ROLE PLAY: Chloë Sevigny is comfortable with just about any role, but modeling — which is what she did for Dolce & Gabbana on Saturday — tested her nerves. “I was a little terrified and I forgot to do all the things they told me to do, like stand up straight and sashay,” she said backstage after the runway moment — a role she was cast for at the last minute. But Sevigny said she was grateful she opened the show solo. “I’m glad I wasn’t out there with the other girls, because I’m easily a foot shorter.” The designers said Sevigny — their muse du jour — would “most likely” appear in their fall ad campaign. “She’s what Madonna was to us years ago,” said Stefano Gabbana.
SCENT AWAY: It looks as if Missoni has finally knitted up a fragrance deal. According to sources, a scent has been developed with Estée Lauder, and none other than 22-year-old Margherita Missoni, the epitome of youthful beauty, will be its face. Speculation about a fragrance deal with Lauder goes back two years. Missoni and Estée Lauder had no comment on Friday.
DOM AND NOT TOM: Although Ermenegildo Zegna has never officially announced the arrival of Domenico De Sole at the company, a source close to the tailored clothing giant said the ex-Gucci chief has become a regular fixture in Zegna’s Italian offices. Zegna co-chief executive officer Gildo Zegna and De Sole are close friends, and De Sole is reportedly providing his expertise in an undefined role. The new alliance has led some industry insiders in Europe to speculate about an eventual Tom Ford venture with Zegna, possibly a Zegna-produced Ford men’s collection. The company adamantly denies any such project. “Just because [Zegna] has Domenico doesn’t mean it gets Tom Ford,” said a company source. “It’s not a package deal.” Meanwhile, De Sole made the rounds during the shows, popping into presentations for Tod’s and Calvin Klein.
MOTHER’S WORK: Will Stella McCartney take a bow at the end of her Paris runway show on Thursday? The multitasking McCartney finished her fall collection hours before she went into labor and gave birth to a 7-pound, 7-ounce baby boy named Miller Alasdhair James Willis in the early hours Friday. In fact, she felt so good that she resumed work on Saturday and was even thinking about hopping on the Eurostar to Paris. The baby however, would need a passport.
HOT TOD-Y: Diego Della Valle played host last week at the Tod’s palazzo for a candlelit dinner in honor of set designer Dante Ferretti, who collaborated on Tod’s fairy-tale-like installation. Guests included Laudomia Pucci, Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar, and a gaggle of top editors. The menu started off simple enough, with classic Italian fare like mozzarella and salami, but everyone was stumped by a mystery Italian vegetable: puntarelle. No one could find a translation for the long green asparagus-like produce.
But it didn’t seem to matter. The last guests left at 3 in the morning. Ferretti, nominated for an Oscar for his work on the film “Aviator,” had to leave for L.A. before the exhibit opened. “This is Made In Italy,” Della Valle said of the installation, which featured towering trees, oversized doors and huge green apples all cut out to display Tod’s sophisticated fall collection. With so much talk about the validity of Made in Italy, Della Valle, who is a rising figure on the Italian business scene, made Tod’s position quite clear. “A product, such as Tod’s, will always stay in Italy,” he pronounced.
JUST LIKE MA: In a rare occurrence in a 35-year career, the name of a fashion designer escaped Hong Kong retail doyenne Joyce Ma. That’s because the lacy silver jacket she wore in Paris on Sunday to be decorated as a chevalier of the Legion of Honor was vintage. “I bought it in an antique shop, and there was no label,” she said, explaining that it was made, in fact, of straw. Designers, retailers and journalists showed up in force to applaud Ma, one of the first buyers to discover French and Belgian designers and bring them to Asia. Among those present were Dries Van Noten, Kenzo Takada, Chloé’s Ralph Toledano and Saks Fifth Avenue’s Ron Frasch. In a moving speech, Ma credited Paris for giving her “insight into the soul of fashion” and her husband, Walter, for being her “pillar of support.” But Ma was clearly proud of her new accessory. When she realized her feather boa was covering the red medallion during a photo session, she tossed it off and turned her shoulder to the camera.
CRUISE CONTROL: Following the likes of Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana, Donatella Versace is adding the title of “car designer” to her résumé. Versace has designed a white convertible Mini Cooper, embellished with Swarovski crystals and the house’s iconic Medusa head motif, of course. It will be auctioned off at Vienna’s Life Ball AIDS charity event in May. “Our goal is to raise more than $1.3 million in one night,” said a company spokesman. Versace seems to be in an industrial mood. Word has it she is also designing a limited-edition Nokia cell phone.