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DE SOLE’S PLAN: Gucci Group chief Domenico De Sole, who missed Tom Ford’s men’s finale for Gucci, stood proud Monday night in Paris as Ford took his bows for his last Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche men’s collection. Before the show, De Sole said he’s definitely headed Stateside after he exits the luxury group in April. “South Carolina. It’s a really nice area,” he said.

This story first appeared in the January 27, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

As for what he’ll do in his post-Gucci life, De Sole won’t say. But, like Ford, he’s sure to entertain a lot of interesting proposals. Word has it Parsons School of Design has already dialed his number.

SKIRTING THE ISSUE: The model — his bare shoulders and thighs glistening with oil — danced seductively, grinding his hips and swinging his snake-headed lariat at International Herald Tribune scribe Suzy Menkes. What did she do? Calmly pulled out her disposable camera and snapped a photo. Another model, working a Casanova theme, stroked the cheek of Cathy Horyn of The New York Times, who was seated on a rusty old bed. That was the scene at John Galliano’s first men’s show Friday night, where hunky models flirted with the cameras, the audience and — at times — the limits of a PG rating. As usual, showman Galliano gave the press — and a front row that included actor Vincent Perez, Lou Douillon and Marianne Faithfull — lots to talk about. Some of the models wore skirts, or had bits of lingerie peeking out from their suits, as if they dressed in the dark, in a hurry, in a compromising situation. Dior president Sidney Toledano said he already placed his order. “It’s a black suit — no skirt,” he clarified with a chuckle before the Dior Homme show Monday night. But it turns out Hedi Slimane, who helped close men’s fashion week in Paris, was on a similar wavelength. In the middle of his show, out strode a group of models in long and swishing kilts. Jeanne Moreau, down the row from Karl Lagerfeld, Mick Jagger and Betty Catroux, applauded with approval.

NEW DATE: After joining the couture crowd for one season, Revillon has decided to move into the ready-to-wear fray. The French fur label, which is designed by Rick Owens, will spotlight its wares in March on the Paris runway. A spokeswoman for Owens said the move reflected Revillon’s desire to cultivate a strong fashion image.

PARTYGOERS IN TRAINING: Despite the weekend’s frigid temperatures, TriBeCa was the hot spot for partygoers of all ages. Celebrating trendy French pediatrician Michel Cohen’s freshly published parenting guide, “The New Basics” (Regan Books), the party gave new meaning to the in crowd. Naturally, Cohen — whose clients include the offspring of Jennifer Connelly, Annie Leibovitz, Joanna Molloy, Daniella Pestova and Michael Imperioli — wanted to include the very people who make his work possible: the little ones. With an average age of four, the young partygoers were entertained at the Riegel Building by the Brindlestiff Circus, Music for Aardvarks and other animal bands, along with a large-screen viewing of “Finding Nemo,” while enjoying the open bar of juice bottles, popcorn, cupcakes and fresh fruit. The adults enjoyed wine, champagne and other party staples while standing in line to get their books signed. Quelle boom!

GET ON THE BUS: Esprit founder Susie Tompkins was on the stump for Sen. John Kerry with fundraising and phone efforts before last week’s Iowa caucuses. “It was fun to feel like you’re really part of the cheering section,” she said.

Working in the political arena has been “a wonderful transition” from the fashion world, and they’re not so far apart, especially since Esprit started out as a socially aware company, she said. “You have to listen to your instincts and have no self doubt about your intuition.”

As for whether she has any interest in returning to Seventh Avenue, she said “totally not” and is spending the next month in New Zealand.