OPRAH’S VALENTINO FIX: Can Oprah Winfrey do for couture what she did for books? The talk-show queen, who attended her first Valentino couture show in July, is filming an episode with the designer about his couture and ready-to-wear empire. While attending Valentino’s show in Paris earlier this summer, Winfrey told WWD that “couture is what keeps fashion alive,” although her pronouncement came just as designers were bailing left and right from the couture calendar. Now she’s looking to expose the designer to her weekly audience of an estimated 21 million. A spokeswoman for Winfrey’s production company said, “We are going to be doing a show with Valentino, but we haven’t set a date yet.” A Valentino spokeswoman declined to comment on the plans, but Oprah’s Couture Club sure has a nice ring to it. At least she can afford it.

OPEN SEASON: The large contingent of Russian female tennis players at the U.S. Open this year is being celebrated by at least one compatriot: Ukraine-born ice skater Oksana Baiul. “I love watching all the Russian players,” Baiul said at a party Monday night at Arthur Ashe stadium that was sponsored by the USA Network. “They are so tall and beautiful.” Baiul, who has her own fashion line for ice skaters, also said she planned to take in a few fashion shows next week, including Luca Luca and Heatherette. Hosted by John McEnroe, Tracy Austin and Jim Courier, the USA party drew celebs and starlets not necessarily known for their athletic prowess. Actor Anthony Michael Hall said he doesn’t play tennis but is a big fan of Serena and Venus Williams, while actress Sonia Braga, best known for her role as Samantha’s lesbian lover on “Sex and the City,” said she recently started playing and is now becoming more serious about her game. Among other partygoers were Star Jones of “The View,” model Maggie Rizer and actress Sylvia Miles, who mingled briefly before heading off to watch the night matches.

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