A few years ago, I wrote about a
day in the life of an editor at New York Fashion Week
. I thought I’d choose today at PFW to give you that same kind of fly-on-the-wall perspective.
My hair and wardrobe require a little more attention as the first item on my agenda is breakfast at 9 a.m. with
ELLE International editors
at the famed Hôtel Plaza Athénée (the posh five-star hotel where Carrie Bradshaw checked in for an episode or two). This is a seriously fashionable crowd to schmooze with so early in the morning.
(Everything is “ish” when it comes to timing during Fashion Week.) I head over to the Chanel show at the nearby Grand Palais. It’s always the much-buzzed-about show of the season. For fall/winter 2014, Karl wowed everyone with his supermarket, but today’s show—at least the setting—is a little less awe-inspiring. It is life-size-photograph-covered sets of the streets of Paris—hence the name of the invite: Boulevard Chanel. The worn-down asphalt, curbs and gutter grates are an impressive touch, but it still reminds me of being at West Edmonton Mall’s Europa Boulevard. There's a nod to the '70s silhouettes of the season, especially with the super-sized culottes. To close, Karl has the models take to the street to stage a protest carrying a collection of signs inspired by the feminist marches from the late '60s. The sentiments—"History is her story", "Be different" and "Ladies first"—are as relevant today.
What happened next? (It involves hairstyles that require cardboard and pastry-chef skills to execute.)
Karl's sartorial take on "protest" fashion for Spring 2015. Images courtesy of Imaxtree.com.
12-ish: Head to JC de Castelbajac’s show at Garage Lubeck. Yes, it's an actual garage. There are no seats—just sections where you stand hoping to get a glimpse of the models walking down the driveway. The show notes are certainly intriguing: “Functional and modern, the iconic and radiant Farrah Fawcett of 1974 and the women of 2074…. The collection is a spectacle, a rupture that puts today’s woman front and centre, dressed in a look that sublimates her beauty and transports us elsewhere. A new cosmic and urban wardrobe is born.” Not sure about that…. #lostintranslation
En route to Céline, I’m able to get a Wi-Fi moment and receive an email saying that I can go backstage at Valentino to shadow Pat McGrath at 12:30. Too bad I’m on the other side of town and getting there isn’t an option. Lesson #1 covering PFW: Make peace with the fact that you can’t be everywhere at once.
Four of my favourite looks from Céline spring/summer 2015 collection. Images: Imaxtree
Our fashion director, Denis Desro, and I arrive to view the Céline collection. We’re not permitted to take photos, but trust me: These clothes are beyond perfection. Intelligent fashion, exquisite detailing, finely distilled to perfection. Here are four pieces that caught my eye. (The images don’t do them justice.)
My Pierre Hardy shoes, which are normally quite comfortable, have become less so. I make my way to the Balenciaga showroom, trying to be stoic as I hobble along. #pain
3:05: I take a seat in the waiting area, which looks like a fashion chapel. (It is, of sorts.)This is the sport-inspired Balenciaga shoe I would kill to be wearing right now. Fashion feet are on fire.
3:08: I do a lovely but rapid-fire tour of the collection. The craftsmanship is beyond description--something you don't get a sense of during a show.This is a closeup of one of the shirts.
I make a hasty departure to catch a cab to Le Royal Monceau for a screening of a new fragrance commercial that's under embargo right now, so I can't tell you about it. I fall asleep in the car. Might even be drooling. #notchic
Best press conference in a long time...stay tuned for details.
Hop on the Metro to get to a backstage beauty tour at Alexander McQueen.
Get lost. Really lost. Can’t find the location and have, at this point, no feeling in my toes. You may have noticed there’s been no mention of food yet today. I’m beyond hungry. I'm thinking about eating leaves off the street.
Alexander McQueen beauty looks spring/summer 2015. Images courtesy of Imaxtree.com.
Arrive one hour late for backstage beauty tour. I’m still permitted to enter, but the scene is a little tense. It’s not really clear what photos I can or cannot take, so I’ll err on the side of caution and not post any images I took. (Just ones from Imaxtree, above.) I spot the food table at the back and rather frantically reach for a sandwich and a bottle of Coke. The hair—a Japanese-inspired roll—and the makeup and masks—are iconic McQueen. In other words, perfect. Creating the hair is a blog unto itself. Suffice to say, it requires generous scoops of Redken hair products, a piece of cardboard and pastry-rolling skill. (I'll write more later on this....)
I'm milling about, trying not to annoy anyone, when I receive a most unexpected compliment. I’m lingering outside near the washrooms when the designer, Sarah Burton, passes by. We exchange smiles, and I walk on. Next thing I know, she says to me: “Nice coat.” (Kudos to Smythe! It’s the opera coat from their 10 X 10 anniversary collection. It also got me a little street-style heat at the JC de Castelbajac show.)
I make my way into the McQueen show and I’m immediately taken with the glowing flower sculptures and the Japanese wooden floors. But I'm soon distracted by Lee Radziwill, who is being escorted to her seat. She’s the very definition of graciousness.
Hauntingly beautiful floral sculpture at Alexander McQueen. Image courtesy of Imaxtree.com.
The show commences. I’m fifth row. The fellow in front of me is at least 6’7”, but between his shoulder and his seatmate's rather puffed-up hair, I do get glimpses of the collection--and it’s worth every fleeting second. Brilliant, evocative looks with a Japanese influence filter through Ms. Burton’s exacting eye. You’ll be seeing this collection in every magazine come spring.
Images courtesy of Imaxtree.com.
Head out for a bite to eat.
I return to my little rented flat and download 200+ emails. I take a deep breath and dive into the day’s work that didn’t involve walking the streets of Paris and looking at beautiful fashions.
I finish off this little note and then Google Map how to get to the Louis Vuitton show tomorrow morning. I'm off to bed.
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