Goons and Graces

This is one of those days when I witness the best and worst of the fashion industry. The worst revealed itself at the Christian Dior show this afternoon, in the form of a large burly man in a suit who could best be described as a goon. He was serving as some sort of security guard for the editor of Vogue. Now I've got no issue with folks who require security, want security or have been given security. I do have an issue when those security guards behave like goons and quite literally shove people -- me -- out of the way.

I tend to try to make the speediest of exits from fashion shows and so found myself actually ahead of the man who henceforth will be referred to as "the goon." Pretty quickly, I felt a giant bear paw on my back pushing me out of the way, even though I was moving pretty darn briskly toward the exit. I am not one to dawdle. What gives with the obnoxiousness?

I have this nasty habit of thinking rather highly of myself and just hate it when people push me out of the way for no good reason. I've witnessed a lot of security for all sorts of folks. And I have seen guards make way without making jerks of themselves. Somebody needs to go back to hired-muscle school.

Later in the day, after escaping a mammoth traffic jam (Parisians apparently have never heard the phrase "Don't block the box"), I arrived at the Undercover presentation. The designer Jun Takahashi decided not to have a show -- instead showing his collection, inspired by the mythological Graces, on mannequins and in photographs. Takahashi conceived the photography and it was executed by Katsuhide Morimoto.

The collection was a series of fragile and beautiful dresses in layers of white gauze, silk and cotton. Sometimes they were covered in delicate eyelash fringe. There were trousers that gathered at the ankle; dresses with delicate rows of ruffles at the neckline and satin tops embroidered with bits of poetry.

The best way to describe the collection was soothing. The clothes come in other colors, but I enjoyed the all-white presentation. It came across like a soothing balm in troubled times. The clothes had real character to them without being abrasive or projecting a cynical sensibility. It was a lovely pause in the late afternoon.

And then I went and waited an hour and 15 minutes for the Maison Martin Margiela show to begin, thus killing my warm fuzzy glow.

By Robin Givhan |  September 30, 2008; 5:20 PM ET Paris
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