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FAMILY MATTERS: Paul McCartney certainly has no regrets about a gig he’s playing next month in Paris. “I’m returning to the Olympia just like Edith Piaf,” joked the music legend, in town to support his daughter Stella’s show on Thursday. And he has other irons in the fire, too, as he’s working on a second “The Fireman” album and writing a guitar concerto. “I’m also working on a photography project, but it’s a secret for now,” he said. Fellow fashion follower Lily Allen is on the property ladder. “I’ve just bought myself a house in Queen’s Park [in London],” said the singer, seated next to French actress Ludivine Sagnier, who has just finished filming “Public Enemy Number One.” “I finally got to play a gangster bitch,” she said with a smile.
CANDY LAND: Blumarine, which planted its flag at 56 Avenue Montaigne, hosted a candy-filled inauguration party, attracting a constellation of starlets, including Julie Depardieu and Virginie Ledoyen. “A better location does not exist,” said designer Anna Molinari, who cofounded the label with her husband, Gianpaolo Tarabini, in 1977. She said a Miami flagship is slated to open next month and a fragrance is in the works for next year. Meanwhile, following in her father Antoine de Caunes’ footsteps, Emma de Caunes said she is about to start directing her first feature film, “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” “It’s about relationships between fathers and daughters, what else?” she chirped while chatting with fellow actresses Mélanie Thierry and model Audrey Marnay, who’s working on short movie projects. Ledoyen said she’s taking time off filming “Mes Amis, Mes Amours.” “I’ll let you guess what it’s about, but I’ll give you a hint: something to do with friends and lovers,” she joked.
IN THE BAND: There was a medley of musicians in Givenchy’s front row Wednesday night as Courtney Love squeezed in next to Kanye West and actresses-turned-musicians Emmanuelle Seigner and Joanna Preiss. “I came over here to buy a house in London,” Love said, adding her band is based in the city and she’s shooting the cover of her next album there with Sam Taylor-Wood. But it was the huge gold Manga-style diamond-studded pendant around West’s neck that was the center of attention. West created the piece with Takashi Murakami, who also designs the rapper’s album covers. The two are working on a full collection. “They’ll be more accessible, they won’t be all diamonds,” said West, adding there’s still work to do on the prototype. “The eyes are not perfectly done. Murakami cringes when he sees the eyes.” Preiss was all nerves ahead of her DJ stint for Chanel on Friday night. Preiss is due to release her first album later this month, then star in a play with screen heartthrob Gael García Bernal, before shooting a film with director Olivier Torres in January.
Meanwhile, Kristen McMenamy, a top model in the Nineties, was applauded for her appearance in the Givenchy show, even though she found walking the runway “very nerve-wracking. It’s been nine years that I have been doing school runs for my kids,” said McMenamy, who has four children with fashion photographer Miles Aldridge. “I’m 20 years older or more than these girls.”
STAGE LEFT: The Yves Saint Laurent gang turned out Wednesday evening to fete the opening of the latest exhibit at the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation, dedicated to the retired couturier’s costumes for stage and film. Though Saint Laurent, who has been dealing with health issues recently, was absent, Catherine Deneuve reminisced about the outfits he crafted for her for “Belle de Jour.” “I didn’t know they still existed,” she said, eyeing the black frock with a white satin collar she donned for her role of a bored housewife turned prostitute in the Luis Buñuel classic. Meanwhile, Bergé ushered François-Henri Pinault, Betty Catroux and Loulou de la Falaise around the exhibit. “I remember working on all these costumes,” offered de la Falaise. “So much fun, but so many headaches. Actors are a nightmare!”
PICK-UP ARTIST: Talk about global warming. A Paris party Wednesday night for the forthcoming eco-friendly nightclub Greenhouse heated up fast, prompting Bruce Willis to remove his shirt on the dance floor of a packed Le Baron. Apparently it was just an attempt to blend in. “I’m just a normal guy from New Jersey: I pick my nose,” he insisted afterward. Willis was in town with close friend, 20th Century Fox music maestro Robert Kraft, who is in Paris recording a film soundtrack. The two won’t be partying late, though. “We can’t stay out past 1 a.m,” Willis joked. Mary-Kate Olsen left early to be in fine form to continue selling her latest clothing line, The Row, to retailers. “It’s going well,” she said, cheerily adding, “I have to do sales tomorrow!” Meanwhile, party hosts Carmen Kass and Jessica Stam admitted eco-friendly and nightclub are not obvious bed partners. “I’m not sure an eco-friendly nightclub is gonna fly, but it’s raising awareness. Every little helps,” added Stam, who drives a hybrid and is an ambassador for Charity Water, a nonprofit organization that builds wells in Africa.
