Paris and Rome: Inside the Couture, 1972

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Nina Ricci. Presage. The romance of Ricci epitomized by beautiful Tina Aumont in black, three-tiered, ruffle evening dress flecked with sparkling sequins. Gazing out at the Seine with the famous Bridge Alexandre XIII in the background. Her hair fancifully coiffed by Alexandre. Smoothed into a snood, laced with braids, softened with tendrils at the side of her face.

As fashion month comes to a close, here are some marvelous images of the Fall/Winter couture collections from Rome and Paris, along with some rather gossipy thoughts by James Brady...

Photos by Hiro and text by James Brady from Harper's Bazaar, September 1972.

"The Olympics are in Munich and Bobbu Fischer indulges himself in Iceland, but there are some Americas who swear the real action this summer was in Paris and Rome. The Fall-Winter couture showings began July 17 in Rome and ended ten days later in the French capital...Here is an inside report: Balentino is the big pasta in Rome and Saint Laurent and ungaro were the Paris stars. Dior, Givenchy, Ricci and patou were right behind. The dress made a comeback (only a few pairs of pants at couture prices), fashion was elegant in a sportive, relaxed way, there were no tricks and few vulgarities, the big coat surfaced, and hems were at or around the knee. The whole couture talks more about ready-to-wear for American customers and hints couture wll be for publicity and private clients only. In Rome it began when Valentino's curtain went up at 10 p.m. once Andy Warhol star Donna Jordan in white jodphurs found her place.

Paris and Rome are both dead cities in the summer, dead as Pompeii, but for the fashion showings which attract what's left of society which flutters about the leading designs like moths. Saint Laurent was the beneficiary of a party given by Charlotte Aillaud in an incredible house in the rue du Dragon. Pierre Berge read Lauren Bacall's palm, Yves announced he was off to Tangiers on a holiday...

Afterwards there were parties on terraces of the rich with cigar smoke and pretty girls in minidresses (they're back in Europe) everywhere. Audrey Hepburn arched her graceful neck and ate ice cream. When it was time to leave, she had the same trouble every wife has in getting her husband to say 'ciao' and go home..."

Christian Dior. Number 9. A perfectly proportioned pantsuit. Divine on Manuela Papatakis. Bohan masterfully combines the elegance of easy jacket and soft bow-blouse with the precision of haberdashed trousers. Then add the fluff of dyed-to-match fox boa. Both jacket and trousers, in pale grey flannel. Jacket, bright green double-faced. Blouse, grey and green striped.


Valentino. Number 174. Sexy starlet Tina Aumont. Distinct and dramatic in Valentino's superb suit of exquisite opaline silk crepe. Jacket, artfully embellished with cut-crystal ball buttons and boxy layered sleeves, gently glides over sheer beige, blue and gold Georgette crystal-buttoned blouse, bordered in same silk crepe, narrowly belted at the waist and panel-pleated skirt.


Ungaro. Number 55. One of the stars of the collection... only coming out at night. Infused with all the excitement, exuberance, imagination Ungaro is esteemed for. And looking poised and pretty on Manuela Papatakis. Provocatively sheer, rhumba-ruffled, purple print silk blouse... sensational cinched under a black gazar wide wasp-waisted bell skirt.


Christian Dior. Number 47. Moving like a sinuous cat - Pat Cleveland in Dior's immaculate fuchsia double-faced wool coat. Pyramid-shaped, it's neat and narrow at the top, full and flaring at the bottom and back. Set-in sleeves following the line of the body are limber and loose. Marvelously mated with a fuchsia and black printed dress in shimmering satin worn underneath.


Saint Laurent. Number 24. Pat, really putting on the dog. Looking languid and lissome, in deep maroon crocheted cardigan jacket drowned in fox at collar and cuffs. Narrowly chain-belted over a wine and navy harlequin-printed wool dress. Bias-cut, gracefully bowed at the neck, feminine and flaring. Doubly dramatic worn with a sleek, snug skull cap.


Givenchy. Number 246. Pat Cleveland looking pleased high-stepping it down the boulevard in Givenchy's new sportive suede coat. A very alive, cognac-colored, cap-sleeved, 7/8th-length beauty. With two pockets and the golden gleam of polished metal clip closures. Svelte and smart. Layered over a long-sleeved plaid suit in earthy tones of tobacco, grey and white.

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