At fashion shows the world over, buyers and journalists are sending their regrets. There are fewer million- and billion-aire customers to invite. Time to pack the house with freeloaders and other undesirables!
That means, first and foremost, filling front rows with famous people, who might come for free clothes, free trips, free press or just to have fun. The Daily Mail's Liz Jones noticed an especially large number of celebs dotting the seats (always in front) at Milan's Fashion Week earlier this month and at Paris' Fashion Week these past few days.
Along the catwalk at Dolce & Gabbana in Milan, for example, there was Scarlett Johansson, Freida Pinto, Naomi Watts, Kate Hudson and Eva Mendes. Jones:
Women I have sat alongside for ten years with nary a word exchanged (fashionistas are not the friendliest of folk...) began squeaking to each other in excitement.
Many forgot about being cool for once and whipped out their BlackBerries to take photos.
The celebrities might not pay for clothes, but at least they bring some glamour to fashion brands at the show. But what about — gasp — people who do not starve themselves like fashionistas or celebrities do?
Even quite fat people have been allowed in to avoid embarrassing gaps in the photos.
Oh, Liz. Don't worry. In this economy, anyone working as a fashion-show seat-filler is going to be rail thin soon enough.