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NAKED AMBITION: Skin is still in. Tonight, Marc Jacobs and Robert Duffy will be honored by the NYU Cancer Institute at a gala at the Mandarin Oriental New York. Last year, the designer’s series of T-shirts featuring celebs such as Julianne Moore, Rufus Wainwright and Winona Ryder in the buff sold out, raising approximately $400,000 for melanoma research. Those designs will be reissued along with new shirts, featuring Helena Christensen, Eva Mendes and Heidi Klum — but presumably the one Jacobs gave the International Herald Tribune’s Suzy Menkes in Paris won’t be among them. The designer’s pals Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Mendes are expected to attend tonight.

NO DOUBT: Could French pop and fashion icon Françoise Hardy be ready to test her talent as a designer? Rumor has it the singer-songwriter is in talks with catalogue giant La Redoute about a clothing line in her name. Meanwhile, a capsule collection for fall designed by Christian Lacroix has been so successful, La Redoute has signed on the acclaimed couturier for another season.

HOT SHOT: Diego Della Valle, Paolo Roversi, William Klein, Julie Gayet, Marisa Berenson and Vanessa Bruno were among those who thronged the Jeu de Paume in Paris on Monday night to get the first look at a European retrospective of Edward Steichen’s work. A shadowy shot of a top-hatted Fred Astaire poised to dance, as well as a bewitching glamour shot of Marlene Dietrich reclined in an armchair, her lace-gloved hand held out, are among original prints on show. “He’s a photographer who we don’t speak about much, who nonetheless served as a precursor for many fashion photographers today,” raved Bruno, captivated by one photograph of Gloria Swanson veiled in black lace that first appeared in the February 1928 issue of Vanity Fair. “I see it as a beauty portrait with such a modern allure.” The guests went on to join shoe designer Bruno Frisoni at the hotel Crillon, for a cocktail party sponsored by Roger Vivier and Paris Vogue.

DIAMOND DIVA: Catherine Zeta-Jones glammed it up Thursday night to celebrate her arrival as the new face of Di Modolo as well as the jewelry firm’s new Tempia Timepiece collection. The Oscar winner donned a Gustavo Cadile plum dress and sizzled on the red carpet set up outside Di Modolo’s Madison Avenue store. “It’s hot,” Zeta-Jones cried as she made her way through a tented walkway and out of the blazing flashbulbs. Of Zeta-Jones’ new role with Di Modolo, whose diamonds she wrapped around her neck and draped in her ears, she felt the partnership was most suitable to her interests. “I love jewelry,” said the actress. “I’m like a kid in a candy store.” However, she doesn’t see herself launching an accessories or apparel brand any time soon, unlike many others in her craft. “I’ve got a busy life as it is,” she said. “Maybe it’s something I’d like to do later, but not now.”

This story first appeared in the October 10, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Di Modolo’s president and chief executive officer Benny Shabtai was on hand to welcome Zeta-Jones. He couldn’t be happier to have her on board. “It was love at first sight,” Shabtai sighed. “We appreciate her because of what she is — respected, talented, an actress, wife and mother. She’s also clever and beautiful.” Dino Modolo, the firm’s designer, agreed. “This collection is all about the woman, a strong woman. And Catherine is that woman. She was the perfect muse.”

After a recent stint as the face of Revlon Colorist, Sheryl Crow is graduating to apparel. The singer has signed a manufacturing deal with Western Glove Works to develop and distribute a denim-based collection dubbed Bootheel Trading Co. by Sheryl Crow. The new line will be the second celebrity-backed denim collection for Winnipeg, Canada-based Western Glove Works, which owns the Silver Jeans and 1921 label, and manufactures Victoria Beckham’s DVB Denim collection. Bootheel Trading is slated for a fall 2008 launch in department stores and specialty chains. Prices will range from $20 to $65.

GOLDEN GLASSES: Ray-Ban is bringing out the bling. In honor of its 70th anniversary, the eyewear brand is launching the Ray-Ban Ultra, a limited edition collection of two styles that made the brand famous: the Aviator and the Outdoorsman. But these aren’t your grandma’s Ray-Bans. Each of the 25,000 pairs is made of titanium, beta-titanium and pure gold, and will feature an engraved serial number on the inner side. Just in time for holiday, the collection launches in December and will retail for $485.

Clinique took its sponsorship of Glamour’s Reel Moments program a step further by commissioning jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer to create special “Clinique Happy” bracelets for Kate Hudson, Kirsten Dunst and Rita Wilson. The actresses made their directorial debuts for the Reel Moments series, overseeing movies based on stories from Glamour readers. The bracelet, which is 18-karat hammered yellow gold with orange sapphires, was given to the directors and to the readers whose stories have been brought to the screen. The women were expected to wear the jewels at the Reel Moments premiere Tuesday in Los Angeles.

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