PARIS — Many people became amateur body-language experts during this Paris fashion week. With Tom Ford negotiating to renew his Gucci Group employment contract with Pinault-Printemps-Redoute between fittings for his Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche show on Sunday night — and company officials mum on the subject — fashion observers were looking for signs of progress.

At the Alexander McQueen show on Friday night, Gucci boss Domenico De Sole, who is also in negotiations to renew his contract, warmly greeted François Pinault, who controls Gucci Group with a 67.6 percent stake, and proceeded to have a long, friendly chat with PPR chief executive Serge Weinberg. But many attendees remarked on Pinault’s puzzled expression during McQueen’s dance-marathon production.

At the French Vogue party on Thursday night, Ford was introduced to John Galliano, Dior president Sidney Toledano and Louis Vuitton chief Yves Carcelle, ratcheting up the intrigue. “It’s a small world,” Carcelle remarked the next day when asked about the encounter. “If you put 120 fashion people in a room, everybody kisses everyone.” A picture of Ford with Galliano and Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld taken at the party — a rare show of détente, given the recent Gucci-LVMH war — was shown to Pinault, who asked the photographer: “Is that a montage?’

At Sunday’s Stella McCartney show, before most guests arrived, De Sole could be seen rearranging the place cards in his section. Was he creating, or avoiding, a photo opportunity?

Sources close to De Sole and Ford said over the weekend that talks are getting tense. Control issues, not compensation, are said to be the focus of discussions. De Sole declined all comment on their progress, as did Pinault at the YSL show on Sunday. Weinberg would only say, “I hope it will come rapidly to a resolution. I don’t want to comment on the content of the discussions until they’re concluded.” Both De Sole and Weinberg also denied suggestions that they face any deadline to conclude the negotiations.

In any event, it’s shaping up to be a vital week for both companies. Gucci, which earlier this year suffered a 96.6 percent drop in first-quarter profits, will report its first-half results on Wednesday, while PPR will release its third-quarter sales on Thursday.

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