I hope you are having the most fantastic weekend!! Currently I'm sitting on my Mom & Dad's patio, north of Toronto, overlooking the lush green golf course and evergreens. A bit of a stark contrast from life in NYC, and my time spent in Paris, but boy does the air smell goooood!! So where to start with Paris Fashion Week?! In my comings and goings through Paris in previous years, I have definitely stumbled upon outdoor fashion shows etc, but nothing compares to receiving a handwritten invite to said show and becoming (if only briefly) apart of this fantastical world.
I was invited to three shows to be exact: Berluti, Kenzo, and Hood By Air. I couldn't get over HOW different the process of show requests and invites were relative to NYFW. In New York your invite is emailed and you are checked in with an iPad. In Paris, your invite is delivered by messenger with your name inscribed. My flight arrived on June 26th at 2 PM during the taxi strike and I somehow successfully made it to my apt by 3 PM. My first show was at 8 PM at the Picasso Museum tucked just around the corner from my spot in Le Marais.
These are my hand delivered invites from Berluti and Kenzo. I will cherish these forever.
When the doors to the Picasso Museum opened, and revealed a hundred sun chairs with these beautiful male models reading their morning Berluti newspaper, I was totally enchanted!! I never dreamed in a million years that I would be illustrating live at an LVMH show at the Picasso Museum with Antoine Arnault to my right and the stunning Natalia Vodianova to my left. Pinch me!!!!
At the show, I was seated behind the indelible Suzy Menkes. She actually winked at me when she entered to take her seat; another damn good omen in Paris.
When the show finished, an army of well dressed staff brought out colorful blankets and baskets of bread and champagne to be shared amongst the guests. It was the last show of the evening so people were prepared to indulge. I obviously took advantage of an empty museum and danced with Picasso's sculptures (see above) and took the chance to speak with the gorgeous Natalia.
She is such an extraordinary human being and a true inspiration to me. Her story is overwhelmingly touching and profound and I feel so lucky to have now met her twice in this crazy fashion world.
Day 2 brought the Kenzo show at 10 AM. This time the show was a 40 min train ride away to the Paris Events Centre and my heart was anxious to get there on time and not get lost. Once I arrived, hundreds of fashion types spilled out of the train and onto the street. It was like that show, the Amazing Race, only there was no prize just a fashion show lol. When we got inside, I could see exactly why they picked that location. It was like an airplane hanger, futuristic and vacant. They filled it with sand and these amazing druzy glittering stones that rotated throughout the show.
And on Day 3 I headed to the Paris Philharmonic to catch the much anticipated Hood By Air show. It was blistering hot that day and we were all seated on black benches, but I didn't care because I was absolutely enthralled by what was coming down the runway. The show was equal parts haunting and surreal. I wanted to cry because it ignited such a visceral reaction with these dangerous looking mouth pieces, and what Bullet magazine described as "babycore" clothing. But you know what, I loved it, I loved ALL of it!! It might have been scary at first but damn it was a show!!
The rest of the time in Paris I spent taking in sights I had not yet seen before, like the Palais de Tokyo, the Jeanne Lanvin exhibit at the Palais Galliera, and the new Fondation Louis Vuitton.
Even though this marked my 7th time visiting Paris, it still felt different to any experience I had previously. This trip in particular, really pushed me outside my comfort zone. Fashion Week is in general pretty intimidating, but add on top of that a city you don't know by heart, a language you don't speak, and an industry that isn't exactly the most approachable. But you know what, I did it! I did the damn thing and I savoured every moment along the way. I also feel infinitely more prepared now for any future fashion week abroad. Life = Learning.
Cheers to continuing to push your own personal boundaries and testing your own limits. Cheers to believing in yourself against all odds. Cheers to loving the life you live and sharing that joy with the world. Thank you all once again for being on this journey with me. There is still so much more to share together.