THE ROYAL TOUCH: Parfums Givenchy apparently wants an upscale, aristocratic image for its next women's fragrance, with an ad campaign reportedly starring Marie de Villepin, a socialite, actress and aspiring model who also happens to be the daughter of the prime minister of France, Dominique de Villepin. A spokeswoman at Givenchy acknowledged hearing the speculation, but declined to comment.

However, the fragrance in question is said to be higher-priced and more exclusively positioned than Givenchy's other scents, including the 2003 hit Very Irresistible Givenchy, fronted by Liv Tyler. That campaign was calculated to evoke memories of the relationship between Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn by featuring a spunky young American. This new scent reportedly is designed to restore the luster of the house with a decidedly more aristocratic bearing. But there's one catch: According to sources around Paris, Papa de Villepin, who needs to tone down his haughty image if he wants to win the French presidency in 2007, is said to be unhappy that his daughter is going to appear in such a high-profile campaign, which, while glamorous, could be seen in some quarters as elitist. Perhaps Givenchy should call the fragrance Bourgeois.

LOOKING FOR A DEAL: The fashion crowd always keeps its eyes peeled for a bargain — especially when it comes to Prada. The brand's flagship in New York's SoHo is still shuttered following the fire in the building next door last month, and magazine editors and others are salivating over the prospects the damaged merchandise will be sold off for a song. Several even have called the Prada offices wondering if there will be a "fire sale." Isn't the press discount enough?

COSTUME KUDOS: Edith Head, James Acheson and Milena Canonero will be the first Hollywood costume designers to be honored by the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style, the street plaque designation created by Beverly Hills and the Rodeo Drive Committee to recognize the crossroads between fashion and the entertainment industries. The Feb. 28 ceremony is slated to kick off Oscar-week festivities in Tinseltown. The trio follows awards to Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford, Herb Ritts and Mario Testino since the award was created in 2003. Costume design, said committee chair Peri Ellen Berne, is "a natural category to honor. Plus, what better timing than the week leading up to the Oscars." The legendary Head, posthumously honored, received more than 35 Academy Award nominations and eight wins. Acheson has three nominations and three trophies for his work, including the 1987 "The Last Emperor." And Canonero has seven nominations and two Oscars to her credit, including 1986's "Out of Africa" and 1982's "Chariots of Fire." The next recipient of the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style will be Salvatore Ferragamo in October.STAR SEATING: Let the celebrity front-row tally begin. Lyn Devon's Wednesday night show kicked off the count with Julia Stiles and Lake Bell of "Surface" and "Boston Legal." Lucky for them, there was hardly the paparazzi frenzy now de rigueur at shows, given the early date and intimate stage setting at the National Arts Club in Gramercy Park. Bell, currently filming "Pride and Glory" with Edward Norton, Nick Nolte and Colin Farrell, is actually a close childhood friend of the designer; their mothers are best friends and the girls grew up together on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. And while Stiles may have no such personal connection to the 25-year-old Devon, she certainly has an interest in off-the-radar talent. She showed up in beige trousers and an emerald green top by Czech designer Klara Nademlynska — whose Prague boutique Stiles stumbled upon while filming the upcoming remake of the Seventies horror classic "The Omen." Points to the actress, too, since she even managed to spell the hard-to-pronounce moniker right.

NO GO: First Lady Laura Bush won't be making a repeat performance at today's The Heart Truth/Red Dress fashion show. Bush's cameo at last year's event crowned her as the first First Lady to attend a Bryant Park runway show. But last week she phoned in her regrets for today's crowd pleaser. This time around models such as Lindsay Lohan, Sheryl Crow, Kelly Rowland, Debbie Harry, Avril Lavigne, Michelle Phillips, LeAnn Rimes, Audra McDonald and Lee Ann Womack will be among those distracting attendees.

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