Fashion: Backstage, the launching of TV careers . . .

Move over, Richard and Judy, it's the Cindy and Claudia show. While most spectators at the Chanel show in Paris were watching the catwalk, the real action was going on backstage for the cameras. Suddenly, television is where it's at.

First there was Claudia Schiffer, into day two of her new career as contributing television presenter for the cheesy US show Entertainment Tonight: 'Zis is vhat iz like beckstage at Chan-Nel, umn, oops . . .' Take 2: 'Zis is vhat iz beckstage, I mean vhat Chan-Nel . . . oh mein Gott]' Take 3 . . . Take 4 . . . Take 5.

As Claudia tried her best to cover her Dusseldorf vowels, Hello] magazine got its biggest photo opportunity when that almost-retired supermodel turned TV star and superwife (of Richard Gere), Cindy Crawford, turned up with her MTV House of Style crew. Cindy interviewed Claudia, and Claudia, slightly less speedily, interviewed Cindy. Through perfect, forced smiles the pair bantered back and forth. 'Isn't this great]' enthused a producer from US NBC's network. 'What great television.'

Meanwhile, fellow supermodel Christy Turlington was also going about getting her big network TV break. Under the direction of Robert Leacock, the man who was responsible for those close-up images in In Bed With Madonna, Turlington is starring in her own docu- drama - a 48-minute feature (and in telly terms that is long) about her supermodel life, over which she has been guaranteed editorial control. 'It's a look at the whole industry through her eyes,' explains Leacock, while the star of the show is filmed putting her make-up on. Due to be shown in the United States in February, the real life of Christy Turlington is expected to have us glued to our couches sometime before next summer.

When the BBC's The Look first appeared on British TV it showed a world that The Clothes Show had somehow managed to miss. Now everybody wants to capture it, with more television cameras than models backstage at some of the shows. The Look, following screenings across Europe and Australia is currently on the US network PBS. Meanwhile CNN's Elsa Klensch, TV's equivalent of Suzy Menkes, has conquered the world. Style with Elsa Klensch has a potential audience of 69 million. The best Vogue can do is an estimated readership of 19 million, across its nine worldwide editions.

Could it be that when the Paris shows go underground to their new venue next season the front row doyennes of the press - Anna Wintour, Liz Tilberis, Suzy Menkes et al - will find themselves back in row two, behind the major- league television stars?

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