MIUCCIA MIST?: Prada perfume, anyone? Sources say the Italian brand is in the midst of creating its first signature scent — and it could be introduced by the end of the year. It is expected that Prada will engage a partner, but not necessarily a licensor, for the project. Rumor has it that some scents have already been sniffed. Prada entered the beauty business in September 2000 with a line of high-tech skin care based on unidose packaging. Could Miuccia be plotting lots of tiny bottles?

OSCAR NOMINEE: Some people truly practice what they preach. Cathy Horyn might write some harsh reviews but that doesn’t mean she minds being taken to task. Earlier this month, when Horyn won the Eugenia Sheppard Award for fashion journalism, Oscar de la Renta was quoted as saying the criticism in her work was “unnecessary” and “unprofessional”. Now, folks over at the CFDA are putting together a video to precede Horyn’s acceptance speech and she’s requested Oscar’s appearance. “I told Peter Arnold [CFDA’s executive director] to talk to different designers. Talk to Bud Konheim [ceo of Nicole Miller], talk to Michael Kors, talk to Oscar, why not?” Horyn said Thursday. “Everyone should speak with authority; it’s more lively.” So will he do it? The CFDA couldn’t confirm who is participating, and de la Renta couldn’t be reached.

HONOR ROLL: It’s shaping up to be a big year for Kal Ruttenstein. Not only is the Bloomingdale’s fashion director up for a special award from the CFDA on June 3, but he may be given the rank of chevalier of the Legion of Honor, a citation bestowed by the French government. It is believed that Ruttenstein could receive the honor this summer, possibly during the couture shows in Paris. He could not be reached for comment. Recent recipients from the fashion world include designer Christian Lacroix and Christophe Girard, head of fashion strategy at LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton and a deputy mayor of Paris.

ANOTHER AMERICAN COUTURIER IN PARIS?: Buzz on both sides of the Atlantic this week had designer Ralph Rucci scheduled to present a collection during the Paris couture shows in July. When reached for comment Thursday, the designer would not confirm the rumor. Couture would be a new prospect for Rucci, who is known for his ready-to-wear line, Chado, named after a Japanese tea ceremony. The Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, which organizes the shows in Paris, could not be reached at press time.

CHRISTY’S LATEST: Christy Turlington will appear as the new swimwear model for H&M’s global print advertising campaign, which breaks in June magazines. The ads convey a scuba theme, each featuring Turlington in a different swimwear look. Swiss photographer Raymond Meier shot the ads on the black lava beaches of Hawaii. The ads will appear in 14 countries where H&M has stores. In the U.S., ads will run in the June issues of such magazines as Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Elle, Jane and Seventeen. Turlington is the latest in a line of celebrities, including Bridget Fonda, Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro and Claudia Schiffer, to appear in H&M ads.

TEEN SPIRIT: Belgian men’s wear designer Raf Simons, whose collections consistently deal with the subject of youthful rebellion, is something of an expert on adolescence. That, no doubt, is why he was tapped to co-curate a massive exhibition around the subject. Slated to bow at Pitti Uomo next January, the show is still in the conceptual stages, but Simons said he expects it to be half art, half fashion. He is curating with Francensco Bonami from the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibition is expected to travel to major museums in New York, London and Paris.

FULLER’S WEEKLY MOVES: After letting eight people go this week at US Weekly — one senior editor and the rest in the copy, layout and research departments — Bonnie Fuller hired a few new editors. Joseph Steuer, founding editor in chief of Gotham, has been named deputy editor. He left Gotham last June and has been working on projects since. Kelli Delaney, a freelance stylist, was named fashion director, succeeding Susan Kaufman, who left the magazine last year. And, Veronica Hinman has joined as beauty director — she held the same post at Glamour, which she left last June. Since then, she’s been freelancing. They all begin Monday (and should get plenty of sleep this weekend).
Explaining the departures, an US Weekly spokesman said, “We’re relocating our manpower from copy, layout and research to getting more reporters in the mix. We haven’t named those reporters yet.” The one senior editor let go was Alana Fink.

BETTING ON BRANAGH: Kenneth Branagh, whose passion for The Bard knows no bounds, may very well be the next director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Adrian Noble, the RSC’s current artistic director and chief executive, said earlier this week that he would quit the post next March, and the British press says Branagh is a top candidate for the post. Branagh, whose office did not return phone calls, has won rave reviews for his performance in “Richard III” at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, his first regular stage performance in 10 years.

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