>> THE MODELIZER —Coco Rocha hit the front rows early on during New York Fashion Week, but Anja Rubik waited until Paris Fashion Week, where she showed up front row at Chloe. She's a former face of the brand, but maybe they're bringing her back for Fall 2009? [Chic Report]
>> Despite the prevailing '80s mood of the season, at his private show today, Azzedine Alaia only looked forward: "I don't believe in looking back — I don't want to revisit the 1980s." Both Suzy Menkes and Cathy Horyn were present for the unveiling, the former describing:
"Signature knits and leathers, woven into bouncy skirts that might have open-work decoration or intricate embellishment. Cut-out feather effects were hand-painted with streaks of white, while white cotton blouses also freshened up the tough side of black leather. Coats cinched at the waist and small leather jackets, whether in classy crocodile or pony skin treated to look like miniature leopard spots. The same pattern appeared on the knitted dress, form-fitting but kicking out at the hem."
>> For the first time since launching his RM line, Roland Mouret showed during Paris Fashion Week; until now, he's debuted collections during couture season. It was perfect time to make the move, considering that his trademark tailored origami dresses are right on par with the sober chic mood of many other designers for Fall 2009 — "quietly seductive," as Cathy Horyn described them. "Almost the work of a local dressmaker. That’s not a criticism." Another first for the designer: knitwear, embossed like crocodile, above a skirt or over leggings. The venue was warm, causing guests to fan themselves with programs and invites, but these are just the type of dresses that buyers are looking for come Fall, so a little discomfort was surely worth it.
>> Miuccia Prada closed out the Fall 2009 runway season with a Miu Miu show about "playing with the bourgeoisie.” Necklines plunged to reveal nude bras, fur sashes draped across the chest and covered ankle straps, bare flesh shimmered, and socks were heavily sequined. The collection seemed more grown up than Miu Miu's recent forays into harlequinism or scuba gear, with its tapestry patterns, but perhaps most striking were the half-coats, with undone buttons or cutout backs.
>> Marc Jacobs's signature collection started a minute early, and Louis Vuitton started just seven minutes late — which according to the way most fashion shows run, is still early, causing loads of people to miss the beginning — Suzy Menkes climbed over the runway after the first model walked out — and many to be locked out. Lucky for them, the show was staged in a clear tent in a Louvre courtyard, so late editors and passersby could watch the show.
Bunny ears topped heads — show stylist Katie Grand was inspired by "a black doe rabbit in the pet shop on the corner" — necklaces were modeled after paper garlands, ruching was everywhere, and Rose Cordero finally made a Paris runway appearance. Marc Jacobs said he was inspired by "all the great, elegant Parisian women, like Loulou de la Falaise," and the LVMH-Gareth Pugh connection continues: Pugh sat front row, two seats away from Bernard Arnault, still denying the Dior Homme rumors.
>> INSIDER WIRE —Recession schmecession. Cathy Horyn has a list of some of her Fall 2009 Paris favorites, along with their prices — those thigh-high Stella McCartney boots, for instance, will run $1,145-$1,635. As for the opening beaded tops that were paired with draped satin skirts at Balenciaga? The long-sleeve versions will be . . . wait for it . . . $50,000. And they say Balmain is pricey. [On the Runway]
>> John Galliano took his audience to a Winter wonderland — literally, there was no heating, wind swept through the show space, a fog crept over, and snow fell — and it was beautiful. Not everything was perfect, however: the fake snow caused coughing fits in the front row, and photographers revolted beforehand, because they were left waiting outside for hours; but Galliano's take on Ukranian virgin brides, replete with tinkling coins, carved wood lace-up platform heels with pom poms attached, and heavy embroidery, dazzled. By contrast, the eveningwear was light — a standout gray fringe dress — and in lots of cases, almost nonexistent in sheer chiffon; Galliano seems to have a new thing for the bared tush, which appeared a few times here, like it did earlier in the week at Dior. Harvey Weinstein, who was front row, didn't mind: "It was fantastic, theatrical, brilliant."
>> INSIDER WIRE — Gareth Pugh surprised editors and buyers alike last week when they showed up for his runway show and instead got a video presentation with Natasa Vojnovic marching and contorting in the clothes. Dazed Digital scored a behind-the-scenes video of the shoot, and got Pugh to explain his reasoning for the switch: "First and foremost was the fact I had just done this big menswear show in Paris four weeks before the women's show. At a time when everyone is worried about money, I didn't want to come over as being overly brash by doing two big shows." [Dazed Digital]
>> INSIDER WIRE —Frida Giannini made editors nauseous with her dizzying Gucci catwalk pattern back in Fall 2008, and at John Galliano this evening, it was a case of "toxic" fake snow that had editors gagging. It stung eyes and the chemical smell had Hamish Bowles, Grace Coddington, and Glenda Bailey, among others, covering their mouths and noses. What a travesty: Galliano gave "his packed front row a collective asthma attack." [The Moment Twitter]