INDEPENDENCE DAY: Italian playboy Lapo Elkann apparently will present his own line of accessories and apparel in Milan today. He sent out cryptic invitations to a presentation for his nascent label, Italia Independent, citing a "new tactile experience." Elkann, the grandson of the late Gianni Agnelli, launched an eyewear line made of carbon last season and word has it he's expanding his product offering to jackets, pants and bags made from high-tech materials such as Gore-Tex and the fibers used in bulletproof vests.
SHADY CHARACTERS: His eyes forever shielded by dark glasses, Karl Lagerfeld certainly knows the ins and outs of eyewear design. Look out for a prototype on his new signature collection of sunglasses at the Karl Lagerfeld show on Wednesday. The men's and women's eyewear range will be licensed to New York-based Marchon Eyewear Inc. Lagerfeld's collection of sun specs will hit stores in January, followed by an optical range in April.
COLD SHOULDER: Forgive and forget? Not Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, at least where The New York Times is concerned. The publication's critics, barred from the Milan duo's shows for the past year, are still in the penalty box, despite requests for invitations to today's Dolce & Gabbana show. The Times' Cathy Horyn declined to comment on the long-running dispute.
VIRTUAL REALITY: Giorgio Armani has made the leap to cyberspace, opening his first store on Second Life and creating his own avatar, or digital replica of himself, complete with sculpted abs, a skintight T-shirt and sneakers. He's also setting up his very own flagship, replete with Emporio Armani merchandise, a cafe and cosmetics counter. True to his flesh-and-blood counterpart, Armani's electronic likeness has his share of moments with the press. Today Style.com's Candy Pratts Price's avatar will interview Armani's avatar in the Second Life store about fashion and innovation.