Sunday, 2 October 2011

Brits in Paris

Fashion week isn't what it used to be. Or maybe we are starting to get old. In any case, it is clear that, as Bob Dylan would say, things have changed. It feels like it was only yesterday that we impatiently awaited the PFW craziness, crashing into every show dressed in impossible outfits (and more than impossible heels) and partying every single night like there was no tomorrow. A couple of years have gone by. Now fashion week means stress and a hella extra work. When we come back home from the daily shows and meetings (we now get invites and have seriously lost practice on crashing) we have reviews to write, e-mails to send and very little energy to party. The fact that the fashion week scene has enormously changed in the past few seasons doesn't help, either: we used to know everyone at the shows, we got snapped by Bill Cunningham or Face Hunter when we least expected it and all the excitement was about the new collections and fantastic clothes. But now suddenly it's all about people desperately wanting to get snapped (or "papped," as some pretentious EGObloggers like to call it) by the several millions of "streetstyle bloggers" following the show parade. The collections really matter very little to most people and even Lindsay Lohan is allowed to enter and spoil the coolest designer parties. And with the possibility of comfortably watching the shows live from home, I've been wondering whether the whole fashion week circus is at all useful... until I started visiting the showrooms.
Graced only by industry people (press and buyers), the many collective showrooms scattered across Paris during FW are the real deal. Once there, you can get a close-up look at the pieces, get details and press releases about the collections, see a cabin model wearing the looks on demand and even chat with the designers around a cup of coffee. For me, this means really experiencing fashion week in luxury. In the last days, I've been strolling around the city with Ray and Fréderic, visiting some of the best ones. My favourites? the Americans in Paris CFDA showroom (featuring some hot talent like Pamela Love, Prabal Gurung and Eddie Borgo) and, of course, The London Showrooms, just around the corner from "chez moi" and which showcase the cream of the crop of British talent. If you know me you know that my fashion softspot is Brit design (most of my work actually involves making English designers known to the French public through features and reports in French magazine L'Express Styles). I couldn't exactly say what gets me going about British designers, but I guess it's a mixture between their sense of humour, their pop-yet-culturally-referenced collections and their unbridled sense of creativity. For the Brits, fashion is not about clothes; it is about pushing the boundaries and experiencing beauty. I took some quick iPhone snaps on my London Showrooms trip. I hope you'll enjoy them!

Felicity Brown's fabulous ombré gowns

Mary Katrantzou's rainbow-licious prints!

In love with Mary K's fish pattern.

Mary Katrantzou's shoes, made by Louboutin

Piers Atkinson's cherries have now become iconic, but her other designs are just as kawaii

Jordan Askill makes sustainable jewellery and sculptures

Louboutin everywhere

Simone Rocha's ultrafeminine lace & plastic collection

David Koma detail

Cozette McCreery's amazing Sibling knits.

Todd Lynn's impossible heels (guess who made them)

Louise Gray made a mega cool mess out of her desk

Drawings by Holly Fulton

Holly Fulton is big on details... and I love that!

Racy harnesses at Fannie Schiavoni

Mesh and pastel shades at Mark Fast

For Louise Gray it's all about sequins

Mark Fast's Louboutin raffia wedges

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful details! Thanks for sharing.
    Those floral Louboutins are beyond fantastic.


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