Meanwhile, Italian actress Claudia Cardinale said she just finished shooting "Le Fil," in Tunisia, about a Catholic girl who marries a Muslim man in the Fifties. "It's kind of scandalous," purred Cardinale, who added that she will be decorated with the highest grade of France's Legion of Honor by French president Nicolas Sarkozy Thursday, the day after Giorgio Armani gets the same honor. "It will be the third president to decorate me," she joked. "[François] Mitterrand, [Jacques] Chirac and now Sarkozy. I'm a lucky lady."
HOT AND DUSTY: "I brought the hot weather from Texas," sighed Houston socialite Becca Cason Thrash, fanning herself at the cocktail that Lorenz Baumer hosted for her Monday night at his Place Vendôme jewelry salon as the likes of Suzanne Saperstein and Rebecca Carcelle filed in. After hosting a big fund-raiser for the Louvre, Cason Thrash said she's turning her attention to the home front and hosting a "huge fund-raiser" at her home for Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama. On her way over to Baumer's showrooms, Cason Thrash said she ran into Roberto Cavalli in the elevator at the Hotel Ritz, who told her he's opening a store in Dallas. Asked about his dust-covered boots, Cavalli explained he was just at his Rue Cambon store, now under construction. "He said, 'My dear, I do everything,'" Cason Thrash said.
A JEWEL OF A NIGHT: Bali-based jewelry brand John Hardy hosted an exotic kick-off dinner for Paris couture week at the Four Seasons Hotel George V Sunday night. Mingling with the retailer crowd, including Linda Fargo and Ken Downing of Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, respectively, designer Lars Nilsson chatted about his recent visit to the former house of Richard Avedon on New York's 75th Street. Nilsson was shown around the space by its new owner, Charlotte Sarkozy, sister-in-law of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. "I visited the atelier where he took a lot of iconic photos and there's still the former hair and makeup room and Avedon's darkroom," said Nilsson. "It was such a rare opportunity."