CHECKS AND BALANCES: Charlotte Gainsbourg swept into Balenciaga's show Tuesday wearing the perfect outfit for a rainy Tuesday morning in Paris: a tiered and sculptural Macintosh-style coat from Nicolas Ghesquière's pre-fall collection. Any movies? Fashion projects? Cannes film festival, perhaps? "Nothing," she cooed.
That's not the case for French actress Mélanie Laurent, who said she's penning her first screenplay, a drama, and playing a role in a new François Favrat film. Her character? "A bourgeois woman," Laurent said, noting she's relishing wardrobe possibilities and intends to give some input. "We're working on it."
LOYAL FAN: Count on Catherine Deneuve to turn up at the opening of an Yves Saint Laurent store. The grande dame of French cinema — a friend of the brand's namesake founder and a loyal customer — has been doing it for decades. "She went to the opening on Rue de Tournon in 1966," noted PPR boss François-Henri Pinault as Deneuve checked out YSL's new-look boutique in Saint-Sulpice Monday night along with a gaggle of film stars and models.
Since she parted ways with Estée Lauder last summer, model Liya Kebede has a forthcoming role in an indie film and is working on the second collection for her children's apparel brand Lemlem, a line of handwoven clothing made in Ethiopia. "I always wanted to do something to help the garment industry in Africa," she said, adding that Bono's [Red] project was an inspiration. "What we want right now is more aggressive strategies like that."
Actress Joana Preiss, meanwhile, is promoting her debut album with a concert in Paris next week and is set to DJ at a Rock & Republic party at the Hotel Crillon this weekend. Preiss arrived at the soiree with gal pals Audrey Marnay and Spanish actress Arly Jover. Jover said she's working on a new film called "Little Ashes." "It's about the life and loves of Salvador Dali," she said.
SOUNDS LIKE: Rock & Roll, arguably Paris' most stylish young indie band, just can't get away from the fashion scene. To wit: singer Gricha Berekachvili, a dead ringer for a young Bob Dylan with his mop of chocolate curls, has a DJ set Thursday at Paris' Truscoll bar, alongside Mark Kamins, famous for having helped launch Madonna's career. Yet the band, which is featured in Roberto Cavalli's current men's campaign, can get satiated with an all-fashion diet. "I would rather people ask me about the songs I'm writing than fashion," Berekachvili said in a recent interview. So what's his latest track about? "It's called 'Coke Freaks and Fashion Whores,'" he said. "It's inspired by our time spent hanging out in Milan."
PHOTOS BY STEPHANE FEUGERE