PARIS — American clients have been scarce almost everywhere this week, but most couture houses cited regular to healthy attendance at the shows, which ended Thursday. "Our attendance was about the same," said Farida Khelfa, director of couture at Jean Paul Gaultier. "Usually we have more American clients, but we had more Europeans this time, so that made up for it."

Asked to account for the decline in the numbers of Americans, she replied: "It’s obvious. The international situation is tense. People are scared." American couture faithful Suzanne Saperstein said she had noticed "a lot fewer Americans than there used to be." Then she added, "People are concerned about the situation around the world right now. But I don’t want someone using fear tactics to dictate to me what I can do and where I can travel."

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