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WHITE HOUSE: Inimitable, Karl Lagerfeld? Not quite. In the latest issue of Paris Match, French first lady Bernadette Chirac is photographed wearing a pair of fingerless leather gloves, a nod to a designer who never takes his off. No wonder: Lagerfeld himself took the photo. Chirac, who is busy packing up to move out of the Elysée Palace soon — the French will be electing a new President on April 22 — gave a tour of her home to the weekly magazine. Lagerfeld shot Chirac with members of her staff and in the Elysée wine cellar. The 10-page article also includes a spread of photographs Chirac selected herself, which illustrate her 12 years spent at the palace.
SUPER FLY: When it comes to “Spider-Man 3,” one of the most anticipated summer blockbusters, apparently a few red carpets just won’t do. So the City of New York and Columbia Pictures have designated April 30 to May 6 as the official “Spider-Man Week in NYC,” full of events in all five boroughs like a cast appearance in Rockefeller Center, a special advance screening of the film in Queens (Peter Parker’s hometown), “Spidey Chats” at the Central Park and Bronx Zoos and a spider exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, all leading up to the movie’s May 4th worldwide opening. Arachnophobes start planning your vacation now.
MUIR MANIA: The retail hysteria at the Jean Muir shop on London’s Conduit Street may not have hit Topshop or H&M levels, but nevertheless it was buzzing all last week with bargain-hunters. The stand-alone store, the designer’s first and only retail unit, is shutting its doors this week following the closure of the company — and everything was on sale. Harry Leukert, Muir’s widower and company chief, said in January that he would close the business due to a lack of adequate investment for further expansion. Nicolas Steneke, managing director of the brand, said shoppers were sweeping up the spring collections as well as older items left in stock. He said there has been no change at all regarding the future of the company. Leukert continues to own the name and the rights to the company, while the Jean Muir archive has been donated to the National Museums of Scotland, and will soon be open to the public.
HILTON CHECKS IN: Paris Hilton — the brand — continues to experiment with tie-ups. The celebutante breezed into Basel, Switzerland, on Saturday to launch her self-named watch collection, in collaboration with Parlux, the company that already makes Hilton’s fragrance. While the heiress proclaimed a love for luxury timepieces from the likes of Rolex and Franck Muller, Hilton said her watches are for the people. “Not everyone can afford that type of watch,” chimed Hilton at a news conference before a pack of star-struck European journalists. The watches, scheduled to be in stores this fall, are expected to retail for $150 to $250. Not to fear, though. Hilton said her tastes in jewelry remain resolutely expensive. “I like Chopard,” she purred. “I like diamonds.”