ON THE YVES OF A COMEBACK?: Couturier Yves Saint Laurent may have retired 18 months ago, but he had Paris buzzing over the weekend about the possibility of a comeback. In an interview that aired on the French station TF1, Saint Laurent paid a visit to his former muse Loulou de la Falaise as she readied her signature ready-to-wear collection for a press cocktail party on Monday night. “I’m jealous,” he told the interviewer. “I’m bored. Maybe I’ll come back. After all, Chanel came back [to fashion] in her seventies.” On the basis of those remarks, the French newspapers went to town, but Saint Laurent intimates emphasized that the designer was just speaking in jest. “Phooey,” said Pierre Bergé. “There is nowhere to go back to.” The former Saint Laurent couture ateliers on Avenue Marceau, of course, are being converted into a museum, slated to open at the end of the year.

At de la Falaise’s party itself, Saint Laurent said, “It’s paradise here, so pretty.” He added that he misses his house, he misses dresses, he misses women, and seeing Loulou doing her thing makes him “want to do something again.” Then he added, “But not to have any responsibility right now is fantastic.” When asked what he felt about Tom Ford’s work for Yves Saint Laurent, he said, “I think he does what he can, the poor guy.”

JACK ATTACK: Since Elizabeth Hurley and her beau Arun Nayar didn’t arrive until halfway through the Christian Dior show Monday afternoon, the pre-show celebrity hoopla centered on Jack Nicholson instead. In town filming director Nancy Meyers’ yet-to-be titled romantic comedy with co-star Diane Keaton, Nicholson brought his young daughter, Lorraine, and promised her a blockbuster. “I’ve been to my fair share of shows,” Nicholson said with a grin, his eyes shielded by his signature wraparound frames. “This one should be quite a spectacle.”Meanwhile, the actor said he’s been lobbying Meyers to call the film “What’s So Wild About Harry,” after the playboy character he plays in it. Across the runway, the presence of a ravishing, statuesque blonde foreshadowed the dance theme of the collection. And that beauty, Anastasia Volochvova, a principal of the Bolshoi ballet, said that she had made up her mind: Galliano has to whip up some costumes for her and her troupe. “It’s my ultimate dream,” she said. “I think it would be perfect for the stage.” Volochvova, who is preparing for the “Carmen Suite” in St. Petersburg later this month, said that she had just met Galliano for the first time. “I didn’t really know what he would look like,” she confided. “But when this guy in jeans and a vest came into the room, I was in heaven. I knew it was him.”

LOVE STORY: While the guys — R. Brad Martin, chairman and ceo of Saks Inc., and Ken Natori — were off playing golf outside Paris on Saturday, the girls — Martin’s bride-to-be Dina Miller and Josie Natori — were doing some serious shopping. After scouring the best boutiques on the Avenue Montaigne and Rue du Faubourg St. Honoré for her trousseau, Miller picked out her wedding dress — an asymmetrical Dior chiffon number, which was actually the first dress she tried on. The couple, who will be married in October at Blackberry Farm in Knoxville, Tenn., were then feted Sunday evening at the Natoris’ Paris apartment. Josie, as usual, provided the after-dinner entertainment with her superb piano playing, this time accompanying Dina, who, with eyes focused only on Brad, sang, “Can’t Help Loving That Man of Mine.”

TOP OF THE POPS: Sure, actresses may wear couture, but it’s pop stars who seem to be the stars of this couture week. Kylie Minogue is in town and is expected to attend the Chanel show this morning, along with Vanessa Paradis. And Boucheron, which is hosting the party of the week on Wednesday night, is hoping that Mick Jagger will feel inclined to drop by after The Rolling Stones concert.CHRISTIAN ROCK: Men’s wear isn’t Christian Lacroix’s only new project. He has also been moonlighting as a DJ. Guests at his couture show this afternoon will receive advance copies of “Patchwork,” an album he compiled that spans two compact discs and genres from jazz and pop to world music. The pair of CDs, which also features music from some of the designer’s fashion shows, will go on sale to the public this fall for about $35.

TV TIMES: Max Mutchnick, co-creator of “Will & Grace,” was a bit puzzled Monday afternoon after he arrived in Paris just in time for the tango-themed Christian Dior presentation. “Is that real? Do people wear that?” he asked after the show. “I am so new to this world.” But his fresh perspective is actually the reason he’s here: Mutchnick is covering the couture for The New York Times Magazine.

OH, BROTHER: Versace president and chairman Santo Versace was missing in action on Monday night when his sister Donatella showed her fall couture collection at the Ritz. But he had a good excuse. He was hosting a dinner at the Versace villa on Lake Como for Italian captains of industry and various politicos, one of the duties attendant on Italy’s presidency of the European Union.

ROLE REVERSAL: Swan-necked model Erin O’Connor is calling the shots — and taking the shots — backstage for a change. On Monday at Dior, she asked the photographers crowded in front of her to move closer together before snapping them with her camera-equipped Nokia phone. O’Connor is transmitting photographs and text messages electronically as part of her live couture coverage for photographer Nick Knight’s Web site showstudio.com. “I really wanted to give my version of what high fashion is all about,” she said. “It gives me an opportunity to have a voice —to be able to express myself in a new way.”

MAUBOUSSIN’S EXPOSURE: Showing its haute jewels during couture week for the first time, the house ofMauboussin also unveiled what could be a new slogan: Diamonds are a girl’s best outfit. At an arresting presentation at its Place Vendôme boutique on Sunday night, the jeweler displayed shimmering stones on almost-naked go-go dancers. Some audience members were a tad shocked. But that wasn’t the idea, insisted the firm’s president, Alain Nemarq. “I thought it was best to show the jewels without clothes,” he said. “That way, you focus your attention on the designs.” Well, that’s one way of seeing things. Clad simply in panties, Mauboussin’s buxom beauties — recruits from Paris cabarets such as the Crazy Horse and Moulin Rouge — stood behind diaphanous veils. When the music kicked up, they began removing them in a provocative striptease. “The idea was a simple one,” said Nemarq. “They’re almost like statues.” In any case, Mauboussin’s gambit got people talking — and that’s just what the house was hoping for. “We want to elevate our profile,” Nemarq said. “We plan to do a presentation like this once a year during the couture. But we may have dug ourselves into a hole. It’s going to be difficult to top this show.”

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