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PARIS — “Did you see the 2 million euro Jean Prouvé table?” asked Karl Lagerfeld at a gala last Wednesday to fete the Biennale des Antiquaire’s return to the soaring glass-domed Grand Palais. “Unbelievable, no?”

Lagerfeld may no longer be interested in such rarities — his new Paris apartment will only feature furniture designed after the year 2000 — but there were plenty of other people spending big bucks.

This story first appeared in the September 19, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

When Susan Gutfreund, who is decorating the Claridge Bellman hotel here, asked the price of the ivory-inlaid tables at Galerie Vallois that Jean-Michel Franck made for the Rockefellers’ Fifth Avenue apartment, she was refused — it had already found a taker. “I asked if it was Russians, and they replied, ‘Oh, no, madame, des Americaines.’ I wonder who the buyer could be?”

The list of possibilities was a long one, since there were connoisseurs aplenty — Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis, Bernard and Helene Arnault, Bethy Lagardère, Pierre Bergé, Simon de Pury, Christian Louboutin, Hubert de Givenchy, Peter Marino, Empress Farah Pahlavi, and actresses Monica Bellucci and Anna Mouglalis were among those at the charity dinner, hosted by French first lady Bernadette Chirac, to benefit the Hôpitaux de Paris.

“There are so many spectacular pieces,” gushed John Galliano, his hair swept up in a rockabilly bouffant. “It makes you dream.”

The night before, the indefatigable social set — including Princess Caroline of Monaco and Prince Ernst August of Hanover, Marisa Berenson, Lily Safra, Betty Catroux, Robert Wilson and Louise Blouin MacBain — attended a dinner to celebrate the overhaul of the Museum of Decorative Arts, which had been closed for a decade. Many of the couture-clad ladies made a beeline for designer Jeanne Lanvin’s re-created boudoir. Yet not everyone focused on Lanvin’s impeccable taste.

Cordelia de Castellane, wearing sleek Emanuel Ungaro from her days in the press office there, revealed she’s dabbling in children’s wear. “It’s really bohemian chic,” she said. “But not expensive.”

Earlier the same evening, it was shoulder-to-shoulder at Galerie J. Kugel, where brothers Alexis and Nicolas Kugel teamed up with Belgian whiz Axel Vervoordt to re-create the eclectic apartment of the late and legendary Paris antique dealer Nicolas Landau. After the throngs had departed, Natalie Kugel invited a kernel of her friends for Champagne and dancing. “After all this, I need to blow off some steam,” she said.

Finally, at a party on Thursday night to inaugurate Louis Vuitton’s “Icons” exhibition, in strolled Marc Jacobs, fresh from New York Fashion Week.

“I just stepped off the flight,” said Jacobs, wearing the Mickey Mouse T-shirt he sported at his signature show. “It will be nonstop from now until the [Louis Vuitton] show.”

And how. Dominique Miceli, the mother of Vuitton creative consultant Camille Miceli, was at the party with a film crew in tow for a fly-on-the-wall documentary tracking the designer’s working life. The 65-minute documentary will be screened on the French/German TV channel Arte in April, and then distributed internationally.

“It’s the first time [Jacobs] has ever agreed to having every element of his work recorded, from the trend meetings through to the final countdown to his shows,” said Miceli. 

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