DIAL STYLE: Michelle Yeoh won’t have trouble keeping in touch while traveling around Africa, Vietnam and India for an upcoming documentary. “I’m designing my own phone,” the Chinese actress revealed at the Dior couture show Monday, noting her partner is luxury phone brand Vertu. Yeoh will be ringing up roaming charges as she tours Africa and Asia while working on “Make Roads Safe,” an international campaign on road safety. “I was horrified to learn about the shocking number of deaths that take place on unsafe roads,” she said. “I felt compelled to do something about it.”
Yeoh sat next to Diane Kruger in the front row. “I’ve just finished shooting ‘For Her,’” said Kruger. “It’s a balancing act between a thriller and a love story as they always are.”
Burlesque artist Dita Von Teese said her latest project was developing a line in Europe for Wonderbra to debut later this year. “It’s perfect for me,” she said. Meanwhile, French actress Hélène de Fougerolles said she had dyed her blonde hair dark to play in the upcoming French horror film “Mutants.” “We’re filming in Chamonix, but I can’t do any skiing because of my contract,” she sighed.
IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Antoine Arnault and Giambattista Valli turned out to celebrate the first anniversary of Lapo Elkann’s brand Italia Independent at Colette in Paris Friday night. Arnault disclosed Elkann and he, who have known each other for 10 years, own apartments just a floor apart in Paris’ swanky Invalides district. “He plays his music too loud,” Arnault joked. The LVMH honcho also shares the Fiat heir’s love of cars, with a trip planned to drive some 4,000 kilometers across China in May with Pietro Beccari, senior vice president of product and advertising for Louis Vuitton. “And I’m only coming if I’m driving,” he noted.
BLEACHERS CHIC: Kris Van Assche’s runway debut for Dior Homme Sunday night at the climax of Men’s Fashion Week in Paris brought out all kinds of fashion-world heavyweights, from Bernard Arnault to John Galliano and Karl Lagerfeld. Despite all that star power, however, Amanda Lepore and American rapper Cazwell stole the spotlight, creating a paparazzi frenzy as they were escorted to their seats.
BRAINS AND BEAUTY: Ahead of his couture show Monday night, Giorgio Armani dispatched copies of “Inheriting Beauty,” the latest book by photographer Roger Moenks with Armani’s niece Roberta on its cover. Among the 90 notable women featured are Delphine Arnault-Gancia, Francesca Versace and Vivia Ferragamo. Each photo, taken in their homes is accompanied by a favorite childhood snap. Actress Kiera Chaplin is seen dancing with her grandfather Charlie, for instance. “All the women impressed me,” said Moenks, adding, “Roberta embodies style and grace. Her picture is very iconic and represents a very free-thinking woman.” There will be a signing in Armani’s New York store when the book goes on sale in February.
A TALL ORDER: It’s a good thing the front row at a fashion show offers lots of legroom. Among the towering figures expected at Valentino’s swan song couture show in Paris Wednesday night are Uma Thurman and Gwyneth Paltrow, plus five models also gifted in the vertical department: Nadja Auermann, Claudia Schiffer, Karolina Kurkova, Eva Herzigova and Karen Mulder. Also expected at the farewell show, to be staged in a tent in the Rodin Museum, are about 100 Valentino employees who are flying in to bid farewell to the Roman couturier. Last week, all the seamstresses in the couture atelier had their portraits taken with the designer – framed to take home for posterity.
Meanwhile, Valentino won’t be staying still once he hangs up his scissors. He’s heading to Brazil for Carnival to celebrate the birthday of longtime business partner Giancarlo Giammetti and also to Russia for a charity event headed by model Natalia Vodianova.
THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL: Leave it to Giorgio Armani – who had Beyonce, Jay-Z, Kelly Rowland and Ludacris at his men’s shows in Milan last week – to keep the celebrity ball rolling. Among the bold-faced names expected at his Armani Privé couture show Monday night are Hilary Swank, Ellen Pompeo from “Grey’s Anatomy” and up-and-coming British actress Rebecca Hall.
POETRY IN MOTION: Author and former model Sophie Dahl has been taking in Men’s Fashion Week in Paris as a writing assignment for Men’s Vogue. Although she declined to give her impressions, saving those for the article, she said she’s accustomed to borrowing from the boys. “I love a man’s shirt to wear with a pair of pants and a nice big cardigan,” she said.
ZIP LOCK: Chloe designer Paulo Melim Andersson turned up Sunday at the Lanvin men’s wear show in Paris – practically unnoticed in the second row. He said he came out to support his old friend Lucas Ossendrijver, who collaborates with Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz on the men’s line. “We met on New Year’s Eve in 1994 in Amsterdam,” said Andersson, who was decked out in a ?hardware-festooned outfit by Junya Watanabe. “Do you think it’s too many zippers?” he asked.