BEENE THERE: When Terry Lundgren, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Federated Department Stores, got up to introduce Geoffrey Beene at the 2004 AMY Awards Scholarship Fund gala for the men’s wear industry Tuesday night, he said Beene could be the premier designer in the women’s arena. “He’s made women look beautiful and is a powerful presence in the stores,” said Lundgren. So even though he was there to honor him for his men’s wear contributions, he said Beene is “someone you can’t pigeonhole in one category.” But, Lundgren added, “I’m delighted to sell all the dress shirts with Geoffrey Beene’s name in them.”

This story first appeared in the January 8, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Beene, who didn’t come up to the podium but spoke from his front-row table, admitted that it’s much harder to design men’s wear than women’s wear. “Women’s wear is about creativity, and men’s wear is restraint and is more about taste, and I admire that. Trends can kill something. I’ve seen it happen in women’s wear. I hope it doesn’t happen in men’s wear. Men’s wear does not need trends.”

WRAPPING IN FRENCH: Diane von Furstenberg will be the toast of Paris on the eve of couture week. Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter is hosting a dinner in her honor Jan. 18 at Caviar Kaspia to help announce von Furstenberg’s arrival on the French retail scene. Her first Paris boutique is expected to open in April just off rue Saint-Honoré. But unfortunately, von Furstenberg won’t be sticking around to catch any couture shows, which kick off Jan. 19. “I have to come back and get ready for my show,” she said, referring to her Feb. 8 date during New York Fashion Week.

SMALL SCREEN: James Aguiar, former creative director at Nina Ricci and longtime fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman, is ready for his close-up. He made his debut this week as a television personality, co-hosting “Style Court,” a prime-time makeover show on the Style network. “It’s basically like the ‘People’s Court’ of style,” he explained. “I’m having the time of my life.” Word also has it Aguiar is also close to landing a network gig.

PREGNANT PAUSE: The absence of several top retail fashion directors from the European collections last October gave way to some ominous speculation on their excuses, but it turns out Jaqui Lividini, senior vice president of fashion merchandising at Saks Fifth Avenue, was keeping a secret behind the true nature of her lack of attendance — she had just discovered she was pregnant. Lividini and her partner, actor John Speredakos, are expecting their first child in May. Lividini plans to attend the upcoming couture shows in Paris this month and the ready-to-wear season in Europe in February and March.