This season’s most fashionable accessory was a box of candles. Anniversary celebrations were de rigueur, with designers on both sides of the pond marking milestones.

The biggest of the bunch in Paris was Sonia Rykiel’s 40th runway romp. Rykiel, the flame-haired designer, known for her insouciant brand of Paris chic, hosted a sit-down dinner in a tent pitched in the Park of Saint Cloud, just west of the city. With a view that included the sparkling Eiffel Tower, Rykiel’s guests mingled with glitterati such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, former French prime minister Lionel Jospin and actress Anouk Aimée. Dinner was an elegant affair, with Dover sole, king crab and Champagne. But once the lights dimmed and the runway show started, guests were swept up in the  feel-good vibe of Rykiel’s clothes. Some guests were moved to stand on chairs and shower the runway with roses. Rykiel’s best gift came when daughter Nathalie Rykiel introduced 30 dresses made by designers from Alber Elbaz to Ann Demeulemeester in homage to her mom’s spunky style—including a furry coat inspired by Rykiel’s wild hair made by another birthday boy: Martin Margiela. Earlier in the week, the secretive Belgian celebrated two decades in the business with a collection full of enough nostalgia to keep his fans entertained for another 20 years. With rumors swirling that he may be ready to step aside, Margiela used recycling, one of his main themes, on his own oeuvre, from plastic bag confections to disco ball dresses. By the time two models hidden under a giant silk birthday cake appeared, the party was in full swing.

Milan had its share of anniversaries and birthdays, as well, from Adidas’ celebration of 60 years of its Originals line and Salvatore Ferragamo’s 80th birthday to Russian Vogue’s 10th anniversary. But the highlight in the Italian fashion capital was Domenico Dolce’s 50th birthday party with a procession of horse-drawn carriages and a surprise serenade by Diana Ross.

In New York, Calvin Klein celebrated its 40th with one of the most anticipated parties of the year. VIPs such as Halle Berry, Eva Mendes, Brooke Shields, Ashley Olsen, Leighton Meester, Natasha Bedingfi eld and Naomi Watts roamed the large minimalist structure John Pawson built for the occasion and checked out the James Turrell light installation, while Estelle’s performance of “American Boy” got the crowd on its feet. The real star of the night, however, was the High Line, New York’s soon-to-open park development to which guests had special access for the night. “It feels like you can walk right into the Hudson
River,” said Kevin Bacon.

Donna Karan might not have thrown a big fete for DKNY’s 20th, but her show still had a celebratory mood. The label’s iconic models, Esther Cañadas and Mark Vanderloo, were in the front row, as were Nicole Richie, Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci. They took in a cinematic ode to Gotham, and a conga line of kids hit the runway for the finale. Catherine Malandrino, Zero + Maria Cornejo and Baby Phat, meanwhile, each celebrated their 10th anniversary. “I think it says a lot when you can be in business for a decade,” Kimora Lee Simmons said. “To think that we started with just a T-shirt and became a jeans company and then became a whole lifestyle brand—we’ve gone through such an evolution and I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved.”


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