Valentino threw a master class on Wednesday at the Ritz Club in how to get the right crowd together to celebrate the house’s spring show earlier that day in Paris. First lesson: Jet in a planeload of American socials, including Marisa Noel Brown, Olivia Chantecaille, Jennifer Creel, Tara Rockefeller, Eleanor Ylvisaker, Sara Ayers, Gigi Mortimer and Tory Burch. Then, add a few aristocratic names — Princess Rosario of Bulgaria, Princess Olga of Greece — and, finally, a good dose of glitz, i.e., Janet Jackson.

After a buffet dinner, the designer and his partner Giancarlo Giammetti personally attended to guests, even verifying that tout le monde had enough for supper.

Most of the women were, of course, decked out in —

what else? — Valentino.

But Jackson shimmied in wearing a sinuous, blue Hervé Léger number that emphasized her newly trimmed-down frame.

“He’s one of the most elegant men in the world,” cooed Jackson of Valentino. “And he’s so tan.” Jackson wasn’t the only one to sing the designer’s praises. Even Francesca Versace, a niece of Donatella Versace, said she was wearing Valentino. “I feel so beautiful in Valentino,” she said. “I loved the show.”

Once dinner ended, the music blasted and the real partying began. That’s when Jackson was persuaded to kick up her heels — dancing with Valentino. “He’s got class,” she purred.

Back in New York, two burlesque artists, several fashion designers, a lot of magazine people, various nightlife characters and several fashion designers — including Narciso Rodriguez and Francisco Costa — convened at Indochine for a late dinner Thursday hosted by Paper Magazine in honor of Pedro Almodóvar, who was in town this week for the premiere of his much-praised new movie, “Volver.” “It’s sort of a tradition,” explained the Spanish director, who was standing next to the magazine’s editor, Kim Hastreiter. “She does the best parties and introduces me to the best people. I just met —”

This story first appeared in the October 9, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“Kiki & Herb,” said the editor.

“And a gorgeous woman who’s fat and blonde at the same time, which is almost impossible,” he said.

If he seemed a bit overwhelmed by all the people who showed up for him, they were equally impressed. In fact, every single one of them invoked the g-word to describe the director.

“He’s just a genius,” said Justin Bond, otherwise known as Kiki. Penélope Cruz, who stars in Almodóvar’s latest film, concurred. “He’s a genius. Doing this film was the best experience of my career.”

Said Rodriguez, “I’m proud to say I own every single movie he ever made, even the dark, dark early ones. The rawness. The humor. I’m a big, big fan. But who isn’t?”

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