SINCE YOU DO KNOW HER NAME: It looks like more than just music is in the diary of Alicia Keys. The Grammy-winning artist is expanding into fashion, having signed on with Signatures Network Inc., the San Francisco company that is handling Jessica Simpson’s foray into apparel. “She’s got a very distinct style,” said Matthew Hautau, SNI vice president of licensing and marketing. “She brings so much focus to the table as an artist.” That includes a certain mystique. With her sophomore effort, “The Diary of Alicia Keys,” in stores now, the otherwise reclusive Harlem-based singer-songwriter did the public rounds again, dressed in Brazilian designer T. Frizon for Clive Barker’s annual ’do Saturday, and Roberto Cavalli for Sunday’s Grammys. She’s also shown a penchant for Dior’s more daring looks. While Simpson’s zeroing in on juniors’, reflecting her primary fan base, Keys will likely skew more contemporary, Hautau said. The deal is in its earliest stages, and licensees, first-year sales or even a launch date have yet to be determined.



M-I-C…D-V-F: For all those years that Michael Eisner’s Disney owned WWD, he never managed to catch a fashion show. But his mentor, Barry Diller, drew Eisner into the fray at Diane von Furstenberg, where he sat in awe as Salman Rushdie was pushed aside by the paparazzi, who focused on the novelist’s girlfriend, Padma Lakshmi. As for his own style, Eisner would only describe it as “eclectic.” But he owes a lot to Diller, so he turned up for the show.

“He told me he sold 65,000 room units at Walt Disney World on Hotels.com,” Eisner said. “So you could see we are business partners, of a kind.”

As for how long Eisner thought he’d be in his current job, he said, “Twenty to 25 years, maybe.” Maybe indeed.



BOOP-BOOP-A-DOOP: Ashley Judd not only turned up the star wattage at Tuleh, she made a point of hanging out at the company’s after party, which was really more of a low-key dinner at Soho House for about 20 staff members, seamstresses and patternmakers. “I like how the clothes go whoop!” she said to designer Bryan Bradley, then spun on her heel to show off her derriere, like a latter-day Betty Boop.

RINGSIDE: Ja Rule was “checking out the heat” Sunday night at Luca Luca and he didn’t mean his seatmate, Mya. Before eyeing the runway, the rapper and his wife, Aisha, will add women’s apparel to their ErvingGeoffrey collection. The name is a play off of Irv Gotti’s birth name, Irving, and Ja’s real name, Jeffrey. (Gotti is the founder of the record label formerly known as Murder Inc.) “We wanted to check out the ladies’ stuff. I’m not really, really, really up on fashion,” said the father of three.

Dressed in a hot pink fur from Nija Furs, a favorite with Mary J. Blige and others, Ja Rule’s wife said she favors Seven jeans, Manolo Blahniks and, “of course, Gucci, Vuitton” and the like. That said, the collection will be a notch up in price from JLo, and will include furs and denim.

Ray Liotta played a real good fella by tagging along with his girlfriend, Donna Puzio, to the Luca Luca show. “I’ve never been to a fashion show before. It’s a trip. The energy is almost more than at a premiere.”

His next show will be “Match” on Broadway in April. “It’s not about clothes,” he laughed. “It’s about a guy looking for his dad.” He stars alongside Melora Walters and Frank Langella in Stephen Belber’s play.



OSCAR RACE: Quelle suprise! A major show trying to start on time? Obviously someone forgot that editors are so used to delays that they expect to be seated even if it’s almost a quarter past the hour. By 1:15 the rope was up at Oscar de la Renta’s show and nary a p.r. flunkie was in sight, but a small crowd of editors, including Vanity Fair’s Elizabeth Saltzman and Anne McNally, Time’s Kate Betts, Flaunt’s Long Nguyen and the Visionaire crew were left out, tickets in hand. A rousing argument ensued between editors and tent security, which p.r. maven James Laforce (who was setting up for another show) tried to mediate, to no avail. Those who remained outside watched it on the monitor.

