Hello '99ers, thank you for coming back when so many times I promise an update and it never comes, I don't cry wolf, it just all takes a bit longer than planned! But here we are, pt2 of Paris '13, where I detail for you what I saw, liked, didn't like and maybe just one or two extra special stories as well. Enjoy!! :)
Ok, so what one sees straight out of the airport is not the best place to start judging the fashion sense of Parisians, but really this is to be expected. Maria and I however did pull off a damn good 'plane outfit'; her in a light chambray mullet shirt, leopard print scarf and leggings, and me in navy blue slim pants, brown Puma cracked leather street shoes and Balenciaga shiny sport coat, I'd say we rocked it in economy haha!
Perhaps the first moment Parisian style becomes apparent is when sitting a restaurant terrace in the evening when most tourists have gone to dinner at some overpriced and overpopulated Champs Elysees eatery, and the locals come out to play, read, boisson et fumer! I didn't remember a lot of smoking the last time I was in Paris, but really I was cooped up in the showroom for most of the time and none of the German girls I was with smoked. Boy was I wrong! Everybody sits or walks around with a smoking stick sticking out of their mouths. And funnily enough, while in London, where almost no-one smokes, I was walking towards two young girls (no more than 14 I'd guess), who were smoking, and lo and behold as we passed, they spoke French!
Anyway, enough about the smoking, it has not to do with fashion, actually... anyway...yes, whatever.
So, ahh, yes, that's right, you know the tourists have gone away because everyone who steps out; man, woman, garcon, fille or chien! is just ever so parfait and fabulous; its the attention to details that makes it special, the way a cuff is turned, a collar is pointed just so, the way the colours blend in ways that shouldn't work but just do! Whenever anyone tells me they don't recall the people in Paris as being particularly chic I remind them that you must venture out of the tourist spots and you will see them in their full stylish glory!
Or of course, you happen to be there during Fashion Week, which look at that, we were! Precollection women's and Haute Couture. One morning in the Palais Royale there was a buzz about, glamorously dressed people rushing somewhere in their towering heels. There was a woman who could've been transplanted from Melbourne, looking very 90s/Now all in black frothy fabulous Miyake something-or-other. All tres exciting indeed!
In the Marais, where all the designers and agents around were in the middle of presenting the summer precollections and the buyers were running around from appointment to appointment there was plenty of fash-action happening. Above you see my awkward photo of the most fabulously subversively cool Japanese crew that we. With the traffic in the Marais being quite light and all the streets narrow and cobblestone-y, its very common for people to walk double, triple and quadrupley on the road. If I hadn't fumbled around with the camera and we hadn't been just that little bit too far away you would've seen their swirling swathing jersey, leather and drop crotch pants in full effect, but still, you can just read the cool from this image quoi? :):S.
Concentrating on the designer resale stores (so I could compare how I'm doing haha, and very well I might add, lucky you Melbourne ladies ;)) meant that time for studying the insides of the stores on St. Honore, Montaigne, Cambon, Rivoli, George V et al was non existent. But looking at the window displays, and buildings themselves proved to be fun and fabulous in its own right. I am now aware that Damir Doma shares the famous Comme des Garcons courtyard, something I did not know before! Chanel, Dior and Hermes take up whole corner blocks (amazing!!), and Valentino is set to open its doors on St Honore, which is wonderful, but of course not as wonderful as what you see in the picture a couple below this one :)
Blumarine for our friend who has her three 'B's; Blumarine, Balenciaga and Balmain. A purple display on the rue St. Honore.
I particularly love how Valentino have taken to showing off their Haute Couture in the windows of the head office and boutique as a way of connecting us mere mortals to what are undoubtedly the best clothes in the world. This is the opening dress (thanks www.style.com) that was hand rolled and hand stitched onto a tulle base, over 500 hours of hand work, to die!! I remember on my last Parisian tenure in 2009 Givenchy did the same thing at their George V headquarters, but I did excitedly go to see what they would show and disappointingly it was two handbags from the pret-a-porter collection :(...
Dior on the Place Vendome, and on Ave Montaigne. Di-Veeen! Although sadly when we walked through the Place Vendome on the way to the riverside we saw what we thought was a perfectly lined up flash mob about to start, but upon questioning realised it was actually a protest against gay marriage by the far right. What is funny is that the girl first presented herself as an advocate for free speech. I stopped listening, took photographs of the larger than life Dior campaign (a note, the video version of the campaign was playing on the giant screen at the airport) then left her mid sentence. :)
Unfortunately most of the times we walked by shops was either too early or too late, as is the case with the Dries Van Noten boutique on the Rive Gauche. I became very familiar with Het Modepaleis on the Nationalestraat in Antwerp but for some reason the Parisian post had always eluded me. Till this time, when we walked past 45 minutes too early! Pretty shop indeed though :).
Luckily by cutting across a sidestreet we stumbled upon the original Louboutin boutique across the road from a cafe/juicebar where I had a thirst quenching fruit iced tea. Clearly the reds are my favourites :S.
Next time, soon (!), an encounter with a fabulous designer, our visit to one of the grandest hotels in town (oooo) and some sneaky snaps of a wonderful exhibition all about... FASHION! Stay tuned my dears, and come and visit me in Elwood asap of course, to hear all about everything in person, yay!! xxxx