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GALLIANO’S GALAXY: John Galliano, known for donning eye-popping getups to take his runway bow, topped himself Wednesday at the Christian Dior couture show when he shuffled out in a space suit. Turns out it was the real deal, once belonging to French astronaut Claudie Haigneré, who voyaged to Russian space station Mir in 1996. “It took four guys to help me get into it,” said Galliano. “It’s an actual space suit. You can walk on the moon in it, but walking on planet Earth is something else.” And what exactly was the connection between the astronaut uniform and 15th-century Italy, the springboard for his collection? UFOs were predicted in some Italian Renaissance paintings, Galliano pointed out.

FOR KICKS: With the World Cup semifinals coinciding with couture week in Paris, soccer fever infiltrated high fashion in unforeseen ways. On Tuesday night, right after Italy triumphed over Germany in its semifinal bid, a massive Italian flag unfurled above the Emporio Armani boutique on the Left Bank. Seconds later, Giorgio Armani himself was spotted waving from a window. Over at Laperouse, where Nicolas Ghesquière was hosting an intimate dinner to celebrate the Balenciaga retrospective that’s on at the Museum of Fashion and Textiles, the likes of Jennifer Connolly, Maggie Cheung and Mick Jagger snuck off to watch the Germany-Italy match. “I’m not supporting any team since England was knocked out,” Jagger snarled at the after party at Le Baron. Cheung, meanwhile, disclosed that — like many a Balenciaga muse — she’s got a hidden musical streak. “I’m currently recording songs with British group Innocent X in London and hope the project might turn into an album,” she fretted. There were also plenty of good sports at the Christian Dior show on Wednesday, including actress Mia Maestro. “I love soccer. I hope that there’s a television at the Dior dinner this evening, because I don’t want to miss the France-Portugal game,” she said.

On the other side of the Dior runway, Harvey Weinstein kicked around a movie idea. “I’ve decided to sign the entire Portuguese team for my next film,” he said, referring to its reputation for being fabulous foul fakers. “They all deserve an Oscar.”

This story first appeared in the July 6, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Drew Barrymore, encircled by the paparazzi, made light of, well, all the flashing lights. “I think I’ll just work on my tan,” she joked. Mischa Barton said she’s off to London soon to take some acting lessons. “I’m going to spend a month at RADA, as it’s the best place for theater training,” Barton related. Liv Tyler, who turned up with hubby Royston Langdon, said she’s taking a break from acting. “I’m just into being a boring old mom at the moment.”

FAST TRAIN: For most Parisians, mass transportation is just part of the grind, but for Justin Chambers, it made him big. “I was discovered on the subway in Paris,” the heartthrob hero of prime-time television’s “Grey’s Anatomy” said Wednesday morning at the Armani Privé show. Chambers is touring Paris and Milan to promote the debut of the series in Europe. Meanwhile, Eugenia Silva may be an ambassador for Armani, but she’s hip to today’s high-low mix of labels. “I’m in Armani head to toe, but the leggings are H&M,” said the Spanish stunner.

TRACK AND FIELD: What does the Material Girl like to chill out in? How about the tracksuit she helped design for Swedish fast-fashion giant Hennes & Mauritz, which is dressing Madonna and her dancers offstage during her “Confessions” world tour. H&M released the first promotional pictures of the singer in the fitted, zip-front ensemble on Wednesday. It will be available in white, black or purple and will hit H&M stores by mid-August.

DEAR HEART: Cher played fairy godmother to the L.A. accessories brand Chrome Hearts, whipping up a media frenzy at a party feting its new Paris boutique and a collaboration with Baccarat. The diva, however, is an expert at the task, since she’s godmother to 15-year-old Jesse Jo Stark, daughter of Chrome Hearts’ founders. “When I was young, I used to find it so exciting hunting down old pieces of jewelry, but now I’m old I’m really into young things,” Cher said, even if there was some vintage lace in her Chrome Hearts outfit. “I’m working on my new album,” she confessed.

GIRLS ON FILM: Kylie Minogue is to appear as the centerfold in Another Magazine’s October issue — or at least a body scan of her. The image is a collaboration with British artist Katerina Jebb, who held court at the Nina Ricci boutique in Paris Wednesday night to unveil an art projection featuring rising French actress Clotilde Hesme. “Kylie and I have been friends for a long time, and she’s always really inspiring to work with,” said Jebb. The raven-haired Hesme, meanwhile, said she would attend her first couture show today: Chanel.

HEAVY METAL: Designers can’t please everyone, even the closest of kin. “He’s a bit too much,” joked the mother of Christophe Lemaire, Lacoste’s artistic director, as her son played DJ when Lacoste celebrated its collaboration with industrial designer Tom Dixon. “I was inspired by Joan of Arc,” said Dixon, who sported the metallic polo shirt he created for both men and women. “I have the best of both worlds: being in fashion without being in fashion.”

THE LOOK O’ THE IRISH: Could 40 shades of green be the new black? Ten Irish designers hope so. Getting a jump on the international fashion calendar, they plan to put their collections on the catwalk Sept. 1 at the Irish embassy in Paris. Labels including Quin and Donnelly, Avoca Anthology and Joanne Hynes will show spring-summer collections during the event, hosted by Enterprise Ireland, which promotes Irish industry abroad.

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM FRIENDS: Fresh off winning Swarovski’s Perry Ellis award for accessories design at the CFDA awards last month, Devi Kroell already has one of fashion’s heavyweights in her corner. Reed Krakoff, president and executive creative director of Coach, is hosting a party this Saturday to celebrate the opening of Kroell’s first store in East Hampton, N.Y., which opened in late May in time for Memorial Day weekend. The two met at the CFDA Awards and have since become friends. “It’s nice to be supportive for a handbag designer whom I respect and admire,” said Krakoff.

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