Poiret

This morning I went to the Stella McCartney show, which was scheduled for 10 a.m. Guess what time the vast majority of the audience showed up? Go on, guess? Regular readers of this blog know that this is my personal gripe. It seems that no one in the fashion industry has a watch. Or maybe no one knows how to tell time. Or maybe everybody else is just staying up really late and having way more fun than me. But really, not even bothering to arrive until 10:20? Come on, people. It's not like we're being asked to show up and chop wood! We're sitting on a bench ostensibly looking at some pretty clothes. Get a move on, folks!

As the audience began to arrive, one girl settled into her seat with her blouse open to mid-chest. I could practically see her nipples. A good rule of thumb when dressing in the morning: No visible nipples before, say, 4 p.m. Just a suggestion. Then the show's soundtrack fired up. I love a good rap soundtrack with a pounding beat. I'll take a good beat with my morning coffee. But really, no "ho's" before noon. I'm just sayin'.


Original velvet kimono coat by Poiret (Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art)

After the show, I headed to a news conference about the upcoming Poiret exhibition at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition will run May 9 to Aug. 5 and of course will open with the big Costume Institute gala that this year will be chaired by Balenciaga's Nicolas Ghesquiere (Balenciaga is a sponsor along with Conde Nast), Cate Blanchett and, as usual, Vogue's Anna Wintour. (Note to the execs at the Met: Learn how to pronounce Nicolas' name before May.)

The curators Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton couldn't bring actually Poiret dresses for the press event because it was held in a restaurant, where they were serving champagne and caviar at 11 am. I LOVE Paris! Can you imagine someone bumping into a waiter and a big platter of fish eggs goes flying into a dress?

So in lieu of wrestling the Met conservator to the ground, those wily curators had three Poiret copies whipped up as visual aides. As Harold talked about Poiret's use of minimal seams and simple shapes to create these incredibly modern and seemingly complex garments, he had someone slip into one of the duplicate velvet cloaks. Then Harold starts yanking on threads in the coat's few seams. The next thing we know, he has ripped out all the threads to reveal that the coat had been created using a single long rectangle of velvet. I love fabulous clothing tricks before lunch.

At the Hussein Chalayan show, I happened to be seated next to a guy who works for one of the modeling agencies. Apparently a few of his models were in the show. I politely inquired: "Do your models eat?" He chuckled and assured me that they did and pointed out that while a starvation diet might benefit the career short term, eventually the lack of actual food, vitamins and minerals would start to show in the skin and hair. And that'll put an end to a career.

He also noted that he was trying to get more black models working in Paris. He noted that one of the big excuses he hears from some editors is that "People don't see the clothes on black models." Huh? The implication is that dark skin is so distracting that people will forget to look at the clothes. How about a white model with posture so bad you literally wonder if she needs a scoliosis brace? Or another who stomps so aggressively down the runway she looks as if she's trying to smash cockroaches. Crazy.

By Robin Givhan |  March 1, 2007; 12:25 PM ET Paris
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What is it with models that clomp down the runway? They certainly don't ehance the aura of the clothes. Do the designers think this enhances the appeal of their clothes? Maybe they should design books for the models to wear on their heads so they walk slowly and with upright posture.

Fabulous blog, as always.

Posted by: 20010 | March 2, 2007 8:37 AM

how to get people to show up on time - get the reporters to leave if they don't. They do care about publicity...

Posted by: jj | March 2, 2007 8:42 AM

The link to this from the front page reads "Poirot's pre-lunch treats." I was wondering what an old Agatha Christie detective had to do with fashion...

Posted by: hi | March 2, 2007 10:16 AM

I'm just sayin'....love the blog. I wish it could go on forevah!!!!

XOXO

Posted by: Mickey P | March 2, 2007 10:28 AM

I KNOW you're talking about Agyness and Coco. (actually, not so sure Coco is the stomper... could be Bette Frank or Lara Stone.)

Posted by: hm | March 2, 2007 10:44 AM

Robin,
talk about fashion people being late...this morning while standing outside the Chanel show at the Grand Palais it was something to watch women walk up at 10:30am(it began at 10am) and were incredulous that the doors were closed and they would could not get in. there were a few screaming matches - demanding to get in and arriving 30minutes late - way to go Chanel for closing the door. maybe next time they will get out the door a little faster?

Posted by: marie | March 2, 2007 10:58 AM

Robin, why are ALL the models ugly and brooding? Why no smiles? Why makeup that washes out their faces? Is there research somewhere that sulky faces sell more clothes? Brink back Cindy Crawford!

Posted by: Jen | March 2, 2007 1:41 PM

Hi Robin,

Speaking of using Black models, it was good [and astonishing] to see a woman of color on the cover of Vogue.

Posted by: Vivian G. Kelly | March 10, 2007 3:17 PM

I love the blog and the great info on the Euro runways, but I have to beg to differ about the skulls thing. Lisa Cabrinha, the designer of Letarte Swimwear has been using those cute skulls for years now on her adorable, Hawaiian style, bikinis. She really made the fashion statement with them.

C.
Tropi-Ties Swimwear
http://tropi-ties.stores.yahoo.net

Posted by: Cindy Alpers | March 22, 2007 8:53 AM

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