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I SPY: Calvin Klein might not be taking post-show bows any longer, but he’s still keeping a close eye on the runway fashions that bear his name. The designer was in Milan on Wednesday to attend the Calvin Klein men’s fall show, lending support to Italo Zucchelli, who now designs the line. Klein, who has a consulting agreement with CKI parent Philips-Van Heusen, stood discreetly off to the side of the runway, sandwiched between PVH chief executive Bruce Klatsky and chief operating officer Mark Weber. No longer the public face of the brand, he quietly took his place on the crowded bleachers just as the show commenced, and little fuss or hoopla greeted his arrival.

TOM’S VACATION: Recent reports about Tom Ford spending some of his holiday vacation in Mustique with Lawrence Stroll might have led to some exaggerated hopes that Stroll could be setting his sites on a project with the designer, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Sources said Ford was actually taking a break with Elizabeth Saltzman, fashion director of Vanity Fair, on one of Stroll’s many properties on the Caribbean island and didn’t have business dealings with the apparel magnate. A spokeswoman for Stroll declined to comment on his “personal life.”

THE SWELL SET: Nearly 70 years after his death, the Hungarian portraitist Philip de László is back in the spotlight. Christie’s in London, together with the Hungarian Cultural Centre, is staging the first retrospective of the artist’s work since his death in 1937. De László, who was married to Lucy Guinness, set up as a portrait painter in London in 1907 — the same year that John Singer Sargent died — and he took full advantage of the situation. He became the greatest portraitist and court painter of his time, creating glowing, angelic pictures of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, when she was 25 years old, and of the seven-year-old Princess Elizabeth of York, who would later become Queen Elizabeth II. The paintings of society It Girls Mrs. George Sandys and Mrs. Edmund Buchanan, with their swan necks and wide eyes, glow with Edwardian glamour while the canvases of Indian cavalry officers and princes are brooding and romantic. “A Brush with Grandeur — Philip Alexius de László,” runs until Jan. 22.

This story first appeared in the January 16, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

STRIPPED-DOWN COUTURE: Even if she’s not in Versace’s advertising campaign this season, Christina Aguilera is still very much part of la famiglia. Word has it she’ll be in Paris Monday to take in Donatella Versace‘s couture show at the Ritz and her after-party at the V.I.P. Room.

Elsewhere at the couture, Sarah Jessica Parker, expected among the front-row glitterati at the Christian Dior couture show on Monday, won’t be the only spectacle for the cameras. Just down the row, French director Claude Lelouch will be filming a scene for a forthcoming, still untitled trilogy. No worries. It’s not an action scene. Actress Maïwenn Le Besco plays a rising star attending her first fashion show.

ONE BY ONE: Famous for his last-minute fashion shows, Azzedine Alaïa said Thursday he won’t be doing the runway thing next week during couture. However, he does plan to welcome couture clients to see new dresses, and sell luxury ready-to-wear by appointment to retailers. Meanwhile, he’s got other projects up his sleeve in-between fittings. This month, he’s hosting a party at his headquarters in the Marais in honor of his friend Marc Newson, the industrial design star, and he’s gearing up for the launch next month of his first signature line of eyewear.

A RUN FOR THE JEWELS: Tiffany is trying to enter the award shows jewelry battle and sponsored the Palm Springs Film Awards last Sunday. But the fabled jeweler didn’t have any luck with Scarlett Johansson, who has two Golden GLobe nominations and received the Rising Star Award on Sunday. When she arrived at the festival, she was asked to go to a suite to pick out something from Tiffany’s pearl collection, as it was hoping to capitalize on the “Girl With the Pearl Earring” success. Scarlett, however, had already chosen a flower diamond necklace from De Beers earlier in the week while attending a champagne tea co-hosted by the diamond marketer and did not want to change.