AMAZING GRAYS: Christian Dior on Monday night rolled out a stadium-length gray carpet across Place Vendôme, leading guests from its newly luxed-up fine jewelry boutique to the grand Hôtel d’Evreux for a sumptuous dinner.

Braving the chill, rows of young men dressed in tailcoats lined the carpet holding aloft old-fashioned lanterns to light the way. “It’s like a scene from a fairy tale,” cooed Marisa Berenson, whose escort, Peter Marino, the store’s architect, had borrowed a dramatic Dior Joaillerie black crocidolite and diamond skull necklace for the occasion. “This is oh-so-definitely on loan. I had to hawk my wife and kids for this,” laughed Marino, who is already in the holiday spirit, having ordered hundreds of gingerbread houses to give away to kids.

This story first appeared in the November 24, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“At my age, Christmas is more about looking after the children and taking care of all the organization. It’s a moment for getting together with the family in the country,” said Catherine Deneuve, who has just started filming “The Beloved” with her daughter Chiara Mastroianni, directed by Christophe Honoré.

Mingling with Christian Louboutin, French actress Isabelle Huppert, who is starring in a production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” in Germany, will also soon be catching some rays. The actress said she’ll next be working on a project in the Philippines. So what’s topping her Christmas wish list? “Peace,” said a grinning Huppert.

ROYAL WEDDING DATE: The pressure is on for Kate Middleton to find her fit-for-a-princess wedding dress. The date has been set — Friday, April 29, at Westminster Abbey. The day will also be a public holiday in the U.K., the government said.

And, mindful of the U.K.’s recent raft of spending cuts, Clarence House said the Royal Family will pay for the wedding, with the Middleton family also contributing. “All parties involved in the wedding, not least Prince William and Miss Middleton, want to ensure that a balance is struck between an enjoyable day and the current economic situation,” Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, private secretary to Prince William, told Press Association reporters on Tuesday.

A MCCARTNEY CHRISTMAS: It was the turn of British comedian Catherine Tate — in the guise of her comedy alter ego, Nan — to turn on Stella McCartney’s Christmas lights this year. “They’ve made me promise not to swear,” said Tate, whose grandmother character is known for her off-color language, before leading the crowd in a verse of “White Christmas.”

While McCartney was absent from the proceedings — she’s due to give birth to her fourth child imminently — her sister Mary McCartney and Stella’s husband, Alasdhair Willis, were both in attendance. Also among the guests were Jo and Leah Wood — who toted her 18-month-old daughter, Maggie, in a sling — Patsy Kensit and Alison Mosshart, who said she’d just finished a new Kills record. While Leah Wood was on a brief visit to London from her home in Australia, Jo Wood has been busy introducing granddaughter Maggie to the London social scene. Before McCartney’s party, Wood said the family had “had lunch with Janice Dickinson and been shopping at Hamleys.”

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