#656 Panic Backstage and Front Row at Armani Prive

Mario Testino and Michael Roberts All images /Steve Wood

Of all the shows I got into at Paris Haute Couture, Armani Prive was undoubtedly the most stressful. Getting into the building wasn’t the problem, there were crowds of people outside and at least 10 security guys guarding the various entrances, but somehow we managed to walk right past them all with no dramas. Inside was the challenge. There were two ways to the backstage area – through the kitchen and off the catwalk. The latter was so heavily patrolled we had no hope, so we strolled casually past the chefs and waiters who ignored our trespass. Past the kitchen was hair and makeup, and once we’d made it through there it was all plain sailing. I put my bag down next to Steve’s and ran to the bathroom to pee. On the way back I saw a blonde woman walking towards me flanked by two huge bodyguards – it was Cate Blanchett. I whipped out my BlackBerry to take a picture but they were too quick and brushed me aside like a fly. Backstage again, Steve had disappeared. So had my bag.

Cate Blanchett

I ran back past the hair and makeup, through the kitchen and managed to get onto the catwalk. The paps were going crazy over Cate Blanchett and Megan Fox but security was tight and aggressive and forcing them away. I found Steve – he hadn’t seen my bag. I freaked out – I’d already lost enough this trip, I couldn’t handle losing my passport, camera and glasses too. I sprinted backstage again, there was no sign of it. Back to the catwalk, Steve insisted he had no idea where it was. Backstage again, now drenched in sweat. A kindly Italian photographer saw my panic and helped me look, picking up bags, asking models and security guards until someone pointed at a brown satchel in the far corner of the room. It was mine.

Daria Stroukos

Back on the catwalk the security was even tighter than before. They were checking every pass – very rare once you’re actually in the endzone. I obviously didn’t have anything so they made me stand at the end of the runway. I kept leaving to try to snap shots of Cate Blanchett and Megan Fox but one particularly attentive security guard started getting annoyed and gave me a look that screamed “do that again and feel pain,” so I gave up and watched the show from my spot a few metres south of the photographer’s podium.

Angelika Kocheva, Elsa Sylvan, Daria Stroukos

If anyone can help me with IDing any of these people I’d really appreciate it thanks!


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  1. Anonymous says

    The single pic of a model is Daria stroukos
    The pic of 3 models is left to right angelika kocheva, Elsa Sylvan, Daria Stroukos
    hope this helps and glad you had a wonderful time!!

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