No late-night fittings here! As a result of a series of designer departures and terminations, some of fashion’s most creative talents were left without a collection to design this season, to the dismay of fans and critics alike. But even though their presence was missed on the runways, many of them still turned up at the shows in Paris, making pit stops to applaud their peers. The pro-runway set was led by Alber Elbaz, who took Paris Fashion Week by storm with a series of appearances that culminated in him receiving the Légion d’Honneur.

On the other hand, a select set of beloved designers chose to forgo Fashion Week altogether. Hedi Slimane remained in New York, Peter Copping toured Europe, and Marco Zanini took to Instagram posting inspirational pictures. Here, a recap of how some of the best designers without a collection spent fashion month.

Alber Elbaz

Alber Elbaz was a bigger presence at Fashion Week than ever this season. The ebullient designer sat front row at Dior and Valentino, to the delight of many other guests. On October 3, Elbaz was awarded the Légion d’Honneur by Audrey Azoulay, the Ministre de la Culture et de la Communication. The whole fashion set turned out for Elbaz’s award, and to hear the news that he was returning to fashion—sort of. At the event the designer announced a collaboration with perfumer Frédéric Malle. Perhaps a fashion collaboration is next? On Instagram, Elbaz wrote, “I am still in love with fashion . . . and I miss you all a lot.”

Stefano Pilati

Stefano Pilati resigned from his role at Zegna earlier this year, giving the designer ample time to pursue other creative projects. His first, just weeks after his departure, was teaming up with Sansovino 6 to style the knitwear brand’s dance party fashion show at Milan Fashion Week Fall 2016. For the Spring 2017 womenswear season, Pilati took to the front row instead, turning up at Comme des Garçons and Céline.

Hedi Slimane

Since departing Saint Laurent in March, Hedi Slimane has left Los Angeles for New York. Several Vogue staffers have reported seeing him out and about, though he keeps a relatively low profile avoiding fashion shows and parties. Still, he opted to join the fashion conversation for a moment this season, taking to his Twitter account to clarify that while at Saint Laurent he had a history of embracing the YSL monogram.

Peter Copping

The former Oscar de la Renta creative director parted ways with the house earlier this summer with the intention of returning to Europe. Based on his social media presence, it seems that he did just that, touring Denmark and France, documenting museums and inspiring interiors along the way on Instagram. But insiders did spot him at retailer Ikram Goldman’s traditional Paris dinner at Ratn.

Marco Zanini

The Italian designer, most recently of Schiaparelli, has also kept quite a low profile since departing the house two years ago. That’s not to say Zanini is lacking in inspiration—his Instagram account is rife with gorgeous reference images.

Raf Simons

Raf Simons might not be an eligible designer any more—he signed a contract with Calvin Klein at the end of the summer—but his design debut isn’t until this coming February, freeing him up a bit early in the season. He didn’t attend any shows, however, but he did make a New York Fashion Week appearance at the opening of Willy Vanderperre’s retrospective in Red Hook, Brooklyn.