By  on March 8, 1994

Ferre showed some pretty clothers at Dior, Lagerfeld stuck with the skindress and Altman started to get on everyone's nerves.

Altman: The Backlash Begins

Sunday, people couldn't get enough of him. But by Monday, director Robert Altman had fallen from grace: Both Karl Lagerfeld and Valentino had banned his camera crews, and certain editors were asking to be seated out of camera range.

Many journalists and retailers were also offended when they opened their Christian Dior invitations and found a note that virtually amounted to a release form. "We would like to inform you that Mr. Robert Altman's camera crew, as well as several members of his cast, will be among the guests at our fashion show," the letter read. "You may feature in some of the general shots. Therefore, your presence during this event tacitly implies your consentment [sic] to being in this film."

When questioned, Dior president Bernard Arnault claimed that he was unaware that such a note had been inserted in his house's invitations. But he -- like many others -- made sure he was seated well away from the filmmaking during the show.

Meanwhile, Lagerfeld announced that he would have nothing to do with "Pret-a-Porter" for any of his collections. The designer explained that the Altman script called for him to visit Anouk Aimee to console her for the loss of her lover.

"But I hate displays of emotion like that," he said. "Anyway, I don't want to be an actor. I'm not a megalomaniac, you know. Everyone who attends a show that Mr. Altman covers will remember only his film and not the clothes. I'm afraid he'll make fashion look like a nightmarish cartoon. I make fashion for people who need to see fashion, not the movie industry."

The house of Valentino will also announce today that it has decided to steer clear of Altman. "First, there is no need for a satirical movie on fashion at this difficult moment," said company chairman Giancarlo Giammetti. "Second, the pret-a-porter industry is not just Paris, and, as an Italian house, we object. Third, having the movie cameras would just distract attention from the show, with the clothes becoming 'extras."' Giammetti added that one suggested scenario had Kim Basinger on Val's catwalk, but it was rejected.

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