NO, THANKS: The Hollywood heat around Georgina Chapman, the designer of Marchesa along with Keren Craig, has apparently reached the couture ateliers in the capital of fashion. Rumors are rife in Paris that a major fashion house, under new ownership, offered the English designer a hefty contract to become the house’s creative director. Chapman, who declined to comment, is said to have turned down the offer because she wants to devote all of her time to building her fledgling brand.

MET BUZZ: The Poiret gowns will be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute until August, but it seems that its curators are already deep in the throes of planning their next big show. Word is the Costume Institute is planning an exhibition called “Superheroes” for the spring 2008 season. But don’t expect a retrospective of ensembles from “The Incredibles.” The show is said to focus on extreme sports, high-performance fabrics and avant-garde couture. A spokeswoman for the Costume Institute declined comment.

KANE TO SWEETEN FASHION ROCKS: London designer Christopher Kane is about to get one big boost to his fledgling career this fall when he joins the designer big league in London at Fashion Rocks. Kane, a design consultant for Donatella Versace who is known for his curvy, body-hugging shapes, will show his spring 2008 collection alongside houses including Burberry, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel at the Swarovski-sponsored event. “I am still in shock that I am actually doing this, as it has only been a year since I launched my own label,” said Kane. Swarovski is bankrolling Kane’s participation in the event, which takes place Oct. 18 at the Royal Albert Hall. The fashion and music event, in aid of the Prince’s Trust, Prince Charles’ youth charity, will be hosted this year by Samuel L. Jackson.

FRENCH CONNECTION: Ralph Rucci may be a New Yorker at heart, but he’ll always have Paris. Having first landed in the French capital to show couture in 2002, Rucci will be back in October to present his ready-to-wear collection sprinkled with a few fall couture highlights. “Ralph is very excited,” said the brand’s vice president, Vivian Van Natta, Wednesday night from her room at the Ritz after a day spent scouting locations.

This story first appeared in the June 21, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

50’S NEW DIGS: 50 Cent sure knows how to get a crowd together. The rapper turned up to celebrate the opening of his new showroom for the G-Unit apparel line on Tuesday night in the Marc Ecko Enterprises headquarters at 28 West 23rd Street in Manhattan. The crowd of rapper wannabes waited by the front door as 50 walked in with his entourage and jetted straight for his locked office. Bodyguards took their places outside the doors and it seemed like only VIPs were allowed in. Once inside, one could see why. The rapper wouldn’t want just anyone sitting on his brand new leather couch or playing pool on the immaculate G-Unit logo pool table. He surely wouldn’t want anyone messing around with his new recording studio equipment or lifting weights in his personal gym. But those lucky enough to make it inside his giant new office enjoyed great air-conditioning, mojitos, Glacéau VitaminWater (of which the rapper owned 10 percent and recently sold to Coca-Cola, putting more than $400 million in his pocket) and mingling with 50 himself. “I don’t know how to sew and I’m not back there with all the fabrics or anything,” he admitted to WWD. “But I do know what I like to see women wearing and I know what looks good on the streets.” Next up, 50 said he’s working on a new “sexy, dressy” line for women, which he plans to launch at the Magic trade show in August.

A PASSAGE TO PARIS: Anamika Khanna is the second Indian designer signed up for Paris Fashion Week. Khanna, a skilled fabric designer, will join Manish Arora on the French calendar this fall. Khanna cut her teeth as a sari designer in Calcutta, India, for 10 years before launching her fashion label, Ana Mika, in London in 2003. She’s been showing in New Delhi in India and London ever since. “Ana Mika has developed some really intriguing metallic weaves for spring,” said brand director Amit Rastogi. The collection will feature takes on traditional garb such as the sari and the lengha [a layered Indian bridal skirt], he said.

RED-CARPET TREATMENT: Apparently, cute clothes aren’t the only benefit of being a stylist’s child. June Ambrose went all out for her three-year-old daughter Summer Chamblin‘s birthday party Saturday — replete with a red carpet, step-and-repeat media wall and $800 goodie bags. The birthday girl’s guest list included Kimora Lee and Russel Simmons’ daughters, Kim Porter‘s and Sean Combs’ twin girls, D’Lila Star and Jesse James and Fantasia Barrino‘s daughter, Zion. Ambrose called on some of her clients to sponsor the bash so the tykes could take home LeSportsac bags filled with bottles of Pepsi, and freebies from Adidas, Baby Phat, Miss Sixty, L’Oréal Paris, Rocawear, Ed Hardy, Disney, HBO robots and loads of music products from Def Jam and others. The gang that gathered at Ambrose’s Midtown pad planned to sing “Happy Birthday” around a castle-shaped cake covered with the Louis Vuitton logo. What happened to the days of just a clown and ice cream cake?

KNICKERS!: Hilton McConnico is applying his scenographic skills to French panties. The Paris-based artist disclosed he’s working on a project with lingerie designer Chantal Thomass for Galeries Lafayette for the end of September. “Let’s just say that I’ve never seen underwear presented like this before,” said McConnico of the upcoming installation, which will reside in the store’s windows as well as in Galeries Lafayette’s fameuse cupola.

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