SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL: A big name will be missing from the Paris runway calendar when an early version comes out later this week: Christian Lacroix. The designer, who typically invites up to 1,500 people to the Carrousel du Louvre to see his latest ready-to-wear collection, is scaling back. A house spokeswoman said Lacroix wants to show in a more intimate way this season, possibly even hosting a dinner in lieu. The designer is expected to finalize his plans later this week. Although Lacroix’s couture shows are typically triumphant, with applause greeting practically every exit, his ready-to-wear shows have lately received lukewarm receptions. Yves Carcelle, head of LVMH’s fashion and leather goods business, said Lacroix’s decision relates partly to time pressures as he prepares for his debut as the new designer of Pucci in Milan on Sept. 28. Also, Carcelle said it’s time to find a "new, modern way" for the designer to showcase the direction of the house’s various apparel lines, including Bazaar and Christian Lacroix jeans.

Meanwhile, Kenzo, identified by LVMH chief Bernard Arnault as one of the luxury giant’s emerging star brands, has a new leader.

On Tuesday, LVMH notified staff that Vincent Huguenin is the brand’s new president and ceo. He succeeds Herve Martin, who had held the post for five years.

Previously, Huguenin was the president of Petit Bateau, the children’s wear and T-shirt firm, where he commandeered a dramatic growth period. Carcelle confirmed the appointment to WWD. He added that Martin would remain with the group, but that he awaits his next assignment.

ANOTHER SCOOP: All the hype surrounding the meatpacking district as the next retailing hot spot is finally coming to fruition. While Jeffrey New York has been a fixture there for three years, the Alexander McQueen boutique opened in July and Stella McCartney and Rubin Chapelle are slated to open stores this month. Next up is Scoop. The specialty chain is opening a 2,000-square-foot men’s and women’s boutique at 873 Washington Street on the corner of 14th Street on Nov. 5. "It will be the ultimate closet for men and women for casual streetwear," said co-owner Stefani Greenfield. "There is a certain calmness in the meatpacking district that doesn’t exist anymore in SoHo."But the proliferation of businesses in the area doesn’t stop at retailers. Bumble and bumble has leased a 50,000-square-foot space in the district on West 13th Street for a salon and offices. And SoHo House, the private hotel in London, is opening a branch on 13th Street between Washington Street and Ninth Avenue with a restaurant concept from chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

But wait…there’s more. Kim Mogull, a broker at MRH Real Estate Services, added that beyond being a destination for shoppers, diners and gallery hoppers, the area is developing a local customer base through new residential development.

PORTRAIT OF A LADY: It was quite possibly Kate Moss’ longest modeling assignment, and now it’s finally finished.

Britain’s foremost portrait painter, Lucien Freud, unveiled his portrait of the pregnant supermodel over the weekend. Naked Portrait 2002, which Freud started painting at the beginning of the year, shows Moss reclining nude on a bed in the first months of her pregnancy. The almost lifesize painting (Freud’s office wouldn’t divulge any measurements) will not, however, be part of Freud’s retrospective, which runs at Tate Britain through the end of this month. "It’s a shame that Naked Portrait 2002 won’t be here. We’re all a little disappointed, but Freud and our curator considered it to be too big for the collection," said a Tate spokesman. Although Moss has seen the portrait, it’s unclear — a Moss spokesman said — whether she plans to buy it. "If Kate doesn’t buy the painting, it would make a great collectible for someone who is a fan of hers, or indeed someone who loves Freud’s work. It will be exciting to see where it ends up," said a Freud spokeswoman. The portrait is said to be priced in excess of $1.5 million, although Freud’s spokeswoman would not comment on the sticker.

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS: Donna Karan made a splash at the couture shows in Paris last July, turning up front-row at Chanel, Christian Lacroix and Yohji Yamamoto, among others. Will Calvin Klein pick up the baton while he’s in the City of Light to fete his new Avenue Montaigne flagship Oct. 3? Klein has not yet detailed his intentions for his Paris trip — his first in years — but he’s already on board for a welcome dinner hosted by Carine Roitfeld, editor in chief of French Vogue.Elsewhere in the world of Calvin, the designer is giving the American Ballet Theater a real lift. Mannequins in the designer’s Madison Avenue store are suspended in flight like dancers, and several hundred ABT supporters and shoppers are expected to turn up there for a silent auction and shopping night Thursday night. The designer thinks the timing is right to pledge his allegiance to such a stalwart American cultural institution.

In between gulps of Manhattans and Big Apple martinis, guests can bid on 17 items including a Calvin Klein blouse worn by Gwyneth Paltrow in an In Style cover shot and the chance to hand over roses to ABT dancers during a curtain call. There will also be a decidedly American flavor to the evening’s fare — mini BLT’s, hot dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches.

THE BEAT GOES ON: Alexander McQueen, who celebrates his New York boutique Thursday night, dispatched a black CD as an invitation: a compilation of his favorite tracks from Björk, Mekon and Les Rhythmes Digitales. In keeping with the theme, expect some heavyweight musical guests. Among the early RSVPs are Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys and Eve, along with actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Liv Tyler.

MILLER’S MEMORIALS: Sept. 11 memorial silk scarves and ties designed by Nicole Miller and made in New York by UNITE workers will be given today to First Lady Laura Bush, the President and his cabinet, Capitol Hill lawmakers and state and U.S. territory governors. The $18,580 wholesale cost of the 58 scarves and 542 ties — part of the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance — is being underwritten by associations and unions representing firefighters, steel and iron workers, painters and allied trades, and paralyzed veterans. The idea for the fashion tribute was hatched about a month ago by the commission’s director, Carmella LaSpada. She asked Miller to include a field of stars in the design against a navy background to represent those who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"The more I thought about it, the more I thought we needed a visual statement for the leaders to wear," LaSpada said.

There are three stars with flames inside and highlighted in red, white and light blue against the words "Stand With Courage." Miller is scheduled to unfurl her creations this afternoon at a Capitol Hill news conference.

FRENCH CONNECTION: Expect to hear some French spoken in the front row during New York fashion week. Journalists from Elle, Paris Match, Le Figaro and Le Monde will be covering the shows at the invitation of luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. As reported, LVMH, mindful that few Paris publications send reps to Manhattan for the shows due to the expense, decided to pitch in. LVMH owns Donna Karan and also has investments in Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors, but the delegates are free to cover all other designers, noted Jean-Jacques Picart, a consultant to LVMH who will accompany the four editors.

TIFFANY’S RUSH HOUR: On Thursday, Tiffany & Co. will add some red carpet glamour to Grand Central Station’s commuter frenzy when it celebrates five people for their charitable work and community service.

Honorees Bette Midler, Candace Bushnell, Marcia Gay Harden, Dr. Edwin Schlossberg and Dan Marino are expected to attend the event, which coincides with the launch of the new Tiffany Mark watch collection.

"Tiffany is honoring outstanding individuals who have set the mark in their chosen fields as well as in their dedication to community and charitable organizations," said Michael J. Kowalski, the fabled jeweler’s president and chief executive.

The New York party will be followed by events in Atlanta, Beverly Hills, Boston, Chicago, Sydney and Toronto, and other honorees include George Lucas, Frank Gehry and David Schwimmer.

HORSIN’ AROUND: Designer Mark Badgley of Badgley Mischka continued his winning streak at the Hampton Classic horse show this year, where he and his mount, Baltimore, won the non-professional division for the second straight year on Aug. 25. Badgley competed in the Hunter division, which has lower jumping fences. It is not based on time, but rather on how the horse executes the course in terms of style and aesthetic. Badgley also won an adult amateur class competition later in the week. Hooves off to him.

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