SEA WORLD: Scuba is not only a trend on the fashion runway. Alexander McQueen has become obsessed with scuba diving since he took a course during his August vacation in Bali with his sister and his niece. McQueen even used an underwater scene as a backdrop for his show Saturday. On Tuesday, he was resting at his new country house on the southeast coast of England. But a spokesman assured he wasn’t doing any diving there.
PARIS VICE: Don Johnson, a front-row guest with his wife, Kelly, at Chanel, has been busy since he arrived in Paris this week. “Kelly’s been shopping up a storm,” he said. “We hit Dior and Dolce & Gabbana already. We’ve put a major dent in our bank account.” The Johnsons are in Paris to celebrate the birth of their second son, Jasper, four months ago. Johnson said he bought himself a jacket at Dolce. We assume he’ll wear it with a T-shirt.
COVERING ALL BASES: Chanel’s not taking any chances. The company has enlisted Chloë Sevigny and Christina Ricci, two major Chanel gals, to host its event for the Hollywood launch of Chance, its new youthful scent. A cocktail party on Oct. 17 in Chanel’s Rodeo Drive boutique will play into the “chance” theme with psychics on hand to give participants tips on their love lives. The event will benefit RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, founded by Tori Amos.
PRIVATE TIME: Daslu, the São Paulo retailer famous for many designer labels and a no-changing room policy, just started wholesaling its private label collection, selling out of a suite at the Plaza Athenee Hotel this week. And lo and behold, one of its faithful customers, Gisele Bündchen, showed up to place an order — only to end up modeling the clothes and pitching the line to buyers. We’re not sure if she got a commission, but store owner and director Eliana Tranchesi said she got orders from Browns in London, Ultimo in Chicago and Saks-Jandel in Washington for starters.
CAR STAR: Inès de la Fressange, who knows a thing or two about the importance of legroom, has been appointed the spokesmodel for Renault’s newest luxury model, the Vel Satis. Having driven a bevy of cars in the past, including a Cadillac Fleetwood and a Fiat, de la Fressange says she likes Vel Satis’ oddball looks. “The car’s design is unconventional — just like me,” she said.
JUST CALL ME…: What’s in a name? Well, the first rule generally is to get it right. Reports have claimed Kate Moss’ new baby daughter is named Lola, but the little darling’s moniker actually is much grander: Lila Grace Moss Hack — with no hyphens. Her surnames are obviously from her mother and her father, magazine publisher Jefferson Hack. So with such a mouthful, is a one-word model’s name far away?
WHO IS HEADED TO SEVENTEEN?: Two more possible candidates have emerged in the contest to take over Seventeen Magazine, according to sources: Cindy Searight, creative director at Victoria Magazine, and Teen People’s West Coast editor, Lori Berger. Searight worked for Primedia’s Editorial Director Elizabeth Crow at both YM at Gruner + Jahr and Mademoiselle at Condé Nast and is seen as the stronger candidate of the two. Searight was in Paris attending the spring 2003 collections and could not be reached for comment, while Berger denied she was a candidate. “On the record, it’s not true and off the record, it’s not true,” Berger said when reached by telephone Tuesday. But Crow seemed to acknowledge that both were contenders. “I’ve spoken to both of them,” she said in a telephone interview, “and I’ve spoken to 10 other people. I’ve met a lot of really good people. Whoever comes on board has to have a clear and fabulous vision for Seventeen. And they have to get along with me, though that’s not difficult to do.”
Meantime, the changes keep coming at Entertainment Weekly. Henry Goldblatt has been named assistant managing editor, joining three others who hold the same title. Most recently, he was senior editor of Fortune magazine, overseeing the magazine’s front-of-book section. As reported last week, Richard Sanders, who was one of EW’s two executive editors, left to join People as editor at large.
BAGGING HISTORY: Handbag designer Judith Leiber revealed a bit of family history Tuesday: her mother always wanted her to be like Estée Lauder.
“But that didn’t work out,” said Leiber, in Washington for an exhibition of her life’s work that opens Thursday at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
Of course Leiber, who like Lauder is of Hungarian heritage, turned out to be no slouch. Hollywood starlets dating back to Greta Garbo have carried her intricate bejeweled boxes and swank clutches of exotic skins. The exhibit has a Socks the Cat purse from Sen. Hillary Clinton’s collection. Inaugural ball purses include Barbara Bush’s satin blue bag with sapphire closure and Nancy Reagan’s first one, in white satin.
The exhibition also has the bag for which Leiber won a 1973 Coty Award, an Art Deco envelope of dark snakeskin and crystal rhinestones. One of her favorites is a peekaboo clutch made of horsehair given to her by Geoffrey Beene. While Leiber sold her company in 1998, she’s back in the design business producing silver decorative objects and tableware under her maiden name, Peto. Her first delivery was just made to Neiman Marcus in Chevy Chase, Md.