ARMANI’S AGENDA: Giorgio Armani has a full itinerary for his upcoming visit to New York next month. The designer, whose last visit to the Big Apple coincided with 9/11, is staging a fashion show Oct. 26 of his spring-summer 2005 collection for some 1,000 customers and others who don’t get to Milan to see his shows. He will also host a breakfast at his Armani Casa store that day — an event that was originally supposed to transpire Sept. 12, 2001, but was canceled for obvious reasons. On Oct. 27 he will be feted at a dinner and party hosted by Vanity Fair editor in chief Graydon Carter to honor “Oscar Night: 75 Years of Hollywood Parties,” a photography book that Armani is sponsoring. The designer is slated to do a book signing as well. Then, on Oct. 28, he’ll attend The Fashion Group International benefit to accept its Superstar award. And finally, on Oct. 29, one of Armani’s ambassadors, Eugenia Silva, will host a special shopping event at the Giorgio Armani boutique for 40 of her friends and donate a portion of the proceeds to the American Museum of Natural History.
Even before heading to New York, Armani has a packed schedule. Today, he’s opening an Armani Jeans store in Milan’s trendy Corso di Porta Ticinese neighborhood, and he’s also dressing Duran Duran for the band’s world tour, which kicks off this month. They’ll drop by his show on Tuesday as well.
OUT AT RUFFO: Four months into their relationship, sources in Milan say Ruffo’s owner Giacomo Corsi and designer Riccardo Tisci have parted ways, since the Ruffo Research line is absent from the women’s runway show calendar this week. This spring, Corsi decided to relaunch the experimental Ruffo Research line and asked Tisci to take on the project under a three-year contract. For his part, Tisci, who has worked with Antonio Berardi and Stefano Guerriero, among others, will show a capsule collection under his namesake brand on Thursday. Corsi and Tisci were not available for comment at press time.
ONE IS BETTER THAN TWO: After putting the Paris couture show on hold indefinitely last season, now Donatella Versace has changed her usual joint Versus and Versace runway formula by taking the secondary line off the runway and into the showroom, where it will be presented after the Paris shows together with Versace Jeans Couture. Rather than being a cost-cutting move, reports are that new chief executive officer Giancarlo Di Risio, who is no stranger to the world of diffusion lines, wants to streamline the company’s many secondary lines into fewer and more powerful collections.
BUNNY INVASION: Playboy Enterprises Inc. is looking to expand its upscale retail presence with a few new stores for spring, according to sources. Details are still being worked out, but stores could pop up in Hong Kong and Tokyo. Known for its iconic magazine and wild bashes by founder Huge Hefner, always a picture of leisure in his ever-present smoking jacket, Playboy branched out in 2002 with a store in Tokyo and sells products for men and women in stores such as Henri Bendel and Harrods in London.
THE HAVES AND HAVE NOTS: Considering the fashion relevance of George Cukor’s 1939 classic “The Women” to the fashion industry — it features a Technicolor runway show by Adrian — it’s shocking how many designers have never seen the film. Douglas Hannant, Alvin Valley and Nicole Miller were among the New York designers who turned out for a screening hosted on Thursday night by Zac Posen and André Leon Talley as part of the Grand Classics series at Soho House, but none of them had seen it, nor were they planning to stick around long enough to sit through it that night.
“This is party number 12 of the week,” said Hannant, who breezed in on the arms of Debbie Bancroft and Bettina Zilkha. “We’re trying to see how many we can go to in one week.” (They were off to the Guggenheim next.)
But they missed Posen and Talley, who were holed up in a screening room next door, where Posen had to deal with a film reel that broke twice; he ultimately had to switch to a DVD copy. Talley, meanwhile, kept the crowd informed with his own take on the film: “The fashion show scene is a total masterpiece, and I wish all fashion shows were like this,” he said. “Rosalind Russell is knitting during the fashion show. I aspire to that moment.”
Next month, Jude Law is teaming up with Yves Saint Laurent to screen his upcoming release of “Alfie.”