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STAR SEARCH: Strolling through downtown Manhattan on Sunday provided more star sightings than a trip to Fred Segal. In the West Village, Stella McCartney, Kate Hudson and Helena Christensen whiled away the sunny afternoon on Gwyneth Paltrow’s...

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STAR SEARCH: Strolling through downtown Manhattan on Sunday provided more star sightings than a trip to Fred Segal. In the West Village, Stella McCartney, Kate Hudson and Helena Christensen whiled away the sunny afternoon on Gwyneth Paltrow’s front stoop. By dinnertime, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, in town for the "Goddess" party, had lured friends old and new, including Victoria Beckham, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Sacco, Cecily Brown and Yvonne Force, to a small dinner at 66. Selma Blair sailed in glowing, her gorgeous new boyfriend, Gucci model Anthony Natiello, in tow. Then the two proceeded to nuzzle their way through the cocktail hour.

Meanwhile, at Il Buco, testosterone levels were sent through the roof with a macho meeting of the minds. John Malkovich, Al Pacino, Casey Affleck, Willem Dafoe, Julian Schnabel and Javier Bardem all packed into the restaurant’s back room, while Lisa Eisner and her husband, Eric, visiting from Los Angeles, joined Sean MacPherson in front.

THE PIANISTS: Paris society got a music lesson last week when Amyn Aga Khan, Irene Amic, Marina of Greece, Alexis de Redé and Dodie Rosekrans arrived at L’Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris to hear competitors vie for the Vendôme Prize — a biannual competition for young concert pianists founded by Alexis Gregory. After Kae Shiraki and Julien Gernay won the judges’ blessing and qualified for the semifinals in London this summer, Mexican art collector Paula Cussi — the evening’s sponsor — invited everyone home for supper at her chic flat near Saint Germain. There, beneath the dominating presence of a Francis Bacon, Gregory amused the musical guests with a story of how competition judge — and concert cellist — Roderic von Bennigsen once stayed at his house in Jamaica. "He called me up to say, ‘Can I bring my Stradivarius cello?’" recalled Gregory. "I said, ‘Don’t! Someone will steal it and chop it up for firewood.’"

Not everyone at the dinner was equally passionate about the classical repertoire, however. Dinner guest Betty Catroux skipped the concert altogether. "I hate everything old, even music," said Catroux, another Saint Germain resident, as she looked for her hostess in the garden "I came to play the neighbor."
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