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“I’ll have the tray,” joked Michael Kors, pointing to a silver platter filled with lemon tarts, giant macaroons and luscious chocolate cake from Ladurée at Harrods in London, where the designer hosted a lunch on Tuesday.

Before the magic tray appeared, guests including Camilla Al Fayed, Lillian von Stauffenberg, Rena Sindi, Tamara Beckwith, Karen Groos, Heather Kerzner, Ariane Sodi, Catherine Prevost and Natalie Massenet lunched on tomato and pesto pizzas, tuna steaks, and grilled vegetables.

This story first appeared in the September 21, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

And while Kors was at Harrods for work — he was scheduled to hold a trunk show after lunch — the conversation buzzing around the table had nothing to do with clothes, ranging from Patricia Wexler‘s miracle cures to Kors’ first major, Steve McQueen-esque haircut at Oribe to the joys of denial. “You’re not ladies,” Kors told his guests. “You’re still girls. And that makes me a boy!”

The night before, Julien Macdonald and Rachel Zoe dispensed with the usual after party and instead held a preshow cocktail party to mark their collaboration on Macdonald’s show, which takes place Friday. The fete in the garden of the Sanderson hotel drew the likes of Yasmin Mills, Margo Stilley, Petra Nemcova, Patrick Cox and Elizabeth Saltzman. “Everyone’s been commenting on my hair,” said Macdonald, who swapped his usual close crop for a neat, slicked side parting. “It makes me worry that I’m a real scruff most of the time.”

Zoe, for her part, said the London weather was already draining the life out of her perpetual tan. “I’m the palest I’ve been in ages. I love London so much, I’d move here if it weren’t for the weather.”

The London festivities actually kicked off the week before when jeweler Stephen Webster celebrated his 30th anniversary at the Wallace Collection, which drew fans such as Christina Aguilera, who flew in just for the night since Webster made her wedding ring; Tracey Emin; Chrissie Hynde; Tom Parker Bowles; Ozwald and Gyunel Boateng, and Isabella Blow. Webster and his wife, Assia, took over the museum for the party, where Bryan Ferry performed hits from his Roxy Music days, including “Love Is the Drug” and “Let’s Stick Together.”

Nadja Swarovski, whose jewels were stolen last year when her home was burgled, had merch on her mind, though. She was busily operating the lever of a lucky dip machine filled with $18,000 worth of Webster jewelry hidden among fake silver dollar pendants.

“Hang on a second — I’m trying to replenish my jewelry collection,” she quipped.

In New York, Valentino called the well-heeled to the Russian haunt Petrossian for a night of couture and caviar. Marina Rust, Tory Burch, Marjorie Raein, Helen Schifter and Susan Fales-Hill wore their evening best and graciously chatted with the company’s U.S. president, Graziano de Boni. “Hmm, vodka or champagne?” Tory Burch pondered upon arrival, eventually opting for neither. Meanwhile, the younger set — Tinsley Mortimer, Fabiola Beracasa, and Olivia Chantecaille among them — were all atwitter over the recent E! channel “True Hollywood Story: Society Girls.” “We were so relieved,” gushed Beracasa, one of the special’s leading ladies, tempering her initial anxiety.

A handful of models dressed in the house’s finery — the first time ever Valentino couture was shown on models in America — swanned about the restaurant. Amy Sacco offered her services: “I’ll teach you all to walk after you’ve had too much to drink,” the nightlife queen boomed.

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