Couture's Odd Sort of Mingling
It was close to 11 p.m. on Sunday and Stephen A. Schwarzman, chief executive of the private equity firm Blackstone Group, was sitting on a small, curved couch at a Versace after-party. To his left, the designers Donatella Versace and Riccardo Tisci were smoking. A few feet away, a couple were exuberantly making out. Rose petals were strewn all over the place.
“I’m just a simple businessman,” said Mr. Schwarzman, whose company owns a stake in Versace. “This is a pretty unique thing. There are few places in the world where...” He paused. “This goes on.”
The men’s fall 2015 shows have ended, the couture shows have begun, and this is the sort of odd mingling that can happen here: Flamboyant designers and actresses partying alongside buttoned-up billionaires.
The Versace show had kicked off the spring couture season an hour earlier. Goldie Hawn sat in the front row, accompanied by her daughter, Kate Hudson. “We have decades of Versace in our lives,” Ms. Hawn said. “In our living rooms, making dresses for us. When Kate was a little girl, they would all come to dress me. Now they’re dressing her. And dressing me! They dressed me last year at the Academy Awards.”
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Versace sells itself on sex, but couture has a somewhat sobering effect. At Ms. Versace’s spring ready-to-wear show in September, the soundtrack was sexually explicit and profane. As the couture models came out for the finale on Sunday night, Marvin Gaye’s (far tamer) “Sexual Healing” played.
Guests made their way to the after-party, including Mr. Tisci, Givenchy’s creative director, who said Givenchy would start running couture shows again, smiled and then walked away. (The brand announced in late 2012 that it was taking a break from couture).
The party was held at the nightclub L’Arc, and the singer Ellie Goulding performed and the actress Michelle Rodriguez was the D.J. “The closest thing I can compare it to is Cannes,” Ms. Rodriguez said of her first couture experience. “People can play. People can dream.”
Ms. Versace used one word to describe couture versus the ready-to-wear shows: “Freedom.”
It was a little after midnight, and the model Karlie Kloss, who was still in the tight, skin-exposing white jumpsuit she had worn on the runway, danced with other models. “I’m really enjoying this more than I ever have, compared to any other fashion week,” she said. “There are only a handful of shows, so you get to actually go out and see Paris. You actually get to see friends.”
Including a new one. Ms. Kloss went to a corner to chat with Ms. Hudson.
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