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In Orbit With Olympia Le-Tan

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Remember Eyjafjallajökull? Olympia Le-Tan sure does. The Icelandic volcano—and its lingering clouds of ash, which wrecked havoc on European aviation for a good while—forced the accessory designer to cancel a much anticipated trip to Thailand. “I was so angry, and I began to imagine that this might be the end,” Le-Tan said at a cocktail fête celebrating her new collection. But like any artist worth the name, she channeled her agita. “It gave me an idea,” she continued. Voilà: a new collection of bags and clutches, appropriately titled It’s Not the End of the World.

Lanvin’s Lucas Ossendrijver and Elie Top, Dior Joallerie’s Victoire de Castellane, Olivier Zahm, Sarah Lerfel, and Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim were among those who came to the planet room at Paris’ Palais de la Découverte to check it out. Le-Tan (left, with Vincent Darré, Camille Bidault-Waddington, and Top) looked to doomsday and sci-fi literature, space travel, and astronomy for Spring, and the collection includes an embroidered bag version of the original cover of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, planet-shaped cocktail bags, and Hotel Olympia satchels (below).

Zac Posen came with boyfriend Christopher Niquet to check it out, fresh off showing in Paris for the first time. “This is our way to reach out to Asia,” Posen explained. “U.S. visas are such a problem for many Asian stores, so before this Paris show all they could do was see us on Style.com.” Rodarte’s Laura Mulleavy turned up as well. Her favorite Parisian spot, she explained, wasn’t the planetary museum but the paleontological gallery at the museum of natural history. “I go for the bones. There’s different skeletons on each floor and the building has great ironwork,” she said. With rumors of LVMH eyeing Rodarte still swirling, we wondered if the Mulleavy sisters would be the next designers to pack up and head for Paris. Mulleavy says she loves the city but that the Rodarte runway is staying put. “We’re showing in New York and that’s great,” she said.


Photo: Karl Hab

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