SHIFTING DATES: The fall season of runway shows hasn’t even kicked off, but the Council of Fashion Designers of America, British Fashion Council, Chambre Syndicale and Camera della Moda already are looking toward 2009 and 2010. At their meeting in Paris last week, the groups agreed to move the show days in February and September four days later starting in 2009. It will mean the New York shows in September will no longer start right after Labor Day. Meanwhile, Mario Boselli, head of the Italian Chamber of Fashion, said the move “will make the weekend less critical for Milan because it will fall in the middle of fashion week and will help draw those buyers and retailers who used to skip the opening or closing weekend shows.”Boselli said CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg was hoping to push the shows a week later, but that the Camera preferred the four-day option. Next year will be a transitional one, with the show dates moving two days later. {{image1}}

GO EAST, YOUNG DESIGNER: Meanwhile, the New York Fashion Week slate this season includes several first-time showings by a range of Los Angeles labels: Morphine Generation, Pegah Anvarian, Linda Loudermilk, Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent and veteran brand Tadashi, which will premier its higher-priced evening gown line at the tents. Once West Coast designers reach a certain level of dollars and buzz, it’s natural for them to seek the bigger stage of New York, as brands such as BCBG Max Azria, Monique Lhuillier, Jenni Kayne, Rodarte, Rock & Republic and Grey Ant have done. But many Los Angeles locals wonder if the migration is cannibalizing L.A.’s own fledgling fashion week. Currently, several of the city’s most established designers, like Trina Turk and Michelle Mason, eschew the runways, though some believe their participation would be a galvanizing force for other designers to show here. It remains to be seen which names end up on the roster when Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios in Culver City, Calif., kicks off March 14.

THE SHOW WITHIN THE SHOW WITHIN THE SHOW: “Ugly Betty’fans will get a glimpse of the hustle and bustle of New York Fashion Week (via a Bryant Park facsimile in Los Angeles) on the network series’episode Thursday. The episode won’t include appearances by actual designers, but Amanda (the sometimes-cruel receptionist at Mode magazine, where Betty works as an assistant) will attend a re-created Betsey Johnson show featuring a skirt that will be referred to as the “It”item of the season. Tim Gunn of “Project Runway”will play a reporter for Fashion TV ” the show within the show that reports on the happenings at Mode.

And to make the whole thing interactive, the “Ugly Betty”producers are holding a contest that asks anyone in the audience to submit a sketch of a dress made of office supplies, along with an original essay in 100 words or less discussing the concept of the design. The winning designer will receive a trip for two to Los Angeles to attend a Friday taping of the show, which will feature a dress based on the winner’s design that Christina (Mode’s “closet keeper”seamstress) has whipped up in just 12 hours during a blizzard for a celebrity-in-need (thus the office supplies). With more than 500 responses in less than a week of the announcement, judges America Ferrera (Betty), Vanessa Williams (Mode’s creative director, Wilhelmina Slater), Ashley Jensen (Christina), Eric Mabius (Mode’s editor in chief, Daniel Meade) and Eduardo Castro (the show’s costume designer) have their work cut out for them.

GOOD ROCKER: “Who says you can’t go home,”Jon Bon Jovi sang Thursday night at the Tribeca Rooftop as the rocker teamed up with Kenneth Cole to kick off R.S.V.P. to Help, a fund-raiser to benefit homeless organizations. R.S.V.P. is also the name of Cole’s new men’s fragrance, marketed by Coty Inc., and Bon Jovi is the scent’s face. Cole and Bon Jovi collaborated to create a collection of $795 jackets that were sold during the holidays. All the efforts so far have yielded more than $1 million for Habitat for Humanity; HELP-USA, founded by Cole’s wife, Maria Cuomo Cole, and the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation. The event Thursday drew the likes of Ron Perelman, Howard Stern and Beth Ostrosky, Richie Sambora, Petra Nemcova and Russell Simmons. When asked if he’s involved with charity work, Stern admitted that with his radio commitments, he has time for little else.

“Radio is the only thing I’m capable of doing, and that’s about it,”said Stern, who said he never imagined the immense wealth a radio career could bring. “You don’t get into radio to be rich and famous. You get into radio because you have some bizarre fascination. I never imagined I’d make a living in radio and make more than $250 a week.”

SMOKE AND MIRRORS: The Greatest Generation is still full of surprises. Take, for instance, what Bill Blass, Art Kane and Ellsworth Kelly had in common. They were all members of the World War II 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, a clandestine group brought into action in Normandy in 1944 and sworn to a vow of secrecy for 50 years. Their mission: to create a series of imaginary army maneuvers to fool the Nazis, using such pieces of equipment as rubber trucks, jeeps, cannons and tanks that they inflated on location. Fake airfields and convoys could be brought to “life”in a few hours, replete with sound effects from Bell Labs. Many of the camouflage engineers came from New York or Philadelphia art schools. Now, filmmaker Rick Beyer is at work on a documentary, “The Ghost Army,”which will tell the story of these men. On Tuesday, at a luncheon at the National Arts Club, former Special Troops members photographer Ned Harris; museum designer Jack Masey; artist Bill Sayles; Bob Conrad, and retired Fairchild art director John Jarvie will tell their stories. Beyer, who’s also producing, and his consultant, Martha Gavin, will be looking for some investors. And, of course, the luncheon is bound to be filled with other war stories. As Sayles recalled of Blass: He was a “wonderful guy. Knew what he wanted. Read Vogue in his foxhole. The rest of us were a bunch of slobs, but not Blass. He was always dressed to the nines.”

SCOOPLET: For Theodora Suki Silverman, who made her debut on Jan. 23 weighing 7 pounds, 2 oz., style is a birthright. When she gets a little older, the daughter of Stefani Greenfield, co-owner of Scoop, will have access to an “ultimate closet,”the concept behind the successful chain. But Greenfield also has a baby of a different kind in the works ” a 10,000-square-foot megastore opening at 473-475 Broadway in New York mid-February. As for her new daughter, an assistant said Greenfield will skip the New York shows to spend time with her, but is planning to go to Paris. And how does Greenfield feel about Theodora Suki? “That she is truly the meaning of her name ‘a gift from God.'”

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