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ROME-ING AROUND?: Valentino sure knows how to draw a crowd, wherever he may roam. Among the eclectic list of boldfaced names expected at his couture show tonight are Suzanne Mubarak, Egypt's first lady, a newly single Dita Von Teese and Princess Marie Chantal of Greece. But an Italian trip for Val's gals may be in the offing come July. Word has it he is mulling showing his 45th anniversary couture collection in Rome — or Paris or both. Reached on Sunday, a spokesman said, "Nothing is yet confirmed."
MARCHESA BUZZ: Could Marchesa be on the block? There is some speculation the label's investors, who include restaurateur Giuseppe Cipriani and real estate entrepreneur Steven Witkoff, are quietly shopping the three-year-old label, which is designed by Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman. "It is no secret that we have been approached by many different companies," a spokeswoman for Marchesa said. "We are very pleased with the success of Marchesa and are considering all options, including remaining as we are." But there is an inexplicable twist to the story. It is a well-known fact that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is Chapman's boyfriend, and, according to sources, is also a key investor and is even said to be looking into making other fashion acquisitions. So, buy or sell?
PAST THE IMPASSE: Protracted negotiations to renew Hedi Slimane's contract at Dior Homme — and launch his signature brand, including women's wear — have taken a positive turn, sources indicated last week. A deal has yet to be signed, but it is understood talks are progressing well between the men's wear star and the French fashion house. One concrete sign is the fact that, contract or not, a Dior Homme fall-winter 2007 show is going ahead on Jan. 30 during men's fashion week in Paris. The show venue should be finalized today. Meanwhile, guests at the Dior couture show today should expect a rather timely start: It's slated to be broadcast live in Japan at a special party Dior has organized there.