Paris Up To Its Old Tricks

Nothing like a little tour of Napoleon's massive, magnificent tomb to prep an American for the tradition of French grandeur. As for the Little Emperor's neoclassical resting place: no doubt Liberace dreamt of spinning in THIS grave! But on to the living breathing theatrics of Paris, which is why we're here.

The Christian Dior show, held at the Tuileries, knows how to make a Vegas-style entrance, models cascading down a gloriously carved staircase, posing at each step. Show Director to models: glam it up. John Galliano mixed luxury with luxury: fur, croc, ostrich....The same geisha glamour of his January couture show was echoed in origami-style on cuffs, collars, and entire dresses, and attention to exquisite detail and materials. There were also many beautiful suits, trapeze coats with amazing fur sleeves, bustier dresses, and fantastic eveningwear.

Viktor and Rolf got off to a dramatic start as the lights went down and stayed down. One by one the models strode down a dark runway with their own light and sound rigs attached to their clothing, some as wide as 4 feet. Naturally, the tiny models, teetering on sky-high clogs were struggling, as the scaffolding-looking structures weighed 30 pounds. The fashion point here-and a valid one-is that each woman marches to the beat of her own drum. Hurrah to that. And hurrah to the clothes that were beautiful. Angelic, in fact: oversized, draped from the iron rod structures and backlit. There were beautiful dresses and pin pleated blouses. Very over the top, very editorial, and very Viktor and Rolf.

After last spring's neutral tones, Dior's switch to color was a welcome eye-opener. Hard to imagine the season's accessories not catching on---particularly the whimsical woven frame bag in deep plum croc. Overall, it was a blockbuster of gorgeous clothes. And the soundtrack to the show was a loop of Jamelia's "No More", which prompted my colleague Eric Nicholson and me to race to the Virgin store on Champs Elysees to buy our new iPod candy. Will it be the season's "Sexy back"??

We ended the day with drinks at the adorable Hotel Daniel in the 8th arrondissement with Siddhartha, Celia and Sarah from Yves Saint Laurent. Though it was an ocean and a few miles of country away, all anyone could talk about were who wore which designers at the Oscars!

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