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WHAT’S OLD AND WHAT’S NEW: “I was a model once, so this isn’t anything new to me,” said Lorraine Bracco as she entered Diane Von Furstenberg’s show on Sunday night, fresh from a matinee of “The Graduate” and casual in an Oscar de la Renta turtleneck and black Donna Karan pants. At least DVF’s clothes were something new to her, since her modeling career predated the designers’ multiple comebacks. “I was too old,” she sighed.
A fresher face to the catwalks, that of Lauren Bush, turned up a few minutes later. Bush — who’s been making the New York scene like mad over the past week — was shopping for clothes that would travel well, suitable for the lifestyle of a model-cum-budding-designer-cum-co-ed. “The best thing about Diane’s clothes,” she said, “is that you can wear them wherever you want.” What about to the Dior party she attended last week?
WHO SAID THERE ARE NO CELEBS?: Of all the people in the world who couldn’t possibly be less accustomed to a photographer’s flashbulb, public relations stalwart Lizzie Grubman, surrounded by a dozen paparazzi at Alice Roi’s show Sunday night, thinks the media overload is actually a sign that New York has regained its fashion sense. “It’s great to see fashion week is back to what it once was,” she said, although she admitted there were an awful lot of photographers for basically two demi-celebs — her and Damon Dash. “There were a lot more celebrities last season.”
GUERRILLA GOES MAINSTREAM: Among the hordes of newspaper flingers and taxicab hailers outside the tents before Carolina Herrera’s show was a group of young women handing out blue canvas tote bags from Gap. Turns out the freebies are part of a three-day spree by the chain to place its products on some of the industry’s most fashionable heads. Some of the Gap workers said they’d be giving out shrunken polo shirts outside Bill Blass’ show today and crusher hats at Michael Kors on Wednesday. But the plug had one adverse affect the company surely wasn’t expecting. Within an hour of Herrera’s show, several women were spotted at the Gap on 42nd Street and Broadway attempting to return the $78 bags.
OUR LONDON FRIENDS: The London stage is fast becoming Hollywood’s answer to London Fashion Week — a rite of passage, despite the modest stage wages. Matthew Perry is the latest in a flock of Hollywood actors — Casey Affleck, Matt Damon and Tobey Maguire among them — trying to prove he can emote as much onstage as on-screen. Playing opposite Minnie Driver, Perry will star in David Mamet’s “Sexual Perversity in Chicago.” The production, which opens at The Comedy Theatre in May, follows the fortunes of four young people looking for love. What happened to the other two “Friends,” though?
TO ELLE WITH ’EM: Elle magazine might have reaped some good exposure for its plan to arrange taxi service around the shows, but several people are complaining that its little taxi kiosks near Bryant Park and other fashion show sites are a bust. Even though Elle said there was supposed to be a fleet of 500 cabs available, they must have meant cumulatively. And the promise that some of them were free doesn’t seem to be the case for the rare few who have found them.
A few minutes after DKNY’s show on Monday in the far reaches of Chelsea, none were available at the kiosk on 10th Avenue and 21st Street. “I’ve seen the kiosks,” said Robert Burke, vice president and senior fashion director of Bergdorf Goodman. “But where are the cabs?” Valets in Elle gear at that corner said there had been 20 cabs there just a minute before, but they had all been taken.
VENUE VERSACE: After several seasons showing at her palazzo in Via Gesù, Donatella Versace reportedly plans to hold her fall show at Milan’s Spazio Antologico, a group of studios about 20 minutes from the city’s center. The designer will have one evening presentation of both the Versus and Versace lines on March 4. A source close to the company said Versace was “ready to make a change” and was looking for a “new, large, exciting space.” In true Versace style, a party will follow — no doubt with plenty of her signature celebrities.
Meanwhile, guests who make their way to May’s annual Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center benefit — sponsored by Versace — might get more than they bargained for. Past themes for the gambling party have run the gamut from Monte Carlo to Las Vegas, but this year’s event won’t rely on any of those dicey locales. “Indecent Proposal,” is the evening’s handle, with chairmen Eugenie Niven, Tory Burch, Hilary Dick, Anne Grauso, Courtney Moss and Alexis Waller in sexy getups to match.