Tents pop up in the Tuileries gardens, hundreds of photographers mill around the Grand Palais trying to snap celebrities, and Le Meurice hotel is abuzz with trunk shows and models. It’s Paris Fashion Week.
There is a palpable change in the energy on the streets around our apartment, especially on the Rue St. Honoré and Avenue de Montaigne. Fashion Week fashion is more streetwear oriented (it’s the pret-a-porter week) for next Fall —think platform sneakers or Doc Marten’s with long skirts and Bomber jackets rather than little back dresses and stilettos. But everyone is starting to dress for spring here, in white and silver and red. The daffodils are blooming and the cherry trees are out, and despite a few spring showers, the atmosphere is happy and optimistic.
Stella McCartney perhaps captured the spirit best in her show this week, which finished with a surprise tribute to the late George Michael where all the models did a choreographed dance to “Faith.” Not to be outdone, Karl Lagerfeld launched a 37-metre space shuttle in the Grand Palais at the end of his show, to Elton John’s “Rocket Man.” Maybe, he rightly surmised, “Space Oddity” would have been too much of a downer. But Pharrell was sitting in the front row—he could have followed up with “Happy!”
Outside the show, the relentlessly effervescent and brand-conscious Beckerman twins from Toronto were posing for fan photos and paparazzi in Chanel visors and a patent leather mini skirt. Over at L’Avenue, after the show, there was not a single seat left, inside or out, and people milled from table to table with their coupes of Champagne and tuna tartare in their sparkly and colourful Chanel bouclé. Whatever was happening elsewhere in the world was beside the point. It was fashion week in Paris, the sun was shining, and we would take it all in.