TABLE HOPPING: Lapérouse, one of the oldest and most atmospheric restaurants in Paris, will be the location for the Miu Miu show on Sunday, WWD has learned. Invitations for the hotly anticipated show are expected to be delivered starting today. Details about Miuccia Prada‘s debut in the French capital have been shrouded in such secrecy that, naturally, people at the shows have been speaking about practically nothing else. Prada Group remains tight-lipped about other details of the show, and rumblings about any after-party. Housed in a 17th-century townhouse along the Seine River, Lapérouse boasts a warren of private rooms with boiserie galore and mirrors that are scratched, as local lore goes, by mistresses unsure of the veracity of the diamonds given by their lovers. To be sure, it is small. Normally, the restaurant’s main room seats a mere 60 people, plus about 60 more in the private rooms and salons.
NUMBER CRUNCHER: Jessica Alba seems to be all about sequels. She made her second Paris Fashion Week appearance Tuesday night, seated next to such celebs as Virginie Ledoyen, Hélène de Fougerolles and Roman Polanski at Christian Dior. “I’m just going to hang out here and enjoy life,” she said. Having just wrapped up her new film “Awake,” Alba said she’s taking a break from acting work before getting started on “Sin City 2” and “Fantastic Four 2.” Meanwhile, across the aisle, Kate Hudson was also taking it easy. “I’m enjoying a vacation,” she said. Make that a family vacation. The actress is soon headed to London to see her rocker husband Chris Robinson perform.
PAIR OF MCQUEENS: Alexander McQueen is doubling up on Friday night, staging two fashion shows instead of the one at 8 p.m. listed on the official Paris calendar. The reason? A spokesman for the London-based designer said the show’s concept — undisclosed, of course — limits seating to 500 people per show. The first show at 7:30 p.m. is for American, British, Italian and French attendees, with the 9 p.m. one for other regions and McQueen guests.
TWIN CITIES: Could Dsquared be the next designer brand to make a shift from Milan to Paris? Dan and Dean Caten, the double Ds behind the brand, said they could be tempted to show in the City of Light — if they are given permission to show in highly coveted venues, such as the Grand Palais. “We told the director of the French Fashion Federation we would show if we could get one of those places,” Dean said at a party he and his brother hosted at the VIP club Tuesday night. “We’re not just about jeans,” chimed in Dan.
SISTER ACT: While Hollywood royalty are relatively scarce in the front rows on the eve of the Oscars, music folks are picking up the slack. To wit: Duran Duran front man Simon Le Bon and pint-sized pop star Dannii Minogue, Kylie‘s little sister, turned up at Loewe on Wednesday. “I’ve been writing my own songs. It’s my favorite part, no glamour, no makeup, no styling — just going into the studio to write,” said Minogue, who will be releasing a new album this summer. “I’m new at writing, and I admit, it takes time.” Minogue said she would be returning to her acting roots with an Australian movie dubbed “Except East Richmond.” “It’s a dark psychological thriller,” she explained. Meanwhile, Le Bon deflected attention to his model wife, Yasmin, seated next to him. “I’m her sidekick,” he quipped. Le Bon said he has been busy working on a new Duran Duran album that will be released this year. “Nick [Rhodes] suggested ‘Celestial Lights’ as a title, but I think he was taking the p–s.”
CHINA BOY: Vogue China, which bowed last year, already has a little brother. In May, the Condé Nast title will launch the first issue of Vogue Man, polybagged as a supplement to the main magazine. “Basically, it’s going to be a fashion and style guide for Chinese men,” editor in chief Angelica Cheung said on the sidelines of the Paco Rabanne show on Wednesday. Cheung said the first issue would come in around 100 pages, with some grooming advice and lifestyle content, but with an accent on the basics of style. “Chinese men are still a few steps behind women” in such matters, she said. A personality, rather than a model, is expected to grace the cover, but Cheung declined to disclose his identity.
CLOTHES CALL: It looks like the forthcoming Cipriani development on Pier 15 in Manhattan will have a strong fashion component after all. Word has it consultant Robert Burke has been tapped by the developers to advise it on the retail component, which comprises 70,000 square feet. Elements of the sprawling project are said to include a luxury marina, a screening room and, of course, several restaurants.
RUSSIAN AROUND: Stella McCartney, who shows her fall-winter collection this morning, is quite the jet-setter. In the past week, the designer was in Vienna with her photographer sister Mary to shoot the next campaign for her collaboration with Adidas. Then McCartney hopped a plane to Moscow for one day to celebrate her guest editorship of an issue of Russian Vogue.
