On the last day of shows here I sat next to the splendid Miss J - that is J. Alexander of "America's Next Top Model" fame - at the Nina Ricci presentation. Before becoming a TV star, the tall leggy diva taught models how to walk on the runway and he had plenty to say about the sashaying going on at Nina Ricci.

As one young woman walked by, he noted, "She has that hungry walk." Indeed, the model was sort of slouching into an elongated "C" and practically grimacing with annoyance. "She's mad because she's so hungry!" he said. Then there was the "pterodactyl walk" another girl was doing with her neck jutting out from the body. Another model was going to get a serious talking to backstage for trampling all over the hem of her gown.

But he gave model Vlada Roslyakova kudos for her walk in which her body angles backward, her arms glide gracefully and she has the uncanny ability to balance in even the most ridiculous shoes. Her entire posture says, "Don't bother me now. I'm MODELING!" Fabulous.

Fashion followers might remember there was a kerfuffle last season about a tardy Louis Vuitton show. Designer Marc Jacobs had started his show an hour or so late. This time, word went out that he was going to be prompt. And lo and behold, the show started at about 15 past the hour. Oh, how the fashionably late ran and lept and yelped when they arrived to find the show only moments away from starting! How refreshing it was to witness this new air of promptness. My fingers are crossed that it will continue.

Model Vlada Roslyakova.(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

The shows ended Sunday evening. It's hard to say exactly what the trends were because designers were throwing all sorts of things up against the wall. There was lots of tailoring and spice colors and sophisticated dresses. But there also seems to be a weird affection for hunchback dresses. Those would be dresses with balloon backs that make a woman look like an upright turtle. And there is a deeply disturbing desire to reinvent the trouser with a dropped crotch and ballooning hips. Are designers trying to channel MC Hammer? Say it isn't so.

Most everyone was swooning over the Lanvin show Sunday evening. When I make my first million dollars and get my own personal driver, I will stock my closet with Lanvin - at least from fall 2008. I'll tell you more about that collection in my Tuesday story. In the meantime, I've made a plan to cut back on my afternoon cappucino runs. I'm socking away my pennies for a Lanvin indulgence come fall.

(Editor's Note: "Off the Runway" is going on hiatus until the Spring 2009 runway shows begin in New York. In the meantime, be sure to read Robin's "On Culture" column every Sunday.)

By Robin Givhan |  March 3, 2008; 8:26 AM ET Paris
Previous: Christian Lacroix's View of History | Next: And So It Begins


Please email us to report offensive comments.

What is Beauty?

Posted by: Katie | March 6, 2008 11:14 PM

Excuse me, but did she use the word "kerfuffle"?

OK. Seems like somone has had too many cappucino.

And I seem to recall that Robin threatened to call Marc Jacobs "out of his name" because he was so tardy during that infamous spring Marc Jacobs show.

At any rate, the WaPo editors need to consider making this a permanent blog -- not one tied to the collection showing season.

After all, WaPo print circulation is on the decline!


Posted by: FashionPotentate | March 7, 2008 5:53 PM

We'll miss you Robin!

Posted by: Bridgette | March 9, 2008 6:58 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 4:34 AM

When you return, let's go to Lafayette and do the Cajun twist.

Posted by: Dave | May 3, 2008 10:08 PM

I agree on the commenat about Vlada, hands down the model with the most beautiful and graceful walk, a runway photographers dream. I'm also impressed by the walk of Tanya D and Inguna Butane.

Posted by: Ed Kavishe | May 4, 2008 1:38 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.


© 2010 The Washington Post Company