WELL-WELL DU JOUR: With speculation heating up that Domenico De Sole and Tom Ford could step down from Gucci Group when their employment contracts run out next year and Pinault-Printemps-Redoute completes its stock buyout, rumors are bubbling up everywhere about who could possibly take up the design reins from Ford. The latest to surface has Alexander McQueen, one of the young guns in the group’s stable, taking over the Gucci brand. Asked about it Monday night at Harvey Nichols, which was christening a new McQueen shop, the designer said: “I’ve heard those rumors, too, but they’re just not true.” A spokeswoman for the designer drove the point home: “His own collection is so important to him, and that’s his focus. He’s not going to Gucci.” Guests at McQueen’s party included Christina Aguilera, Erin O’Connor, Jodie Kidd, Jessica de Rothschild, Jerry Springer, Sam Taylor Wood and Jasmine Guinness.

Meanwhile, over in Paris, designer Loulou de la Falaise, pegged by some as Ford’s imminent successor at Yves Saint Laurent, no matter that she just launched a signature fashion house, had a good chuckle: “I deny it,” she said. “This is the first I’ve heard of it.”

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