MILAN SPICE: The Spice Girls, back and on tour, shimmied onto Roberto Cavalli’s runway in Milan Monday and dished about Italian Romeos, dressing for seduction and, of course, David Beckham’s well-documented endowment. “Italians are stallions,” said Melanie Brown, aka Scary Spice, when asked what’s the greatest difference between English and Italian men. “They’re more passionate,” added Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell. “They’re probably more stylish, too,” joked Sporty Spice, Melanie Chisholm. Meanwhile, Victoria Beckham, Posh Spice, stayed mum on the topic, but piped in when asked what she thought of her husband’s Emporio Armani underwear billboard. “If I had a body like him, I’d walk around in my [under]pants too,” she said. Cavalli, who designed the costumes for the group’s reunion tour, held court, smoking a cigar as the singers chatted like schoolgirls. In top form and playful, the women proved Spice has a long shelf life and you can, indeed, go back. “The second time around is even better,” said Sporty. “We appreciate everything so much more.”

JEWEL OF A NIGHT: Perennial accessories industry-event emcee Deborah Norville faced the crowd at the Gem Awards on Friday night and posed the question, “Where are all the ugly people?” Clad in a turquoise gown that she claimed no one noticed due to her Bulgari jewels (trust us, they did), Norville stated that, “Tonight you can gawk at people’s jewelry and tell them you’re making a professional assessment.” She then went on to plug her latest book, “Thank You Power.”

This story first appeared in the January 15, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Thus began the sixth annual Gem Awards Gala, held at New York’s Cipriani 42nd Street and presented by the Jewelry Information Center. In an evening of random pairings, football legend Dan Marino hobbled onto the stage on crutches to present Bulgari with the award for corporate communications in marketing excellence. “I hurt myself dancing on New Year’s Eve,” the broadcaster and former quarterback joked.

Moments later, Jason Binn of Niche Media took the stage on Marino’s crutches to present writer Roberta Naas with an award for excellence in jewelry and watch writing. “I got in a fight with Dan backstage,” Binn said as the crutches towered over him.

But Terry Burman, chairman of Sterling Jewelers, was the night’s big winner, getting a standing ovation for his lifetime achievement award. After he thanked his wife and his team, Norville took the stage to draw the awards to a close, but not before plugging her book once again. And with that, dessert was served.

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