PUCCI HITS THE HIGH SEAS: What’s that flapping in the wind? A bird? A plane? A Pucci-print sail? Pucci and Wally, yacht maker to Mediterranean millionaires, have created a glorious, 3,230-square-foot sail that will make its debut at the Pirelli Trophy Regatta in Santa Margherita, Italy, on April 30. The handpainted gennaker sail, made by North Sails in Italy, boasts one of Pucci’s most famous patterns, a 1968 dress featuring slices and swirls of blue, lavender, turquoise and black — as well as Emilio Pucci’s signature. "Since we hired Christian [Lacroix], we’ve been going back to our sportive roots," Laudomia Pucci, Emilio’s daughter, said. "The sail is all about sports, chic and leisure, and really underlines who we are." The sail also has inspired a capsule collection for spring called Vivara, which features printed boat shoes, travel bags, T-shirts and caps. The sail will help power the new, 60-foot Wallyño, to be skippered by Wally’s owner, the dashing Luca Bassani. Wallyño will take part in races around the Mediterranean during the season, and the crew, of course, will wear Pucci uniforms to match the sail.

ANGEL EYES: With the June 11 deadline fast approaching for the shutdown of the Thierry Mugler fashion house, suitors are emerging for the firm’s high-tech factory in Angers, France, and its four retail outlets in Paris. According to sources, Balmain and France Luxury Group, which includes Scherrer, Francesco Smalto and Stephane Kélian, have their eyes on the assets. As reported, Group Clarins, owner of the Mugler brand, is seeking a buyer for the assets for the money-losing fashion business in order to focus on hit Mugler fragrances like Angel. Clarins declined comment, and Balmain and France Luxury Group could not be reached.

TO BEAT THE BAND: Fur Fashion 2003, the industry’s annual fashion show and bash, had a few unexpected cheerleaders Tuesday night at the Puck building. Liz Callaway, who is on Broadway in "The Look of Love," kicked off the festivities with her rendition of "The Beat Goes On." That wasn’t the case by the time Joan Rivers took to the catwalk and she was none too pleased with the lack of acoustics. So much so that she spat a word that starts with F, but has nothing to do with fur, and then carried on: "I practiced for three weeks with music. Music please!" Fortunately, notes followed. Jennifer Holiday of "Dreamgirls" relied on her own vocals for the finale, showing tremendous range, in line with the variety of fur coats on the runway.

THE LABOR PARTY: Not only does Patrick Robinson have a new job (see story, page 3), but his wife, Vogue’s fashion market director, Virginia Smith, also has plans to take on a new title — mom. Smith confirmed on Wednesday that she and Robinson are expecting their first child. "I guess things are really looking up," she said.

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