A NEW NUMBER: Chanel is said to be in talks with petite French actress Audrey Tautou to feature in a new commercial for its mythic No.5 fragrance. And rumor has it Tautou will reunite with “Amélie” director Jean-Pierre Jeunet for the spots. Chanel officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

VOTE FOR VERSACE: On the heels of Silvio Berlusconi’s victory as Italy’s prime minister, Santo Versace has secured a seat in the country’s Parliament, becoming a member of the State Chamber. “I am taking this very seriously,” Versace told WWD. “I decided to run because I want to do something concrete for the future.” The buzz in Milan is that Versace could even be headed for a cabinet post, but it may take Berlusconi a couple of weeks to finalize his list and present it to Italy’s head of state, Giorgio Napolitano. Berlusconi won the elections, held Sunday and Monday, with his center-right Freedom Party and will rule the country for the third time. Meanwhile, the political leader has promised four of his 12 ministers will be women and a likely candidate is the blonde, slim Sicilian Stefania Prestigiacomo. Her appointment no doubt would give the Italian press plenty of fodder given Berlusconi’s renowned eye for the opposite sex.

UOMO GUCCI: After David Lynch directed a trio of dancing models for fragrance Gucci by Gucci’s advertising campaign, the fashion house is said to have signed actor James Franco for its new men’s scent, slated to launch in fall. Franco, 29, who starred in the “Spider-Man” films, is expected to front the campaign for the men’s fragrance version of Gucci by Gucci, the first men’s scent under the creative direction of Gucci designer Frida Giannini.

BALL GAME: Tilda Swinton will go to the Met Costume Institute Ball as a guest of Miuccia Prada, according to a source. The American actress Elizabeth Banks also is said to have been invited by the house. A surprise installation is in store for the centerpiece of the Prada table at the event, meanwhile, in the form of a living art installation

This story first appeared in the April 16, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

HELPING OUT: Chopard co-president Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele and designer Alberta Ferretti are combining their talents for a good cause. The two have designed a jewel-laden dress for the amfAR gala in Cannes, France, on May 22. Ferretti and Gruosi-Scheufele met at last year’s Venice Film Festival, but both have long admired one another’s work. “I often choose Ferretti gowns for prestigious evenings,” said Scheufele-Gruosi. The dress will be unveiled at Chopard’s annual gala dinner on May 14 and will be worn by a yet-to-be named star.

AMAZING GRACE: Hermès fans may never be able to get their mitts on the original Kelly bag once belonging to the late Princess Grace of Monaco, but a unique version of the iconic bag, screen-printed with an image of her, will be up for grabs on June 2 as part of a vintage Hermès sale organized by auction house Artcurial in Paris. The bag, donated by HRH Princess Stephanie, was produced for the “Grace Kelly Years” exhibition last year. Proceeds will go to the Fight Aids Monaco charity.

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