PERMANENT POSE: Christy Turlington is teaming up again with Ralph Pucci International to inspire a group of its mannequins, but this time around she’s trying to take her likeness to a higher ground. Ten years after Turlington and Pucci joined forces to create mannequins featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, which resemble the supermodel, they have come up with a new collaboration.

Turlington, a yoga enthusiast, has been lunging and stretching for Pucci sculptors and artists for the past six months for the project, which culminates with the May unveiling of seven new mannequins shaped in the Lotus position and other Zen-like poses. Turlington will also outfit the mannequins for display in Pucci’s showroom in looks from the Nuala collection, the yoga-inspired line she designs for Puma, but the mannequins will be offered to retailers interested in promoting other lines, as well.

HOTEL COUTURE: Bulgari solidified its plans this week for its first hotel to open in Milan in the second half of 2003. Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, a joint venture with Marriott International Inc. created last year, signed a lease for a property in Via Privata Fratelli Gabba, in the center of the city between the La Scala theater and the Brera district. While the building will be renovated by its owners, Bulgari and Marriott will invest $5.2 million in design expenses, supplies and start-up costs.

“The general economic situation is troubled and tourism is still suffering, but the agreement we signed is related to something that will happen in two years time,” said Francesco Trapani, chief executive of the Rome-based jewelry group and president of Bulgari Hotels & Resorts. “We all hope that, by then, the international situation will have improved.”

The hotel will be designed by Bulgari and architects Antonio Citterio & Partners, a studio that has collaborated with fashion and luxury goods companies such as Cerruti, Ermenegildo Zegna and Damiani. Citterio will develop all the Bulgari hotels scheduled to open around the world in the next five years, in cities such as Rome, Paris, London, New York and Tokyo.

The Milan hotel will feature 52 rooms and suites and include a restaurant, a cafe, a spa with an indoor pool and a 2,000 square-foot presidential suite with a private terrace, while the building also boasts a 43,200-square-foot garden, which borders with the city’s botanical garden. Trapani said prices of the rooms will be in the “highest market range of the luxury hotels” in the city.

GAME DAY: Umbra, the Toronto-based home furnishings company, has tapped into the lucrative gift market with its first range of classic games that the company designed with a modern twist. Umbra’s dominoes, for instance, come in a thick walnut case, metal poker chips are perforated with a punch-out pattern and playing cards are resized in a long, narrow deck with optical art designs and an oval leather case.

Another deck of cards was created with models cast as the Kings, Queens and Jacks, while a greyhound plays the Joker, and the diamonds, hearts, clubs and spades are remade as amorphic shapes to make them more distinct, said Umbra cofounder Paul Rowan, who heads up design. Retail prices range from $25 for the cards to $100 for the poker set, which are set to ship to specialty stores next month, while Umbra plans to develop chess and checker boards and a backgammon set later this year.

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