SOLDATO JANE: After doing the rounds at the London shows, Demi Moore stormed the fashion battlefield in Milan over the weekend, where she was promoting the Italian opening of “G.I. Jane.” Demi kicked up an assault wherever she went with her entourage of bodyguards, paparazzi and fans. She hit the Versace flagship on Via Montenapoleone, where she picked up some slinky jersey strapless dresses and a mink-trimmed coat and cardigan. She invaded the Versus show Saturday night and was in command at Dolce & Gabbana’s show and dinner in her honor Sunday. Demi didn’t slacken off on her G.I. training, either. In the midst of all the frenzy, she reserved the swimming pool at the Hotel Principe exclusively for her use so she could do her laps at any hour of the day or night.
THE TOUGH GO SHOPPING: As we all know, Prada is snapping up real estate like candy these days, and the campaign hasn’t stopped. One of the latest spots that has caught the eye of Prada’s production arm, IPI, is a choice location on Milan’s swank Via Montenapoleone currently occupied by the jeweler Calderoni. Prada is in talks to sign a lease for the site, which is down the street from Prada’s men’s store. Meanwhile, Prada fans, beware — Patrizio Bertelli decided to hike the Italian price list by 10 percent. He did it after he realized that Asian shoppers were popping over to Milan to take advantage of the prices of their favorite items, which cost as much as 60 percent more in their home countries.
AX THE TAX: Fashion industry leaders here are threatening to take to the streets in protest if the government doesn’t back down on a decision to increase Italy’s value-added tax 4 points to 20 percent. The increase is part of the government’s proposed 1998 budget, which has yet to be passed by parliament. The heads of Italy’s textile, clothing and footwear federations are set to meet with Italy’s finance minister today to discuss the increase. “We are ready to protest publicly and forcefully if the government refuses to listen to us,” said Vittorio Giulini, chairman of Moda Industria, the association of Italian clothing manufacturers. “The increase would damage sales in Italy, increase inflation and put many jobs at risk.”
On the bright side, exports to the U.S. rose nearly 47 percent in the first three months of 1997, thanks to the strong dollar. In 1996, they rose 13 percent to $443 million, according to Moda Industria.
TRUSSARDI TAKES MILAN: There’s no stopping Nicola Trussardi, a man with a fever for building new boutiques — and seeing his name plastered around the city. Last fall, it was the five-story Marino alla Scala, which houses Trussardi’s showroom as well as a restaurant, bookstore and gallery space. This year, it’s his sleek, renovated boutique on Via Saint’Andrea with white marble interiors and a lush enclosed garden in the back. The 6,480-square- foot store is double the size of the old one, and houses not only Trussardi’s men’s, women’s and accessories collections, but also his makeup and home lines, both launched this year. Who knows what next season will bring?
GUEST OF HONOR: Victor Alfaro is expected to attend the Iceberg show Wednesday. Rumor has it a deal is in the works with Gilmar, the company behind the Iceberg label.