. Decorating the event were authentic carnival costumes, flown in just for the party, and which are on display in the store’s Fifth Avenue windows.