JUMPING on the World Cup bandwagon, Louis Vuitton has come up with a limited-edition LV-monogrammed soccer ball 'in celebration' of the sports event, to be held in France this summer. Vuitton has made only 3,000 balls, which helps to explain the price tag of FFr2,800 (HK$). It comes with a cowhide carry net, which is designed to give it 'the appearance of a handbag'. It's certainly not a serious piece of sporting equipment: publicity shots feature it being kicked around by women in high heels. Hardcore footie fans will no doubt despair at the thought of it. Meanwhile designer Daniel Hechter has signed a deal with members of the French football team, obliging them to wear a Hechter suit on 'all public occasions'. This is to consist of a one-button grey suit with grey shirt and grey tie. Not very inspired. barren rocks DIAMOND giant De Beers is planning to jazz up a forthcoming jewellery show by draping diamonds across models dressed in Parisian couture. Dresses from Givenchy, Lacroix, Valentino and Ungaro are being brought to Hong Kong courtesy of The Swank Shop; the jewels are the winners of the De Beers Diamonds International Awards in January. The June 24 event will be, predictably, black tie, at the Grand Hyatt and by invitation only. And if that's not enough to dazzle you, jeweller-socialite Michelle Ong Cheung, who has a low-key showroom in Central, will be showing her highly covetable treasures. caped crusaders FORECASTERS are predicting a wet spring, but there's no need for your child to look like a drowned brat. These sweet Capes for Kids were designed by a woman in New Zealand who needed to keep her three small boys dry while juggling 'kids, umbrellas, raincoats, bags'. Made of ultra-lightweight spinnaker fabric, the capes are designed to last from infancy until at least six. And they will fit over backpacks, prams and all that other kiddie-stuff. They are selling well ($275 each) through Safe Child Products Ltd (tel: 9037-7565) or from the Sports Shop of the Hong Kong Cricket Club in Wong Nai Chung Gap Road. wrist action AS IF Hong Kong didn't have enough expensive watch brands, here comes another one. Panerai is an Italian make, most notable for its use by that country's navy ... something about its 'high-precision mechanical workmanship'. Set to debut locally on May 8 at a private luncheon at Yu in the Regent, the timepieces are being touted as 'capable of withstanding almost anything, in the sea or in any other demanding situation'. The next night, the watches and some museum pieces will be putting in an appearance at the Dante Aligieri Italian Ball. Distributor Catherine Leopold-Metzger boasted that 'three well-known personalities [will be] representing the image of the brand' - without revealing who they are. gilt trip IF YOU have a passion for exotica, then Leetu Shivdasani's presentation at the Furama Hotel on April 30 could be for you. The Delhi-based designer uses Indian fabrics - gilt-shot brocade, embroidered silks and satin - for tailored, quasi-Western clothing. Her publicity material waxes lyrical about 'magical melodies ... windblown arias ... serenades ... lyrical beauty' but these are really just pretty, colourful, handworked clothes. Skip the polemic and head up to Room 2100 between 11 am and 8 pm on the day. And don't forget your chequebook: prices range from $650 for a scarf to $6,000 for a trouser-suit. privileged few? SEIBU managed to lure back the shoppers recently when it invited 50,000 of its credit-card holders to a 'privilege day' (actually two days) and reduced prices by 20 per cent throughout the store. By the end of the second day, the women's ready-to-wear and cosmetics departments had reported a notable jump in sales. Somewhat perplexing were results for the menswear section: they sold 80 ties in one day. And no, not all to one person.