BLACK WEDNESDAY: The constant threat of another terrorist attack has cast a slight pall over the runway shows, although designers and editors are trooping along with their chins up. But they’re also wondering about next season, since it looks like this year’s Sept. 11, a Wednesday, could fall right in the middle of Fashion Week. A number of designers have balked at the idea of showing that day.

“We’re trying to find out what New York is doing, such as if there will be any city policy or edict coming down about whether businesses would close that day,” said Fern Mallis, executive director of 7th on Sixth, noting that some ideas that have been tossed around include starting the shows the Wednesday before and wrapping up on the 10th, or possibly splitting them around that day. “We really haven’t even started that conversation yet,” she said. “I won’t until everyone’s in Europe, because we don’t want to interrupt designers while the shows are going on.”

ON THE SCENT: Reports are circulating in the market that Badgley Mischka may be close to signing a long-awaited, much discussed fragrance license, the first beauty deal for the design team. While a number of companies have been mentioned, the inside track appears to belong to Puig, the Barcelona-based beauty and fashion concern that owns Nina Ricci and holds the Carolina Herrera, Paco Rabanne and Hussein Chalayan fragrance licenses. Puig executives could not be reached for comment. Both Mark Badgley and James Mischka declined comment. Upon signing the Chalayan license last month, Jose Manuel Albesa, general manager of the Herrera and Chalayan licenses within the overall Puig Prestige Beauty Brands unit, was quoted as saying that a second new license was “expected to be added soon.”

CLOTHES WHORE: What does one do for a living after giving up a career running a prostitution ring? Ask Sydney Biddle Barrows, a.k.a. the “Mayflower Madam,” who, believe it or not, was the head dresser backstage at the Custo Barcelona and Luca Luca shows. A spokeswoman for Luca Luca would only say Barrows was a last-minute fill in. No word on how much she charges these days for such a quickie, but could it be just a coincidence that Monica Lewinsky attended that show?

NO BLOOMBERG: Looks like Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s complaint Friday that Oscar de la Renta had never invited him to a runway show was just another example of his sense of humor. While de la Renta said Bloomberg was welcome to attend, the Mayor was nowhere to be seen at the designer’s 1 p.m. show Wednesday.

He had a good explanation, though — the show started just as he was wrapping up a speech lining up his proposed budget for the fiscal year starting in July. “We have in this city a financial problem for the next few years,” Bloomberg told reporters in a City Hall briefing. He said New York faces a $4.8 billion deficit, but he’s not planning to raise taxes on anything but cigarettes.

He also said he’s not planning to raid the $27.8 billion kitty of funds the city collects along with taxes, which includes the assessments paid by landlords to support business improvement districts.

Meanwhile, the Fashion Center BID is still waiting for word on whether Bloomberg will allow it to hike the fee it charges Seventh Avenue landlords, as part of an effort to increase its private security and sanitation services to five days a week from seven. The Garment Industry Development Corp. and the Fashion Institute of Technology are also watching to see how the fiscal shortfall is going to affect their budgets.