HOT SEAT: What was Anna Wintour doing in the third row at the Emanuel Ungaro couture show on Wednesday? “I just wanted to sit with Bea,” the Vogue editor-in-chief said matter-of-factly, motioning to her 15-year-old daughter, Bea Shaffer, seated to her right. To be sure, Wintour’s unusual placement unleashed a frenzy of speculation and conspiracy theories, with Elle’s Gilles Bensimon among those coming over to inquire about her odd whereabouts — and offer a front-row seat near her Vogue colleagues, Grace Coddington and André Leon Talley. No matter. Wintour could see enough to point out such key fashion moments as a floral robe over a beaded evening column to the budding fashion editor. Shaffer, who has been contributing ideas and reviewing storyboards at Teen Vogue since the magazine’s launch, starts Monday full-time as one of its summer interns. And couture week should offer her lots of material, given the surprising number of teenagers dotting the front rows, with Alexis Saperstein, Vanessa and Victoria Traina and Alice Delall among them.

ROLLING PEBBLES: While Keith Richards and his gang are rocking Paris with a series of Rolling Stones concerts, his wife, Patti Hansen, and their daughters, Theodora, 18, and Alexandra, 17, were taking in a bit of couture. As the trio of blondes sat front row at Emanuel Ungaro, the young ones confessed that they were more into fast fashion than high fashion. Alexandra was sporting a skirt she picked up from Zara in Barcelona and had transformed into a strapless dress, while Theodora paired a hot pink mini with a blazer, also from Zara. But after the show, Hansen said she was tempted by Ungaro’s floral evening coats. “They looked pretty good to me,” she said. “I just might.”

BACKROOM BLUES: Emanuel Ungaro’s behind-the-scenes crew may be the envy of the front row. The design house recently welcomed two high-profile additions to its creative studio. Lorraine Ricard, the 23-year-old heiress to the Pernot Ricard liquor fortune, does illustrations for the house, specializing in accessories and jewelry, while Violet Fraser, of the blue-blooded Fraser clan that includes her modeling sister, Honor, just joined the press department. Meanwhile, Ungaro alum Cordelia Lanvin couldn’t stay away from the front-row hoopla, even though she is pregnant with her second child. Asked when the baby was due, she replied: “Tomorrow!” And she’s also planning to launch a new line of baby clothes soon.VAL’S GAL: No, Gwyneth Paltrow wasn’t shopping for wedding dresses at the Valentino show on Wednesday afternoon. She brushed off widespread rumors of her engagement to British rocker Chris Martin of Coldplay as “absolute rubbish.” Instead, she and her mother, Blythe Danner, have been guests at Valentino's chateau outside Paris. “There isn’t a better host,” Paltrow said. “My mother has been relaxing and loving it. It's just like being in the country. Staying out there was the catalyst for bringing my mother to the couture.”

CROUCHING TIGERS: The backstage crowd at Scherrer Wednesday was rapt as Gérard Depardieu told elaborate stories about his hunting adventures in Burkina Faso. However, his hobbies may be diversifying — he admits to a growing interest in fashion. “It’s something that I have gotten into recently, I used to look at fashion like pieces of cloth,” he said. “I really enjoy the show, the artistic manifestation, but I don’t think I would wear it.”

STELLA SHINES IN LONDON: Stella McCartney has been awarded an honorary degree from Scotland’s Dundee University to mark her contribution to society as an environmentally friendly fashion designer. During the ceremony, which took place in London on Tuesday, McCartney collected her honors from Sir James Black, chancellor of Dundee University. McCartney, a graduate of Central St. Martins in London, could not be reached for comment.

EAST ENDERS: Apart from Tara Reid’s odd refusal to be photographed at the Banana Republic-sponsored “Dance at Sunset” on July 4 at Shelter Island, N.Y., another unexpected arrival raised certain questions among a crowd that included John Varvatos, Marjorie Gubelmann, Alex von Furstenberg, Leslie Klotz, Kim Vernon and Kelly Klein. That was when Barry Diller, whose Diller Von Furstenberg Family Foundation also sponsored the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America benefit, arrived by boat with none other than Donna Karan, and not his designing wife, Diane Von Furstenberg. But there’s no cause for alarm. It turns out Karan had tagged along with the crew, invited by Sandy Gallin, while Von Furstenberg was unable to attend because she was in Harbour Island in the Bahamas, continuing her tradition of hosting her entire creative staff at an annual holiday retreat.WORKING FOR YOUR DINNER: Call it compassionate conservatism. Three weeks ago, New York Post freelance photographer Matt McDermott had all his equipment stolen from his car when he forgot something in his apartment on the way to work, ran upstairs and fell asleep instead. Tonight, his colleagues, among them Jeanne Macintosh, Paul Armstrong and Page Six’s Paula Froelich, will be on hand at a benefit drink-a-thon at Langan’s on West 47th Street to help the young shutterbug raise some cash. But they’re not letting him off easy. McDermott will be behind the bar, slinging drinks.

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