Frock Wars

Haute couture is synonymous with indulgence. There are the dresses of course, impossibly expensive and taking hours upon hours of hand labor. There are the clients, pampered, primped and primed for their moment in the fashion spotlight. There is the schedule, with only about four must-see shows a day it’s virtually a vacation for the fashion editors who rank high enough to attend.

But this season there were also the tempers. LVMH threw down the gauntlet by canceling Alexander McQueen’s last haute couture show for Givenchy on the eve of fashion week. The official explanation—production problems...

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