I held on tight to my Nina Ricci invitation all day.
Hard invitations are gold in Paris - no invite, no luck - and I wasn't going to miss Olivier Theyskens' last Nina Ricci collection for anything.
Unfortunately, my cab driver, or the traffic ahead of us, didn't care that I had to get there, and so, at 7:27 I bolted out of the car and ran, desperately looking for a familiar face or anyone significantly underdressed for the Paris cold. Finally, I stumbled past a very serious security gate and into my seat with seconds to spare.
Paparazzi descended upon the front row, a hippie-headbanded Milla Jovovich was sandwiched in between Carine and Lou Doillon (side note: Earlier today, an editor suggested that I remind them of Charlotte Gainsbourg to which I almost actually said, "I die" out loud. Time to stop quoting Rachel Zoe in my head and time for said editor to get glasses), with Leigh Lezark and Emannuelle Alt on each end. Five camera flashes and the lights went out, a model started walking and the music clicked on - in that order.
The clothes were gorgeous, of course, but the shoes were literally breathtaking. The ball of the foot rested on at least a five inch platform while the heel ascended another few inches, without an actual heel which made it look like the girls were floating on air. Gowns came with giant sheer black ruffles, hot pink and turquoise glitter and beaded floral trains. The red jacket and long skirt caused the audience to spontaneously combust in applause mid-collection (something I've never seen, Natalie once at ThreeAsfour) though front-row grins lingered for the duration of the show.
Though I'd corrected at least three people throughout the day, "But it's not confirmed that he's leaving! He might make it!," there was no questioning Olivier's wave good-bye and the enthusiastic but sad standing ovation.