REMEMBER HOW, after Gianni Versace was murdered, his sister Donatella rose to sudden fashion prominence where she still presides today? Well, let’s speculate about the next “name” to gain purchase on the Fashionista Ladder. Recently, the liaison between the Mexican actress-entrepreneur Salma Hayek and the rich, rich, rich Francois-Henri Pinault, heir to billions, was announced. As you know, she’s carrying his baby and they are to be married. The fashion world is pondering this union: How will being Madame Pinault affect Salma’s standing on the Hollywood red carpet? Salma is on top of the TV world right now as the executive producer of “Ugly Betty,” which deals with the world of fashion magazines and features a former Miss America, Vanessa Williams, as the devil-like editrix out to vanquish all the good guys. What will it mean when Salma is connected to an enterprise where her hubby is CEO of daddy’s billion dollar French holding company PPR, specializing in retail shops and luxury brands. Francois-Henri Pinault the elder owns Christie’s auction house, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Converse sneakers, the Vail Ski Resort and Samsonite, to mention just a few. Salma is going to suddenly be like the 8,000 pound gorilla, able to sit anywhere she likes. And Hayek fashion may be the coming face of how to dress in Hollywood.

PHYLLIS GEORGE helped raise a record $3 million at the Nat’l Alzheimer’s Dinner in Washington last week with the “Sarge & Eunice Shriver Award” going to Princess Yasmin Khan. The former Miss America loved being in D.C. where she got to see her daughter Pamela Brown doing news for ABC. She is the youngest reporter on board at age 23 … All our pals from “Law & Order: SVU” — Mariska Hargitay, Chris Meloni, Ice-T and B.D. Wong — will be on hand April 9 at the Wollman Rink for the 2007 “Skating With the Stars, Under the Stars” gala. Scott Hamilton will be honored, and other greats of this sport such as Dorothy Hamill and Nancy Kerrigan will also be on hand. Call 212-763-8590… Danny Aiello, actor still, but singer in his own heart, blew them away at Tony’s Di Napoli on Manhattan’s 43rd Street the other eve. He has a CD coming June 1st called “Live at the Sands: The Copa Room — Atlantic City.” But Danny’s big moment is the new single which he shares with rapper Hassan. They give the classic “Besame Mucho” a new twist. There’s a video, too.

JENNIFER LOPEZ launched her album, “Como Ama Una Mujer” in Times Square the other day. She uttered the f-word as a call to get the crowd to party. Lopez is a real star, but I guess that word has lost its ability to shock, and even real stars feel free to say it in public. … Jerry Hall says now that not only is she dyslexic but all four of her children with Mick Jagger are as well. “I love family life… Maybe I’m going to be one of those mothers who still has all her children living at home with her in their 30s.” … When he is not running into famous young stars like Lindsay Lohan, our PR pal Hal Lifson is busy working on a book about his adventures as a reporter in tabloid-land. It is titled “Sources Say: The Ugly Truth Behind America’s Tabloid Business.” (He has dished for such as the Enquirer, Globe, In Touch, etc.) But knowing Hal, it won’t be all grimy revelation. He has a nice touch with the funny, humane anecdote.

(Email Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com)

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more