ROCK THE BOAT: Just call him Captain Cavalli. Sources in Europe said the Italian designer Roberto Cavalli is buying himself a very expensive new toy: a 40-meter, custom-made yacht. Cavalli could not be reached for comment, but it is understood that Baglietto is constructing the aluminum pleasure cruiser — capable of speeds up to 40 miles per hour — in time for delivery this summer.
POWER OF THE PEN: Ben Affleck is expanding his all-out effort to get John Kerry elected president. The actor, who has been a headliner at several Kerry fundraisers when he shows up in his hometown of Cambridge, Mass., volunteered to expand his portfolio when he bumped into Kerry’s friend and campaign guru, Bob Shrum, on Saturday at the ABC party in Washington for the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. “I always wanted to be a speechwriter,” Affleck told Shrum, offering his services in the upcoming months to write speeches for the candidate. “Hey, just listen to the speeches he wrote for ‘Goodwill Hunting,’” Shrum said Tuesday. “Of course I’d use his work.” Affleck and his pal Matt Damon shared a 1997 Oscar for the movie’s screenplay.
LOOKING EAST: Last Wednesday night in London, British Prime Minister Tony Blair feted some of the world’s most glamorous Eastern Europeans, including Estonia’s Carmen Kass, actress Rachel Weisz, Czech model Karolina Kurkova and Jacquetta Wheeler — who’s English but came with her Polish boyfriend, Alex Lubomirski. During a reception at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to celebrate the entrance of 10 countries into the European Union, guests drank champagne, dipped into hazelnut pumpernickel canapés and listened to Blair praise a united Europe. Kass, who’s running for election as a European Member of Parliament, looked suitably sober in a gray tweed Roland Mouret dress and rectangular, steel-framed glasses. “I’ve accomplished all I can in modeling,” Kass said. “Now I want to give something back to Estonia.” She’s confident she’ll be able to juggle two jobs. “Hopefully, I can still model on the side.”
SIGHT UNSEEN: Does the entire industry have Tom Ford-itus? At Catherine Malandrino’s birthday dinner Sunday night, even celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch was talking up his new project as a film producer. Inspired by the 1965 Sidney Poitier classic “A Patch of Blue,” Bloch said he is preparing to personally take on the role of a blind Southern man who gets abused by his older brother in a film called “The Unseen.” So dedicated is Bloch that he’s even been walking around the city wearing contact lenses that distort his vision to experience life as a blind man, and he claims to have had several run-ins with errant taxi drivers. According to Bloch, if all goes well, Michael Rapaport might soon be joining the cast as the offending brother, plus Christina Applegate as his love interest.