JUDGING by the superstar treatment Demi Moore received during Milan Fashion Week, she has become fashion's most important VIP. She was at most of the biggest catwalk events and parties, and some shows were even delayed for up to an hour until the actress turned up. She was in Europe promoting her latest film, GI Jane, which has received less-than-rave reviews. But she was also reportedly on a research mission after acquiring the rights to make a movie about Coco Chanel's life. It is still unclear whether she plans to play Chanel in the film or will simply be producing it.
Moore was spotted at Gucci, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana, and even made it to the D&G party at the designers' city mansion, where she wore a weird sheer net number created by the duo. Others at the bash included Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni and an assortment of skeletal supermodels and wannabes who kept flitting by 'on their way for a sniff of something, I'm sure', said one observer dryly.
arty party SALVATORE Ferragamo's party at the Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea was one of the cool parties of the Milan season. Held after its catwalk show in the adjoining gardens of Villa Reale, the champagne-and-canapes affair also launched an exhibition called 'Tanaka Ikko, the graphic art of Japan'. Ikko's vivid posters and other artworks were striking against the venue's stark white interior.
The event was a nod to the importance Ferragamo places on Japan - and indeed, Asia - as a major global market. The company was also savvy enough to place Asian buyers and press in the front row at its catwalk show. And it is planning a retrospective exhibition in Tokyo next year marking the centenary of the birth of Ferragamo.
show of force THE Versace family was not taking any chances at the Versus show in Milan following Gianni's murder in July. There were almost as many bodyguards in evidence as there were fashion editors and retail buyers. When the late designer's sister and muse, Donatella Versace, appeared briefly on the catwalk to take the customary bow, she was sandwiched between two bodyguards. And her 11-year-old, leather-miniskirted daughter, Allegra - heiress to a large chunk of Versace's fortune - was also surrounded by hefty security men. There goes any pretence of a normal childhood for her.
Coffee tableau THE work of 30 Italian designers is to be profiled in mini coffee-table books by Milan-based curator/stylist/fashion visionary Samuele Mazza. (A few years ago, he organised the extraordinary 'Cinderella's Revenge' exhibition of extravagant designer footwear which came to Hong Kong on its global tour.) Mazza worked on the project with the late Gianni Versace, whose flamboyant designs and photographs are featured in one of the first books. Next up are tomes on Missoni, Moschino and Ferre. The series will focus exclusively on Italian designers and aims to analyse the labels' styles. The books are currently being translated into English and will be published by British company, Thames and Hudson.
the rebirth of wool LEADING designers including Manolo Blahnik, Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galliano have lent their talents to Italian leather-making firm Ruffo in aid of charity.
The designers were asked to come up with shearling (the first wool shorn from a sheep) creations that define 'fur-wear of the year 2000'. The results were showcased on the last day of Milan Fashion Week at the Via Della Spiga showroom of Ruffo and included Blahnik's high-heeled multicoloured fur boots, a magnificent hat from Philip Treacy and a flower-embroidered shearling dress from London-based designer-of-the-moment Antonio Beradi. Money raised will go to a scholarship for the Fashion Institute of Technology.
taking the floor JOYCE Ma took time out from the Milan shows to celebrate her 35th wedding anniversary with husband Walter, daughters Yvette and Adrienne and 30 staff members at popular restaurant Jacomo.
Hong Kong's fashion doyenne maintained her customary aura of serenity during the palaver surrounding the catwalk presentations. She and her companions arrived late at the Gucci show, long after their front-row seats had been given away, so she sat down without a fuss on the floor next to the catwalk to watch it. As Adrienne Ma said afterwards, at least they had an up-close view.