The term "fashionably late" was given new meaning at the Lanvin Spring/Summer 2011 show in Paris Friday evening, when a host of fashion editors were kept dawdling outside a warehouse for over an hour in the rain while last-minute rehearsals continued inside. Of course in style emergencies, comes style aid, and the oldest French fashion house swiftly sent out troops of tuxedo-clad waiters complete with Elbaz-esque bow-ties with silver trays bearing chocolate truffles and champagne in order to sway even the most disgruntled guest.
Once the lights finally dimmed, Mr. Elbaz sent out a parade of slick-haired models donning ensembles of what could only be described as an ode to Grecian goddesses of the 21st century. Etta James' At Last provided a romantic backdrop for floor-skimming skirts with saddle detailing, diamond-encrusted (flat!) gladiator sandals, and structured monochrome suits over thick leggings (like it or not, they prevail). There were even a set of shocking neon silk-pleated minis reminiscent of Issey Miyake and a trio of garbage-bag nylon trenches--perfect for a rainy day.
Sitting front row were Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, French Vogue's Emmanuelle Alt, and Italian Vogue Giovanna Battalgia who flaunted a cashmere scarf as a head wrap--a chic alternative to a cumbersome umbrella. (Luckily, Vogue's Grace Coddington needn't fret. Her signature fiery coiffure is impervious to circumstantial weather!) Still, most flashbulbs were directed towards Queen of Pop, Janet Jackson, who rocked a demure look in a black turtleneck, while a few seats down Lenny Kravitz and Dita Von Teese also held court in all noir.
After a small seating kerfuffle, Ikram Goldman (owner of Chicago boutique Ikram studiously took notes, no doubt for the First Lady's upcoming spring ensembles. And the diminutive blogger Bryan Boy sat Indian-style on the floor after finding that all the front row seats had been filled. Guess even at Paris Fashion Week, people don't mind getting down and dirty.
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