THE PRICE IS RIGHT: Antony Price, the English designer whose clients have ranged from Bryan Ferry to Annie Lennox and the Duchess of Cornwall, is setting up shop in central London once again. The designer has a new backer: Paul Davies, the luxury property developer who just purchased London's Number Eleven Cadogan Gardens hotel. Price will open a store and couture studio on Mount Street, near Marc Jacobs' new store and the soon-to-be-opened Luella Bartley boutique, in the autumn. The store will sell Price's ready-to-wear, couture and men's wear. Price told WWD he was excited to have some financial backing: "I've never had a red cent from a single soul, and now that I do, I shall be a force to be reckoned with," said the designer, who broke into fashion in the Sixties. "I've always had to make silk purses out of sow's ears. It'll be nice, finally, to have a bit of silk!"
ACTION AT ANNABEL'S: Sources in London say Mark Birley, 77, is close to selling Annabel's — and quite possibly the other private Mayfair clubs he has created. Birley is reported to be in very advanced negotiations with Richard Caring, a British clothing supplier, close buddy of Topshop tycoon Philip Green and owner of London restaurants The Ivy, Le Caprice and J Sheekey. It's no secret that Caring, whose net worth is reported to be $900 million, has been stalking Annabel's for a while, but a deal seems to be closer than ever, a source said. The price is said to be in the neighborhood of $200 million for the whole Birley empire, which includes members-only restaurants George, Mark's Club and Harry's Bar. Both sides declined to comment.