By  on November 16, 2005

PARIS — "I think he'll always act like a kid," Betty Catroux said with a laugh as Pierre Bergé took a king-size gulp of air to blow out the 75 candles — one for each of his years — glittering atop an enormous, tiered chocolate birthday cake.

Looking in fine fettle, the YSL dean hosted 130 friends Monday night to an informal sit-down dinner and champagne cocktail revved up with musical performances from Cheb Najim and Martin Rappeneau at the Plaza Madeleine nightspot here.

"I'm not nostalgic," quipped Bergé. "I decided a long time ago to turn the past into projects."

Helene Rochas, Helene de Ludinghausen, Doris Brynner, Jacques Granges, Jack Lang, Frederic Mitterrand, the Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Alberto Pinto, Alexis Kugel and his brother Nicolas, with his wife, Natalie, were among the guests who saluted Bergé with a standing ovation.

Bergé's inner circle got on their feet, too. Yves Saint Laurent arrived with his dog, Moujik, who got so excited at one point, he let out a howl. The retired couturier chatted with Loulou de la Falaise and Catroux, whose daughters Maxime and the Countess Charles-Antoine Morand, née Daphne Catroux, were among those to kick up their heels after the DJ got guests dancing with a waltz.

"I think it's fabulous that they started with a waltz," enthused Ludinghausen, who later also pulled a few deft disco moves.

Around that time, Saint Laurent gathered up his dog, and, with Catroux on his arm, took leave.

"It was a wonderful evening," he said. "Pierre deserves all this fun."

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