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PLAYING DRESS-UP: Designers turned out in force Tuesday night in Paris for the final rehearsal of “Eternity Dress,” a performance starring Tilda Swinton and fashion curator Olivier Saillard of Palais Galliera. Christian Lacroix, Jean Paul Gaultier, Clare Waight Keller, Haider Ackermann, Veronique Nichanian, Bruno Frisoni and Bouchra Jarrar were among those gathered in the small amphitheater at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts.

Swinton exuded pure intensity as she was painstakingly measured, and fitted with multiple muslins and various collars and sleeves. The evening climaxed when she struck iconic poses of the great couturiers, including Paul Poiret, Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and André Courrèges, ending with Comme des Garçons as she slipped off her pumps and slid her feet into men’s brogues.

This story first appeared in the November 21, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Gaultier was in raptures, calling Swinton “a high priestess of body language and interpretation of clothes — she is a sculptor in the way she rolls herself into fabric.”

He also praised Saillard, calling him “a master surgeon, capable of demonstrating with the work and the precision that makes couture what it is. There is a remarkable poetry and humor in this dissection of couture on the human body,” Gaultier said.

“A beautiful evocation of our job as fashion designers, our creative process,” concurred Jarrar, lauding the references to “our way of working, our gestures.”

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