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50% Inspiration, 50% Perspiration

Toasting Dries Van Noten's influences, and heating things up with RiRi at a Balmain rager

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Karlie Kloss, Rihanna, and Joan Smalls   
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When the sumptuous, Barneys-sponsored Dries Van Noten: Inspirations previewed at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs last night, fellow countryman Cédric Charlier was one of the first through the door. "I've been an admirer since the beginning, so I'm thrilled to see such a commemoration of Dries' work," he said. "He's a model for me, for his independence above all, but also his longevity and his creative force." Guests Thursday night, including Rick Owens, Michelle Lamy, Phillip Lim, and Maria Cornejo, lingered over a collection contextualized by other fashion icons (an embroidered jacket by Schiaparelli, a Bar jacket and skirt by Christian Dior), as well as film excerpts (The Piano, A Clockwork Orange) and a number of art masterpieces. Van Noten reckoned that the 400-odd pieces on show represent perhaps 5 percent of his archive. "From the moment that I could afford to keep things, I did. It was great to dive into all those bags and see what was there and talk about it. [The show] really tells a story."

Things got crazy on several levels over at the jam-packed Balmain after-party at the famed Crazy Horse cabaret. There was a private show by the dancers; a host of models from the Balmain show; and, above all, the real reason for the shoving, yelling, smashed glasses, chair climbing, and general hysteria: Rihanna. To her tremendous credit, the star kept her cool, smiling sweetly and posing (in a much-murmured-about mesh top) with Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing. "She is the most amazing woman ever in the world, I love her, she's so humble and so talented," the designer shouted over the din. "She's not just an inspiration to me, she's an inspiration to my whole generation and many to come." Asked whether she liked the show, whose high-kicking, writhing dance numbers ranged from pole dancing and rope acrobatics to a rousing rendition of "Champagne Taste," Rihanna exclaimed simply, "I fucking loved it!" Squeezed into the VIP banquettes alongside Joan Smalls, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Jessica Alba, Angela Lindvall, and Anja Rubik, Karlie Kloss said, "I took ballet for many years; I've been up on that stage. I can totally understand the strength and discipline it takes to do that. I have real respect for those women." Added Lindvall, "I've just started doing aerial yoga. [This show] gave me a million ideas. Those girls really own it."

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