PARIS — You can take a couturier out of the studio, but you can’t necessarily keep his mind off fashion.
Taking his seat at the Sapins de Noël des Créateurs (Designer Christmas trees) charity dinner in Paris on Monday night, Jean Paul Gaultier spied his snowflake-shaped straw placemat and plopped it on his head. Voila! — an off-kilter hat. Next stop, his chest. Voila! — half of a racy bustier. His neighbor, Farida Khelfa, erupted in laughter.
The designer, who cut his thumb opening a can and had it bandaged in white, also had an opinion on the work required to close the gash. “The stitches are not very nice. I thought they would be invisible,” he chuckled.
Stéphane Rolland, perfumer Francis Kurkdjian and pastry chef Pierre Hermé were among the personalities who gathered for an auction of the 33 trees, made of everything from fur (Gaultier) to metallic ornaments (Christian Dior.)
Fashion journalist Marie-Christiane Marek joined the newly crowned Miss France Camille Cerf on the stage at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées to drive up the bids. The sale netted 69,900 euros for cancer charities.
Marek dedicated to the event to Yves Carcelle, the popular Louis Vuitton executive who died earlier this year, and hosted a luxurious dinner at Restaurant Maison Blanche overlooking the lights on Avenue Montaigne.
Ever the fundraiser, Marek shushed everyone during dessert and announced that the artistic centerpieces at the 26 tables, towering compositions of golden spindles and twigs, were also for sale.
For the first time, the tree initiative was held in collaboration with the Montaigne Committee.