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HAUTE SOCIETY: “He killed it,” enthused Riccardo Tisci Monday night, strolling through Christian Lacroix’s installation paying sartorial tribute to Elsa Schiaparelli at Paris’ Les Arts Décoratifs. “I love the animal side of it. It has the same irony and darkness of Schiaparelli,” said Tisci of the 18 designs that will be sent to the Schiaparelli Foundation after the two-day exhibit by invitation only.

“They are like paintings,” marveled Carla Bruni, who sneaked in before other guests arrived, fresh from a trip to the Parc Astérix near Paris.

“I took my son there, but I just watched.”

No roller-coaster rides for her. “I’m too old,” said the former Lacroix model, puffing on an electronic cigarette. Bruni is otherwise engaged with her new album. “I’m going on tour in the fall in France and Europe, and then in April in the United States,” she said.

Rossy de Palma, who is taking her musical show on tour this year, was frantically taking pictures of each piece. “Everything — I want to wear everything,” she said of the mélange of Lacroix’s opulence and Schiaparelli’s whimsy.

“The figurative and the surrealistic elements full of wit — they are a great source of inspiration for accessories,” noted Elie Top, whose own creations for Lanvin will be featured in the museum’s contemporary jewelry exhibition this fall.

“When you are a writer, you’ve been reading Shakespeare. When you are a designer, you’ve been studying Schiap — she is the Shakespeare of fashion,” said Inès de la Fressange.

Jean-Charles Castelbajac lamented, “You have a really hard time recognizing who is doing what these days. When I started, designers had recognizable styles. Today is a karaoke time, but this is authentic. I see Lacroix, but there is a lot of Schiap, too. Look at the lobster.”

“Fantastic craziness with a lot of elegance” is how Azzedine Alaïa put it, adding, “I admire her for that.”

Vanessa Bruno, Jean Paul Gaultier, Maxime Simoens, Roland Mouret and Christian Louboutin were also among the guests.

So, does the exhibit portend Monsieur Lacroix’s return to haute couture? “Quelle horreur! Not at all!” exclaimed the master tailor. “But it was an enlightening experience.”

<p>Carla Bruni-Sarkozy</p>

Photo By: Dominique Maître

<p>Bianca Brandolini</p>

Photo By: Dominique Maître

<p>Christian Lacroix and Christian Louboutin</p>

Photo By: Dominique Maître

<p>Elie Top and Vincent Darré</p>

Photo By: Dominique Maître

<p>Valérie Lemercier and Farida Khelfa</p>

Photo By: Dominique Maître

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