THE NEWEST FASHIONISTA: Among the spectators crowding Chanel’s noon show Tuesday was a relatively unfamiliar face. Maureen Chiquet, the new designated head of Chanel Inc., took in her first Chanel couture collection in the company of the man she has been tapped to succeed, Arie Kopelman, who is due to retire as president and chief operating officer of the New York-based Chanel Inc. in January 2005. Chiquet, former president of Banana Republic, will spend a year in Paris studying Chanel’s French operation. She attended Tuesday’s show with her husband, Antoine.

COCO NUTS: Who said that stars have all the luck? French actress and Chanel ambassador Anna Mouglalis, for example, had to hobble to her seat with the aid of a cane at Karl Lagerfeld’s couture show for the house on Tuesday. Mouglalis recently fractured her big toe while in Italy shooting a yet-to-be titled film. “You see, acting is a high-risk trade,” she quipped. The accident, it seems, happened when a suspension bridge leading to a boat gave way and fell on her foot. But the ever-stylish beauty has made the best of a bad situation. “Karl whipped up a little lace bootie for my foot,” Mouglalis said. “That way I look like a little dancer — not crippled.” Kylie Minogue, another front-row guest, explained that she was there to prepare for a Chanel-only couture shoot for Pop magazine. “I’m going to be picking out my favorite pieces,” she said. “But I think the clothes will need a lot of alterations. I’m so much smaller than the models.” The singer added that she would soon be rushing back to London, where she’s busy making a new CD, due out in December. “It’s about half finished,” she said. “But the second half is proving difficult.”

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