HIP HIP BERET: Seems New York designer Thakoon Panichgul can’t get enough Parisian chic. After showing a collection last month inspired by the French gamine, the designer arrived in the French capital Wednesday to soak up inspiration in museums — and show his line to prospective buyers in Europe. While home base will be the Park Hyatt hotel, Panichgul said he plans to sneak out to flea markets and vintage shops.
BIRTHDAY GIRL: Natalia Vodianova, celebrating her 24th birthday at the Hotel Bristol Tuesday night, felt right at home. “Lucas practically grew up in this hotel,” the model said of her four-year-old son. Indeed, Lucas looked very at home as he danced away to the delight of guests, who included Vodianova’s grandfather, Camilla Al-Fayed and actress Kate Hudson. Dressed in a chiffon Givenchy dress, Vodianova, who is due to have her second child in three weeks, said she’s looking forward to getting back into the fashion swing of things. “I have far too much energy. I love what I do,” she said.
REVIVAL GAME: Sophia Kokosalaki, who showed her latest collection on Wednesday, may have two fashion shows come next season, the second being Madeleine Vionnet. Arnaud de Lummen, Vionnet’s chief executive, said the relaunch of the storied French brand is imminent. “We’re in the final stages of securing retail partnerships,” said De Lummen, adding that around two “exclusive” luxury stores would be selected to carry the collection. The line will be presented either in London, Paris or New York.
MUSEUM QUALITY: The strength of Paris as the dominant fashion capital is underlined by the presence this week from Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Museum representatives were spotted at the shows this week in preparation for an exhibition bowing in November titled “Runway: The 2006 Paris Collections.” Those highlighted in the show include Christian Lacroix, Christian Dior and Chanel.
FENDI’S PLACE IN THE SUN: Fendi fans looking to stretch the brand beyond B bags can live at Ten. The small-scale residential property in Miami Beach has teamed up with Fendi Casa for a first-ever design collaboration between the fashion house and a real estate developer in Miami. Each of its 10 units, ranging from approximately 2,100 to 4,300 square feet in size, includes more than $600,000 of Fendi Casa furniture and home accessories, selected according to owners’ tastes by Fendi’s interior designers, a private poolside cabana and a Vespa motor scooter. Oceanfront prices start at $4.9 million. Miami-based architecture firm Arquitectonica and developer Modus Vivendi plan to deliver the project in spring 2007, just in time for spring break, Italian style.
DANCE PARTY USA: It was a veritable style blender Friday night at Los Angeles’ usually stuffy Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, where everyone from Jamie Tisch to Anjelica Huston to Vivica A. Fox let loose after the opening night performance of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The invites called for a dress code of “fabulous — but not black tie!” and guests took the instructions to heart. Liane Weintraub, founder of Center Dance Association, toiled for a year to bring the company to town, so she didn’t let the birth of her son one week prior keep her at home. She hit the dance floor in a draped Gucci top and trousers, while Tisch also opted for a chic blouse and pants to boogie with friends Kelly Meyer and Danica Perez, in a black turtleneck with boots and a gold dress, respectively. Meanwhile, actress Angela Bassett got her groove on with a young Ailey dancer, not letting her chiffon Christian Dior gown get in the way. On the other end of the style spectrum, Fox donned the same chapeau and jeans ensemble she wore to the Grammy Awards, while she nearly bested some of the dancers. But Huston stole the show in her signature black suit, getting jiggy with a handsome dancer as her husband Robert Graham looked on.
WHEELS AND HEELS: Mischa Barton, in a second-skin paillette-covered Azzaro, wasn’t playing lovely game-show hostess to win the prize Cadillac Escalade. Instead, Tuesday night’s party at Sunset at Vine — which was under threat of being shut down by Hollywood police because of capacity crowds and the ear-splitting decibel levels — was “Ten,” the cars-and-stars fest GM stages annually during Oscar week here. In the name of their individual charities, celebrities turn up on the runway in high fashion and with high-concept cars from the automaker. Barton was joined by Lindsay Lohan (in Valentino), Anna Kournikova (in J.Mendel), Eva Longoria (Luisa Beccaria), Elizabeth Banks (Cavalli) and others for the show, which was followed by a performance by John Legend. With an exuberant “woo hoo,” former Tommy Hilfiger model Joy Bryant, in YSL, rallied the crowd, which included every designer rep in town for Sunday’s Academy Awards, in part because stylist Rachel Zoe was enlisted this year to dress the GM show (replacing Jessica Paster). “You guys rocked,” Zoe yelled to each actor — many of whom are her clients — as they returned backstage.