By definition, any fashion week anywhere is about being seen, but no fashion week is more important to be seen at than any in Paris, and no fashion week in Paris is more important to be seen at than the annual womenswear spring-summer extravaganza in September/October. Accordingly, the hard-core jackbooted veterans — e.g., in the shot of the Saint Laurent front row, above, the apparently immortal Kate Moss and Carla Bruni — make it their business to report for what, in fashion, passes for battalion-commander duty alongside a gaggle of it-girls and it-boys of the moment, as in this shot, Hailey (Mrs. Justin) Bieber, and Austin (Mr. Boyfriend-of- Kaia-Gerber) Butler. Presto! Instant inter-generational front row!
A slight extension to the left of that same front row reveals the real fashion heavyweight, Francois-Henri (Mr. Salma Hayek) Pinault, chair of Kering, the parent company of Yves Saint Laurent, not to mention Balenciaga, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, et al., seated next to Zoe Kravitz who, it’s fair to note, comes by her globetrotting fashion credentials through a very different route than that of M. Pinault, but as honestly.
Moving right along from Saint Laurent, the September 26 Dior show garnered its share of heavyweights in Vogue editor and Conde Nast exec Anna Wintour, fresh from her Vogue-World production in London’s Drury Lane as part of London Fashion week. Ms. Wintour’s iconic bob and her buttoned-down frock- armor means business. What bag? Whereas we might argue, well, the Queen always carried a bag, in this instance there is no need for a bag. Ever. First, it’s a front row at a fashion show, so, where to put it? Nobody wants their bag bag being kicked around on the floor, even if it is the chair of Dior’s parent company LVMH, Bernard Arnault, who is doing the kicking, which is not to imply that the esteemed Monsieur Arnault would ever kick a lady’s bag. Rather, the message is: Others, possibly even several others, will be holding whatever bag and/or coverup and/or necessaries might be required for Ms. Wintour at some location other than the front row at Dior.
That same Dior show brought the real world’s real stars out in the form of British tennis champion Emma Raducanu, spectacular winner of this year’s Wimbledon singles title, the first British winner of the coveted cup since Virginia Wade’s triumph in 1977. Kudos to Ms. Raducanu for that, and to Dior for that front-row get.