The End

The Paris shows ended Sunday, and everyone was wishing they had ended with the Lanvin show. It was so lovely and uplifting; I'll tell you more about it in my upcoming story. But suffice it to say that everyone would have headed home in a good mood. But no, there was the Louis Vuitton show. All that money and that mega store on the Champs Elysee and still there was chaos and disorganization at the entrance. By the time the doors opened for the 7:30 p.m. show it was already 8 p.m., and well, that just didn't bode well. For anyone who has forgotten, Marc Jacobs is the Louis Vuitton designer and he has, shall we say, a habit of being a tad tardy.

Alber Elbaz designed an absolutely lovely spring collection for Lanvin. (Maria Valentino for The Washington Post)

Anyway, by the time we all got seated and settled it was about 8:30. And then we proceeded to sit and wait. For a while it wasn't so bad. I watched Courtney Love sitting across the runway defying all the rules and lighting up a cigarette. Some Vuitton employee ran around fetching water for Sophie Dahl. Victoria Beckham posed for a photo with a little girl and actually smiled -- or perhaps it was just hiccup. Still, she was nice about it all. Kanye West turned up again and frankly he has become so ubiquitous at the shows that I was thinking about asking him if he'd like to contribute to this blog.

Then things started to turn ugly. It was about 8:45. There was another show scheduled for 8:30. The photographers were booing and jeering. The audience was rumbling. Bernard Arnault, the head honcho of LVMH, which owns Vuitton, appeared to be scowling as he was speaking into his cell phone and then text messaging. Finally, the show started. And basically, it looked exactly like the Marc Jacobs show did in New York except with more handbags.

At the end, Marc marched out for his bows and when he got to the end of the runway and turned to walk back, he suddenly twisted his head around and stuck out his tongue like Michael Jordan going in for a slam dunk. His focus? It appeared to be International Herald Tribune fashion writer Suzy Menkes who had had the audacity to publicly express some degree of irritation that the show for his signature line in New York last month had started more than two hours late. Suzy, of course, behaved like a professional. She did not stick out her tongue back.

Yes, it has come to this. Really. Schoolyard taunts -- in front of his boss. Geeze. Shall we all light a candle for Marc?

Aside from my new Dries Van Noten dress, my favorite little discovery in Paris has been the rental bike system. It works a bit like Zip cars. You rent a bike from one location -- essentially a bike rack lined with cycles -- ride it wherever you want to and then deposit it at another rack somewhere else in the city. You pay using a credit card or a pre-paid debit card. I've seen people all over town riding around on these little ecru-colored bicycles. How healthy. How green. How nifty. Oh, how I wish I'd been able to hop a bike to a fashion show, but I can't peddle that fast. Of course, they don't wear bike helmets in this town, which strikes me as a bad idea since you're riding in the middle of traffic. Perhaps Parisian drivers are kinder to cyclists?

By Robin Givhan |  October 8, 2007; 8:33 AM ET Paris
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Why do fashion writers seem to lose their cool over a show starting late? They get paid to write about style and fashion AND get expenses paid to travel to places that I, frankly, would pay someone if I could go. It just seems that the brouhaha over Marc's show is blown out of proportion. It was probably immature for him to stick his tongue out at Suzy Menkes but he apparently felt like he had something to say to her. Ms. Givhan: If you want to trade jobs with me and sit in my office cubicle all day, I will gladly take your job and travel to Milan, Paris, NYC to watch -and write about- the shows. And I won't mind a bit if someone is late.

Posted by: FashFan | October 10, 2007 7:34 PM

A most outstanding blog which I have added to my favorites.A blog either grabs you or it does not,this one needless to say did!

Posted by: RJH de la Haye | October 11, 2007 7:11 AM

Dear Ms. Givhan,
First, a Prada ombre bag from Milan and a new Dries dress from Paris? You're killing me! That Prada bag is delicious, and I hope it's every bit as spectacular as it looks in the glossies. Maybe I'll find one on ebay in, oh, five years......

Posted by: HCKG | October 11, 2007 4:57 PM

ive just gain respect for you, MS, Mrs?, only by reading 2 of your articles. its a mad world out there by the looks of it, even though ive never been to Paris Fashion Week. but every country has its fashion week and fashion shows, and when you see too many of them u get bored and....
your aproach to fashion week blogging is truly intelligent. one step ahead!

