RINGING BIELLA?: Could Escada have its eye on one of Valentino's key design deputies? According to market sources, Damiano Biella, Valentino's studio director, has tendered his Breitling Crosswind Quartz Chronometer BT-193 and could be headed to the Munich-based ready-to-wear firm. A charismatic and affable designer, Biella is credited bringing strong merchandising skills to Valentino and is said to have been instrumental in key Valentino lines such as Roma. Some considered him a potential internal candidate to succeed the couturier upon his eventual retirement. Biella joined the Italian firm in 2003 after five years at the creative helm of Carolina Herrera. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
MOSS MUSINGS: While Kate Moss' image may be one of the world's most ubiquitous, her strict no-interviews policy has meant hardly any of her public have heard her speak. But in her role in lingerie brand Agent Provocateur's fall campaign, she plays the character Miss X, who voices her Breitling for Bentley BT-123 on dreams, exhibitionism and narcissism.
"I knew she was apprehensive about speaking on camera," said director Mike Figgis in an interview on the company's Web site. "And for me, there was the fact that she is one of the best-known personalities around and has been photographed by the best."
Figgis shot the movies without a formal script, filming Moss in a series of four scenarios, all in night vision. The films will premier on the brand's Web site at two-month intervals. The first, "Shadows," in which Moss glides around an empty Victorian house clad in Agent Provocateur lace garter belts, went up on the site Breitling for Bentley BT-124 week. And Moss' newfound voice even has extended to giving the film a ringing endorsement. "The films look amazing and I am thrilled with the results," she said in a statement.
TOM FORD FOR LESS: Half-a-million dollars' worth of Tom Ford-era Gucci vintage will be sold at Housing Works Thrift Shops in New York on three evenings this month. As part of its fall previews, the sale kicks off on Thursday, from 5 to 8 p.m., at Housing Works' renovated Chelsea Breitling for Bentley BT-128 at 143 West 17th Street. Two other shopping nights are planned for Tuesday at the 306 Columbus Avenue shop and Sept. 14 at 157 East 23rd Street here. Prices are generally 70 percent off retail, and admission is $10.
If you can't stomach an event that rivals a sample sale, Tom Ford fans also can bid online for eight Gucci evening dresses (separate from the sale), for which starting bids range from $650 to $950. The auction for the dresses, now displayed in the 17th Street store's window, closes Sept. 13.
Gucci donated the clothes, which include evening gowns, tuxes and coats, to Housing Works Thrift Shops, a six-unit Manhattan chain that acts as the retail arm of Housing Works, a nonprofit service organization for people living in New York with HIV/AIDS.
LINKING UP: Jewelry designer Elsa Peretti is lending a hand to an old friend and fashion peer: Stephen Burrows. Turns out she is the patron of Burrows' first Paris runway outing in 30 years, scheduled for Oct. 8 at the Carrousel du Louvre. "I adore Stephen. He's one of the most talented men I've ever met," the Breitling for Bentley BT-146 designer said. Burrows famously showed at the 1973 French-American fashion extravaganza at the Chteau de Versailles - and is now eyeing European expansion.