Thursday’s annual Sidaction gala, which raises money for AIDS research and patient care, drew a crowd of VIPs and industry faces on the last day of Paris Couture Week, though some high-profile foreign guests reportedly opted to stay at home following last month’s Paris attacks.
“My plane was empty. It was like a ghost plane — but we did have a lot of snow, you know,” said designer Tory Burch, attending her first Sidaction dinner in a vintage Balenciaga LBD she had stripped from her mother’s closet.
Burch, who arrived at the party hand in hand with LVMH Fashion Group honcho Pierre-Yves Roussel, said she was gearing up for the opening of her first Paris boutique in July.
Héloïse Letissier, the French singer behind Christine and the Queens, had her own round of firsts coming up. “My album will be released in the U.S. in August, and I have never been to the States, because I’m afraid of planes,” she divulged, sporting a printed Kenzo tux with a pair of derbies.
So how does she keep calm when up in the air? “I don’t! I cry, I panic. I think I will start drinking,” the singer laughed, burying her face in her hands.
Other guests’ outfits also seemed to echo the blurring of genders that occurred on European runways recently. Forgetting bearded Conchita Wurst in a fully beaded number straight off Jean Paul Gaultier’s couture runway and Dita Von Teese poured into a curvy Alexis Mabille gown, many women opted for tuxedo variations in lieu of long dresses.
“I go between the two,” shrugged Chloé designer Clare Waight Keller, who accessorized her black pantsuit with a floppy black ribbon tie.
Anna Calvi, part of the Chloé gang, wore black trousers, a striking aquamarine blouse, heavy gold necklaces and vivid orange lipstick. “Actually, it’s red,” she corrected, for the party venue had been bathed in a strange purple light. The English singer said she’s working on her third album.
Betty Catroux was her usual licorice self — the skinniest black jeans topped with a tiny black leather blouson licked with gold, from the Saint Laurent men’s collection by Hedi Slimane. “I don’t even wear women’s clothes anymore — haven’t for years,” she shrugged. “It’s all boys’ things.”
Mareva Galanter said she will soon present “Talent Street” on French cable channel France Ô. “It will have candidates from all the street-culture disciplines facing off in front of a jury,” she said, reeling off sections, including beat box, break-dance, hip-hop, skateboarding, BMX biking and rap.
Max Boublil was making a rare excursion into the world of fashion. The French stand-up comic is to star in “La véritable histoire de Robin des Bois” (which roughly translates as “The Real Robin Hood”), a parody that will hit French screens on April 15. “I steal from the poor to give to myself,” he said.