March 12, 2012

FASHION IN FRANCE: A Chic Movable Feast

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Fashion week is not for the weak and weary. For me, it began in early February with excessive stalking of the shows in New York, London and Milan, as I anxiously awaited their arrival in the world’s fashion capital, Paris. I knew my week would be hectic — I would be interning with a jewelry designer and helping him with go-sees and his famous soirée at the end of the week, multiple friends were flying in and I wanted to attend all of the shows.

To top it off, Colette, one of my favorite boutiques, was throwing a 15-year anniversary party, Colette Carnaval, which would end my two week-long dazed love affair with anything and everything color, print, shape, design, texture, etc.

At the beginning of the week, I threw on my lucky gold jeans and went out to meet a family friend for lunch at The Meurice Hotel, where she wined and dined me and proceeded to invite me to multiple shows. Oh baby, I love those jeans. I went to pick up the invitations at the Vogue offices (!) and found an envelope, more like a treasure chest, addressed to me. Ahhh!!

Side note: I am addicted to fashion and fashion culture. I feel fortunate that I even get to walk down Rue Saint Honorée and window shop. I do not even need to be wearing it; just looking at it is enough to make me happy.

Anyway, I’m sure you can guess the excitement at this point – so much that sweat was involved. I attended 5 shows, all of which were beautifully executed. Barbara Bui was definitely my favorite, though.

After the last show, my adrenaline was still pumping because I knew that I would be helping out at the party on Saturday with many of my fashion idols. I’m not talking celebrities with “cool” style. I’m talking magazine editors and designers.

Saturday came, and I ran errands for the event all day through the Palais Royal like a fashionable madman. The event turned out great. I met amazing people and even got some jewelry in exchange for my services!

That Wednesday, Paris fashion week sadly ended with the shows of top-tier design houses including Louis Vuitton, Elie Saab and Miu Miu. Most fashionistas packed up their much-heavier-upon-departure suitcases and headed home. Luckily, I’m living in Paris, so I enjoyed one last fashion-packed fête Saturday and Sunday: Colette Carnaval.

The tiny Parisian boutique celebrated its 15-year anniversary with a tent the size of a football field along the Tuileries. With booths from over 100 sponsors, I’m not going to lie: I was VERY overwhelmed in the best way possible. I have never seen so many good-looking, fashion-forward people shoved into one place in my entire life.

Saturday, I went with a friend who had an acquaintance in high places. We were put on the list for the private party that night. We danced to live music by Kid Cudi, enjoyed table tennis sponsored by Fred Perry, learned to dance with lessons provided by Repetto and palyed basketball sponsored by Nike (to name just a few of the activities). The coolest part of the Carnaval was that it was absolutely FREE, which is something most Parisians have never come across. News must have spread how awesome it was because the next day when I tried to bring friends, there was a line of smartly dressed fashion fiends wrapping around the entire tent! Mon Dieu!

Although this is a short excerpt from my fashion week, I can talk about it for hours (but I have a word limit, which I’ve sadly already exceeded talking about the shows). Every day here is a fashion show in itself, but these two weeks have proved that Parisians strive to make fashion accessible to all, letting a normal college student like me live out a little bit of a fashion fantasy.

Kelly Gordon is a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences. She may be reached at  Notes from Abroad: Reviews appears on Mondays.

Original Author: Kelly Gordon