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NEW ROLES: Ralph Toledano, just named president of the fashion division at Puig, plunged into his new job at the burgeoning luxury group by attending the Jean Paul Gaultier couture show on Wednesday. “One step at a time,” said the executive, flashing with a big smile and taking his seat between Marc Puig and Manuel Puig. The family-owned Spanish firm acquired a majority stake in Gaultier last year. In about a year, Toledano will be hands-on at Nina Ricci, which he lauded as “one of the historical and most prestigious French couture houses,” and one of the most significant brand “rebirths” in recent years, under the design stewardship of Peter Copping.

As for the Gaultier show, if the designer’s tribute to Amy Winehouse raised some eyebrows, it went down a storm with Beth Ditto. “I almost cried,” she confessed afterward. “It was joyful and beautiful. It was f—ing amazing. I have chills talking about it.”

This story first appeared in the January 26, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Models with beehive hairdos and cat-eye makeup puffed on cigarettes as a cappella group Mode-F belted out Winehouse hits, under the watchful eye of a row of Texan socialites. The group was in town for several days of couture-related events, inspired by the Gaultier retrospective currently on show at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Other guests at the event included Catherine Deneuve and Dita Von Teese.
Charlotte Rampling said that after her memorably unpleasant turn in Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia,” she will once again play a formidable matriarch in Australian movie “The Eye of the Storm,” based on the novel by Nobel author Patrick White. “People say, ‘But you seem like such a nice girl, really,’ ” she laughed. “I guess there’s scary hidden depths that come out.”

Meanwhile, Jean-Paul Goude revealed he has just shot a portrait of Gaultier for a campaign by Galeries Lafayette that will celebrate the craft of fashion. “It’s what makes fashion: the ‘petites mains,’ the embroiderers, this whole aspect of fashion that people don’t really know,” he explained.

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