Paris Hilton is back. Because fashion just can’t help itself. – Washington Post

One in a series on the moments that had people talking at New York Fashion Week.

NEW YORK — Paris Hilton is back.

You remember Paris, right? The hotel heiress with the platinum hair who was the boldface party girl of the early ’00s. She was the original rich kid with a reality show; the savvy scion making cash off her name just by showing up at parties. The skinny girl with a sex tape and a pocket pooch who always posed for the paparazzi with her head cocked confidently to the side and with a knowing smirk looking like she’d invented this drug called being-famous-for-nothing.

She didn’t, of course. There were plenty of party girls before her, but Paris — we’re still on a first-name basis with her — managed to monetize empty fame. And she did it without the help of Instagram. She laid the groundwork for the Kardashians. God bless, Paris.

[Hard Time for an ‘It’ Girl]

Well, she’s back. She was walking the runway at Christian Cowan’s fall 2017 show. He is a young designer with a penchant for glitter, the outrageous and the subversive. And she was his finale, dressed like a glitzed up Lady Liberty in a long, silver mirrored gown. With a crown.

Actually, Paris has been back for a little while but we hoi polloi that get swept along on the whims of influencers, have been in denial about it.

She turned up last year wearing Marc Jacobs in fashion photo shoots and he tweeted about it. In celebrating her 21st birthday, Kendall Jenner — reigning It girl, It model — paid homage to Paris by wearing a copy of the same silver sparkly slip that Paris wore on her 21st birthday. And in December, Harper’s Bazaar published a lengthy interview with Paris in which she discussed her new fragrance, assured the magazine’s readers that she is all grown up and proudly declared that she made every penny of her $100 million empire herself — all by herself. Famous last name and a monsoon of an inheritance, notwithstanding.

Did you know Paris had an empire? It’s big: shoes, handbags, perfume, hotels. But mostly it’s outside of the United States. They love her in Slovenia.

[Why are people mocking Kim Kardashian for being a victim of violent crime?]

But now, she’s once again casting her eyes toward America. And what does that mean? The apocalypse is upon us? Maybe. Or perhaps it is simply a yearning for a simpler time before the Kardashians made empty fame so complicated. Before it became perilous. Before social media turned us all into brands. Before reality TV merged with C-Span.

Fashion doesn’t move forward in a straight line. It zig and zags and doubles back. Into the warm glow of Paris.

More from New York Fashion Week:

At Calvin Klein, designer Raf Simons helps an American brand find its way in a new America

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