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WWDStyle issue 02/25/2011

MEMORY LANE: Katie Holmes, the latest recipient of Max Mara’s 2011 Women in Film Face of the Future award, attended the brand’s Milan show with her mother, Kathleen. Looking relaxed in a one-shouldered maroon silk jumpsuit, the actress — besieged by photographers upon arrival — said she would forgo the Oscars’ red-carpet madness this year. “My husband’s shooting right now up in Vancouver, so we’ll be up in Vancouver together,” she said.

The star appeared keen to scotch rumors that her marriage to Tom Cruise has hit the rocks, saying how much she enjoyed being back in Italy, where the pair wed in 2006. “It’s always nice to be here. There’s such great memories,” she said.

This story first appeared in the February 25, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

ALL ABOUT YVES: Truth does not get in the way of Twitter. Asked Thursday about wanton online speculation of an imminent designer change at Yves Saint Laurent, PPR chairman and chief executive officer François-Henri Pinault firmly denied any plans to dislodge the incumbent, Stefano Pilati. A blizzard of articles and blog entries — ignited by a tweet posted on a Kenzo p.r. account Wednesday — made it sound as if a designer, possibly Hedi Slimane, was poised to unseat Pilati. On the contrary, Pinault has been unequivocal in his public support of Pilati, credited with helping YSL swing back to profitability in 2010, registering operating income of 11.6 million euros, or $15.4 million.

Last week, Pilati sat front row at PPR’s results presentation, where Pinault praised him and YSL ceo Valérie Hermann for the French firm’s current momentum. Disclosing plans to enlarge YSL’s retail network, he even ribbed Pilati good-naturedly about filling all the new stores with merchandise.

No doubt Hermann’s imminent exit — she will become ceo at Reed Krakoff in April — helped sparked the rumor mill. This isn’t the first time YSL has had to silence gossip mongers. In 2007, the house revealed the renewal of Pilati’s contract at a time when he was rumored to be headed to Valentino, or about to be replaced.

Meanwhile, a Kenzo spokesman said Wednesday he did not know who posted the incendiary tweet, which has since been removed. “This is not at all the kind of information that we would have access to or would have any interest in spreading,” he added.

THE ODD COUPLE: They’re not exactly Felix and Oscar. Nor will they ever be mistaken for the Doublemint Twins. They represent a fashion/media-world spectrum all their own. The New Yorker’s David Remnick introduced himself to edgy fashionista-blogger Bryanboy while waiting for the Prada show Thursday night and the two seemed to really hit it off. Remnick, who’s in Milan and attending lots of fashion shows, is researching his magazine’s next style issue. Buttoned up in banker-blue suit and tie, he chatted enthusiastically with Bryanboy, who sported a bushy silver fur with bright tangerine pants.

The two took a picture together and while neither had a business card to give the other, both promised to get in touch.

SOUND OF SILENCE: Asia Argento has more than one reason for sticking close to home these days. At the Milan opening of “We Love Hair,” an exhibition of photographs by Karl Lagerfeld for German hair care brand Schwarzkopf, the Rome-based actress said her priority is providing a stable home life for her daughter Anna Lou, nine, and her two-year-old son Nicola Giovanni, so that she has been working mainly in her native Italy. Not that motherhood has dulled the “Scarlet Diva” star’s edge. Argento will start shooting next month on “Isole” (“Islands”), in which she plays a girl left catatonic by an accident. “It’s kind of a silent movie. I love it,” she smirked. “More than anything, I hate dialogue, so finally: No more terrible lines.”

NATIONAL PRIDE: “Italians do it better!” Frida Giannini shouted as she bounded off the stage arm-in-arm with Fiat heir Lapo Elkann at a party celebrating the launch of the Fiat 500 customized by Gucci. Earlier in the evening, the Gucci creative director had introduced the band I Blame Coco, fronted by Sting’s daughter Coco Sumner, with a popular Italian expletive that politely translates as “fantastic.”