AGNES B: You can always count on Agnes B. Once again, Paris's favorite designer of trendy basics, showing for the first time in her new rue de Rivoli space, has given her girlish troops a collection which covers everything from fake-fur-trimmed, candy-colored jackets to tailored corduroy pantsuits. The news this season is shape, she said, and cut her jackets accordingly: slightly flared and nipped at the waist. There were also bright crewneck sweaters, tiny pleated skirts, silver stretch jeans and her obligatory sailor pants and navy peacoats, this time done with slightly puffed shoulders.

JUNKO KOSHINO: Tokyo-based Junko Koshino sent out a collection dedicated to nature. But its strengths got buried under a mound of eco-tricks. Koshino showed beautiful long ribknit dresses, stretch mohair sweaters, clingy chocolate brown ribbed sweater dresses and long vest dresses that would appeal to many young women, ecologically correct or not. Unfortunately, they were all hidden under "cocoons," awkward wads of raw fabric.

INES DE LA FRESSANGE: Ines designs the kind of clothes that make women around the world envious of Parisiennes. Her work is discreetly elegant, with just enough flair to be interesting. This season's 90-piece collection, shown in an Avenue Montaigne penthouse, had a subtle military inspiration, with ribknit cashmere sailor sweaters, a Mao-collared taffeta evening jacket and a double-breasted black cashmere officer's coat. For those civilized Parisian evenings, there was a simple black cocktail dress or a long black panne velvet skirt.

BALENCIAGA: Josephus Thimister sent out a Balenciaga collection that might have made the master proud -- if just a little confused. It was billed as a return to Spain, so it was odd that the models marched out in thigh-high black suede boots, with faces and hair painted white and geisha-girl red lips. But there were strong looks for day, including a shocking red mohair minidress and a group of black velvet suits with bold white piping. Evening, however, was best, with bias-cut black satin dresses and a floor-length apron dress in sheer black silk. Thimister studied at the Royal Academy of Antwerp, and it's clear that he learned a thing or two there about the history of fashion.PER SPOOK: This collection was elegant and low-key, with classic tailored shapes delivered in rich fabrics. Among the best looks: a beige cashmere shirtdress, a tweed coatdress over a matching short skirt and a long, fake-fur coat that reversed into a traditional trench. At night, tuxedos with long or short skirts got a little jolt from pink silk shirts.

JACQUES FATH: Fath designer Tom Van Lingen took a singular page from fashion's archives -- storybook fit-and-flare -- and turned it over again and again. Van Lingen just loves the frock coat. He cut it in various lengths and embellished with a vengeance, as though passementerie and drapery cord were about to be declared illegal substances. These jackets and coats covered ample layers beneath, especially skirts with asymmetric hems, Van Lingen's other big look. It was all worked in rich textures, from tweeds to brocades, and it did speak of a certain romance. But after a while, the redingotes, tassels and fur trims started to look like the old Lord & Taylor Christmas windows.

ORSON & BODIL: For fashion intellectuals who have been deconstructed to death, Dutch designer Alexander van Slobbe showed an elegant way out. His couture-influenced collection for Orson & Bodil was unapologetically pretty. Seemingly simple silhouettes featured texture plays -- as in a long, black Empire silk georgette dress worn with a cropped black leather vest. And, unlike some of his Belgian counterparts, van Slobbe isn't afraid of color. He showed a sweeping red mohair coat with a matching minidress, for example, and a cropped V-neck jacket with a matching sleeveless vest and skirt, all in shocking pink.

The Bulgari Bash

PARIS -- It seemed more than a little like Fort Knox. A squad of policemen, 20 bouncers and a ring of metal barriers surrounded Ledoyen restaurant on the Champs Elysees Thursday night for the party Bulgari threw for Robert Altman. Inside, a score of top models and as many designers, plus 300 other guests from the Paris fashion world, competed to get their faces into Altman's fashion fest. Bulgari underwrote the mega-fete to launch a new line of jewels and precious stones set in porcelain."Tonight I'm playing a paparazzi," said Helmut Newton, who was photographing the scene. Things got pretty confusing when scores of fashion victims began to bustle around Altman's camera, as Sophia Loren strode by in yet another hat. The invitations warned the partygoers not to say the actors' real names: If in doubt, "call them 'darling"' -- which is exactly what everyone did. Helena Christiansen told one bystander, "I'm playing myself" -- at which Yasmeen Ghauri cracked, "Yes, a slut."

Claudia Schiffer, who barely said a word, spent the soiree holding hands with her beau, David Copperfield.

Other guests included Astrid Kohl, Vanessa Van Zuylen, Laudonia Pucci, Vivienne Westwood, Nino Cerutti and Arielle Dombasle. Cher, in lots of Chrome Hearts leather, revealed that she's off to London on Saturday to record an album of George Gershwin songs, which will also feature Sting and Peter Gabriel.

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