JUDGING by the attire of members of the international style set during the recent London-Milan-Paris collections, ethno-chic is still all the rage. As a pleasant diversion from all that grey minimalism underscoring fashion this autumn, a number of writers, stylists and models were swathed in Indian silks and Pashmina shawls, some sporting nose-studs or enamelled droplets dangling from their earlobes. And although shahtoosh shawls are internationally banned, they were still flaunted by several front-row editors. So it will probably be a safe bet to go to the Marriott hotel on November 5, when Delhi-based designer Leetu Shivdasani will be showing a collection of her signature East-West clothes. The day-long event will feature western-style pantsuits in Indian fabrics and Indian tunic-and-pant ensembles with strong western tailoring. Prices range from $650 for a scarf to $6,000 for a chic pantsuit. shawl thing JOYCE Ma appeared at various catwalk shows in Paris and Milan, looking as elegant as always. She was in her element at the cocktail-party opening of an exhibition at the Joyce gallery, in the Palais Royal, Paris, of precious silk fabrics. The exhibition, called Lumiere de Java, runs until January 8 and features the work of specialist Indonesian fabric weaver Baron Manansang. The handmade silk gold-shot fabrics that were suspended from wall racks take up to three months to weave, come in a palette of beautiful colours and can be used as shawls, wraps or sarong-skirts. Ma explained the weaving process to guests, including designer Kenzo, looking graceful herself in a floor-length, silver-grey, Chinese-style coat and turquoise beads down to her ankles. Kenzo bought three of the pieces on the spot (at about HK$4,218 each) and promised to come back for more. calling the tune FASHION will also be in focus at the Hong Kong Ballet Ball at the Regent hotel on November 21. German brand Escada will showcase its couture collections - always extravagant, if classic - for next spring, in the presence of Escada CEO Wolfgang Ley and the usual assortment of Hong Kong celebrities. think big THE Asian crisis is hitting everyone hard, but some retailers believe this is the best time to expand, not contract. So Louis Vuitton, an especially of-the-moment brand since hip American designer Marc Jacobs was taken on board, is soon to open its first global superstore in Asia (outside Japan, that is). The megastore, to open next February, will encompass the existing Vuitton space in the Landmark, but will also take over the space below, currently occupied by Marks & Spencer. On offer will be new Vuitton ready-to-wear collections, super-trendy shoes (their flat leather slippers were seen on the most fashionable feet during the recent shows), new bags (must-haves include sky blue and beige patent purses) and of course signature luggage. presidential seal STILL with Vuitton, president Yves Carcelle has been named president of sister-brand Celine following the resignation of Nan Legeai. Carcelle is highly respected, especially in the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy empire which now effectively controls Vuitton, Celine, Loewe and Marc Jacobs. When asked how the appointment would change his life, Carcelle quipped: 'I guess I'll be sleeping a lot less.' tied down MENSWEAR empire Ermenegildo Zegna has been the name on everyone's lips recently. The Milan-based company has been fielding calls non-stop since it was revealed they made the tie given to a certain president by a certain intern. The much-photographed appendage, with its blue and gold diamond design, is no longer in production, although a Zegna insider said the company had been asked to produce a collectors' edition. Thankfully, they refused. Last week in New York, Zegna was again making news by sponsoring an international environmental award as part of the GQ Men of the Year prize-giving ceremony. Sting (who wore a T-shirt under his tuxedo - very cool) and his wife Trudy Styler won the Zegna award, while hunks of manhood like George Clooney and Harrison Ford were named men of the year. show time THE second batch of New York shows gets underway tomorrow. In a split season that has forced fashion folk to fly back and forth over the Atlantic, the first batch of designers, including Helmut Lang, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan, showed in mid-September. For the week starting tomorrow, shows will feature Ralph Lauren, Badgley Mischka, Anna Sui and Marc Jacobs. There are also enough champagne-fuelled social activities during the week to keep your average alcoholic fashion editor happy: Bulgari is holding a party to launch its new line of silk and cashmere, Shanghai Tang is hosting a bash this Wednesday, and later in the week French designer Thierry Mugler will be on hand to celebrate the New York launch of his book Fashion Fetish Fantasy. Not one for the children.