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PATCHING THINGS UP: It looks as if Tracey Emin has caught the fashion bug. At a party at Colette Wednesday night for the launch of handbags the artist designed for Longchamp, Emin hinted that more fashion projects could be in the works. “I would like to start my own company so people can collaborate with me,” she joked. But seriously, she’s working on a project involving cashmere, though she was mum on the details. Meanwhile, Lou Doillon, an avid seamstress, was paying close attention to the patchworks Emin is known for, since Doillon herself has whipped up pillows and blankets for her two-year-old son, Marlowe-Tigger. Elsewhere at the party, French actress Marion Cotillard mused about the film she recently wrapped up with a rather unwieldy title: “Un long dimanche de fiançailles” or “A Very Long Engagement.” “There’s a new trend in film titles these days,” she said. “They’ve got to be a least three kilometers long.”

This story first appeared in the July 9, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

A WIDE WEB: Alas, Kirsten Dunst — in Paris on Thursday for the French premiere of “Spider-Man 2” — didn’t make it to any couture shows. But she did bump into some fashion folk late Wednesday night at the Plaza Athenée bar, where she partied with the likes of Ivana Trump, Margherita Missoni, Givenchy fashion designer Ozwald Boateng, Oliver Stone and Colin Farrell. Meanwhile, her co-star Tobey Maguire was also lying low — relatively speaking. The dressed-down heartthrob passed by the Plaza for a few minutes after dining at Dave, where he waved off all the gawking fashion editors in the room.

FOOTNOTE: Actor Gerard Depardieu, hobbling on a broken foot, arrived at the Jean-Louis Scherrer couture show Thursday more than an hour late. As soon as he was seated, the lights dimmed and the models started down the runway. But house officials, horrified that the actor wasn’t in the VIP area, ran over and pulled him to a seat near another high-profile guest, France’s First Lady Bernadette Chirac. The two stood and chatted for a brief moment while the models went on with the show. “I broke the foot in a motorcycle accident,” Depardieu explained when the show ended.

RITE OF PASSAGE: Yves Saint Laurent –— no fan of the Tom Ford era at his namesake fashion house — has given an enthusiastic seal of approval to Ford’s successor, Stefano Pilati. “I feel liberated,” Saint Laurent declared Thursday night at a cocktail party at Loulou de la Falaise’s boutique. In fact, Saint Laurent said Pilati has already showed him some designs for his upcoming spring collection — and the retired couturier plans to attend his debut women’s show in October. “I’m completely confident in him,” he said. “He’s a real worker.”

FAST FRIENDS: “I just met Jean Paul [Gaultier] earlier this week,” Jane Birkin confessed from her front-row perch at his couture show on Thursday. “We met at the Helmut Newton memorial, and I thought he was so charming.” Of course, the chanteuse didn’t overlook the Hermès connection with Gaultier, who now designs its women’s ready-to-wear. She proudly pointed to her Birkin bag, which she helped Hermès design. “It’s probably made them a lot of money,” she said. “But [Hermès] has promised to help me do concerts in difficult places like Chechnya. If they do that, then we’ll be even.” This fall, Birkin embarks on a concert tour in the U.S. in support of her new album, “Rendezvous,” which has already gone gold in France.

WHAT’S COOKING: “The show’s been a great success so far,” enthused Cartier president Bernard Fornas as he welcomed guests, including Ivana Trump, to a private visit Wednesday night of Jean Paul Gaultier’s “Bread Couture” exhibit at the Cartier Foundation. After showing off the crusty bustiers and a working bakery, Fornas and Gaultier president Donald Potard broke bread with editors and couture clients in the museum’s rooftop dining room. But Gaultier himself was a conspicuous no-show — because he was still cooking up his couture collection. “He’s holed up in the atelier,” Potard said. “He’ll be up until five finishing the dresses for the show.”