FRANCE: Higher Hats, Lower Waists

Not for three months will the horse chestnut trees in the Champs Elysees raise their white candles in the sun, yet last week on the Place Vendome and Rue de la Paix, spring had already come. The closely guarded private openings of the grand couturiers were over. Buyers who had paid $100 per opening apiece to attend (refunded on the first order) streamed from Paris with orders for their employers and tips for newshawks on the new fashions. French actresses had been given their pick of free gowns for the spring season and...

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