DINNER DISHING: There’s no deal in the works for Rihanna at Topshop. Earlier this week, the singer told her fans via Twitter that she’d dined with Topshop owner Sir Philip Green, Simon Cowell, Universal Music chief Lucian Grainge and friends at Sandy Lane in Barbados, igniting speculation she was set to be the Topshop tycoon’s next celebrity designer. But industry sources said the dinner was “purely social,” and that no fashion deal is in the works. A Topshop spokesman declined to comment. Earlier this year, Green said he was winding down his collaboration with Kate Moss, although the two will continue to work on capsule collections together.

This story first appeared in the December 30, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

GOOD PARTNERS: Satine owner Jeannie Lee wanted to create a dress with a corset top and a fuller skirt for her Los Angeles store, but was worried about ensuring the fit would be just right. By coincidence, she was checking out designer Louis Verdad’s latest enterprise, the label Louver, and began to mull over the possibility of working with Verdad on the dress.

“The corset, which was the hardest part of the dress to make, would be poorly constructed without the right boning,” said Lee. “I know that Louis does beautiful tailoring. He is an artisan. There are not very many left in the world.”

Lee ended up collaborating with Verdad on the black strapless dress, priced at $495, that has just become available at Satine. It is a preview of sorts for a broader Satine line, which Lee is doing with partners Kelly Sawyer and Virginia Pereira, that will make its debut in January with around eight styles, ranging from $65 to less than $500.

BEATING THE CLOCK: Audemars Piguet has added to its stable of Formula One brand ambassadors the undisputed king of motor racing, Michael Schumacher. Schumacher joins Rubens Barrichello, Jarno Trulli and Sébastien Buemi as a representative of the brand, which earlier this year launched three Formula One-inspired versions of its signature Royal Oak Offshore watch, dubbed the Grand Prix Collection. Schumacher said fine watches and racing cars had common features, including high-tech materials, cutting-edge R&D labs and optimized mechanical performance. “Two minutes are an eternity for those of us who are accustomed to fighting for tenths of a second,” he noted.

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