BODY OF WORK

What do you do if you're Helmut Newton and everyone else is doing Helmut Newton? You go just a little bit further.
The photographer's latest exhibit at the Galerie Valois in Paris was a series of nudes: oversized full-length nudes, medium-sized nude torsos and small, sinister nude "mutations"--images in which parts of the body appear distorted.
The opening-night crowd--many of whom made their way across the street afterward to dinner at La Palette--included Helmut and June Newton, Francois and Betty Catroux, and Barbara Leary.
A few days later, Michel and Hélène David-Weill, Edouard de Rothschild and Ezra Zilkha were among those who turned out for the opening of the International Biennale des Antiquaires. Mercedes Bass--sans hubby Sid--was escorted by Hubert de Givenchy (her taste adviser in Paris) who sneaked her in early, during the afternoon. Bass, who is now referred to in Paris as Wallis the Second because of her likeness to the late Duchess of Windsor, spent most of her time at the J. Kugel stand, which Givenchy had decorated.
Whereas Bass discreetly singled out a few 18th-century paintings, Michael and Diandra Douglas were more flamboyant.
"They behaved as if it was a flea market," quipped one dealer.
The Douglases spent a fair amount of time at the stands of Bernard Steinitz, Arianne Dandois and Axel Vervoordt, and didn't seem to leave one antique uncovered. They placed a number of items on reserve. "It was worth coming over for," said the actor.

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