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AMAZING GRAYS: Christian Dior on Monday night rolled out a stadium-length gray carpet across picturesque Place Vendôme, leading guests from its newly luxed-up fine jewelry boutique to the grand Hôtel d’Evreux for a sumptuous dinner. Braving the chill, rows of young men dressed in tailcoats lined the carpet holding aloft old-fashioned lanterns to light the way.

“It’s like a scene from a fairytale,” cooed Marisa Berenson, whose escort Peter Marino, the store’s architect, had borrowed a dramatic Dior Joaillerie black crocidolite and diamond skull necklace for the occasion.

“This is oh so definitely on loan. I had to hawk my wife and kids for this,” laughed Marino, who is already getting into the holiday spirit, having ordered hundreds of gingerbread houses to give away to kids. As for himself, the leather-clad designer said he has his eye on a new set of wheels. “I’m probably going to do another bike. Ducati has a quicker, smaller, faster one than my monster,” he growled.

“At my age, Christmas is more about looking after the children and taking care of all the organization. It’s a moment for getting together with the family in the country,” said Catherine Deneuve, who has just started filming “The Beloved” with her daughter Chiara Mastroianni, directed by Christophe Honoré. “We’ll be working together tomorrow … It’s a very Romanesque movie about past loves. We sing a lot. It’s not a musical but there are many songs in the film.”

Wearing Dior earrings with a Suzanne Belperron brooch nestling in her fur, Deneuve said she has always had a thing about stones. “Not only precious stones I love minerals, rocks and pebbles,” she said.

Farida Khelfa looks set to stay behind the camera for a while. Currently wrapping up production of her documentary on Jean Paul Gaultier, co-directed with Tonie Marshall for France 5’s Empreintes series, Khelfa said she plans to make another documentary on an undisclosed French couturier. “I’d also like to do one on an American designer that I admire very much,” she teased, adding that all she wants for the holidays is some sun.

Mingling with Christian Louboutin, French actress Isabelle Huppert, who is currently starring in a production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” in Germany, will also soon be catching some rays. The actress said she’ll next be working with a Filipino director on a project in the Philippines. So what’s topping her Christmas wish-list? “Peace,” hollered a grinning Huppert, before slipping
into the crowd.

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