TOGA PARTY: After bowing out of the gala-show hoopla this year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is planning a dramatic return of its Costume Institute Gala on April 28, 2003, with a title sponsor already in place. Gucci has signed on to host the "Party of the Year" and the Met’s upcoming "Goddess" exhibit, which explores how classical dress has inspired and influenced art and fashion throughout the ages.

"Classical revivals in dress are a mainstay not only of contemporary fashion, but are also found throughout costume history," said Harold Koda, curator of the Costume Institute. "We’re going to track the Greco-Roman authority back through the Empire, Rococo and Baroque periods." The exhibit will even take a look at Hollywood’s representation of the classical past, as seen in Isadora Duncan’s dance performances for "Medea" and "Gladiator."

MATTHEW’S MEMORIES: Matthew Williamson is planning to look back on his career as a fashion designer — all five years of it — in a retrospective scheduled to take place in London. The designer has asked Rankin to photograph friends, including Jade Jagger, Trudie Styler, Helena Christensen, Sophie Dahl and Claudia Schiffer, in looks from his past 10 seasons. The photographic exhibition will take place in September during London Fashion Week in a venue that’s still to be decided, and plans are in the works to take it to other fashion cities. A spokeswoman said Williamson is entirely serious about the flashback after such a brief period in business — and there’s no irony intended. "He really wanted to document the past five years of his career, and thank his friends — like Jade, Helena and Trudie — who’ve stuck with him since the beginning," she said.

FOOT FETISH: Gilles Bensimon’s fall boots and sandals story in the August issue of Elle has raised several eyebrows with images of a woman kissing another’s red lacquered nails or another in an Alexander McQueen corset on all fours, rump to the camera. But one of the less salacious images of a Christian Louboutin satin mule on page 152, shown as a still life of the shoe propped against a photograph of a woman wearing them, holds a more subtle mystery. Turns out the model in question is Diane Von Furstenberg, a close pal and frequent collaborator of the footwear designer, although her stems are not credited in the caption."I thought it looked better with no text," said Bensimon, publication director of Elle. "The idea was to have Diane’s legs, because, I thought, if her legs could talk, they would have a lot to say."

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