TAKING A BREAK: Boudicca, the hip London-based brand of designers Zowie Broach and Brian Kirkby, will skip this couture season after making a debut in Paris in January. The duo said they were busy relocating their studio. Nonetheless, they did find time to whip up their first pre-collection, which will be unveiled in Paris in a showroom presentation July 5 to 8. Broach and Kirkby said they would return to the couture circuit next year.
COAT CHECK: MaxMara's popular "Coats!" exhibition, which was unveiled in Berlin last year and is now traveling to various museums around the world, will ultimately find a permanent home at the Collezione Maramotti museum opening this fall in Reggio Emilia, Italy. MaxMara chairman Luigi Maramotti revealed that news on the sidelines of the Venice Biennale last Friday, where MaxMara showed its second Art Prize for Women in collaboration with the Whitechapel gallery in London. He said the "Coats!" exhibition should arrive home in about three years. Meanwhile, the Maramotti museum's inaugural show opening Sept. 29 will showcase the family's collection of contemporary works by the likes of Lucio Fontana, Gerhard Richter, Ross Bleckner and David Salle.
DRIES OPENING: Dries Van Noten is expanding his retail presence. The Belgian designer, who opened a shop on Paris' Left Bank this January, has signed deals for two new stores, in Tokyo and Singapore. The latter unit, in partnership with Club21, is expected to open in August in the Hilton Shopping Gallery. The Tokyo unit, which is scheduled to bow in March 2008 in the Minami-Aoyama district, will be a partnership with TFC. Besides Paris, Van Noten operates boutiques in Hong Kong and in his hometown of Antwerp, Belgium.
ALWAYS A JOKESTER: The "Ocean's Thirteen" entourage literally blew into Chicago on Thursday for the premiere of the film there — the city was hit by 30 mph winds. But that didn't stop crowds from standing for more than two hours to catch a glimpse of stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac and Ellen Barkin, and surprise guest Bruce Willis walking the red carpet before the premiere and after party, which was hosted by Vanity Fair to benefit Darfur relief efforts. So who's the biggest joker on the set? "They're all funny, except for Matt, he's just the drunk," Clooney teased at the after party at Jerry Kleiner's new restaurant, Room 21, a onetime Al Capone liquor warehouse complete with hidden escape tunnel. "He's got fashion problems, too."