FOREIGN INTRIGUE: As her husband, French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin, prepared for a vital Security Council meeting on Iraq at the United Nations on Friday, Marie Laure de Villepin sat down at Emanuel Ungaro for a dose of fashion diversion. <

"I was torn between accompanyingmy husband to New York or staying," commented de Villepin. "He was up all night working on his speech."

Holding up a pendant on her necklace of a heart with a nail driven through it, Villepin said, however, that her thoughts remained with her husband.

"This is how my heart feels right now," she said. "My husband wants to save peace." But what does she think about the widening diplomatic rift between America and her country? "I lived in Washington for years," she said. "My two children were born in the U.S. We’re definitely not anti-American. But I regret the political positions of certain people in Washington."

ALL IN THE FAMILY: After testing her legs on the runway at Fendi in Milan, Anna Van Ravenstein, the 14-year-old daughter of modeling legend Pat Cleveland, is slated to walk in the Chanel show this morning. And it will be a true family affair.

Anna’s towering brother Noel, and her famous mother, have also been cast in the show. The trio are represented by the Marilyn agency’s celebrity division.

KENT VENT: Claire Kent, the Morgan Stanley luxury analyst who is the target of a $100 million lawsuit launched by LVMH, still has her doubts about the French luxury group. Writing about LVMH’s solid full-year profits in a report released Friday, Kent acknowledged Louis Vuitton "looks set for a strong 2003," but she cast doubts on the prospects of a turnaround for Donna Karan, Fendi, or any other of the company’s fashion and leather goods brands.

"We would go so far as to say that there is no visibility over the likely performance of the other fashion brands," she wrote. Kent also noted that Vuitton’s new spring accessories, designed with the input of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, seem tailored for Japanese tastes. "It is difficult to say how appealing the Murakami lines will be for non-Asian customers," she wrote.

The lawsuit against Morgan Stanley alleges biased research and conflict of interest. An LVMH spokesman declined to comment on the report.

FASHION DIPLOMACY: Overheard, one editor to another, after a muscle-bound security guard clobbered a tiny, mini-skirted fur protester at Celine: "If George Bush really wants the French to go after Saddam Hussein, all he has to do is get him a membership in PETA….That’s when they really go to war."

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