I'm on cloud 9. In the last 48h I saw Jared Leto, was surrounded by the hottest 1997 outfits at Palais Galliera, drank the most fabulous whiskey pear cocktail and danced with exquisite models in the Mugler x Hunter Schafer party. But let me start from the beginning and spill out all the wonderful details of this unforgettable night.
I was invited by my friend Claudia (I might name my first daughter after her) to the 1997 Fashion Big Bang opening at Palais Galliera. The exhibition was flooded with emblematic silhouettes from Comme Des Garçons deformed bodies to John’s Galliano first haute couture collection for Dior. We wandered, floating, equally mesmerised by both the items displayed and the breathtaking outfits of the attendees. I was struck by the dreamy fuchsia gown from Delacroix evocating the 80s and I almost fainted when I realised a mere crystal cover was the only thing separating my hand from the first Fendi “baguette” bag in history. Right in front of Mugler’s “Les insectes” attires, we met a woman who worked at the studio for more than twenty years, she told us about the artist that perfected the leather corset of that collection. They were bloody friends. She actually saw how the corset was made. I listened with fascination, trying to retain all of it: the words and its nuances, the sound of style. The exhibition ended up in a majestic terrace with splendid views on the Tour Eiffel. Designers, creatives, models, my friend and, apparently, me [add emoji with the creepy smile here] were standing there, swinging a vintage cocktail glass, chatting delighted by what we just witnessed. I could not keep myself from inspecting every single trait from that crowd, their groovy looks, the not-yet-available-for-you-to-buy accessories, genuinely freed from judgment, faithful only to their own desires. They proudly defied age, gender or any other categorical standard that comes to my mind. If aesthetics were their only religion, fashion was the one true God.
Only leave a party if you have a better party to attend. Amen. A couple of hours later we were queuing to get inside the very much wanted Mugler event. Despite the effort of putting up a decent outfit for the soirée, I felt like wearing Adidas at a wedding. Worse, I felt like wearing Adidas at the queen’s reception. Several limos stopped before us at the entrance, from which very-important-people shadowed by a herd of photographers entered without being questioned. The shiny bodysuits on their sculptural figures almost left me blind. A handful of not-very-important people got rejected after countless attempts to get in and disappeared in the darkness of the night. We gasped: “we’ll never make it”. But then the universe of style was suddenly filled with compassion and an outrageously chic man came in from the club and stared at us, mere mortals in the queue. His eyes moped the audience, then pointed his finger right on my forehead and murmured: “You. Inside.” The four of us got in, we were beyond thrilled and notably unable to disguise our joy. I could have hugged a model or two. The space was mystical, a kind of newness I had never encountered before. We followed the music (or was it the free champagne scent?) into a dreamy dancefloor where a DJ was agitating the crowd. After dancing a Barbie Girl remix like there was no tomorrow, a rain of glitter fell upon us. It was truly la folie. “Shit, is that Jared Leto?” He posed in the middle of the room, among us, confident, with a trench coat and black sunnies. He glanced at us (most probably unintentionally), and that, my friends, is all we needed to culminate such a phenomenal night.
On the cab back home, I thought about the magazine cutouts I used to collect as a kid. I would put together these collages in which models, patterns and dreams coexisted. It was a precious ritual, an ode to beauty. I caught myself smiling.
If only that little girl had known.