Invitation only

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 March, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 March, 1998, 12:00am

TWO weeks after the last Paris catwalk show for the fall/winter 1998 season, New York will begin its turn. The highlights of the next batch of international shows, which start tomorrow, include the Emporio Armani event sent west to the Big Apple after Giorgio Armani was banned from having it in Paris, as planned.

Also on the show/party circuit will be Tom Ford, the genius behind the Gucci renaissance, who has been taken on as guest editor at hip fashion and style magazine Visionaire. The 24th edition will be on the theme of light, and a party for the launch, due in a couple of weeks, will be held on Wednesday at El Flamingo, a trendy New York nightclub.

The event is being described as 'a very sexy dance party' (ie, wear Gucci). Celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Bjork, Claire Danes and Ben Affleck have been invited. And if you can't make the party, buy the magazine - if you can get one. Only 3,300 hand-numbered copies of the 'deluxe edition double issue' will be produced, and it will come in a custom-designed, translucent box. Other creative types contributing to the publication include celebrity photographer Mario Testino and designer Alexander McQueen. The magazine will cost US$425 (HK$3,270). So yes, it's a keepsake.

hot-footing it SALVATORE Ferragamo is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year by holding a month-long exhibition in Tokyo. On display will be 195 individual shoes from Ferragamo's earliest days as a shoemaker. The retrospective will take place at the Sogetsu Kai Foundation in Tokyo, against a backdrop of bamboo structures by artist Teshigahara Hiroshi and the work of graphic art director Tanaka Ikko.

A cocktail party will be held to inaugurate the Centennial Exhibition on April 13, which opens to the public the next day. Flying in from Florence for the event will be matriarch Wanda Ferragamo, plus daughters Fiamma and Giovanna and sons Leonardo and Ferruccio. Members of the Japanese royal family and the President of Italy, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, who will be in Tokyo at the time, will also attend.

Ferragamo in Hong Kong is giving away tickets to the exhibition for anybody else who happens to be in Tokyo on the day. Call Rebecca Lau on 2737-3032.

it's a snip A note from Duddell Street hair and beauty salon Head to Toe arrived in response to our item a couple of weeks ago about La Coupe cutting its prices by 20 per cent.

'We are not REDUCING prices. We have NOT increased them since September 1996!' proclaims managing director Ferriel Brooks. 'Our cuts are $550. We employ stylists/colourists from all over the world that can match the best Hong Kong has to offer. We just don't think a haircut merits the absurd prices being charged these days in Hong Kong.' Also, Brooks wants to draw attention to her salon's 'Hair Miles' system - spend $5,000 in a year and get $500 off.

all a-flutter French fashion house Yves saint Laurent has challenged readers of Cosmopolitan magazine to select Hong Kong's 'most charming' women. They came up with 24 personalities, all of whom happen to be in the entertainment field, from starlets to singers to fully fledged movie stars. They include Flora Chan, Gigi Leung and Jessica Suen.

The top three most charming women will be honoured on Thursday at an award ceremony at the Furama Hotel, to be hosted by Yves Saint Laurent. The French beauty/fashion/accessories house is using the event as a platform to publicise its 40th anniversary, the worldwide theme for which is 'In Love Again'.

'That is how we came up with the concept,' said a spokesman for the organisers. 'We asked the readers to come up with a lady who might make their hearts beat faster.' One of the three winners will be selected by an all-female panel, one by an all-male panel, and the third by a combination.

It would be interesting to know if Yves Saint Laurent himself, for whom charm is epitomised by the ever-chic Catherine Deneuve, approves of their choices.

showing off POP along to Garden Court in Pacific Place on Thursday afternoon for a series of mini fashion shows. Retailers like Swank, Lane Crawford, Seibu and Episode, among others, will be showing off their spring/summer collections in a relaxed atmosphere.

stars don't shine HOLLYWOOD stylists were the winners on Oscar night, with most stars dressed in boringly tasteful designer duds.Trends this year were 'nude' dresses and make-up (Cameron Diaz, Faye Dunaway, Julianne Moore, Geena Davis), visible panty lines (Celine Dion, Linda Hamilton), babyish hair accessories (Drew Barrymore's daisies), pot bellies (Frances McDormand, Elisabeth Shue, Kate Winslet) and loaned jewellery. Gloria Stuart wore Titanic's US$20 million, 'Heart of the Pcean' diamond from Harry Winston; Cuba Gooding Jnr borrowed a wedding ring.

Best-dressed were Marlee Matlin in blue and gold Escada Couture, Meg Ryan in a navy Vera Wang and an aloof Minnie Driver in a red dress by Randolph Duke for Halston. Worst-dressed included Cher and Madonna (what were they thinking?), Kate Winslet, who was busting out of a green number by Alexander McQueen for Givenchy, and Frances McDormand in a gold lace and red satin dress that clung to all the wrong places. Most boring went to Helen Hunt's strapless silver sheath, a non-event by Gucci. And Prada got the thumbs-down for Sigourney Weaver's ill-fitting charcoal dress, which wasn't helped by heels the girl clearly couldn't walk in.

Cerruti sent a pre-show press release listing all the stars who wouldn't be wearing the label: Cameron Diaz had experienced 'technical problems' with a navy suit, while Julie Christie, NYPD Blue's Kim Delaney and Rebecca Broussard chose to wear dresses by someone else.