In New York, the fashionista’s social trajectory is between one store opening and the next. But Paris loves its grand hotels, and on Tuesday the fashion pack did, too, as Christian Louboutin and Celine’s Michael Kors brought a shot of razzmatazz to two of the grandest.
First, Louboutin called in the glamour girls and the pretty boys — not to mention Viktor and Rolf, Loulou de la Falaise, Hermine de Clermont-Tonnere and Astrid Kohl — to inaugurate the remodeled bar at the Plaza Athenee on Avenue Montaigne. By 10 p.m., the refrain heard ’round the bar was “Dinner?” as Diane Von Furstenberg and Princess Olga of Greece rounded up their respective groups and headed out into the night.
At about the same time, across town at the Ritz, Kors was just welcoming his first guests to a fete at the trippy basement Ritz Club, with its padded-leather bar, back-lit tropical fish tanks and scented candles.
One guest complimented Kors on his dashing runway appearance after the Celine show earlier in the day. “Audrey taught me how to walk,” said Kors, referring to new mom Audrey Mornay, who went into labor three weeks ago backstage at his New York runway show.
Slapping his hands on his behind, Kors started strutting and barking like Derek Zoolander, “Walk with the hips! Walk with the hips!”
By evening’s end, he reappeared — looking like a model once again, albeit this time one in a state of dance-floor dishabille. “When did you disrobe?” somebody asked. “They undressed me on the dance-floor,” Kors replied. “Grace [Coddington] said, ‘Leave the shirt out. It’s that new casual thing.’ Who am I to argue with 45 years of styling expertise?”
Akris on the Avenue: Akris isn’t doing a runway show this week, but it is showing off its latest design: a new Paris flagship store at 49 Avenue Montaigne. The Swiss firm is using the store, which opened quietly this summer, to host receptions for retail bigwigs including Saks Fifth Avenue’s Christina Johnson and Neiman Marcus’s Burt Tansky. “We’ve had a wonderful September,” said Akris design director Albert Kriemler. “And our U.S. business has increased 50 percent this year.” Bestsellers at the Paris store include the leather-trimmed, double-faced cashmere tweed suits, the high-neck zip cashmere jacket worn with plaid pants and the dotted chiffon dresses. Akris also operates its own shops in Monte Carlo, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Boston. The newest location, in Tokyo, is scheduled to open next week.
Jeremy and Judith: Meet Jeremy Scott, handbag salesman. It turns out that the designer was the impetus for Colette to start carrying Judith Leiber’s jewelled critters, which were featured in the hip boutique’s windows just last week. Scott started collecting and carrying Leiber bags a few years ago and has been telling Colette’s daughter, Sarah, the buyer for the shop, to bring in the line ever since. She said she’s glad she finally acquiesced. Pandas and polar bears are selling briskly at more than $3,500 a pop. “Women, even young women, are ready to spend money on a bag like this,” she said. Scott said that he’s not expecting a commission.