HOMEWARD BOUND: Casa Bottega? You bet. Bottega Veneta creative director Thomas Maier has set furniture as the next brand extension for the fast-growing Gucci Group company, famed for its luxurious woven leather handbags. A spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday that Maier’s debut collection would be unveiled during the Milan furniture fair in April.
POSH PIT: Victoria Beckham — all stilettos and dark bubble sunglasses — was in Paris Tuesday morning to take in the Chanel couture show. The paparazzi went into overdrive — completely ignoring the First Lady of France, Bernadette Chirac, just down the row. “Paris is my favorite city in the whole world,” declared the singer-turned-designer, now busy working on her denim, kids’ and new men’s wear lines. Would she ever think about dabbling in couture? “Oh my god, that is so out of my league,” she said. Another couture first-timer, Avril Lavigne, took time out from writing new songs for Chanel. “This is all brand new for me and it’s great to be a spectator,” said the petite rocker, clearly trading up from her old grunge ways.
CODE RED: Monday night’s Valentino couture show took newlywed David Furnish away from hubby Elton John. “Being apart has always been a dynamic in our relationship,” mused Furnish, who left Sir Elton working on his new album in the States. Furnish just wrapped up his new movie, “It’s a Boy-Girl Thing,” starring Kevin Zegers, due out this summer. Down the row were actresses Dolores Chaplin, scouting for a dress for the Cannes Film Festival, and Marisa Berenson, who said she’s about to start filming a television series, set to be the Corsican equivalent of HBO’s “The Sopranos,” called “Mafiosa.” Berenson was also busy snapping pictures with her digital camera for charity. “It’s for the fund I have at UNESCO,” confided the actress, adding that her documentation of a couple of couture shows and parties would be auctioned off later this year. “I’ve fallen in love with the camera. You see things differently when you start taking pictures.”
Later, Val’s gals all headed off to the Ritz Club for an after-show dinner and party, where one of the chief attractions was a 200-plus-carat emerald ring worn by the designer’s retail partner in New Delhi. Giancarlo Giammetti worked the crowd, trailed all the while by a film crew. Turns out Matt Tyrnauer, who wrote the exhaustive and juicy profile of Valentino in Vanity Fair’s August 2004 issue, is making an independent, feature-length film about the Roman couturier. “I’m wired. Be careful what you say,” warned Giammetti, lifting his necktie to reveal a tiny microphone. Tyrnauer, who has a degree in filmmaking from Wesleyan University, has been trailing the pair since July and plans to continue rolling cameras into the summer.
The documentary is destined for movie theaters in 2007, with John Sloss coordinating financing and distribution of the film. “They’re great subjects,” said Tyrnauer. “We have a lot of editing to do.”