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FRERE JEAN-JACQUES: When French citizens are decorated with awards of merits from the government, the ceremonies are stuffy and formal, right? Au contraire: Whoops and whistles erupted as Pierre Berge pinned consultant extraordinaire Jean-Jacques Picart as a chevalier of arts and letters in Paris Monday night, lauding him for his flair in a “sensitive field.” Designers including Christian Lacroix, Martine Sitbon, Riccardo Tisci and Roland Mouret – and loads of LVMH brass – were initially perplexed at Picart’s acceptance speech, the first part delivered in Vietnamese. But they cheered even more when Picart noted Yves Saint Laurent’s controversial Forties collection inspired him to devote his career to fashion, and then sat down to a family-style dinner.

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