As I write this, Paris fashion week is just winding to a close, after a frenzied week of fashion shows all day long, and people in fashion from all over the world in Paris to see the shows. I have to admit, I picked the cream of the crop, and peeked at the other shows online. There were some beautiful clothes shown in Paris in the last week. One of my favorites, Celine, didn’t have a show, just a presentation, so I looked at that one online.
I missed Balenciaga (which is always one of the best shows) because I was sick with the flu, and I told you about Dior. On Sunday night, on a bitter cold night in Paris, the whole flock of people in Paris for fashion week turned up at the Lycee Carnot, to sit on benches in a school yard, where Givenchy hold their fashion show almost every year. The show is worth sitting through a blizzard at the North Pole, but as I sit there shaking with the cold every year, I wonder how they talk us into it again. I’m not sure who looks more frozen, the audience or the models, but as soon as the show begins you forget how cold you are. The show was absolutely fabulous, and the clothes were gorgeous!!! There were a lot of Sarwell style pants in leather and fabrics, some great tops and blouses, a few gem colored and black really sexy pretty dresses, and some really fabulous jackets and coats, many of them short in front with a longer panel in back, some encrusted with jewels, and others in fur, and there was a multi colored fur coat. The show was striking, and really beautiful, and despite the freezing cold weather (it’s still very much winter in Paris!!), I was thrilled to have been invited and that I went. My daughter and I loved it, saw some really wonderful clothes, and warmed up when we got home.
And the last show I went to is always one of the most impressive: Chanel. It’s at the Grand Palais, the spectacular old glass structure with its elegant domes, and enormous expanse inside. Chanel must have the largest group of spectators, I think there were probably three or four thousand people there. The vast area in the middle was covered with fine gravel, and there were what looked like enormous spikes of crystals in various shades of gray, white and purple sticking straight up in the air as part of the decor (the models walked around them). And the usual excitement filled the air in anticipation of the show, which began with the precision typical of Chanel, and it was a beautiful impressive show. The clothes were elegant and wearable, the most frequently seen style/silhouette was of leggings with a matching tunic and a short jacket over it, all three pieces of the outfit in the same fabric, either sporty or dressy depending on the fabric. I thought it was really a ‘cool’ look. All of the shoes in the show had Lucite heels. The first model in the show was my favorite, a very famous English model named Stella Tennant, a beautiful tall woman with short black hair, and another 35 models followed her. The outfits were elegant and beautiful, and the designer/Karl Lagerfeld adds a new twist, feeling, and element to every show. He continues to be an absolute powerhouse and Icon in fashion. At nearly 80, he is vital, energetic, brilliant, a real genius in fashion, he designs Chanel Haute Couture and Ready to Wear, also collections for his own label, and Fendi as well. And he is a talented photographer as well. He came out at the end of the show, always in his high white collar, snow white hair pulled back in a pony tail, and fingerless gloves, among his personal trademarks. He is a man of endless energy, creativity and talent, and it’s always a thrill to see what he does, whether for Haute Couture a few weeks ago, or Ready to Wear.
Paris Fashion Week ended with Miu Miu and Louis Vuitton today, and by today, the buyers, editors, and various spectators at the fashion shows were looking somewhat frazzled and exhausted, after four weeks straight of these shows, first in New York, then in Milan, London, and Paris. It’s a grueling schedule for anyone, and it sounds like fun to you and me, but four weeks of it all day long, in order to write about it for the fashion press, or order clothes for their stores, must be overwhelming and exhausting to see that much in four weeks. But for me, it’s always fun, just hitting the high spots in Paris, usually with one or several of my daughters. I had two with me in Paris this time. And I’m always sad to see it end, as my children leave to go back to work in their cities. It is sooooo much fun for me to go to these shows with them, and hear their take on what we’re seeing, and how it compares to the other shows they’ve seen in New York. It’s an intense business (which represents a huge volume of money, serious business and a major industry), and there’s a Cinderella quality to it when fashion week is over. The excitement dies down, the pretty clothes and beautiful models have vanished,the movie stars who came to see the shows have all gone home, tomorrow the halls and exciting locations we saw them in will be empty. The clothes will be ordered now, and photographed for magazines. They will appear in stores six months from now, and by then, another series of fashion weeks will be taking place in the same four exciting cities, and the magic will start all over again. But tomorrow, as I go back to ‘real life’ in jeans and an old sweater, the glamour of fashion week will be a memory……until next time….it’s a fun time and a very exciting week while it happens, and I feel lucky to be able to see it!!!