BIRDS OF A FEATHER: Designers flocked en masse to Paris city hall on Tuesday night for the cocktail hosted by Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Ralph Toledano, president of the Fédération Française de la Couture, du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode, and Bruno Pavlovsky, president of the board of the Chambre Syndicale du Prêt à Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode.
“It’s a love story between fashion and Paris,” said Hidalgo, sporting a black Georges Rech dress while addressing designers such as Alber Elbaz, Demna Gvasalia, Chitose Abe, Guillaume Henry, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Pierpaolo Piccioli, Alexis Mabille, Vanessa Seward, Chantal Thomass, Véronique Leroy and Yiqing Yin.
“Paris has always been a magnet for fashion talents,” said Toledano, citing examples like Charles Frederick Worth, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Karl Lagerfeld and Azzedine Alaïa. He added that some 25 nationalities presented nearly 100 shows in Paris this week.
“Paris rhymes with timeless elegance, effortless chic and unrivaled sense of style. La Parisienne and her je ne sais quoi do not need further introduction,” Toledano said, making the audience laugh. He also paid tribute to the “incredible ateliers and amazingly skilled petites mains perpetuating the dozens of métiers d’art.”
“You are our treasure, and we love you,” he told the designers.
So what would they do if they changed hats and became mayor of Paris?
“I would open bus lanes to Uber drivers,” said Gvasalia, the Vêtements designer and recently named artistic director of collections at Balenciaga.
“I would allow stores to open on Sundays and museums every day,” Leroy said.
“I don’t think I would do a good job at [being mayor] — in fact, at anything else than what I do,” lamented Seward, who was sporting a black dress with clover print from her fall collection, the same on that graces the posters plugging fashion throughout Paris.
“If I was mayor in Italy, I would take inspiration from Paris’ initiatives to support fashion, the way it takes fashion seriously,” Piccioli said.