Making Room for Lenny Kravitz

I arrived in Paris Saturday afternoon after throwing a hissy fit at the Air France counter in Milan. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I hate Air France. First, the guy at the counter told me that my single bag weighed too much and I had to remove two kilos before he could check it in. After I did that, he then told me the big bag was 15 kilos over weight and thus I had to pay 12 euros per kilo. I won't do the math here, but let's just say that I could have bought the bag the economy seat next to me and it could have flown in the cabin. Honestly, just charge more for the ticket and stop nickel and diming people all along the way.

Oh, but the sun was shining in Paris on Saturday. So I checked into my little hotel, unpacked and did a smidge of shopping. Uh, huh. I went to the Dries Van Noten store and it was bustling. And I say: Good for the designer. He's been getting lots of press lately. There was a piece featuring him in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend, for instance. And I'd already written my Dries story a while back. His show is Wednesday and one of the sales representatives noted that it was a "different" kind of collection. I'm not sure what that means. Perhaps, bye-bye florals?

Saturday evening there was a cocktail party celebrating Suzy Menkes' 20th anniversary at the International Herald Tribune. The veteran fashion editor's work was the subject of an exhibition and an impressive cadre of designers was on hand to congratulate her. Several, such as Domenico Dolce and Donatella Versace had flown in from Milan. That's clout.

There was video tribute in which various designers shared a few memories of Suzy. Olivier Theyskens of Nina Ricci had the crowd laughing because he'd taken a hank of his long black hair and rolled it up in a pseudo pompadour to match Suzy's signature hairdo. Alber Elbaz of Lanvin was also very funny saying that rain, sleet or snow, Suzy is always at the show: "Always complaining, but always there." Very funny and very true.

It was nice to see Suzy's grandchildren sharing in the festivities. Of course, they are off the charts cute and very fashionably dressed. I was enjoying my glamorous evening out in my sparkly top and peau de soie slingbacks when it soon became clear that I was not going to find a cab back to the hotel. So I took to the Metro, thinking to myself: Where, oh where are my Conde Nast car buddies? Ha!

Sunday afternoon found me sitting next to Lenny Kravitz at the Rick Owens show. Lenny was very tardy for the show, arriving with his daughter at about 5:40 for a 5 p.m. show. So all the seats were filled. A publicist came over to our area and asked if we could scoot together to make room. Before most of us had a chance to mull the question, the woman next to me piped up with "Ab-so-lutely!!!!" The sad thing is that she had to move to the other side of the runway where she could only view Lenny from afar. He arrived and chatted up my seat mate Michael Roberts from Vanity Fair. He introduced himself to me like a good gentleman and then snuggled in with his big ol' fur vest spilling over into my lap. I'd like to point out that it was about 70 degrees outside. But he's a rock star. I guess he's naturally cool.

By Robin Givhan |  September 29, 2008; 5:47 AM ET Paris
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Ah, enjoy Paris. But on another note, I'm sorely disappointed that you don't have any commentary on Michelle Obama's outfit at the debate. The crowd I was watching with pretty much universally called it a disaster for an evening debate. I would have enjoyed a professional's take on it.

Posted by: semi_political | September 29, 2008 1:49 PM

I really enjoyed your post today. I loved getting that first-hand impression of Paris and the show and also the great little details like Lenny Kravitz's fur vest and Suzy Menkes' well-dressed grandchildren. Thanks!

Posted by: kathycoulnj | September 29, 2008 2:30 PM

Geeze, how does it feel to be occupied in a totally meaningless, completely fatuous, empty headed, shallow as a mud puddle way of life? Menkes too. As a long-time subscriber to the IHT I've always found her column a complete waste of space and some of the silliest writing I've ever encountered. And now I run into this drivel.


Posted by: A Real Human Being | October 1, 2008 12:02 AM

to A Real Human Being: 1) why are you reading it?
2) she has a Pulitzer. You probably don't.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 2, 2008 12:13 PM

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