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Fashion Scoops: Lounging On The Lake … Binge Shopping … Tres Jolie

<b>LOUNGING ON THE LAKE:</b> After sitting front row at Versace’s men’s spring show in Milan last month, <b>Michael Douglas</b> and <b>Catherine Zeta-Jones</b> have been enjoying a bit of down time with their children at...

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LOUNGING ON THE LAKE: After sitting front row at Versace’s men’s spring show in Milan last month, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have been enjoying a bit of down time with their children at Donatella’s villa on the shores of Lake Como. They’ve stayed well out of the paparazzi’s lenses, barely venturing into town. But the Hollywood power couple has been spotted with another A-lister. On Monday, Douglas and Zeta-Jones were said to have spent the afternoon with George Clooney, touring the lake by boat. Clooney, who bought a lakeside villa last year, has become a regular fixture in Como. The actor is often seen biking around the lake or even playing in a pickup game of basketball.

This story first appeared in the July 23, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

BINGE SHOPPING: As far as Hamptons benefits go, the sixth annual Super Saturday event this weekend is among the higher-ticket items of the summer, with an adult entrance fee of $375. But the savings are worth it, based on the offerings several designers are putting together for their booths at the binge fest. Hostess Donna Karan, for instance, held back a few of her polkadot spring dresses that sold out at retail, knocking at least 30 percent off their original $2,695 retail price tag for the sale at Nova’s Ark Project in Water Mill, which benefits The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

Gap is kicking off its big corduroy campaign with banded jeans jackets for $40 (down from $68), and its new accessories designed by former Marc Jacobs staffer Emma Hill, including cord-crusher hats for $10 and hobo shoulder bags for $20 (a $9.50 savings apiece) in bright red, lavender and the light blue featured in its Madonna and Missy Elliott advertisements.

Calvin Klein plans to sell jeans for $30, women’s collection tops for $30 and home products like soap dishes, bowls and bottle openers from $10 up to $300 for a down comforter.

Tocca is rounding up dresses and skirts from its summer collection priced 60 percent off retail, and its scented candles can be had for $15 a wick; Lela Rose will offer cocktail and evening dresses up to $500 and items like a silk T from $150; Cynthia Steffe is selling a wardrobe of Ts, sportswear and dresses from $70 for a cargo tank (half-price) to $300 for a trench jacket; Diane Von Furstenberg will feature wrap dresses for about $100 and lingerie for $30, but really recent items from April and May; John Varvatos plans to sell men’s items 75 percent off of retail, while other companies selling wares include Coach, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Jimmy Choo, Nicole Miller, Alice + Olivia, Celine and Michael Kors. Even for those who wind up empty-handed, DKNY has designed a gift bag that includes product from Dr. Perricone, B. Kamins, Bliss, Christian Dior and J. Crew.

TRES JOLIE: Angelina Jolie proved she can go from superhero to superstar at Monday’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre premiere of “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life,” trading in the form-fitting, high tech duds she donned as heroine Croft for an elegant, airy black Emmanuel Ungaro couture gown, vintage diamonds and Manolo Blahnik heels. The actress said deciding on dresses was easy: “I just go with what feels natural.” Although the hot mama claims to love the role of motherhood best, Jolie admitted she’s going to miss playing Croft, saying, “I loved my outfits. They made me feel sexy.”

BRIDGE GAME: Few society types have the fashion cred of Tory Burch, who’s campaigned for labels like Narciso Rodriguez and Tuleh behind the scenes in addition to buying their clothes, and now she’s set to join the ranks of the society-to-Seventh Avenue types like Carolina Herrera, Carolyne Roehm and Shoshanna Lonstein.

“I’m designing a line in the bridge category,” Burch confessed from her home outside Philadelphia. “But I don’t have many details beyond that.”

Burch has teamed up with a friend in Hong Kong — Fiona Marin, the sister of Vogue senior editor Alexandra Kotur — on the project, which is as yet unnamed. They’ve already found a location on Elizabeth Street for a store, which Burch hopes to have open in February. If all that sounds a bit downmarket to Burch’s friends, she would disagree.

“I love the bridge category,” Burch said. “What I intend to do is to keep the prices down. There’s a great need in fashion for that.”

AVANTI ARMANI: Giorgio Armani is hoping change is indeed good. For years, the designer has traditionally showed at or near the end of the Milan season, but for the spring collections he’s in pole position. The Giorgio Armani show, scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 30, is the first major presentation of the season, which runs from Saturday, Sept. 27 to Sunday, Oct. 5. “We felt it would be interesting to turn the tables this season,” an Armani spokesman said. Moschino, D&G and DSquared also are expected to show the same day, while Emporio Armani and Prada are set for Oct. 1.

Armani, however, is not the only calendar change. Italy’s Camera Nazionale della Moda, the show organizer, was also faced with scheduling shows around Yom Kippur, which falls on the last day of the collections. While some smaller shows are said to be scheduled for the morning of Oct. 5, Versace is set to close the week with an evening show on Oct. 4. The official Milan calendar is expected to be released this week.

INCA TREASURE: Abercrombie & Fitch, lately known for controversy from racy catalogs to lawsuits, had a virtuous streak in the past. In its heyday as a sporting goods store, it was one of many firms that supplied the Peruvian expedition to rediscover the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu, 2,000 feet high in the Andes. On display through Sept. 7 at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County are more than 400 Inca artifacts, including a letter on A&F letterhead dated April 8, 1911, addressed to Yale professor Hiram Bingham III confirming his request for such provisions as lumber cases covered with burlap, five pounds of rice, 10 pounds of sugar, and one pound each of apples, apricots and peaches. Apparently Bingham, a son of a penniless missionary family who married into the Tiffany & Co. fortune, wasn’t counting calories for any catalog shoots.

THE MAKINGS OF A STAR: Apparently, some passers-by on West 34th Street have given Macy’s window display tribute to the late Katharine Hepburn more than a second glance. The flagship pays homage to the actress with mannequins dressed in her familiar, no-nonsense style and windows imprinted with her razor-sharp remarks such as, “Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.”

Ellen Tracy pleated pants and a boatneck blue and white stripe top are a few pieces from the window that have sold out, according to Macy’s director of windows Gil Croy, who has gotten an earful of unsolicited trivia from a few fans since the windows were unveiled earlier this month. The displays will be up for another week.

Croy said, “Katharine Hepburn was such a huge icon in women’s fashion. She liberated women by wearing pants. People should notice she’s gone. We thought this was something we ought to do.”

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