Coming off the London shows with their sheen of youthful brilliance, it’s even more obvious how far behind Milan and Paris are lagging in terms of talent for the future. One remedy is New York-based initiative MADE, whose founders Mazdack Rassi, Jenne Lombardo, and Keith Baptista have, until now, been religiously boosting Manhattan’s next fashion wave. On Thursday night, they landed in Paris to launch a local equivalent. They made all the right moves, taking over Left Bank ultra-institution Les Deux Magots for an evening of full-on Francophilia. Guests refreshingly were a mix of fashion and non-fashion folk (hence plates noticeably scraped clean after dinner). There sat Jean Reno, as ambassadorially French to the world Now as Yves Montand was to the world Then. Elfin co-hostess Léa Seydoux mentioned she is about to star as Beauty to Vincent Cassel’s Beast, a pairing which already sounds like global box office crossover.
Of course, there were plenty of designers in attendance, including MADE beneficiaries Damir Doma, Julien David, Veronique Branquinho, Anthony Vaccarello, Gareth Pugh, Ligia Dias, and Olympia Le-Tan. In New York, MADE’s designers get invaluable technical support for free. In Paris, the decision was made that support would initially be financial. The unexpected MADE windfall was taking some getting used to for Doma. Le-Tan, on the other hand, already knew where the money was going. “But you’ll have to wait till my show on Monday to see,” she teased.
On a more serious note, Doma noted that a significant difference between London and Paris is the lack of community among up-and-coming designers. Sure enough, they simply didn’t seem to know each other. That didn’t seem to be a problem at Zadig & Voltaire’s dinner party, where chumminess—to say the least—was the norm. The sheer volume of beautiful girls in attendance may have been behind that.