By
with contributions from Alex Wynne
 on March 4, 2015


INSTA COUTURE: Did the tech entrepreneur stand out like a sore thumb at Jean Paul Gaultier’s couture salon in Paris on Tuesday night?

Hardly. Far from a hoodie and sandals type, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom donned a chic navy Brioni suit and a Charvet tie. “My favorite thing in the world is knit Charvet ties,” he enthused. “I’m trying to get the team more into fashion by doing tie Tuesdays.”

This story first appeared in the March 5, 2015 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Systrom came to Paris to immerse himself in the fashion community, explaining that 70 percent of content on Instagram is generated outside the United States, prompting him to make the trip. Among highlights was a visit to Gabrielle Chanel’s historic Rue Cambon apartment. “I posted a selfie,” he confessed.

Guests at the parties included model Karlie Kloss, who boasts 2.1 million followers on Instagram, and Schiaparelli spokeswoman Farida Khelfa, who follows the likes of Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent, in addition to her buddy Christian Louboutin, who also attended.

Catherine Deneuve pulled out a slim cigarette, not the sort to snap photos her smart phone. Asked about selfies, she pulled a face and shook her head: “I think it’s ugly.”

Gaultier laid out a flower-laden table for 50, and enlisted chef Jean Imbert to create a three-course meal almost everyone photographed before tucking in.

The couturier, who halted his ready-to-wear collections last season, confessed that he has other people post photos on his Instagram account. “I don’t have time,” he said, pretending to dab sweat from his forehead.

Indeed, Gaultier has a jam-packed year ahead, what with his roving retrospective landing at the Grand Palais in April, and his role as official designer of the next Life Ball, taking place in Vienna on May 16.

The morning after the party, Gaultier plunged into fittings at the Comédie Française. He designed the costumes for contemporary German playwright Dea Loher’s “Innocence,” playing from March 28 to July 1.

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