Late Tuesday night, Natalia Vodianova was standing at the edge of a round stage under the grand dome of the Bourse de commerce in Paris, surrounded by photographers who actually seemed more eager to take her picture than those of the models in scandalously skimpy lingerie who had just completed a nearly 30-minute runway routine set to live performances by Eve, Azealia Banks, Massive Attack, and some hyper-French DJs. Vodianova was hosting the show as a muse and part-time designer for Etam, a French lingerie brand that butted onto the opening night of the Paris collections. I mean that literally. There were so many naked ones, you would have thought it was the Crazy Horse.
“I think it’s a party theme, and jungle, or something like that,” Vodianova said of the show. “For me, at least.”
The first day of Paris Fashion Week is usually reserved for the avant-garde, the ambitious, or the showmen, all descriptors that would apply to Etam. Think of what a Victoria’s Secret show would look like without the wings, and with Catherine Deneuve in the front row. So overly sexy, but super cool. (Deneuve really was there.)
But the French are normally so blasé about celebrities. English actress Charlotte Rampling went almost unnoticed at Cédric Charlier (pictured, left), but maybe that’s because his loose coats with gorgeous treatments on the backs (some that appeared to be made of scales, others with subtle stripe-like details that resembled snakeskin patterns) were fantastically distracting.
Anyway, it made for a lively start to a week where most guests, Vodianova included, will have their eyes on only one event at the very end, the unveiling of Nicolas Ghesquière’s first collection for Louis Vuitton on March 5.
“I’m very curious what he’s going to do,” Vodianova said. “It’s an amazing period in his career where no one knows what’s coming, so it’s really exciting.”