The limited-edition Speedy watch.

<STRONG>SOHO COUTURE</STRONG>: For the second consecutive season, <STRONG>Ralph Rucci </STRONG>will be skipping the Paris couture shows next month, instead opting to present fall couture pieces during his spring Chado ready-to-wear show in New York in...

SOHO COUTURE: For the second consecutive season, Ralph Rucci will be skipping the Paris couture shows next month, instead opting to present fall couture pieces during his spring Chado ready-to-wear show in New York in September.

Rucci skipped the couture shows in Paris last January after his mother passed away over the holidays. This time, he is moving into a new showroom on Broadway between Prince and Spring Streets this summer, and, according to a company spokeswoman, he wished to inaugurate the space by unveiling couture and rtw there in September. “He thought it would be beautiful to do a show and welcome people to the new showroom,” she said. “He intends to go back [to Paris].”

END GAME: Louis Vuitton will be the cherry on the cake of Paris Fashion Week. Gearing up for the Oct. 12 opening of its world’s largest store, on the Champs-Elysees, Vuitton has swapped time slots with Yves Saint Laurent, traditionally the last show on the international fashion circuit. A party will immediately follow its runway show Oct. 9 to fete the boutique. Vuitton is keeping a tight lid on design details, confirming only that it will include an original artwork by James Turrell. But the design studios already have cooked up some ultraluxurious products that will be exclusive to the location. These include Vuitton’s first limited-edition shoes for women and men — in crocodile, no less — and a spectacular “Twilight” version of its Speedy watch with diamonds and sapphires depicting a twinkling Eiffel Tower on a blue mother-of-pearl dial. It will retail for around $35,500. More within reach is Vuitton’s new permanent line of sunglasses, which will bow exclusively at the Paris flagship before a broader delivery to other Vuitton boutiques in November.

MOORE MILESTONE: Those traveling to the men’s shows in Milan this week will have at least one reason for major celebrations. GQ creative director Jim Moore has been with the magazine for 25 years, and to mark the occasion, the magazine’s editor in chief, Jim Nelson, is throwing a dinner and party on Sunday. Expected to swing by Milan’s Swiss Consulate, where the party is being held, are the likes of Usher, Miuccia Prada, Giorgio Armani, Donatella Versace, Domenico Dolce, Stefano Gabbana and Dean and Dan Caten, as well as several U.S. retail executives such as Bloomingdale’s Kal Ruttenstein, Saks Fifth Avenue’s Ron Frasch and Bergdorf Goodman’s Jim Gold. The dinner will be followed by a party for 300 with a performance by Kanye West.

This story first appeared in the June 21, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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