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Fashion Scoops: Trading Sides … Cafe Society … Face Off …

TRADING SIDES: Boy George, ablaze in metallic blue face paint and a colorful bottlecap-laden poorboy cap, grooved in the front row of the D&G runway show Thursday in Milan. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana made the kitschy hat especially for the pop...

TRADING SIDES: Boy George, ablaze in metallic blue face paint and a colorful bottlecap-laden poorboy cap, grooved in the front row of the D&G runway show Thursday in Milan. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana made the kitschy hat especially for the pop music icon, who plans to take his London musical, “Tabu,” to Broadway within the next few months. A usual fixture and DJ at Versace shows, Boy George played down the fact he was jumping ship for D&G. “I don’t see this at all as an act of a traitor,” Boy George said. “Darling, it’s only fashion — it’s only clothes.”

CAFE SOCIETY: When Chloé takes over Café de Flore in Paris next Thursday for its 50th anniversary party, the Left Bank landmark will have something new on the menu: entertainment. Word has it that pop goddess Kylie Minogue, a fan of Chloé creative director Phoebe Philo, will be on hand for a surprise musical performance.

FACE OFF: Never mind Milan Fashion Week. Modeling agencies in the U.S. and abroad are scrambling to get their top girls invited to Lancôme’s launch of its new skin care line, Résolution, Monday night at the Plaza Athénee Hotel. Sources say that Lancôme’s senior vice president and general manager, Dalia Chammas, who’s throwing the dinner and party with the house’s current spokeswomen Mena Suvari and Devon Aoki, is looking to sign a new face to a lucrative contract. But the models will face some stiff competition for face time with the cosmetics guru from expected guests, including Lauren Bush and a smattering of hometown socialites. Headed to the bash are Eleanor Lembo, Marisa Brown, Hilary Dick, Blaine Trump, Serena Boardman and her sister, Samantha, who just wrapped her first ad campaign as one of the faces of Chanel’s fragrance Allure.

AMERICA’S MOST-WANTED MODELS: When the U.S. armed forces aren’t training for Operation Enduring Freedom, they’ve got one thing on their minds: fashion models.

According to an e-mail that was dispatched from “confidential whereabouts,” a team of military operatives deployed overseas for possible combat has come up with an interesting parlor game to keep themselves occupied in the interim. Through a satellite feed, the soldiers have been watching 24-hour-a-day Fashion TV, and “we have all chosen a model from one of the many shows and the first person to receive an e-mail from their model is the winner.”

This story first appeared in the February 28, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

One soldier was able to identify his favorite, Ana Beatriz Barros from Women Model Management, by contacting Carmen Marc Valvo’s Seventh Avenue offices on Wednesday. An autographed picture is in the works, although its eventual destination will have to be classified.

NEW RINGY-DINGHIES: Ernestine, Lily Tomlin’s nasal-pitched operator character from the variety show Laugh-In, lives again, most recently on television and radio ads for WebEx’s online conferencing software. What’s changed is her wardrobe. Tomlin paid a visit to Los Angeles designer Peter Cohen, known for minimalist styles, at his boutique off La Brea Avenue to update the character’s puffed-sleeve shirt. “She came by six to eight times — she was fastidious and very concerned about the details,” Cohen said. A Cohen fan for six months, Tomlin selected a burnt orange bias-cut, four-ply silk dress and ivory piqué jacket for her spotlight. “The combination was off — you wouldn’t normally pair them together,” said Cohen, noting that his designer tie-in isn’t exactly a coup others crave. “Some people may not think it’s flattering, but it’s another feather in my hat.”

A SCENIC SIGNING: Steven Cojocaru is going on display at Barneys. On March 8, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the People magazine fashion scribe will sit in the window at the Madison Avenue store and sign copies of his new tome, “Red Carpet Diaries: Confessions of a Glamour Boy.”

“He connects fashion to regular people, he’s not an elitist,” said Simon Doonan, Barneys’ creative director. “Plus, we’re putting him in the window where everyone can see him. He’s a raving exhibitionist, but he can also make fun of himself, so this is the perfect venue for him.”