JOAN’S RETURN: Joan Kaner may have given up her front row seat at the fashion shows, having retired as fashion director of Neiman Marcus last year, but she may be back on the scene soon in another capacity. Sources said Monday she’s trying to line up work as a fashion consultant, and may be in talks with Ellen Tracy, the Liz Claiborne division. “No comment,” said Kaner, reached at her home in Sarasota, Fla., on Monday. She did, however, say that she’s not abandoning New York and plans to spend about six months a year in the Big Apple and bypass Florida’s hurricane season. That would give her plenty of time to sustain her designer connections. Claiborne officials could not be reached for comment.
HOME SWEET SOM: Peter Som is the latest designer to try his hand at interior design. Som, whose parents are architects, is lending his discerning eye to lofts under construction at 485 Fifth Ave. across the street from the New York Public Library’s main entrance. Apartments with Som’s “signature modernist style” will run from about $795,000 to $7 million and will offer such features as “ultra-high ceilings, oversized spa bathrooms and glass penthouses with wrap terraces,” according to an ad for the property published Sunday. The building will also have a state-of-the-art fitness center, screening room, wine storage and an entertainment lounge, among other things. A couture concierge will be on hand to dig up backstage Gwen Stefani passes, NetJets memberships, VIP boxes at the U.S. Open and other hard-to-land items for residents, according to the Web site, 485Fifth.com. Som, and the two companies renovating the Beaux Arts building, Belfonti Capital Partners and the Carlyle Group, declined comment Monday.