Karl and InEs, the Sequel: It’s 10 years since their original fracas, and now that Ines de la Fressange has been fired from her own house, Karl Lagerfeld has invited her back to Chanel. “We are on the best of terms,” said the designer of his former muse. “I may invite her to the show.” The offer he has made is that she act as a sort of ambassador for the house. “She could take care of accessories for us…It’s normal. There are not so many good people, and I’ve known Ines since she was 17. It may be difficult for her to return, but it’s not unpleasant to know she’s wanted.” Lagerfeld and de la Fressange have spoken about the matter. “She wants to keep her name, which I understand,” Karl noted. “But at our height, we worked well together — no?”
De la Fressange, for her part, is very touched by his gallantry. “He invited me to the Cote Basque — his house in Biarritz — not bad for one of the newly unemployed!” she said. But the former model wondered what she might do at Chanel. “Obviously the catwalk is out of the question,” she said. “Directrice at the haute couture? I don’t think I’d be very good with the millionaires. A stylist? Well, Karl has proved that he needs no one — whether designing, taking photographs…I would love a huge contract to do nothing, but I don’t know if the Wertheimers would be amused. I know Karl would be.”
The Price of Charity: The Rome-based fashion company Swish decided not to splurge on Naomi Campbell for its show this season, and opted instead to donate the money to an African relief organization called Amani. “Instead of dressing Naomi this season, we’re going to dress 16 Kenyan children,” a Swish spokesman said. Word from Riccardo Gay, Naomi’s agency here, said the model was too busy to do the show anyway, as she’s shooting a fragrance ad in a town south of Milan.
But the story doesn’t end there: Swish’s good deeds came with some sexy strings attached. Minutes after the company pledged the money to a priest from Amani, the show kicked off — with music that blended the voice of Pope John Paul II with the sounds of a woman apparently in the throes of ecstacy. The priest walked out, and the Archdiocese of Milan later issued a statement saying that Swish had acted in poor taste. “We’re displeased to note that the fashion world has to stoop to such low levels to draw attention to itself.” A Swish spokesman said the company simply wanted to make “a broad reference to pleasure” and didn’t mean to offend anyone.