CHANNELING CHANEL: After dressing Fanny Ardant for “La Callas,” the new Franco Zeffirelli movie, Karl Lagerfeld could very well be busy dressing another star — no less than Madame Coco Chanel herself. Anouk Aimee has been chosen to portray the designer in a made-for-television movie about Chanel’s life, produced by Elie Chouraqui. Shooting is not expected to start until later this year and the film won’t air on France 2 until sometime in 2003. But the rumor mill is in overdrive about the project. Virginie Ledoyen is the odds-on favorite to play Coco as a Mademoiselle. As for the costumes, Lagerfeld has not yet been approached, but he said Wednesday he’s at the ready, should Chouraqui need his help.

BOTTLED UP: After a hot and steamy start with Yves Saint Laurent fragrance advertising, Tom Ford is cooling his jets. In the latest ads for Opium, Paris and Kouros, there are no breasts, no young men, no provocative poses — in fact, there are no people, only bottles. “The accent is put on the fragrance itself, promoted to the level of a powerful, strongly evocative icon,” YSL Beaute said in a statement to announce the new print and outdoor campaigns. Ford, who took over as the designer of YSL Rive Gauche two years ago, raised ire with some of his first YSL campaigns, including one featuring a nude Sophie Dahl reclining in a pose of ecstasy. The new shots, lensed by Albert Giordan, are extremely up close, but not personal.

CLOSING IN ON CLAUDIA: Word from London has it that Claudia Schiffer will marry her British fiance, film producer Matthew Vaughn on May 25, somewhere in Britain, although the location is still a secret. Meanwhile, according to the Italian press, Schiffer will wear a Valentino made-to-order gown. Italian paparazzi spotted the model coming out of the couturier’s palazzo in Rome on Tuesday. The ring? Bulgari, of course. “It’s a private affair and we are not giving out any information,” Schiffer’s spokeswoman said. The house of Valentino was mum on the subject, too.

SMELLS LIKE A DEAL: Unilever and Fin.part have renewed their Cerruti fragrance license for another 28 years. As part of the contract, set to expire in 2030, Fin.part received $13 million upfront and will receive minimum revenues of $4 million yearly through 2020, the Italian fashion group said in a statement.

PRIVATE INVESTIGATION: Friends of Christa Worthington, the 46-year-old freelance fashion writer who was murdered in her Truro, Mass., home on Cape Cod in January, are trying to raise money to pay for forensic testing in a private lab. Massachusetts’ state crime lab has yet to test DNA samples due to a backlog.
Worthington’s childhood friend Amyra Chase, who along with her husband, Clifford, now have custody of Worthington’s daughter, Ava, said Wednesday that District Attorney Michael O’Keefe had told her the slow-moving process is not unusual for the state’s lab. “They claim it’s not extraordinary,” Chase said.
O’Keefe, Massachusetts State Police officers and the Truro police department assigned to the case did not return phone calls.
In Worthington’s hometown of Truro, the local scuttlebutt has died down, said Lisa Schlechter, Ava Worthington’s former baby-sitter. “There’s been no news, not a word. I just hope they solve it soon.”

BOTTEGA’S INTRO: Bottega Veneta had a surprise visitor the other night at a dinner the Italian leather goods house hosted at Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills to initiate Angelenos to their new line: Will Smith. Dining nearby with a group of friends and decked out in a camel-colored sweatshirt and sweatpants, the actor-rapper dropped by to give a big kiss to his stylist Jane Ross, part of the Bottega dinner that included Jacqui Getty, Decades owner Cameron Silver and agent-stylist Todd Shemarya.

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