Paris Fashion Week Fall 2013: The crazy scene at Balmain
Russian clients stop for a smoke amid the maelstrom.
Every season, there are a few shows that achieve an almost holy aura, where you can imagine people without invites happily selling their soul for a chance to sit fourth row. For a few years,
Balmain has been on this hallowed list. And earlier this week, the scene outside the Hôtel de Ville was enough to make even the most hardened atheist pray for strength. In other words? Holy cow.
Crowds started massing an hour before the show, guys in cravats and girls with long, messy hair and red matte lipstick, eyes roving hungrily over the coveted white invites. People screamed when
Anna Dello Russo glided past. They shoved each other, frantically inputting their iPhone passwords and raising their phones above their heads, as
W‘s Giovanna Batagglia swanned through. Garance Doré and Scott Schuman moved by with less fanfare. By that time, all energy was being channelled into trying to score a ticket, any ticket, a standing ticket,
s’il vous plaît? Security would not be swayed by any red lipsticked flirtatious smiles. And the PR reps—well. One gentleman snapped "Can you READ the sign? It says PRESS," before rolling his eyes in an epic manner that perhaps only Parisians have truly mastered.
The crowd outside Balmain.
But the craziest moment occurred when a beautifully dressed woman (sans invite) approached one of the PR reps, insisting that she should be allowed to enter the show and proferring her business card. No dice. To add a little
fleur de sel to the wound, the rep ripped up her card in front of everyone. After that little demonstration of will, ELLE Quebec’s Denis Desro and I retired to a nearby café for pots of tea and
tarte aux apricots. Souls intact, at least for now.
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