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STATE OF AFFAIRS: American clients were as rare as smiling models during a subdued couture week, supplanted by more buyers from the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Asia. “These are difficult times,” Susan Gutfreund said at Chanel on Tuesday, observing a marked drop in attendance from her compatriots. “It’s a different mood. My husband’s retired, but if he were running a publicly traded company, I would be concerned about being seen.”
Suzanne Saperstein, who has taken in most shows this week, said most of her couture buddies are making the rounds, with the notable exception of Becca Cason Thrash, who’s taking a course. Citing smaller shows and less showmanship, she suggested couture is simply going back to its showroom roots. “There’s always going to be someone that’s looking for that special outfit,” she shrugged.