CARPE DIEM: During January’s edition of the men’s trade fair Pitti Uomo, that leopard-loving Roberto Cavalli created a stir with a retrospective, a boutique inauguration, a runway show and a party at his Florentine villa — all in the same day. Today, however, Cavalli gets the short end of the stick by showing his fall collection smack in the middle of Armani day (Emporio and Giorgio Armani are showing today and Armani’s throwing a party-dinner for his new Le Collezioni boutique).
The Italian press have been pitting Cavalli against Armani, suggesting Armani copied the day-long concept from his friend. So what does Cavalli think about the entire saga? “It’s ridiculous and doesn’t merit any comparisons. Armani is a friend, and there’s space for everyone.” Meanwhile, Armani called Cavalli “a courageous man,” adding, “his style is very different from my own and I think it’s fine that he’s showing on the same day.”
SHAGGY SHOW: Even Mr. Boombastic himself, Shaggy, was in awe of Donatella’s sweet and sexy Versus show. “I’m a big fan,” he said front row Saturday night. “This is my second Versace show. I was here in 1996 during the Boombastic years. Gianni was a friend and Donatella is one as well,” he added. Shaggy, who is in the middle of touring, broke away from his hectic schedule to be in Milan for the show. “It was crazy getting here, but I’m happy I made it,” he said.
MARZOTTO’S ABSOLUTION: Gaetano Marzotto may have been in a church but he wasn’t fessing up about any Valentino deal. One of Marzotto’s principal shareholders, he was making the rounds during Krizia’s dinner party at Il Gattopardo Saturday night. Formerly a church, the club is marked by frescoes and a domed ceiling. Too bad the owners removed the church’s confessionals because it would have given Marzotto the chance to come clean about what sources say is a nearly-done deal for Marzotto to buy Valentino. Instead, he would only say: “We prefer to do things first, then talk about them.”
GAN-SCAPES: Stephen Gan, Visionaire founder and creative director of Harper’s Bazaar, has been doing some moonlighting. In April, he’s releasing a coffee-table book of landscape photographs titled “Where Will We Meet Next?” A collaboration with German landscape architect Tobias Schweitzer, the book features 200 photographs taken in 14 cities “from Rio to Reykjavik, from Berlin to Beijing,” Gan said. “It’s about two people meeting from two completely different worlds.” Visionaire enthusiast Karl Lagerfeld wrote the foreword and published the book through his 7L subsidiary.
MUSEUM QUALITY: Milan might get its own fashion museum. The Italian parliament is in the process of approving a bill that would grant $10 million to set one up. Santo Versace, one of the project’s promoters, said the new museum would include fashion, art, costume, communication and lifestyle exhibitions. One of the likely venues for the museum is the Garibaldi district, near Corso Como. That’s the site where Milan’s “Citta della Moda” or “Fashion City” will be built. It will feature showrooms, offices, fashion show venues and stores.
PRESIDENT’S DAY: Italy’s prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is no fashion plate, known for his buttoned-up, conservative style. But his daughter, Marina Berlusconi, has broader tastes and sat front row at Dolce & Gabbana, wearing a sexy black jacket and bustier. “I’m a fan of Dolce & Gabbana because I can wear their clothes from day to night.” Asked whether her father would venture into Dolce style territory, she burst out laughing and said “No way. That’s far from his style.”
GILLES DU FUR: Gilles Dufour has got the warm fuzzies. The designer, who launched his own brand last year, is working on a capsule collection for Paris furrier Milady to be presented during the July couture. “It’s very deluxe,” said Dufour. “There’ll be coats, jackets, and all done a little irreverently.” For example, Dufour asked Paris graffiti artist Andre to create a print to be used for the lining. Meanwhile, Dufour will present his fall signature line during Paris fashion week at 16 bis Rue du Perche. He isn’t the only designer with new consulting duties. Jereome Dreyfuss, who once did couture for Herve Leger, has been tapped by French fast fashion firm Morgan to work with Vanessa Moyal, the director of Morgan’s studio.
CAUGHT IN THE ACT — AGAIN: Vogue Hommes International may be published only twice a year, but boy does it get people talking. The spring-summer issue, to be launched during Paris fashion week, features a photo spread by Terry Richardson that borders on pornography. Entitled “Oh Danny Boy,” it is a thinly veiled reference to Daniel Ducruet’s 1996 poolside romp with Belgian stripper Fili Houteman. A paparazzo caught Ducruet, who was married at the time to Princess Stephanie of Monaco, having sex with the former Miss Nude Belgium in the south of France. The scandal, which ripped through Europe, spelled the end of the marriage. Meanwhile, a selection of Richardson’s work will be featured in an art exhibit, at Galerie Emanuel Perrotin, in Paris, running March 9 to April 20.
FRETTE’S SPA DAZE: Frette knows tight runway seating can cramp more than just your space. So to help alleviate editors’ back pains and celebrate the launch of its new spa clothing collection, Frette set up Fast Relax — a mini spa oasis at its space at the fairgrounds. The high-end Italian homewear company tapped technicians from Milan’s Univers Beaute to dole out back and face messages. No surprise: The response was overwhelming as tired fashionistas lined up and waited a half hour for 15 minutes of pampering. By the end of the day, however, the masseuses were the ones in need of TLC.
“We must have done about 175 messages,” said one technician. “I didn’t even get to eat lunch.”