Good Bye Couture, Hello Summer

Yaz Kurhan of Yazbukey, Oliviet Chaqtenet and Michelle Harper


Eager for one last gossip session and a coupe (of champagne) or two, Paris’s young couturiers, journalists, and store bigwigs descended on Paris’s Cercle Interallié, next to the American and English embassy residences, on rue Saint Honoré, to celebrate the end of the fall 2010 couture season and the start of summer. The Interallié’s three-piece suit members, smoking cigars in the reading room, raised an eyebrow or two as ladies in towering platforms and men in evening shorts (only in Paris) careened past them to make a beeline for the endless lawns surrounding the garden’s fountain. Paolo de Cesare, President of Paris’s Printemps department store wasn’t thinking of his vacation just yet. “We should be done in about three weeks with our new Louis Vuitton shop-in-shop,” he said. In what’s probably a world first, Printemps is creating a three level staircase for its existing LV HQ and adding space on the two floors above the original to make a kind of Louis Vuitton mansion within the store.

Alexis Mabille, sporting a peacock feather butterfly on his lapel, was, on the other hand, ready to get away. After two back to back men’s and couture presentations, held just one week apart, he’s heading south near Saint Tropez, of course. “I designed the uniforms for the Muse, a new hotel in Ramatuelle so I’m going there for the grand opening.” Asked what it was like stepping down from couture to wash-and-wear, Mabille said he was surprised how much he liked designing uniforms, adding that he did manage to get a discrete bow into the design. After that, Mabille’s heading for a stay with his friend, interiors photographer François Halard, at his restored townhouse house in Arles where Rencontres d’Arles, the city’s annual photography fair, runs through September 19. In the center of all this vacation chat, Federation Française de la Couture’s President Didier Grumbach looked pleased.

“First it’s the men’s, then couture, then the sales,” he says. “Now I wish all the houses would put giant screens in their windows and show fall to get everyone in the mood before September.” Paris party girl Yaz Kurhan of Yazbukey, who attended the party with her pal from New York Michelle Harper, CEO of Darac Beauty, and the muse of Argentinean designer Victor de Sousa, was poured into a black Zac Posen silk cocktail LBD. Kurhan has been designing accessories for Posen’s Z Spoke collection and she’s excited about his upcoming show in Paris. “I must admit Paris seems a bit slow after New York,” she said. “My dream would be to divide my time between Paris, New York and Rio, but for fashion shows, this is the place.”