UPDATE FROM PARIS: Paris designer Lloyd Klein opened his eyes and was able to verbalize his first words on Monday for the first time since he and several staff members were critically injured in a multiple-vehicle collision on their way to an airport in Paris to bring Klein’s fall collection to New York. John Arguelles, president of Groupe Klein Vendôme, the parent company of Lloyd Klein, said the designer is showing definite signs of improvement and that the other injured passengers are likely to be released within a few days.

“It’s an amazing sign there could be a recovery,” Arguelles said, noting that Klein had been unconscious since the accident on Saturday. He remains in intensive care in a Paris hospital.



BRONZE MEDALIST: The ubiquitous smoky eyes are back, but, as always, there’s a twist. This season, rather than black and smoldering, they’re bronze and sparkly — as Jeanine Lobell did for Nicole Miller, Charlie Green (working for Bourjois) did at Monique Lhuillier and as Gucci Westman did at Carolina Herrera. “It’s elegant, but not too sophisticated,” said Lobell. Green called the look “expensive, soigné and sexy.”

As for hair, so far, there’s been more volume than a rock concert. Whether in free-flowing curls — as Jimmy Paul for Bumble and bumble did at Tuleh and Dennis Lanni for Bumble and bumble did at Rebecca Taylor — or restrained a bit, as in Noah Hatton for Redken’s curls fashioned into a bun at Nicole Miller, or Renato Lampora for Bumble and bumble’s low, loose ponytails at Alice Roi, it’s all about big hair so far.

And a strong brow is an asset this season, as Diane Kendal for MAC at Catherine Malandrino and Lobell at Alice Roi, among others, proved this weekend.



WE’RE ALL CONNECTED: Stephen Ruzow, president of women’s wear at Kellwood Co., is making the rounds of the fashion shows this week, and it seems as if every designer is somehow connected to Kellwood. Ruzow was at the Oscar de la Renta show (Kellwood just signed a deal for O Oscar), and plans to attend the Calvin Klein show (Kellwood and G.A.V. produce the Calvin Klein better line) and the Baby Phat show (Kellwood purchased Phat Farm last month).So what was he doing at the Jill Stuart show Monday afternoon? “They invited me,” said Ruzow, who also plans to attend Vera Wang Wednesday morning.

As for Kellwood’s dress business — which is one of itsspecialties — Ruzow said the company doesn’t plan to make a bid for any of the Leslie Fay lines that are being auctioned off this week.



WINDOW DRESSING: Azzedine Alaïa is on the move. Fresh off a collaboration with Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, the designer is launching a limited-edition T-shirt and printed blouse for Paris department store Galeries Lafayette. He’s also launching an in-store shop there, which will be announced via the store’s 14 window displays for one month, starting Feb. 26 — just in time for Paris Fashion Week.



MAMA MIA: Shoshanna Lonstein has a forthcoming line of maternity swimwear and dresses with A Pea in the Pod, but don’t buy her any baby gifts just yet. At the Carolina Herrera show, she said, “Wouldn’t that be great if I got pregnant?” she said. Not to mention thep.r. boost it would give the line. “I’m definitely going to hold some of the sundresses, if I’m not.”



ESCADA AND HERCULES: Escada had a little extra protection for the presentation Monday of its fall collections, held at its 717 Fifth Avenue store. For about an hour, the store had a group of heavily armed New York City police officers stationed out front. “There were six or eight of them with huge guns,” said an Escada spokeswoman, who added she told the officers, “This is a little intimidating for our guests.” Unfazed, the officers said they were scheduled to stay at that address for about an hour. “They were completely amused, but obviously ready to do their job,” said the spokeswoman. A NYPD spokeswoman said the officers were what’s known as a Hercules Team, which is routinely assigned to locations throughout the city to make the department’s presence known. The deployment was unrelated to fashion week, she said.

CYNTHIA’S NEW OWNERS: “That’s my seat,” quipped former LF Brands chairman John Pomerantz to Nicholas DiPaolo, vice chairman and chief operating officer of Bernard Chaus Inc., who was seated in the front row next to the runway at the

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