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.

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