Britney Spears may be taking a six-month break from show business and returning to her hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana, but she won’t be shunning the spotlight altogether. The pop princess is looking to hit New York for Fashion Week, according to her stylists Kurt and Bart. Kurt says they want to take Spears to Matthew Williamson and Carlos Miele’s shows and are currently looking for other young designers they think Spears will like. “She is taking a break, so that’s why she could go to the shows,” Kurt tells us. “Every time we tried before, she was too busy… . She’d also love to do the Europe thing too. Hit Versace and Roberto Cavalli, all those designers who have been so good to her.” If Spears does make it to Fashion Week, Kelly Osbourne might want to tag along. The foulmouthed rocker offspring apparently doesn’t approve of Brit’s fashion sense. During Osbourne’s photo shoot for a story about her in the current issue of YM, a tipster tells us, Osbourne was flipping through a magazine when she stopped at a story about Spears. Dissing each photo with a grunt or a moan, Osbourne hissed, “She needs serious style help.”
Rumor has it that D.J. extraordinaire Junior Vasquez may put an end to “Earth,” his wildly popular after-hours Sunday party at Exit, sometime this fall. While one source tells us that the end may be as near as Junior’s Labor Day weekend bash, another predicts he’ll stay through September and take a break after that. Exit owner David Marvesi insists he just signed Vasquez for another year: “He’s not going anywhere.” A source reports that Vasquez has tentatively agreed to do special events at the revamped Limelight when it opens and has been in talks about setting up a residency at the upcoming New York outpost of South Beach’s Crobar. “Everyone loves Junior,” an insider says. “But most clubs don’t want to do his usual after-hours thing.” Friends assure us that Vasquez’s moves have nothing to do with his health and that rumors that he suffered a heart attack at Exit in July are just that – rumors. “He could not look healthier or happier,” a pal tells us. Vasquez’s rep did not return our calls. Meanwhile, we know what another one of the city’s biggest D.J.’s, Victor Calderone, will be doing come the new year: diaper duty. Calderone and his model-actress wife, Athena, are expecting their first child in February. But they’re not slowing down just yet. Calderone recently finished a dance mix of Beyoncé’s “Work It Out,” and Athena was just shot for French Vogue.
Gee, Paula Abdul, your hair looks terrific on American Idol. Now the Oscar Bond Salon in Soho would like you to pay for it. A source tells us that a Bond stylist was summoned to Abdul’s midtown hotel room in the spring to put in about 85 extensions in preparation for the Star Search–like show. When the stylist mentioned that the hair was from India, Abdul said she was expecting Russian hair. He explained that he was told by her team that her extensions always come from Great Lengths Hair Extensions, which uses only Indian hair. Abdul let him finish, even complimenting him on his work, and handed over a personal check for $900 (including a $100 tip). But the next day, the stylist received a call from someone who said she was a hairdresser working with Abdul and that the extensions weren’t working. “She kept saying that Paula uses Russian hair and that there was something wrong with the Indian extensions that he put in,” our source reports. A week later, Abdul’s check was returned with a payment-stopped notice stamped on it. When we called Abdul’s rep, he insisted that the onetime pop star was never unhappy about the work and that she has no idea why – or how – a stop payment was made. Just minutes later, Abdul’s accountant said a new check was being FedExed.
James Gandolfini chomping on hot dogs and making out with his girlfriend, Lora Somoza, during Bruce Springsteen’s opening night at Madison Square Garden… . Meg Ryan using her free guest pass from the Mercer Hotel at Crunch on Broadway… . Martha Stewart’s embattled stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic, working out at Gold’s Gym on West 54th Street… . Hilary Swank celebrating her 28th birthday with hubby Chad Lowe and about ten friends at Django – and even apologizing to fellow patrons for her party’s being so loud… . Steven Spielberg returning to Rowdy Hall in East Hampton for dinner with a couple of friends after lunching there with eighteen people earlier in the day… . Ms. Peter Pan, Sandy Duncan, telling a fan at Elmo in Chelsea that she’s starring in A. R. Gurney’s new play, The Fourth Wall, at Primary Stages in the fall but griping, “They’re just not writing good musicals these days.” … Yankees pitcher David Wells wrestling on the floor with his former teammate David Cone at Centro-Fly on a recent Saturday. Yes, that’s right, they were literally rolling around on the dance floor.
Bijou Phillips recently sauntered up to the host at Serendipity 3 to ask for a table for a group of seven that included her boyfriend, Sean Lennon, and his mom, Yoko Ono. The host said that the wait would probably be about 45 minutes and asked for a name. Phillips responded, “Ono.” The host asked, “So you don’t want to wait?” Phillips simply repeated, “Ono.” The somewhat perplexed host again asked, “What do you mean? Do you want a table?” As a few people around them started to chuckle, Phillips pointed to Ono, who was standing outside. As you might expect, the long wait was forgotten, and the party was immediately seated. After lunch, Ono signed a couple of promotional postcards for the new dance remix of her 1980 song “Kiss, Kiss, Kiss” for the host and some fellow diners. She also dropped about $400 on four handbags and a hat in the restaurant’s boutique.
Just five months after Brandusa Niro was defrocked as editor-in-chief of Fashion Wire Daily, she’s taken her revenge. It so happens that Niro held the lease on the company’s seventh-floor office space on West 24th Street, so she evicted them. On July 31, FWD staffers were forced to pack up their belongings and move four flights up to FWD’s eleventh-floor office space, which, luckily for them, isn’t in Niro’s name. Management didn’t tell employees they were being thrown out, an insider reports: “They acted happy and told them that they were ‘redecorating’ so that everyone could work closer together – meanwhile, they’re practically sitting in each other’s laps up there.”
If you didn’t get enough of hottie Nick Scotti as the delivery man orally pleasured by Kim Cattrall in a recent episode of Sex and the City, you may soon get to see more of him. Scotti, a model turned actor from Ozone Park, Queens, is shopping around a reality cooking show, Just a Guy Who Can Cook, with Peter Marc Jacobson, the producer of The Nanny. The show was hatched a couple of months ago when the two first met and Scotti told Jacobson how much he loved to cook. “I said, ‘Are you a chef?’ ” Jacobson told us. “He said, ‘No, I’m just a guy who can cook.’ And I said, ‘That’s a great name for a show. You could just cook in Queens with your family walking in and out, your grandmother could be yelling at you in the background.’ ” The Sex and the City quickie is sure to help. Jacobson reports that ever since it aired, strangers have been pointing at Scotti in the street and squealing things like, “That’s the blow-job guy!”
Calvin Klein had some car trouble in East Hampton recently. The designer was having Sunday brunch at Nichol’s with Sandy Gallin when the car alarm on his brand-new Land Rover went off. “He had just bought the car and couldn’t figure out how to shut it off,” our source tells us. After ten minutes of frantically scrambling under the hood and over the dashboard, Klein was still at a loss as to what to do. After a few screeching minutes, three muscular young ladies walking by came to Klein’s aid, and one of them simply pushed a button to shut off the alarm. One of the gals even poked fun at Klein, cracking, “With all your money, why aren’t you driving a more expensive car?”
As if there aren’t enough knockoffs of the MTV hit The Osbournes, what with Anna Nicole Smith making a ratings splash with her premiere on E! and Liza Minnelli and David Gest airing their dinner parties on VH1 starting in October. Now we hear that ‘N Sync’s Joey Fatone – who’s currently starring in Rent on Broadway – wants his reality TV, too. A tipster reports that the pop singer has approached VH1 execs about developing a show that would focus on him and his family, including his mom, Phyllis, and siblings Janine and Steven.
Designers Liz Collins and Gary Graham are teaming up for Fashion Week. After Collins and Graham stage their individual shows back-to-back at the Metropolitan Pavilion, they’re going to debut their new joint venture: Griz, a couture eveningwear collection… . Kim Cattrall has signed on to host the twelfth annual Magical Evening gala on September 25 at the Marriott Marquis. The night, which will celebrate Christopher Reeve’s 50th birthday, along with the birthdays of Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Barbara Walters, and Ron Meyer, will feature a performance by Robin Williams and benefits the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.
With Catherine Townsend.