By  on April 7, 2008

Getting a storied French fashion house back on track takes time. Givenchy went through three designers in less than 10 years following the retirement of Hubert de Givenchy. And ever since legendary couturier Yves Saint Laurent hung up his scissors in 2002, the famous Left Bank brand has been trying to dig itself out of the red. So Paris Fashion Week was richly rewarding for Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci and YSL’s Stefano Pilati, as both designers received universally good reviews for their collections. The New York Times declared that YSL had regained its swagger with Pilati’s parade of futuristic power women, while the International Herald Tribune said Tisci’s vision for Givenchy came into sharp focus with his Latin-flavored togs.

The designers’ triumphs didn’t stop there. Tisci christened Givenchy’s sumptuous new gallerylike flagship on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré; hosted a swanky, dimly lit dinner of caviar and monkfish at the Elysée Montmartre, and threw a store cocktail party with Audrey Hepburn’s original little black dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s as the centerpiece (purchased by Givenchy at auction for $811,800). Pilati also celebrated by lifting the veil on his striking new post–Tom Ford store for YSL, based on glossy lacquer the color of its Opium perfume packaging in picturesque Saint Sulpice Square. For Catherine Deneuve, it was a homecoming of sorts: “She went to the opening on Rue de Tournon in 1966,” noted PPR boss François-Henri Pinault, as Deneuve checked out the store with a gaggle of film stars and models that included Liya Kebede, Joana Preiss, Audrey Marnay and Spanish actress Arly Jover.

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