Across the Pond... Maybe They'll Be Facebook Friends... Awards Make No Guarantee

Though Wall Street continues to struggle, the fashion flock is preparing to pack their Louis Vuittons, Samsonites and Tumis for the shows in Milan and Paris.

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Anna Wintour

Photo By Steve Eichner

Glenda Bailey

Photo By Steve Eichner

ACROSS THE POND: Though Wall Street continues to struggle as the week progresses, the fashion flock is preparing to pack their Louis Vuittons, Samsonites and Tumis for the shows in Milan and Paris. And while the magazine world might be reeling from the economic climate like everyone else, that hasn’t caused companies to cut the number of staff they’re sending to the shows — or make them stay in hostels. According to one popular Paris hotel, the Plaza Athénée, bookings are on pace with what they were last year at this time, and there have been no cancellations from Americans coming over for the shows.

At Vogue, count on seeing the standard team in the front row, but not all of them will be in both cities — usually half the editors attend Paris and the other half Milan. A spokesman said decisions as to who is going to which city have not been finalized (but better be soon; Milan starts Saturday). Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Allure, Lucky and will send the regulars as well, as will Elle — although no one from the Web team will go this time. In past years, former editors Keith Pollock and Joe Berean have filed reports from Europe for the Web site. An Elle spokeswoman said coverage of the shows online would be handled by editors in London, Paris and Milan. In Style’s regular team is also traveling to Europe, except for Hal Rubenstein, who is said to be missing the shows to work on a television project in Los Angeles.

Joanna Coles
and her team will be in Europe for Marie Claire along with publisher Susan Plagemann, but the title’s new fashion director, Nina Garcia, won’t be in Milan because she’ll be taping the sixth season of “Project Runway” during that time. She will, however, be in Paris. Finally, Cosmopolitan won’t be sending anyone to Europe this season. “Due to several staffers being on temporary leave we decided to skip the shows this season but have gone to all shows in the past,” said a spokeswoman. “We will be attending the spring shows.”

Time Style & Design’s Kate Betts is also heading to Europe. She usually covers the shows by herself, but this year will have some help. Marion Hume, who has just been hired as a Time contributing editor in London, will join Betts in Paris and file online reports for the magazine, while Time International editor Michael Elliott will join Betts in Milan.

Some insiders explained that the strong attendance is because budgets for 2008, which included expenses allotted towards European travel, were completed last fall, well before the brunt of the economic impact on bottom lines was felt.

— Stephanie D. Smith
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