While the art world was in Miami Beach at Art Basel, most of the fashion industry was in Paris this week at dueling mega-events. On Tuesday night, the Pirelli Calendar hosted a black tie gala in honor of photographer Peter Lindbergh's calendar for 2017, which features un-retouched images of mostly makeup-less actresses like Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, and Lupita N'yongo. The following night, Victoria's Secret held their annual fashion show in the same city, along with a party to follow. This is how they each did Paris.
Location, location, location
Pirelli: The Cité du Cinéma, a hangarlike film studio located in Saint-Denis in the north of Paris. After a 40-minute drive from the city's center, guests were dropped off in a parking lot to check in at a tent. Then, they were bussed to the film studio, which was decorated with enormous blow-ups of Peter Lindbergh's calendar pictures.
Victoria's Secret: The Grand Palais in Paris. The epic venue is a mainstay for large-scale, over-the-top events, like the Chanel Fashion Show. For this occasion, there was Victoria's Secret branding was everywhere. Three large signs hung from the facade, and a neon Victoria's Secret sign sat in the center of the space. You did not show up to the wrong party.
Pirelli: Three check points and cursory scan of your bag. Victoria's Secret: More than 8. I lost count. Bags were opened and inspected at least three times. Despite the cold weather, guests also opened their jackets and walked through a metal detector. Government-issued photo ID was required. Again, you did not show up to the wrong party.
Pirelli: Hollywood actresses hobnobbed with Pirelli executives. Victoria's Secret: Supermodels, former models, and an impressive turnout from the French fashion set.
Pirelli: Photographer Peter Lindbergh was joined by four actresses who appeared in the calendar: Nicole Kidman, Helen Mirren, Uma Thurman, and Charlotte Rampling. Victoria's Secret: Gigi and Bella Hadid's parents Yolanda and Mohamed Hadid sat front row next to Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing and models Veronica Webb, Lottie Moss, and Gabriel Kane-Day Lewis. Also in the front row: designer Azzedine Alaia, Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci, editor Carine Roitfeld, Vogue Paris editor Emmanuelle Alt, former Victoria's Secret angel Doutzen Kroes and TV personality Nick Cannon.
Pre-game of choice
Pirelli: A press conference with Peter Lindbergh at the Ritz, with a beautiful tea service. Victoria's Secret: Three full days of festivities, kicking off with a private flight from New York, and followed by a series of photo ops.
Best sparkly dress
Pirelli: Nicole Kidman takes it in silver Armani Privé. Victoria's Secret: It's a toss up between Bella Hadid and Alessandra Ambrosio.
Pirelli: A lone DJ playing Euro-y EDM. He turned down all requests, even for Rihanna. Victoria's Secret: While the fashion show included performances by the Weeknd, Lady Gaga, and Bruno Mars, the afterparty consisted of a DJ playing hits that were danceable but a bit past their prime (Kanye's "Flashing Lights").
Drink of choice
Pirelli: Champagne, followed by lots of wine. Victoria's Secret: A mysterious blue cocktail served to guests upon arrival.
Pirelli: Every single guest left the Pirelli calendar gala with a calendar of dimensions nearly impossible to carry onto a plane. Victoria's Secret: Photos and videos taken discretely on phones, to be released after the show ended. Is there any better takeaway than going viral?
Pirelli: Guests carrying the aforementioned calendars made their way to the bar at the Ritz — perhaps a few left theirs behind. Victoria's Secret: Ferdi Paris, home to the best burger in the city of lights. Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Bella Hadid pre-ordered their cheeseburgers in advance.
Watch Victoria's Secret Angel Jasmine Tookes try on the $3 million fantasy bra: