A Material Girl of the World


Proving to be a chameleon to the core, the Material Girl once again pushes fashion boundaries with her latest North American "Drowned World" tour. From geisha girl kimonos to urban cowgirl chaps, concert-goers are being treated to a virtual trip around the world.

During the themed two-hour show, Madonna explores her husband Guy Ritchie's Scottish roots, wearing a kilt-like creation. Audiences are fooled by the custom-made black-and-white tartan "bum flaps" designed by Phillip and Schmidt. (Instead of a full skirt, the ensemble is made with two pieces of cloth, which have holes burned into them to create a punk-rock illusion.)

Other fashion quick changes include a Spanish senorita half-dress by Jean Paul Gaultier and a 1970s urban pimp look with a spotted mink coat by Versace. Never too shy to express herself, Madonna accessorizes the outfit with a T-shirt with a studded message. Let's just say it has to do with a mother.

Then there's the geisha, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" get-up, also by Gaultier. Suspended from the air, dressed in a kimono with a 52-foot wingspan, it's no wonder Madonna is able to reach new heights.

Fur Council Comes to West Hollywood

Fur anyone? Sunny California is the new home for the Fur Information Council of America. The trade group's newly appointed executive director, Keith Kaplan, opened up shop this month in West Hollywood, quite a change from Fairfax, Va.

The California native, who operates the public relations and marketing agency, the Kaplan Group, has been working with the council for the past eight years to help place furs on celebrities and in television and films, such as "Will & Grace" and "ER."

Two years ago, he was instrumental in the industry's "No on A" campaign that helped to defeat a Beverly Hills proposal that would have required labeling of all fur and fur-trim garments.

Conde Nast Hires Dutch Architect

The fusion of fashion and design continues. Magazine publisher Conde Nast Publications Inc. has hired Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas to assist with editorial and marketing. He will consult on a variety of projects, according to James Truman, editorial director of the New York magazine company.

Koolhaas, winner of the 2000 Pritzker Architectural Prize, is designing Prada's new flagship stores for Beverly Hills, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo. "Rem Koolhaas has established himself as the vanguard of modern visual culture, as an architect, as a thinker and as a designer," Truman said.

Gucci Fanny Pack Is the Accessory to Own

Following on the heels of last season's nameplate necklaces, it's no surprise that the Gucci logo fanny pack has become the accessory du jour, thanks to Sarah Jessica Parker.

Carrie has worn the purse--a double G-covered pouch suspended from a belt--in several of this season's "Sex and the City" episodes. Low-slung on those fabulously lithe hips, it hardly resembles the unsightly pleather tourista versions. But alas, the likelihood of finding this season's "It bag" may difficult. The $360 Gucci pack, which comes in three colors, has already sold out in Beverly Hills and New York.

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