Emanuel's Soft Appeal

Emanuel Ungaro likes to say how sauvage and violent he is, when in fact he's just an old softy. Tuesday morning at the Carrousel, he showed the softest collection Paris has seen this season. His fabrics fluttered, his cuts were delicate, his colors exquisite, and there was enough lace to seduce a whole convent of fashion nuns. In fact, seduction was what Emanuel's collection was all about.

"I want to return to a primitive spirit," said Ungaro before his show, "to peasants who just pick up scraps of fabric and sling them on themselves. I'm taking pieces of fabric and throwing them on the body."

Accordingly, his pants were soft and sheer, while his supple long and short cocktail dresses grazed the models' bodies. It all drifted out in the most alluring silk mousseline -- sometimes crinkled and with a tie-dye effect. His Power Suit has become the Sensitive Suit -- liquid layers of mousseline wrapped into filmy pants and jackets. After all, Ungaro is the drape-master of Paris, and though his superopulence weighed him down toward the end, essentially this was a wonderful collection -- Emanuel's second big success in a row.

Cheering him on was one of the best front-row turnouts yet this week: Alain Delon, Anouk Aimee, Lilianne Bettencourt, Lynn Wyatt, Nan Kempner, Susan Gutfreund, Marisa Berenson, Isabelle d'Ornano, Sao Schlumberger -- at her first Emanuel Ungaro couture show -- and the ever-present Robert Altman, with his faithful entourage.

Classic Act

Hubert de Givenchy may have parted with some of his treasured 18th-century furniture recently, but he hasn't disposed of any of his classic ideas about how to dress women. For spring, Mercedes and Bunny will be wearing Hubert's pantsuits with short jackets -- Givenchy is right on that big Paris wavelength -- crisp navy dresses trimmed in white, flower prints with a bit of ruffle and, bien sur, polkadots. For evening, he showed shimmery gazar that was just transparent enough, and the best number was the simplest: a fitted white guipure blouse over big black gazar pants.

Michel Clean

Such fun. Such fantasy. Such froufrou. NOT! Michel Klein is a serious designer, and serious is the word to describe his debut couture collection Tuesday evening for the house of Guy Laroche. Just in terms of fashion attitude, Klein's severity makes Claude Montana look like Christian Lacroix (who sat in the Laroche front row at the first of two Ritz shows).

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