POINTILIST WORK: The American Ballet Theatre feted its upcoming season opener, “A Musical Portrait of Chuck Close,” with a cocktail party at PaceWildenstein’s 57th Street galleries in New York Wednesday night. The portrait in question is one envisioned by the artist’s longtime pal, composer Philip Glass, and then choreographed by Jorma Elo. Glass and Close have known each other for 45 years — “Very scary!” the artist exclaimed — and in that time Close has done about 200 portraits of Glass, some of which were on display alongside works by Sol LeWitt at the Pace galleries. “Well, it’s nice of him to return the favor,” deadpanned Close, before adding, “I’ve said we should retire his image and haul it up to the ceiling.”
WRITE ON: Jean-Louis Scherrer, 72, has built up an appetite for writing — or so he said at a cocktail he gave in Paris on Tuesday evening for the launch of a namesake Assouline book, due out Oct. 25. The designer selected some of the 50 photos featured in the book, giving him a hankering to go for a full autobiography. “A designer’s life is full of interesting moments,” he mused.
CASE CLOSED: Goyard and Gucci Westman, celebrity makeup artist and Lancôme artistic director, worked together on special-order makeup cases. The handcrafted kits, retailing for $18,000 each, will go on sale Nov. 1 in Paris, Hong Kong, Dubai, Moscow and New York. In New York, the makeup case is to be sold exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman and contains 36 of Westman’s Lancôme product picks. The cosmetics company also teamed with designer Peter Som on a limited edition lipstick. He and Westman dreamed up its color worn by models for his fall 2007 fashion show. The lipstick went on counter exclusively in Nordstrom, the four U.S. Lancôme boutiques and Bergdorf Goodman, where 250 pieces were ordered prior to the Oct. 1 launch
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Christian Lacroix decided to ditch standard lounge music for French lessons prior to his show Wednesday. “Vous connaissez un bon restaurant?” (“Do you know a good restaurant?”) and other handy phrases were broadcast for the largely Anglophone crowd. And the hospitality didn’t end there. A limited edition bottle of Lacroix Evian was provided for each guest, promoting the “haute couture” flacon he designed for the French mineral water brand, exclusively at Colette from this week. Meanwhile, backstage parents hung out while their young model daughters had hair and makeup done. Mary Ann Michael, mother of model Ali Michael, said she is amazed to “see the transition from when the girls first arrive then go through hair and makeup — sometimes I don’t even recognize them.” China Robinson, mother of model Chanel Iman, agreed, adding sometimes she’ll think, “Is that my daughter?” while watching a fashion show. For Craig Tomlinson, father of model Alexandra Tomlinson, the most exciting thing about being backstage is the buffet table. “Isn’t it everyone’s?” he asked with a grin.
DUTCH MUCH: Viktor & Rolf’s new managing director, Joost van Vollenhoven, made his debut at the Dutch duo’s fashion show Tuesday. He said he’s still getting his feet wet in the fashion business after 12 years at consumer products giant Unilever. Van Vollenhoven started his career in Unilever’s detergent division and moved to the savory foods business in 2004, for which he was marketing director in Holland. “I’m still learning,” he demurred.
Actress Aïssa Maïga said she’s turning down film roles to write her first screenplay. “It’s to be filmed in Mali,” said the striking French actress of Malian and Senegalese descent. Maïga, who made her name in “The Russian Dolls” and has two films out next year, is lending support to budding designers, too. She will be the guest of honor at Ethical Fashion Show in Paris next week. And lensman Mario Sorrenti disclosed he’s working on a travel book of sorts to be released next year. “It will feature photos of road journeys across the States that I’ve made over the last five years,” he said.