The American show was “bound for disaster,” Mr. de la Renta said. “Yves Saint Laurent had converted a white Cadillac and he had Zizi Jeanmaire singing “Je Cherche un Millionaire,” and every French star was working on the French segments, and Cardin had some kind of Sputnik thing with models ready to take off into space. All we had was one tiny image of the Eiffel Tower hanging against a black curtain in the back.”

Yet it came off, Mr. Burrows said, “because the bare stage with no props made it look so modern.”

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-Hasta la vista, Valeska