And then there was Paris.
Always last; never least. It’s the week I look forward to the most, year after year, season after season. Partly because le fashion is just better here (#pardonmyFrench), but also because I get to come home and see all my nearest and dearest, in between all the hectic show-hopping and showroom-stopping.
Just as well, then, as the City of Lights tested our endurance in more ways than one. Throwing a few curveballs straight at our permanently behind-shades faces (remember, it’s now week 4, and we’re running pretty low on both sleep and Touche Éclat). Truly, it was like the 12 Labours of Hercules—only with more layers and less deaths (though if looks could kill, there would be a hella lot of fashionistas behind bars, corroborating FW17’s claim that orange is, de facto, the new black…).
Labour 1: sink or swim
So the weather was nice for approx 45 minutes in the afternoon on the first Saturday. Other than that, you would be forgiven for thinking that higher authorities were trying to hold the shows underwater. Betcha that would get a lot of likes. And, tragically, a one-shot-insta-wonder seems like most fashion house’s only concern nowadays. Disguising a bad collection with an ostentatious show seems like the norm. Le sigh. Long of the short of it, we were all very wet, all of the time. On the plus side, the must-have coat of the season was also the warmest. And if Aalto and Balenciaga are anything to go by, the fashion set will continue to be down with puffers for the foreseeable. Or you could get a crystallised Anne-Sofie Madsen trench, if you’re looking to stand out.
Labour 2: march on (just not in front of the Trocadero please)
The French love a good demonstration. I spent most of my law school years fighting my way into class as protestors barricaded the university and prevented us from attending mandatory lectures to get their point across. Trying to attend shows while the country is in the run-up to an election felt reminiscent of those days. And while I’m the first to applaud our generation’s lack of apathy for such serious matters, it was bloody inconvenient. Le eye roll.
Labour 3: food fomo
All those baguettes, no time to eat. Nuff said. Le stomach rumble.
Labour 4: je n’aime rien, je suis parisien
Per usual, the locals (a demographic to which I belong) were not all that welcoming to the try-hard fashion tribe descending upon the fashion capital. Now I’m allowed to say this, because I am French born and bred, but everyone needs to lighten up a bit. I would suggest sprinkling your all-black outfits with Swarovski crystals, as demonstrated particularly well at Yves Saint Laurent and Wanda Nylon, whose disco silhouettes would uplift even the grumpiest Parisian. Go, on then. Give it a go. Those OTK boots were made for walking! Le sparkle.
Labour 5: Faux policing
Each show came with its own army of bodyguards (not the sexy Kevin Costner type) and trained dogs (that you ain’t allowed to pet). After Valentino, policemen with big black guns barred the exit road because of a suspicious package on the street. Not your average fashion police, and a constant reminder that you could be blown up at any moment. Yes, am being melodramatic, and I do appreciate the lengths to which Paris is trying to keep us safe. But it may kill the IT-bag as tight passport-like control had us sticking to invites-only. Le just-saying.
Labour 6: My eyes
Balmain. Cannot be unseen. Le don’t do it to yourself.
Labour 7: je t’aime, je t’adior
The shoes every cool girl seemed to have, in every colourway and heel height, but that you could not seem to locate even if your life depended on it. Why does everyone seem to find their sole mate but me? First world problems at large. New year’s resolution (new year only starts after fashion month finished, obvs): must start using Bumble more or I might have to ask my next Uber driver to marry me. Le heartbreak.
Labour 8. Cloud 9 (or having to descend from it)
What is the point of staying at your favourite hotel, in one of your favourite neighbourhoods, if you have to pull yourself out from under the plushy duvet, skip the continental breakfast buffet and run out into the rain every morning. Les Bains, you’re so cruel to be kind. Le snooze button
Labour 10: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Too. Much. Instagram. Le scroll
Labour 12: Travel curse
When you have been so good about going to bed early, counting your alcohol-units to keep a level head through all the craziness, and yet you still manage to forget your (non-backed up) computer on the Eurostar home. Worst way possible to end the month. What am I going to do with myself? Le last straw.
Labour 12: See you next season.
Le winky face.
Illustrations by pun genius Angelica Hicks. In partnership with the Swarovski Collective.