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SHOP TALK: Talk about pent-up demand. The John Galliano boutique in Paris, under construction for more than a year on Rue Saint Honoré, quietly opened for business on Tuesday — and had a crowd of shoppers waiting at the door by 11 a.m. It’s no wonder. The two-level boutique is practically all windows, and people in the neighborhood have been scrutinizing its progress for months. Later in the day, there was no mistaking the presence of Galliano himself, who stopped by for an inspection in his signature newsprint cap, jeans and a black vest. A true fashion celebrity, he welcomed a steady stream of well-wishers, and even young fans asking him to autograph their purchases. The designer plans to officially inaugurate the boutique during couture week in July.
MASTER MCQUEEN: Alexander McQueen is making the most out of his upcoming trip to New York, where he’ll accept the CFDA’s International award next Monday. Besides hosting a CFDA after party for friends at the Soho House, the designer will touch down in time for a trunk show and cocktail party at his Meatpacking District boutique on Thursday. McQueen’s loyal New York customers, including Karen Groos, Yvonne Force and Lillian von Stauffenberg, are all planning to make the trip downtown, with personal shopper Willie Lima leading the way.
NEW TWEEN: Gerren Taylor, touted as the next Naomi Campbell or Tyra Banks, was a fixture during Los Angeles fashion week in April and, more recently, spotted walking the Roberto Cavalli fall 2003 fashion show presented by Neiman Marcus in Las Vegas. But Taylor is 12-years old and admittedly still plays with dolls. It’s a juxtaposition of worlds not lost on ABC’s 20/20, whose producers have been following the Los Angeles native for an as-yet unscheduled profile. Neiman Marcus representatives, who said they weren’t aware of Taylor’s age until the day of the show, didn’t appear undone. “The most exciting thing about fashion is being able to discover new talent,” said a spokesman. But Taylor’s agent, Crista Sides Klayman of L.A. Models, conceded even seemingly shockproof companies have been scared off. Gucci recently backed out of hiring Taylor to informally model during an alcohol-laden cocktail party at the Beverly Hills store. “Sometimes the client gets uncomfortable,” Klayman said.
PHONE HOME: Milan Vukmirovich is fashion’s most recent missing person. Last spotted in New York, Vukmirovich is nowhere to be found, skipping town immediately upon the news last week that Jil Sander was returning to the Prada-controlled company that bears her name. Vukmirovich’s contract as creative director of Jil Sander doesn’t officially expire until June, but Prada didn’t just pull the plug on it. Vukmirovich reportedly used a Prada-owned cell phone and the company has disconnected that number.