It is becoming an annual tradition for me now to come to Paris for the Ready to Wear Fashion Week, which happens in March. It is where French Ready to Wear designers show their wares for next season at runway fashion shows with gorgeous models and gorgeous clothes. And the shows are so much fun. They don’t have the pomp and circumstance or decorum and grandiose quality of the Haute Couture shows which happen twice a year as well. But the ready to wear shows are lively, fast and fun, and there are about half a dozen a day, one after the other, and one show more fabulous and exciting than the next. The audience are store buyers from around the world, and the international fashion press, a smattering of celebrities, a few big stars, and fashion aficionados. And it is the final week of what is really fashion month. The first fashion week is to show American designers, and happens in New York. The second week takes place in London to show British designers, the third week in Milan with Italian designers, and the final and fourth week is in Paris, to show the work of French designers. You hear every imaginable language in the audience; there are vast numbers of press photographers. There is excitement in the air, and I love being there!!!
Normally, I would be here with my 3 daughters who work in fashion, but sadly, due to the very recent death of my ex-husband/their father, none of the girls came to this exciting, festive week. But as I had already planned to be at our home here to be with them, I decided to go to a few shows anyway. It’s not nearly as much fun without them. And they helped me select my outfit last night on Skype…no, not THAT!!!!!!!! You can’t wear THAT!!!!!!!….after many suggestions, we figured out what I was going to wear, which I’m sure didn’t look like it took 2 hours to figure out across 6,000 miles of Skype. But hopefully, I looked okay.
More importantly, the show was great. I saw the Balenciaga show today, which was exciting and new and different, woven leathers, layered clothes, interesting colors, fluid shapes, beautiful models, and excitement in the audience, and lots of press. Fashion is an exciting world. The show was held at the beautiful Crillon Hotel, a very old and elegant hotel in the Place de la Concorde. (Notable historically because the original guillotine used to be right outside where the hotel is now, which is not a fact usually advertised to tourists. But there is no sign of it now).
I was happy and excited to run into several editors of Vogue, whom I know, and several fashion journalists I know as well. But it still wasn’t the same as being there with my girls. I was also very happy to be introduced to the designer, who is a lovely, very quiet, unassuming man of great, great talent.
The big news in Paris this week is a bit of a shocker. The very famous English designer John Galliano, who designs for his own label, and is the designer for Dior, was involved in an incident, concerning racial slurs, as a result of which he was first suspended by Dior, and then fired, all in the midst of fashion week. Galliano is a man of huge talent, and whatever the truth of the incident is (one never really knows unless one was there), it is sad to see a career shattered, and a life altered by sudden events. The incident and the fallout from it have shaken the fashion world. People have spoken of nothing else. It is a milieu that is always buzzing with gossip anyway, and this has been a very big deal, and big news. And the big question mark is who will design for the house of Dior now?
So, it’s been a busy week. It’s fun to see people flooding in from around the world for these exciting shows. I am going to two more in the coming days. And for now, that’s the news from Paris….it’s not about romance or April in Paris this week…..it’s about fashion week in Paris and all the excitement and chaos that go with it!!!