By  on October 10, 2006

Suzy Menkes is definitely in touch with her inner geisha. At Jean Paul Gaultier's 30th anniversary blowout on Saturday night, which capped off Paris Fashion Week, the International Herald Tribune scribe played the part to a T during a magic show that had her mincing on the stage in a kimono and gleefully twisting the head of Daily Telegraph rival critic Hilary Alexander, who was trapped in a cruel contraption.

"Suzy asked me if I had any stage advice to give," said Janet Jackson, who watched from the balcony at the Olympia along with Demi Moore and her hubby, Ashton Kutcher. "So I told her, ‘Just smile.'"

Thousands filled the nightclub for a chance to watch Stephen Jones pluck a flag out of a hat and drape it over Italian Vogue's Anna Piaggi — and to see Le Figaro Madame's Nicole Picart thrust four gigantic swords into a tiny basket containing her husband, Jean-Jacques.

"At some point, we've all dreamt of seeing them tortured," joked actress Lou Doillon, who watched with retired Japanese soccer star Hidetoshi Nakata as Vogue's Hamish Bowles locked his colleague Grace Coddington into a cage.

Allakhazam! Out came flame-haired model Lily Cole with a cat on a leash. As Gaultier himself might ask: How did zay do zat?

In lieu of a birthday cake, model Audrey Marnay was sliced into eight pieces — or so it appeared — and then the designer himself had the audience howling as he levitated Le Figaro's statuesque Virginie Mouzat and ran a hula hoop under her suspended body.

"I had to work on my abs for a month," said Mouzat, who, like a true illusionist, declined to reveal the secret of her gravity-defying moment.

Among the editors who had stayed up until 2 a.m. rehearsing their tricks were English Vogue's Lucinda Chambers and Vanity Fair's Michael Roberts, who took to the stage like a pro, swinging his cape menacingly as he turned a crank that squashed French Elle's Catherine Rousso."I wanted to thank you all for coming to my birthday, because I am obviously only 30 years old," said Gaultier with a laugh. "For me, for us, fashion is magical."

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