FRENCH TIES: “How’s your stick?” Donna Karan asked Thursday night, clicking canes with her old pal Kal Ruttenstein, moments before he was decorated as a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French government. “That’s an amazing man,” Karan said afterwards. Designers showed up in force for the beloved Bloomingdale’s fashion director, including Yohji Yamamoto, Marc Jacobs, Christian Lacroix and Giambattista Valli of Emanuel Ungaro. Fellow retailers and fashion executives by the dozen also paid their respects, with Yves Carcelle, head of LVMH’s fashion and leather goods businesses, planting a kiss on the top of Ruttenstein’s head. The official honor was bestowed by Didier Grumbach, president of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, who pinned the distinctive red pin onto the lapel of the Yves Saint Laurent suit Tom Ford had designed for the occasion. Then the indefatigable fashion force set off in his Cesare Paciotti sneakers to a dinner at Le Voltaire.

This story first appeared in the July 12, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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