>> After eight years of eschewing the runway, Azzedine Alaia closed out the Fall 2011 couture season. Models in velvet gowns and Mongolian lamb coats stomped out to Josephine Baker singing “Je suis snob” and Beyonce's "Girls Who Run the World," as guests Sofia Coppola (with daughter Romy Mars), Kanye West, and Donatella Versace looked on; no one from Vogue was said to be in attendance.
It took a 10-minute standing ovation and French culture minister Frederic Mitterrand dragging Alaia shyly from backstage for the designer to take a finale bow. Afterwards, Versace rushed backstage to congratulate the "master" designer: “It was amazing. I’m so glad I’m here. I wanna steal the boots actually, but I better not.” When asked why Mitterrand chose to attend only Alaia's show during couture, he replied: “Designers all have a world — but Alaia has a universe.”