When Sasha Baron Cohen (aka Borat) makes an appearance, or, more specifically, when one of his zany alter egos makes an appearance, hilarity and bedlam are never far behind. Fashion weeks in Milan and Paris got a blast of his outrageousness in the form of his flamboyantly camp Austrian television reporter persona, Bruno. From leaping onto the runway of Spanish designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada during the show (word has it that Agatha is thinking lawsuit) to creating pandemonium backstage at Italian label Iceberg, he moved on to Paris, where he showed up in the second row of Stella McCartney. Whether a tacit truce had been called or there was simply a display of mutual respect, Bruno held onto both his second-row seat and minded his manners. He did applaud a bit too loudly (by insider standards) and spent most of his time fixing his hair rather than watching the action on the catwalk. “I don’t know who you’re talking about,” McCartney protested, with a twinkle in her eye when asked backstage about Bruno’s presence, adding mysteriously: “I love his work in fashion.”
But she was not the only one in Paris to be on the receiving end of Baron Cohen’s shtick. A day before his show, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac received a phone call from a production company, telling him to expect Jude Law. Instead, Bruno appeared in an all-leather ensemble. “When my security asked if he should be removed, I said, ‘No, let him do his film,’ which turned out to be kind of a cool performance. He was part of the show, a superguest,” de Castelbajac said. The designer was impressed by his models’ unblinking demeanor in the face of Bruno’s attempts to interrupt the action.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"