Catherine Deneuve in Jean Paul Gaultier.
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Cannes' Gallic contingent raised its fashion flag Friday night for the premiere of Arnaud Desplechin's much-awaited "Un Conte de Noel" ("A Christmas Tale"). In the lobby of the Hotel Majestic, grande dame Catherine Deneuve, the film's lead, discussed wardrobe jitters while awaiting her ride to the red carpet. "The pressure here is quite intense — it's such a fast-paced festival that there's really not enough time for pampering," said the actress, dressed in a chic purple safari jacket and black pants by Jean Paul Gaultier, offset by a turquoise, Paraíba tourmaline and rose-cut diamond necklace by Chopard (which apparently is turning out to be the festival's unofficial sponsor). Making its red-carpet debut here, Balenciaga scored three of the film's other principal characters, including Deneuve's daughter, Chiara Mastroianni, dressed in a black silk mousseline dress; Anne Consigny in a long black gown, and Emmanuelle Devos, who wore a black-and-pearl gray paneled silk frock by the house.