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PRINT December 2005

Eva Svennung

A BEAUTIFUL EARLY OCTOBER DAY IN PARIS. The hottest (in degrees centigrade) of any fashion week this season has just begun, and the annual FIAC extravaganza is about to open in its frenzied wake. Yet as tightly scheduled fashion shows spread from the Louvre’s commercial annex to more spectacular venues throughout the city, and as fair exhibitors add the last touches to their booths, a particularly loud and massive throng crashes all the parties, threatening to paralyze the city and disrupt the international buyers’ carefully tailored agendas. A day and a half of strikes in the public and private sectors, along with a series of demonstrations, is in full effect. They start, as protests often do, at Place de la République and follow the traditional route along Boulevard du Temple to Place de la Bastille, brandishing the usual artillery—smoke, megaphones, flags, and banners.

But the

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