Models Don’t Fall in Paris: Fashion Week Day Two

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Published March 6, 2009

News flash for all those financially-challenged stock brokers’ wives seeking an alternative to 18,000–Euro Versace-esque disco numbers from Balmain. There’s an adorable shop in Monte Carlo in the arcade at the Hotel de Paris with plenty of the same for less. Much less. I think that’s where Stephanie de Monaco goes for those sequinned dazzlers, but it’s eternal Playmate Victoria Silvstedt who told me about it. That’s where she found the pink stunner she wore to last year’s Rose Ball. And since it’s Rose ball time (Monaco’s annual charity dance is slated for March 28th) and this year’s theme is rock, there’s no time to lose. (Photo left: at Balmain)

Who could have imagined that the pantyhose face mask, that essential heist accessory, could look so elegant? A.F. Vandevorst turned sheer hose into extra-wide headbands that gave their horsey models a sleek, anonymous look. The jockey-inspired collection featured this season’s jodhpurs, hoof-like platforms and billowy shirts and shirt dresses in wide, graphic racing stripes.

Lutz Huelle had all the French press at his show and copies of Gallic insider magazine Double on every seat. He understands what young Parisians want: lots of leg. Not only were his Fortuny pleat skirts super short, they were also transparent. The girls marched down an aisle in the MK2 cinema looking a bit like Helmut Newton gamines from the photographer’s Big Nude period. Those skirts were just a foil for chic, slouchy hooded blousons in a material that resembled soaking wet leather. Then he sent out a satin swirling stripe flag dress so wide open all you could see was a beautiful poitrine-what more does a Lutz girl need?

At A.F. Vandervorst, Nina Ricci and Theykens’ platforms.

 

Is it really Olivier Theyskens’ swansong at Nina Ricci? The all-black venue did have a funereal air, but then Olivier is such a drama queen. Theyskens’ VBF Loulou de la Falaise, the YSL muse and designer, was in the audience, but she was keeping mum. One thing’s for sure, he isn’t going out without a flash. Theyskens’ has far too much talent—and spirit—for that. Then came the highest bottines ever seen—were those 10-inch platforms?—and not one girl fell. Not even a wobble. This is Paris, after all. And Theyskens has a wicked streak, so he left the spindly spike heels dangling like atrophied limbs. Long, voluminous trousers and hourglass suits with curvy peplum jackets were all quite jolie madame, and very commercial after all.  And the finale was fantastic: the second-skin glitter tops and tiered, floor-sweeping ruffle skirts looked like Dynasty’s Crystal Carrington and Oscar de la Renta out for a spin at the Copacabana Ice Capades.

The delicate, ashen-faced Gareth Pugh sat next to perma-tanned Michelle Lamy at Rick Owens’ show. She’s the impresario for both designers, and she’s single-handedly brought independent fashion back to Paris. Owens futuristic, monastic, Inuit take on dressing continues on its own self assured path in quilted, padded and mosaic-patched A-line jackets and coats in pale cloudy, day colors with filmy tunics, drapey pants and leather minis underneath. The news is silver which looks like fall’s star. (Left: at Rick Owens.)