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2009 July 6

COUTURE REPORT: Who is Here? Who is Not? And Where is Anna?

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(PARIS) The couture season began merely moments ago with John Galliano's extraordinary showing for Christian Dior. Given la crise, as the French say, some feared that attendance would be abysmal at best. Happily, the opposite appears to be true. Dior headquarters at 30, avenue Montaigne was just as packed with A-list editors as it was strewn with arrangements of white roses and hydrangeas.

First things first: Anna, vous êtes où? The editrix en chef was nowhere to be seen, although her deputies Grace Coddington and Sally Singer sat front-row. Right behind them? Hamish Bowles and Lauren Santo Domingo. Just down the aisle was Carine Roitfeld and Emmanuelle Alt, who shouted at Patrick Demarchelier across the runway. In an adjoining room, Glenda Bailey proudly represented Harper's Bazaar, while Joe Zee and Kate Davidson Hudson formed the Elle contingent. Michael Roberts is in Paris for Vanity Fair; Cecilia Dean and Stephen Gan are attending the shows for V. Predictably, Fabien Baron is the sole mec from Interview.

Delphine Arnault-Gancia sat down the row from her father Bernard Arnault, who squired none other than Madame Chirac to the show. (Antoine is out of the country. Helas.) As for the journalists? Cathy Horyn, wearing a sleeveless black frock, flat sandals and a très petit Chanel quilted bag with oxidized chains--caught up with W's Dennis Freedman. Suzy Menkes waited patiently near the entrance for Marion Cotillard to arrive. And when she did--34 minutes after the show's original starting time--Olivier Zahm finally abdicated from her prime seat next to Sidney Toledano and wandered off to find his own. Alex de Betak greeted his dear friend, who sported a flawless black sheath, a tousled coif and a radiant expression. After greeting la famille Arnault--and everyone else in her row--the show promptly began with a chorus of giggles cascading from the speakers. The message was clear: Chic must go on. As if there were ever any doubt!
ASHLEY BAKER




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