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WWDStyle issue 03/09/2011

PARIS — “I’m definitely not singing after Mary,” Michael Kors said as he took the mic from Mary J. Blige at the climax of his 30th anniversary bash at the American ambassador’s residence here Monday night. “It rips my heart out, you’re spectacular,” he enthused.

Blige’s blistering performance in a sequined catsuit — preceded by her “officially” disclosing that she will portray jazz legend Nina Simone in a biopic — capped off a glamorous dinner in a clear tent plunked in the middle of the residence’s picturesque garden.

This story first appeared in the March 9, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Welcome back to Paris. It’s a city that’s never forgotten you,” Ambassador Charles Rivkin told revelers, also explaining the local habit of “window licking,” the literal translation of the French term for window-shopping.

Before feasting on shrimp cocktail, steak and chocolate cake, models, actresses and editors roamed the gilded reception rooms. “It’s very retro — Liza Minnelli in the Eighties,” Zoe Saldana said of her outfit: a slinky satin blouse, sparkly plus fours and dangling earrings.

Elisa Sednaoui was taken with her purple jersey Kors gown, twirling in front of a mirror for photographers. “I am in love with this dress,” she gushed. “I feel like I just got off a beach in the late Sixties.” The model-turned-actress said she’s signed up to act in an Italian movie opposite Vincent Gallo. “I play a psycho psychic, and a bit of a prostitute — a juicy character,” she said. “It’s supposed to be in black-and-white. But with movies, you never know.”

Amanda Heard, poured into a camel Kors number, said she can’t wait to don a period look for the new NBC drama series “The Playboy Club,” set in Chicago in the Sixties. “It’s the best epoch for music and revolution and art, women’s liberation,” said Heard, currently appearing opposite Nicolas Cage in “Drive Angry” as a “small-town diner waitress with a bad attitude and a heart of gold.”

Louis Vuitton honcho Yves Carcelle, who negotiated the deal that saw LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton invest in Kors’ business when the New Yorker was designing Celine, was buzzing about the day’s bombshell news: that LVMH was taking a majority stake in Bulgari. “And now we have to speak Italian a little bit more,” he laughed.

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