'Fashionistas' sews up Donald Petrie

Will helm Paramount's chick-lit project

"Fashionistas" is walking down a different runway.

Set up at Paramount Pictures four years ago, the chick-lit comedy project, based on Lynn Messina's debut novel, now has attached Donald Petrie to direct and produce independently.

Original producers Christine Peters and Michael Cerenzie of CP Prods., which is based at Paramount, brought on Petrie and Kirsten Lea's Kellagio Entertainment to co-produce outside of the studio.

Lea will executive produce under Kellagio's LoveLea Films along with Phil Viardo.

With its echoes of the successfully translated "The Devil Wears Prada," "Fashionistas" traces the career of a young designer working at a design firm who plots to take down her ruthless boss by inventing a fictitious must-have designer.

Danny Fischer and Paula Chorley, a former fashion executive, are writing an adaptation of the book. James Berg and Stan Zimmerman wrote earlier drafts. The producers plan to sew up filming by the end of this year.

"As 'Sex and the City' and 'Mamma Mia!' have proved, there is a real hunger for female-driven comedies," Peters said. " 'Fashionistas' is the perfect marriage of humor and flirtation set in the exciting world of fashion and designers."

Petrie, repped by WMA, just finished filming "My Life in Ruins" for Fox Searchlight. He worked with Peters on "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," and his filmography includes "Mystic Pizza" and "Miss Congeniality."