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July 31 2014

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An American In Paris

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There may have been more French bons mots than usual at the Plaza Hotel last night, but it was an American designer who held the spotlight. The French Institute/Alliance Française was hosting its annual auction and awards gala and Marc Jacobs was the Trophée des Arts winner of the night. “I’m always kind of surprised when I win something like this,” said Jacobs, before being presented with the award by Anna Wintour. “It’s for something I love to do, and on top of that, I get to live in two great cities.” With brutally cold weather on both sides of the Atlantic, the designer, who splits his time between Paris and New York, barely made it in for the ceremony. But if travel schedules were hectic, it didn’t seem to bother Jacobs any. “I think Paris is the most beautiful city in the world,” he continued. “I love the way I feel there.” As for his French skills? “Except for fashion, my vocabulary isn’t very good, and I never properly learned verb tenses,” he confessed. “I think when I’m there, I tend to speak English with a French accent!”

Correct conjugation or not, Jacobs was in fine Francophile company. Rachel Feinstein Currin, John Currin, Michael Pitt, Jamie Bochert, and Alexa Chung all shared a table with the designer. “My first big show was in France, in Limoges. Only a few dozen people showed up,” Currin remembered with a laugh. “But it was a weird set of circumstances, because I had a bunch of shows after that.” Meanwhile, Bochert, who’s spent many a season walking the défilés, had more fantastical reasons. “I love Paris,” the model said. “Something about Paris just makes me want to put on red lipstick, wear high heels, go buy a baguette, and traipse about the streets.”

Photo: Michael Stewart / WireImage / Getty Images

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