NIC AT NIGHT: Nicole Kidman’s motto must be"better late than never." At 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday — and over two hours late — the star rushed to appear by Baz Lurhmann’s side at the annual TriBeCa Ball to benefit the New York Academy of Art, sponsored this year by Hermès. Director Jonathan Glazer ("Sexy Beast") kept Kidman on the set of his new movie, "Baby," until then, but you never would have guessed it. Though she spent the day hard at work, Kidman stole the show, sweeping into the dinner dressed in a glamorous sparkling minidress by Christian Lacroix and fantastic Fred Leighton jewels.

FORTY-FIED: Not everyone gets to party with Jennifer Lopez or hear Ben Affleck croon on his or her birthday. But that’s what awaited Marc Jacobs Wednesday night when he arrived unsuspecting at the Crillon Hotel in Paris, where the celebrity couple was staying. Surprise! Having wrapped up shooting the fall Louis Vuitton campaign, in which she stars, Lopez and her beau threw the private bash, inviting the shoot crew and Jacobs’ team. Jacobs thought he was summoned on business. "You could have peeled me off the ceiling," he said. "It was a complete surprise and I was really touched. It was a very extraordinary 40th birthday." Besides the impromptu musical entertainment, featuring Antoine Arnault tickling the ivories and Affleck belting out Elton John hits, Jacobs also celebrated his milestone by getting a new, shorter haircut. He arrived in New York Thursday for the opening of an exhibition by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, with whom he collaborated on Vuitton accessories.

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