For release Sunday, Sept. 30 () -
For release Sunday, Sept. 30 () —
c.2012 New York Times News Service
PARIS — And on the third day of Paris Fashion Week, otherwise known as Thursday, the waters withdrew, meaning it finally stopped raining here and people were ready for a party. After the megawatt Lanvin show, in the marble halls of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, there was a dinner for young designers held just down the rue at Les Deux Magots, one of those famous Left Bank brasseries that are always open and ripe for people watching. Only this night it was closed for a private party.
Inside the velvet ropes, there was Gareth Pugh, the young English designer who had a hit show, smoking a cigarette on the outside terrace, and Anthony Vaccarello, another rising star of Paris; and several U.S. designers, including the always fun Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty of Suno, and Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs, designers who are easily mistakable for models, of the label Cushnie et Ochs. Irina Lazareanu, who was a big model not long ago, known on the catwalk for her wildly flying hands, was standing at the oyster bar, wearing a jacket as sparkly as the Eiffel Tower, helping herself to the mollusks.
And there in the middle of this scene was one of the organizers of the party, Mazdack Rassi, the founder of Milk Studios in New York, who said, "No one has been able to shut down Les Deux Magots since the Germans."
Rassi, who has supported emerging designers by offering them spaces to show their collections in his meatpacking district building for several seasons, is now exporting the concept, called Made, to Paris. Seven designers, including Pugh and Vaccarello, received funding through a sponsorship that was financed by HTC, a company that makes stylish smartphones.
Vaccarello seemed relieved that his show, at least, was over.
''The reviews were good," he said, "and people are buying."
Around 10:30 p.m., Rassi had corralled the dinner guests into their seats, where they were presented with fillets of beef, resting on the French version of hash browns and topped with a melting slice of foie gras.
The designer Damir Doma was seated next to the impossibly chic French actress Lea Seydoux, who was wearing a colorful striped sweater and her blond hair cropped short. Across from Rassi was none other than the legendary actor Jean Reno, who, as Rassi said, is like "the Robert De Niro of France." Making a late arrival was the American actress Rosario Dawson, just when someone had the good sense to put "Remember" by the Shangri-Las on the stereo.
You had to wonder how a dinner conversation between Reno and Dawson, who had never met, might transpire. Let's find out:
''You know," Reno said, "fashion is like bubbles of Champagne. Some bubbles stay and some bubbles go, but you always have bubbles. My world is writing and finding the right story, but in fashion it is finding the right story just for now, and you won't see it tomorrow. I like that, because you are very vulnerable."
''And you have to be present," said Dawson, wearing a mixture of Whistles, Moschino and Miu Miu, and an Abraxas Rex necklace. "I feel for the designers and everyone who is a part of it, because it has an almost anticlimactic thing. You see all the work that goes into it, and it's over in like three minutes. For a movie premiere, you work for months and months and months, but in fashion, it's over just like that. You see the models after a show, and they just tear off the clothes, totally cheating on another designer, and they go and throw on someone else's clothes. Everything about it feels so emotional and crazy."
''It looks very difficult," Reno said.
He was wearing an embroidered shirt, untucked, something he bought in Los Angeles. He asked his wife, Zofia Borucka, for some help in explaining the ephemeral nature of fashion. But she was wearing a red lace Valentino dress, so she was clearly already fluent.