FRANCE TO TIGHTEN SECURITY AT SHOWS

Byline: Robert Murphy

PARIS — France’s governing body of fashion will intensify security during the ready-to-wear runway shows here starting Friday and running through Oct. 13, reflecting safety fears after terrorist attacks in the U.S. on Sept. 11.
Chambre Syndicale president Didier Grumbach on Thursday outlined increased security measures for access to the Carrousel du Louvre, the scheduled venue for more than 25 shows — including Cacharel, Christian Lacroix, Kenzo, Valentino, Celine, Emanuel Ungaro and Chanel.
Access to the Carrousel, which also leads to the Louvre Museum, will be limited to: 99 Rue de Rivoli; the underground Palais Royale-Musee du Louvre metro exit; and two entrances on the first and second levels of the Carrousel’s adjacent parking structure.
Photographers and TV camera crews will have special access by the southern Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel entrance in an attempt to speed entry elsewhere.
Security agents will scan all visitors with metal detectors, while bags will be scanned by X-ray units. At the entrance to the fashion shows, guests will be required to present identification corresponding to the name on their ticket. Houses have been instructed to limit the number of standing-room guests.
Security also has been increased for all deliveries at the Carrousel: Special badges will be issued to all production teams and a five-strong team will survey all incoming deliveries.
The heightened security follows a broader effort by the French government to foil terrorism. Paris immediately enforced a draconian security program hours after terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Under the government’s so-called Vigipirate program, created after militant attacks here in 1995, about 5,000 heavily armed policemen and military personal were deployed in France. All of Paris’s sidewalk garbage cans, inside of which past terrorists had concealed explosives, have been sealed.
Meanwhile, Grumbach said that he expects houses not showing at the Carrousel to beef up security, too.
Ritu Beri, the Indian designer scheduled to show on Oct. 13, has canceled her show. Helmut Lang, Loewe and Angelo Tarlazzi also have decided to forego their scheduled runway presentations here, with Lang presenting in New York next Saturday, as reported.

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