THE UNINVITED: Don’t look for Suzy Menkes’s review of Donatella Versace’s first collection in the International Herald Tribune. Rumor has it the Versaces were incensed over Menkes’s harsh appraisal of Gianni Versace’s career in articles that ran after his death. As a result, Menkes was not invited to Donatella’s show.
LEATHER UP: Everyone seems to be snapping up hot London designers these days. Ruffo, an Italian leather manufacturer, has just signed Antonio Berardi to design a collection to bow next year for fall ’98. The line will be called Ruffo Research and, unlike the traditional Ruffo collection, it will be targeted to a younger, hipper market.
AX THE TAX, TAKE TWO: On Monday, WWD reported that Italy’s fashion industry leaders were threatening to fight a 4 percent rise in value-added tax, part of the proposed 1998 budget. But it looks as if their war will have to wait, because Italy has no more government. On Thursday, Prime Minister Romano Prodi — head of Italy’s 55th government since World War II — resigned because he couldn’t convince the Refounded Communists in his coalition to give the OK to his 1998 budget. Next week, Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro will decide, after meeting with parliamentary leaders, either to appoint a new prime minister or to dissolve parliament and call fresh elections.

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