Claude Montana, couturier for Lanvin, received the prestigious Golden Thimble Award last week in Paris. The award, for the best couture collection of the season, was presented by Bernadette Chirac, wife of Mayor Jacques Chirac. This marks Montana's second consecutive Golden Thimble, and his third Lanvin couture collection. And it's a coup de grace of sorts. The 41-year-old designer's first couture collection for Lanvin was panned by press and retailers. They said it looked too low-key, like ready-to-wear.
* STATUETTES FOR FASHIONETTES: The Council of Fashion Designers has announced the winners of its 10th annual awards honoring creative contributions to the world of fashion. The names inside the envelopes are Donna Karan for womenswear, Joseph Abboud for menswear, Manolo Blahnik for shoes. A new-talent award goes to Christian Francis Roth; Emilio Pucci is singled out as a fashion phoenix whose designs are enjoying new attention. Anna Wintour, editor of American Vogue, will receive a special award, Genevieve Buck of the Chicago Tribune will get one for her journalism, Martha Graham is the lifetime achievement recipient and a posthumous tribute goes to Halston. The ceremony is slated for Feb. 25 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
* A LEOPARD WITHOUT HER SPOTS: When Gale Hayman, co-creator of the Giorgio fragrance and owner of her own cosmetics company, walks down the aisle on Feb. 16 to marry William A. Haseltine, professor of microbiology at Harvard University, she will \o7 not \f7 be wearing her trademark leopard prints. For the ceremony at the Unitarian Church in Manhattan, Hayman says she plans to wear a short ivory dress by Vera Wang. For the dinner immediately afterward at Mortimer's restaurant, she has a short strapless red dress with a floor-length train designed by Carolina Herrera.
* MUSHY STUFF: Liz Claiborne is one of the sponsors of the 500-mile sled-dog "Race to the Sky" in Montana, even though it is a fair bet that none of the mushers will be fashionably attired. Her backwoods Montana home is within skiing distance of the race's midpoint at remote Holland Lake. The race is a five- to six-day trek in the mountains along the Continental Divide northwest of Helena.
* MAIL-ORDER MALES: Melrose retailer J. Gerard received a letter from Spec. Matthew E. Voss requesting a copy of Gerard's Ultimate Goddess catalogue and multiple order forms so that he and his comrades with the 101st Airborne Division in Saudi Arabia could buy gifts for their wives or girlfriends. "We don't get to many Saudi shopping malls," Voss explained.
*THE TINIEST T's: Lee Ann Hamper, mother of three children born prematurely, has developed tiny togs especially for undersized newborns. Her mail-order service, A Perfect Fit, features sizes by weight. The smallest size is 3 pounds. Prices range from $3.99 for T-shirts to $21.99 for a three-piece, rosebud-print ensemble that includes a long-sleeve dress, bloomers and a bonnet. For a free catalogue, call (301) 795-4123.