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It is 8:30 p.m. in Paris, the bewitching hour for the Valentino Haute Couture show. My friend Bruce and I are surrounded by the fashion elite as we await the show. It's like a movie but it's not.
The shows usually start 30 minutes late and like clockwork, the models hit the catwalk at 9:00. I am constantly puzzled by the way models strut like baby giraffe who don't know how to walk. It is an odd juxtaposition to the elegance of their Valentino draperies.
The clothes are light and delicate and the collection and presentation was meant to reflect "powdery shades of desert sand with only the faintest hint of color to evoke the sky over the sahara at certain times of day". It did!. Lots of light and white and one solitary Valentino red, which Bruce wants for his birthday. We don't know what he will do with it.
"Project Runway" judge and Elle Magazine Fashion director Nina Garcia watches and scribbles from the front row. Forty One dresses later, and ten or twelve minutes after it began, Valentino takes the runway to rapturous applause and it is over. People love it, kiss cheeks, and disperse.
The party is at the Ritz Club below the famous hotel. Valentino enters to flashbulbs, air-kisses and acclaim. The celebration begins slowly.
The buffet is served and I am going to state this as a fact and sue me or write me hate mail but it is my experience: the French Butt in Line!
I have never waited in line in France where someone did not jam their way in front of me. The line for this buffet was like an endless stream of fashionistas keeping us stagnant and steaming like never-ending placeholders. Scavengers! By the time we made it to the plates we realized why everyone in fashion is so thin - toast points, smoked salmon, string beans and salad awaited us. We were ravenous.