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Fish and Fowl Mix: Paris Couture Week Injects More RTW

On the eve of the Paris couture week,the relationship between the highest level of fashion and ready-to-wear is stirring some debate.

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Still, for true couture fans, there’s very little that could prevent them from going to Paris.

“Yes, I will be coming,” said Suzanne Saperstein, one of the world’s biggest couture clients. “I’ll be at Givenchy, Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Scherrer, Lacroix and Chanel.”

A devout Francophile — who’s even getting a Legion of Honor in November along with her husband David for their support of French culture and preservation of antiquities — Saperstein said she tries “not to mix politics and fashion.” Others agreed.

“It’s not like I would hold Jean Paul Gaultier responsible for any difficulties between our two countries,” said Carson Thrash. “That would not be fair.”

“At the end of the day, America needs France and France needs America,” added Lynn Wyatt, who will not attend couture shows because she is planning her annual party in the south of France. Instead, she said she would visit houses in September “at my leisure and make my selections.”

The fact that couture will cost more for American clients at current exchange doesn’t rate as a concern either — at least according to the couture houses. While the houses are notoriously loathe to talk about prices, it is believed couture suits from a major house start at about $20,000, with elaborate special occasion dresses running easily into six figures. At those prices, what’s a few thousand dollars extra?

“Rich people don’t mind about the dollar and the euro,” said Chanel’s Montenay. “When you’re spending that kind of money on a suit, 10 percent doesn’t matter.”
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