The spring ready-to-wear collections have been on in Milan and Paris (fall clothes are shown in the spring, you understand, fashion being on sort of a different calendar than the rest of us) and Demi Moore attended the shows, generating this headline in the usually more reverent New York Times:
"Demi Moore is here, there, everywhere. Even uninvited."
If this makes Demi sound like "The Scarlet Pimpernel ('They seek him here, they seek him there/ The Frenchies seek him everywhere/ Is he in heaven or is he in hell? That damned elusive Pimpernel')", it is probably not a coincidence. Since, with Leslie Howard having left us, if they ever do a remake the part is made to order for Ms. Moore.
Movie stars and other celebrities have been attending fashion shows in Europe as well as on Seventh Avenue for generations. And why not? They're wealthy women concerned with their appearance and here they have an opportunity to assess the latest fashions before mere civilians get their shot.
At the big Paris shows it was quite routine to see in the front rows, along with editors of fashion magazines, such recognizable folk as Babe Paley, Catherine Deneuve, Zizi Jeanmaire, Anouk Aimee, Romy Schneider, Gloria Guinness, the duchess of Windsor and the first lady of France. They came, they took their little gold chair, they took notes on what they liked, and later they lined up to go backstage to congratulate Yves Saint Laurent or Givenchy or Emanuel Ungaro and exchange kisses. Later, they might make an appointment for a fitting and prepare to spend a few thou.
Today, instead of tasteful, well-behaved folk, we have Demi Moore.
I don't know what Women's Wear Daily's take is going to be on all this but here is what Amy Spindler was reporting from Milan in the Times:
"After years of courting celebrities, designers finally got one they deserve: Demi Moore. In Ms. Moore designers have a celebrity who came an hour late to the Gucci presentation, which started the minute she hit her seat (although Tom Ford, the house's designer, said he had insisted the show not be held). Then her bodyguards stopped journalists from going backstage, while Ms. Moore offered private congratulations.
" 'If another celebrity comes to Gucci,' Mr. Ford said later, sounding a bit like he wished they wouldn't, 'they have to check their bodyguards at the door.' "
Demi also made her presence felt at the house of Versace, which was showing the first collection since the murder of its owner and designer.
"She showed up with a large entourage for the dress rehearsal that an unnerved Donatella Versace (the late Gianni's sister and successor as designer) was conducting, staying until the wee hours. . .Ms. Moore flaunted her bodyguard, oblivious to the fact that lack of a bodyguard in a public place may have contributed to Gianni Versace's death. And some top editors have been actively trying not to sit next to her at shows, because she talks incessantly."
Demi even appeared at the Armani collection though neither she nor any other celebs had been invited, since Signor Armani wanted a quiet and decorous event to memorialize both poor Versace and the dead in Italy's recent earthquake. Arriving "frenetically," according to the Times, Demi turned out to be the only "celebrity" there, which might have been awkward for anyone else but which did not appear to bother her.
Demi Moore is a beautiful woman and, despite a string of recent flops, a pretty good actress.
But if you can believe The New York Times, and I do, she has no manners. Nor sense of propriety. The bodyguard business smacks of the bullying tactics of early Sinatra and his gorillas. Demi demonstrates not the slightest understanding of how fashion journalists have to do their job by getting a comment or an explanation from the designer. She has no concern for either the fashion establishment putting on the show or for the others in attendance, not if she shows up an hour late.
And that business of bursting in on Armani, well, it's just poor taste. In fact, just about the only thing she can be forgiven for is talking endlessly through the fashion show. Everyone talks at fashion shows. The late Marie-Louise Bousquet, 80-year-old Paris editor of Harper's Bazaar, was famous not only for talking, gossiping, chainsmoking and telling salacious stories in several languages, but on one memorable occasion as the models passed, dropping a lighted cigarette down the bodice of her own dress at Dior, and setting herself afire.
Now if Mrs. Willis does that at one of the upcoming Paris shows and leaves the