Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Roving Reporter: Couture week, a Parisian diary...
Paris is often described as the centre of chic, the home of fashion and the place to be: the only country to hold a week dedicated to couture, the true art of fashion.
This is by no means my first time in Paris. It is, after all, my spiritual home, yet I still get lost in the magic that Paris conjures up.
Firstly, let me start with the look and the ambiance. The look in London can often be described as ‘eclectic’, ‘unique’, ‘creative’ or for those outside of fashion ‘weird’. The London look is one of spontaneity and, in many ways, showing off. Colours are bright, looks are loud, and everything screams ‘fashion’.
Paris, on the other hand, is pure class, down to the last lick of mascara. The age range is different, too. Though you have various generations at LFW, the overall vibe is very young, and uber-trendy.
Paris, however, is very mature, sophisticated and took my idea of Parisian chic to a whole new level. As one companion at the shows told me, 'In Paris, they take fashion VERY seriously'.
The scene was like something out of Dynasty: tightly coiffed hair, heavy makeup, and dare I say it, a slight overload of Botox describes the true Parisian fashion crowd.
Outfits were nothing short of exquisite, but with a much greater feeling that these woman always look like that, unlike their London counterparts (for whom LFW means abandoning the Ugg boots and jeans combo).
Smart trouser suits (evidently designer, by their beautiful attention to detail), well cut dresses and simple yet elegant prints were the rule of the day.
Also, shockingly in abundance was fur. There were very few front-rowers not wearing skin, and whether you are for or against, there is no denying how simply incredible they looked.
On the men's side, lets just say I wouldn’t mind a Parisian man as a souvenir. If only boys in London dressed like that! Suits were incredibly sharp. Coats were very dressy and, again, of excellent quality.
With just a pond in between us, how have we managed to dress worlds apart?
Paris is a lot stricter than London, but the fashion crowd here also have a lot more cheek. I enjoyed taking a step back and observing the air kissing and challenging of the poor security, who often raised his eyebrows at the fashion crowd's own self-importance. But it is these Ugly Betty moments that make me love fashion more.
I don’t affiliate with that crowd, but boy to I love to observe them!
Though the shows certainly do run more on time than London, there is a much more organised, yet laissez-faire approach. There is no pushing or shoving. The Parisians are far to classy for that...after all, they might just scuff their Chanel.