Or any fashion week for that matter! I love the idea of ladies dressed up like birds of paradise, or incredibly chic all tailored in black, clutching their invitations, strong and silent, and incredibly well composed, cameras flashing in their oversized sunglasses. I do however find this a completely inaccessible intimidating world, that although I have a big interest in, I have never been part of. But I have always wanted to go to a show, and a trip to Paris with a Fashion student in the middle of Paris fashion week seemed like a perfect time to try this ‘I have never..’
I am not a big ‘blagger’ but as a trainee journalist this is a skill I’m trying to hone in on, and it’s very obvious that being well dressed and confident is the key, especially as we don’t have any invitations whatsoever. The first show we try and get into is Viktor and Rolf, we arrive at a beautiful chalky clearing in the centre of Paris, with water fountains, people are swarming around a large white tent where the show is being held. As soon as we arrive people jump in front of us and take photographs and jump back in a split second, it’s a strange experience especially as I don’t feel particularly well dressed. But I feel less self conscious as I see a lot of flashes go off, and a crowd of paparazzi swarming like ants around a blue haired beauty, we try and have a closer look, and realise it’s Katy Perry, wearing a Viktor and Rolf creation, she waltzes through without the need for an invitation. I won’t bore you with the details of how we tried to get in, but I will let you know that we failed miserably!
After that our confidence was knocked a bit, so we decided to do some touristy things, and didn’t really try to get in to any more high profile shows, but as our trip drew to an end we decided it would be tragic not to go to any at all, so we searched for a relatively small designer. We settled on trying to get ourselves into Hexa by Kuho, a Korean designer known for his oversized knits, and being ‘one to watch’ over the next year. We visit the Notre Dame first, and it starts raining, a complete downpour drenching us, it’s freezing, and we are soaked to the bone, but we persist, getting very lost looking for the show, we are led by a kindly gentlemen up an idyllic Parisian hill, with a very grand hall at the top, and the slight buzz of ‘something’ going on. We look awful, but we decide to go for it, and success! We walk through the front door without an invitation.
We look completely out of place inside, impeccably dressed young men, in pristine suits, chiselled and beautiful. Ladies in rich flowing fabrics and furs, so tiny, waif, and bird like, they look like they could break in half at any moment, everyone greets each other with two kisses, and elegant handshakes, the room is dimly lit, with a carpet and book cases, absolutely luxurious, we stand with the other bloggers, but after a while we manage to score a seat, after an eternity of waiting there’s a lull, the lights go down, and the pulsing music begins, and so began my first ever catwalk fashion show. All I can say is that models are scary, but so wonderful to look at. The clothes themselves are not as extravagant as one would expect from high fashion, but still pretty quirky, and everyone seems impressed, all the models trot out at the end, and the designer comes out an bows, the lights go up, and within seconds the room is cleared, everyone dashing to their next show, and it all feels like a dream.
It was such a wonderful experience, and it made me realise that you don’t get to be in such places unless you try, even if it does involve being a bit sneaky. I do however think that next London fashion week, I may try and secure some invitations, and enjoy the experience without the fear of being thrown out.