PARIS — “Basta ugly models,” Gianni Versace declared the other night, and he wasn’t speaking just for himself. Couturiers this season were more interested in bringing back glamour and elegance than they were in staking out new fashion ground. If you were looking for a lot of new ideas, this wasn’t your moment. But if you were interested in finding some glamorous clothes, Paris was the place to be.


It wasn’t an earth-shattering fashion season, but there was some news coming out of Paris. Here are the main points:

  • PANTS: Everywhere, everywhere, everywhere.
  • SHORT SKIRTS: Paris has completely abandoned long skirts. Every major designer showed above-the-knee lengths.
  • SATIN: The evening fabric of the season, often combined with lace.
  • SEE-THROUGH: Dead as a doornail, but still in several couture collections.
  • EATING: The Ritz Bar for lunch. The food has deteriorated, but the crowd is getting better and better — everyone from Madame Balladur to Michel Klein.
  • JOHN GALLIANO: The biggest inspiration. His bias-cut dress and bustles were all over.
  • ROBERT ALTMAN: Still at every show and casting like crazy. The latest addition is Tracey Ullman, who is going to play a fashion editor. “The couture is so entertaining; I didn’t think I’d be so amused,” said Ullman after the Laroche show.
  • RED LIPS: The pale face is over.