Fashion Update

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Indy Lifestyle Online
FASHION editors spend much of their working lives protesting that no, really, this job isn't glamorous. But sometimes it is, and last week was one of those times. The occasion was the party for Robert Altman's much talked about fashion movie, Pret a Porter. Officially, the party was for the Florentine jewellers Bulgari, but who would be that interested in necklaces, when there was Lauren Bacall, Kim Basinger, Richard E Grant (in thigh-high lace-up black boots and micro shorts by Vivienne Westwood) and Stephen Rea to mingle with? All week, we had been facing them across the catwalk, as they played reporters, designers, photographers and now we were instructed to interact with them at close quarters.

Altman sent a few real fashion people a letter. 'If you should want to address one of our actors . . . please remember to use the character's name (or do what most of us do when faced with uncertainty - call them 'Darling'),' he instructed. As my colleague and I have never called anyone 'Darling' in our working lives, we spent the cab ride to the swish Pavillon Ledoyen learning the cast list.

At least 1,600 candles burned on the grass outside, 2,000 metres of ivy swagged the stairs and chandeliers, and 72 magnums of Mouton Cadet 1989 were consumed. That's according to Bulgari's press officer - we were far too busy hob-nobbing to count. Here was Isabella (that's Sophia Loren) and Slim Chrysler (but we called her Mrs Chrysler, first name terms seemed too familiar for Lauren Bacall). Nina Scant, aka Tracey Ullman playing a British Vogue editor, was in a 'miaow, miaow' mood - 'Who are you to talk about my bad hair days: yours looks like a grown out Lady Di,' she said to me, a comment on my mention of her on this page last Thursday.

We had been mumbling all week: 'What idiot would be in Pret a Porter? Haven't these people seen The Player? This is bound to be a stitch-up.' Yet as the cameras rolled at the party we were falling in front of them with as much enthusiasm as the next fashion hack. Whether we will live to regret this will be revealed next year, when the movie reaches the UK following its Christmas 1994 US debut.