Floating silk gowns amid the celebrity crush

By Isaac Hindin Miller

There are few things in this world more glamorous, sophisticated or elegant than the haute couture shows in Paris.

But glamour, sophistication and elegance don't come naturally to the 20-something year old New Zealand man. Disorganisation, tardiness and that classic "she'll be 'right attitude," however, come in truckloads.

I left the house late this morning for my first show of the week, Christophe Josse. Really late. At the same time that the show was supposed to begin late. I missed my first train. The next one didn't arrive for four minutes. That might not sound like a long time, but when you're already 15 minutes late and you're a good 25 minutes away from your destination, every second counts.

The moment I arrived at my stop, I ran. Off the train, up the escalator, around the corner, up two flights of stairs and onto Avenue du President Wilson.

Arriving at Palais de Tokyo (the show venue), I burst through the door and up the stairs, round the corner, up another two flights of stairs, and froze.

On the landing a few steps above me, a model was gliding along in an all-black satin dress with a sheer front panel on the left hand side.

I sat there puffing and sweating in a most unrefined manner as a flock of poised girls walked past in classic black gowns.

Floor length floating silk with exaggerated puff sleeves; sheer, feathered, shoulderless and barely skimming the thighs; velvet top, silk skirt, folded and hung like huge black flowers.

The finale section featured more of the floating silk in a dusty mauve, and a white wedding dress with silk wrapped all around the body to the knee, then flared in layers to the floor.

Though this might be an oxymoronic statement, my conclusion is that Christophe Josse designs couture for the more demure billionairess.

Over at the Musee Rodin, any chance of getting through the gates to see the Christian Dior show were eliminated by metal grating and six-odd surly security guards.

On the plus side, it was the perfect location to do a bit of celebrity spotting.

A yellow-mohawked Jared Leto arrived with Purple Magazine's Olivier Zahm; French actresses Lou Doillon and Nora Arnezeder were moments apart but each caused a tidal wave of paparazzi screams; and supermodel Lily Cole and her Without a Trace-star boyfriend Enrique Murciano slipped past quietly (but rather attractively all the same).

Jessica Alba and Blake Lively were both spotted inside, but they must have come in through a side door.

As for the models, there was no sign of them.

Rumour has it they were shot for a Christian Dior exclusive editorial by Patrick Demarchelier straight after the show had finished. No rest for the wicked.

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