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Will Calvin Klein Sue?

Plus, Vogue travels cheap, Martha Stewart's new accessory, Mary-Kate and Ashley move downtown

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September 27, 2004

Designer Suit
Somehow, Richard Meier’s lavish, late, and leaky glass-walled Perry Street towers have become terrariums for upper-class unhappiness. At this price point, that usually means lawyers are going to be involved, like the ones from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP who have been hired by Calvin Klein to sue the developers over construction problems, including leaky terraces, in his $14 million penthouse. Klein’s also president of the condo board, a position he gained last December, after which he hired an engineering firm to study the building’s issues. Klein’s spokesperson wouldn’t comment (the suit hasn’t been filed yet). And Ira Drukier, one of the building’s developers, says, “I don’t know what Calvin Klein is about to do, but we have no lawsuits pending.”

Anna Wintour’s Budget Travel
Vogue might have published its biggest issue ever in September, but Paris and Milan aren’t cheap. This year the magazine is deploying a lighter, cheaper fashion force of five per city to ogle the European collections from September 25 through October 11. (So don’t go looking for André Leon Talley at the Milano Moda Donna.) Vogue’s spokesman blamed the “strength of the euro over the dollar,” which, at 1:1.21, makes room service at the Ritz imprudent.

Everyday Shackles
Martha Stewart will soon be off to prison, which means she’ll be out soon enough, followed by five months of house arrest at her 153-acre Bedford compound. If, like Dede Brooks, she’s made to wear a home-incarceration bracelet, how will that work? A mini-guide:

How much do they weigh?
Three or four ounces.
And cost?
$7 to $10 a month, paid by the convict.
How do they track you?
Most are connected by radio to a device called an HMRU (home-monitoring receiving unit) attached to your phone. If you stray, it places a call to the authorities.
So it doesn’t just zap you like one of those electronic dog collars?
“No,” says Malcolm Young, executive director of the Sentencing Project. “The point of an electronic dog collar is that the dog isn’t smart enough to know what its boundaries are.”
Is it waterproof ? (Martha has a pool.)
“It contains a lithium battery, so it’s waterproof,” says Marilyn Rosenberg, director of the Electronic Monitoring Program. “As long as her probation officer will approve it, she’s fine to swim.”
What happens if she takes a Martha Stewart Everyday Steel Carbon Grip Steak Knife and just cuts it off?
Rosenberg: “It will notify whoever’s monitoring her.”

Freshman $15,000
Until their $7.3 million penthouse at Morton Square is fit for celebrity-twin habitation, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen aren’t going to be sleeping at the NYU library, according to real-estate sources. They’ve signed a nine-month lease (long enough to last the school year) for a 2,500-square-foot, $15,000-a-month, two-bedroom loft on North Moore Street. Corcoran broker Barry Salottolo declined to comment.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JACOB BERNSTEIN


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