Posted by: roxana radu | October 12, 2007 3:56 PM

Ms. Givhan I've been a fan since the beginning of your tenure. I've always appreciated your social observations mixed with your fashion commentary. I would love for you to continue the blog after the collections. Let us know which trends sold, what looks worked on the runways, but not on the sidewalks. And PLEASE continue to pull your soap box out on the issue of the whiteout in the fashion industry! I find it really telling that an industry that is overwhelming gay and woman is SO intolerant of racial difference and we want to blame white straight men. OK it goes beyond what the agents are or are not sending! At a time when browns and blacks are everywhere, the look industry says "no thanks". This idea that fashion is regulated by "aesthetics, speaks volume: "we don't think you're beautiful". And yet "black" women will be carrying the latest IT bag. SO SHADY! It is also telling that Micheal Roberts and Andre Leon Talley have been publicly silent on this issue, but when you have a place at the table you just eat. Anyway PLEASE stick around. You have a relevant voice, it seems beyond Pat Magrath one of the only other sistas!

Posted by: Earl Gadberry | October 13, 2007 3:01 AM

You know, Arlington County is soon going to be implementing a bike sharing program like the very one you admired in Paris. Here's a question though: how does a stylish gal ride around in that fabulous Dries Van Noten frock without mussing herself with chain grease and whatnot? What are the French secrets?!

Posted by: DC Goodwill Fashionista | October 14, 2007 2:54 PM

I'm enjoying your blog Ms. Givhan (as I do your articles). And I like the reader comments, they make me smile. I don't claim to be much of a fashion maven, but I do like to fantasize. Your blog now provides the backdrop for my daydreams, thank you :-D

Also, I'm not sure if you ever wrote on it, but I'd like to know your opinion on the dissolution of Suede magazine. Ages ago, i know, but I'm still smarting, and I'd like to know what you thought.

Posted by: kathleneb | October 21, 2007 5:20 PM

cool :)


Posted by: Didi | October 23, 2007 7:01 AM

Great as ever. Keep the good work up!

Posted by: Oana Perca | October 26, 2007 8:22 AM

I am anxious to learn the strategy for choosing specific pieces for the New York shows, versus the Paris shows, versus the Milan shows. I would love to hear the break downs and explanations.

I have a blog as well. Feel free to stop by.
Leave comments if you are interested.
I would love to hear your thoughts.

My Fashion Blog is: My Fashion Blog

Fashion Blog:

Posted by: Fashion A La Mode | November 12, 2007 12:18 PM

It's a really great post! I like your blog!

Thank you for all your work
Pierluigi Rotundo

Posted by: Pierluigi Rotundo | November 18, 2007 7:13 PM

It's kind of disappointing that Marc Jacobs, as talented a designer as he is, would pull this after the drama in New York. His behavior seems really immature, let alone the fact that the clothes left a lot to be desired. With the financial backing of LVMH, he could have put together a better show. It was neat to see some veteran models brought out of retirement, but for what? Synthetic translucent nurse uniforms? To be fair, as the show progressed, he showed more inventive clothes that echoed his signature collection with more commercial appeal and focus on the bags. It was a mix of the deconstruction he showed in New York with a seventies theme, some bright colors and pastel hues and transparency (one dress brought to mind Miu Miu fall '07) It could have been better though. A man like Marc Jacobs, with the wealth of a fashion conglomerate at his disposal, could have put together a collection that furthered Louis Vuitton's ready-to-wear aesthetic rather than finding ways to reinvent the tired LV monogram and make it the focus of a runway presentation. He has done a lot for the brand in the past, but this season was somewhat disappointing.

Ms. Givhan, I love your blog. It's so entertaining and insightful. I would love nothing more than to do what you do. I am a loyal reader and am absolutely fashion-obsessed. I'm 16, a junior in high school and I would love it if you would e-mail me at

Posted by: Chris Kane | November 28, 2007 10:32 PM

I think it was lv that made m.jacobs and not vice versa....

Pierluigi Rotundo

Posted by: Pierluigi Rotundo | December 16, 2007 2:10 PM

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