Where should I even start. It's been a dream of mine to attend a fashion week and the six days I spent in Paris were magical, insightful, social and inspiring and I pretty much loved every second of every day. If you watched my stories you also pretty much know what I did every second of every day already. So instead of taking you through a diary, I’m sharing some reflections about what I've experienced.
Fashion people are real people.
Starting with the highlights. Of course the overall highlight was that I got to be present at the most anticipated moment in fashion: The moment a designer showcases their collection and how he or she has developed their craft and style to approach the new season. This is always incredibly inspiring to see, but it was even more exciting to be in the room when a collection is revealed for the first time. I really enjoyed experiencing the whole buzz surrounding a fashion show. And to be very honest: the whole thing was less superficial than I thought it was. People – me included – tend to have this image of the fashion world being very shallow and skin-deep. But we forget that there are human beings from all walks of life behind the layers of fashionable clothes. I mean, I guess it can be “part of the outfit” to look as arrogant and indifferent as possible, but whenever I approached someone they were really open and friendly. Once you stop seeing the larger-than-life personas and start seeing the humans existing in the fashion world, it all becomes less foreign and cold.
Up and coming labels are everywhere
One of the best people-related experiences I had was actually at the DACH showroom opening, which I attended on my very first day in Paris. This showroom hosted up and coming designers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland and I discovered some really cool labels there, including Sightline, with whose designer Vivien I had a super interesting conversation about producing ethically (which Sightline does). I also got to connect with lots of fashion bloggers and two lovely girls working at the Austrian embassy.
In terms of actual clothes, I had so.much.fun. dressing a little more boldly than I usually would. In hindsight, I could have definitely went crazier with my looks. I knew that fashion week is not necessarily about showing off elegant style, but about getting creative and putting together outrageous looks that combine different trends. However, I was hesitant to do just that because I thought I would feel weird. Kind of like in a costume. But seeing all the amazing street style looks really gave me inspiration and confidence to use fashion as a means of expression more. I'll definitely go more 'all out' next time and I'm now aware more than ever how much we communicate before we even speak or make eye contact with anyone. Simply by the way we move, look and dress.
Moving into the right direction
This reads like a song of praise up until now and it's really because I genuinely had a good time. Are there things I didn’t love? Sure. Everyone (and I’m definitely guilty) is obsessed with capturing the moment instead of just living it. During shows I tried to make a conscious effort to focus, but like everyone else I found myself torn between the urge to create content and the instinct to sit still and observe. Also, while adding a political dimension to collections has become widespread (think Maria Grazia Chiuri’s “We should all be feminist” t-shirts for Dior or Demna Gvasalia’s using the World Food Programme logo for Balenciaga), the large fashion houses hardly make an effort to translate these socio-political ideals into their own production chains. Notably, by empowering the very women sewing their clothes, instead of only the women buying them. Likewise, with a few exceptions, there is very little body shape diversity on the runways. But I’m very positive both is about to change. Such fundamental changes don’t happen all at once and they don’t happen overnight, but I definitely think we’re moving into the right direction. After all, I even got to see the remarkable Madeline Stuart (an Aussie model with trisomy 21) on a runway show for Oxford Fashion Studios, and I was pleasantly surprised by the ethnical diversity throughout all shows I attended.
I experienced Paris fashion week as a firework of creativity and inspiration and I left the city in a really high spirits. I think it's safe to say that I'll be back ♡