Finally, I am able to sit down and write about the last couple of weeks (ok, well maybe a month). I have been going nonstop since I returned…but that’s not what you want to hear about.
Paris Fashion Week was an amazing departure from my life in DC. Of course, the shows were beautiful. The first one I saw the day I arrived was Valentino. It was classy and chic (the word for the week) and I just absorbed the experience – I was at Fashion Week – in Pairs – in the Valentino show – at the Louvre! How exciting, but wait, why does it feel a little like the Superbowl?! OMG – some security guard just tackled a PETA activist. Awww, man, I couldn’t help but stare, ya’ll. He took this woman out on the floor - in football, I think they call it a sack. It occurred almost discreetly, silently talking place in the front corner of the runway. It was odd how the show still moved fluidly so the audience could choose which to watch. I could still focus on the runway, but I didn't want to. Oh - and another woman was tackled immediately after the first. Both naked women were defeated and forced out of the room. (Yeah, they were both naked except for the "NO FUR" sign painted on their backs.)
In the days that followed were Mark, Fay, and Carly - three personalities I can't even begin to summarize. Mark, a handbag designer and my mom's stylist. Fay, a personal shopper/stylist from New York City. Carly, Mark's muse, client, and friend - a Lindsay Lohan look alike (Carly on the left).
Together, we saw the Stella McCartney, Celine, Giambattista Valli, and Alexander McQueen shows.
Everyone keeps asking me how the seats were. Well, the shows are not very big which is a plus, so there were usually no more than 5 rows on either side of the runway and sometimes 3 or 4 rows in the middle. That said, we were never far from the action. I took some less than fabulous pictures, but, to me, they are priceless because I was there! Style.com has pictures of every look from every show so people like Anna Wintour never really have to get out of bed if they don't want to. And yes, I saw Anna Wintour and Andre Leon Talley. Jessica Beil was there for God know why and Scarlett Johansson was in attendance representing Louis Vuitton.
In addition to Fashion Week events, I met many fantastic Chicagoans (Mark is from Chicago, so many of his friends and colleagues were in Paris) and my friend Porsha was working in Paris so we got together as well. We went to some clubs, we lounged in tourist friendly hotels, and we went to a great house party, thanks to a french jewelry designer named Natalie.
Aside from the beauty and excitement of Fashion Week, there were a few reminders of my true feelings on Europe:
1) The shower system. Why do French people have that stupid shower head that you must hold over your body? Who doesn't want water pouring down on them from above?! Who wants to HAVE TO hold the water over them just to get clean? I mean, I understand having the option is great, but as soon as I checked into the hotel, I had flashbacks from my time spent in Italy sitting in a sad, empty tub with one hand holding the shower head over my body and the other trying to keep a healthy balance of soap and water on my loofa....not ideal.
2) European outlets! Why did no one remind me before I left that I would not be able to flat iron my damn hair?! And don't think that a converter helped me any. I BLEW OUT my flat iron. It is useless now, something about the wattage. I am without a flat iron (even as I write this a month later). I was pissed to remember that little detail. Blogging, emailing, skype phone calls, itunes in the morning - didn't happen, because I couldn't even charge my computer.
I really can't complain though - I had a fantastic time watching Fall 2007 Paris Fashion Week on display before my very eyes and I will never forget it. Oh! And the coolest thing about Fashion Week is that press photographers take pictures of the people that attend the shows. Carly constantly got her picture taken and of course it was fun to watch BUT Japanese Vogue took a picture of me before the Stella McCartney show. It was amazing!
Here is a picture of me and Mark the day of the Stella show. You really can't see my outfit but it's MY memory :)
What did I learn?
Of course when I left the country, I was the designated civilian to report back to my friends with the hottest trends from Paris and the fashion forecast for the upcoming seasons. I was apprehensive about this, because as much as I do consider myself a fashionista, I have never been one to listen to what someone else said was the new IT-item. I observe what people are wearing: people on the street, the magazines, celebs and I separate my likes from my dislikes, but I have never been one to say "I HAVE TO HAVE THAT" just because some magazine tells me it's in this season. That said, I didn't absorb the runway looks dissecting the fall colors and shapes. Honestly, they all looked like slight variations of today's looks. I did, however, notice a street look that I was not ready for.
My wardrobe has been a union of two influences for about 5 years. Thanks to Carrie Bradshaw's eclectic and colorful wardrobe (courtesy of Sex & the City costume designer Patricia Field), I live with the knowledge that not matching is what's HOT, use bright many colors and mix them! Secondly, my sister Leigh told me a long time ago to never wear black shoes, and if you know my sister you would listen to her fashion advice. She was Carrie before Sarah Jessica was Carrie. I understood that no matter the outfit, black shoes just weren't necessary - Spice it up. Anyway, equipped with this wisdom, I have lived happily for quite some time. But in Paris, I kept seeing everyone in black...all black: black shoes, black outfit, black bags. At first, I thought, "OK, that looks nice on her."
"Ooh, nice bag...and I typically don't like black."
"Oh, I love that black coat."
and then it became,
"Where the hell are my black tights?"
"I need a black bag. I wish I had a big black shoulder bag."
"Oh! Black is so chic, so simple, so classic."
Now, I'm hooked. I am dedicated to finding the perfect black oversized bag. I don't shy away from black clothes anymore, as a matter of fact, I recently purchased some perfect skinny black slacks by Theory. I love them! I have a new little black dress and I am also hoping for a black Burberry trench. Believe me, I am so shocked that I have done this 180, but I love the look. It's fabulous! And I am not over color - I still love bright, attention grabbing shades, but I definitely admire the fierceness that black can bring.