Anyone who is the slightest bit fashion orientated will know of the four fashion capitals London, New York, Paris and Milan. London is quirky, New York is slick, Paris is chic and Milan is sexy; some brands do break the mould but for the most part they live up to these sentiments; the one thing, which they all share in common though is a sense of style.
Consequently, for any devoted fashion blogger, it is something of a dream to visit, if not live, in one or more of these cities; fashion revolves around them. Thus, this week, before the troubles of personal statements and university applications arose, I not only went to Paris but took part in some work experience there before the school year began.
For three seemingly short days I worked with the small but luxurious eco-brand Featherstone & Co (check it out is so chic), setting them up a blog and translating some of their website, whilst flittering around Paris window shopping in the most luxurious of boutiques and visiting the most high end exhibitions – it was heaven.
Whether I was in Lanvin’s two luxurious layouts, Hermés’ high end Montparnesse store or Ralph Lauren’s intimate experience - and believe me, with its distressed denim rugs, personalised restaurant and Yasmin Le Bon mannequins, it was an experience; I felt as though I had found the homes, in which I had never lived and the houses in which I could one day work.
My fashion-filled life flashed before my eyes as I gazed upon designs I had longed for online and held them in my hands - the tangerine/sand Hermes wrap coat will live with me forever. Yet, perhaps what is so amazing about Paris is not seeing the designs but gazing upon them as they walk down the street. A gaggle of girls may pass you clad in Prada’s entire SS collection or you may sight a man sporting Balmain’s latest leather look. Fashion is not just in these cities; it lives in them.
However, my undoubted highlight of the trip was the insane Hussein Chalayan exhibition which is taking place for a few months more at Les Arts Decoratifs. Chalayan is genius in a way that very few designers are; each of his collections is not only beautiful but has a purpose and in this exhibition you get to see this first hand from his 1990s collections to his latest AW masterpieces.
It acts as a labyrinth of his in depth imagination, as you are taken to places destined only for the likes of Lewis Carol’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’. You see both his ‘I AM SAD LEYLA / UZGUNUM LEYLA’ installation, in which the video of a singer’s face is projected onto that of a mannequin’s, and the morphing mechanical dresses of the ‘ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN’ collection, which demonstrate history’s effect on fashion to incredible effect – it’s jaw-dropping.
Perhaps, what was most impressive about the exhibition though, was the museum’s presentation of his well-known ‘AFTERWORD’S’ collection, in which you are able to see the exact room he used, the dresses, the infamous furniture, and an accompanying video of the actual runway show.
This was the collection, in which he created fashion history, as he interpreted the war forcing people into exile through fashion. Each item in the room cleverly transformed into the clothing of his models, creating the idea of one fleeing not only with their clothes but their household items intact. From his chair cover dresses to his seat-structure suitcases and that renowned table skirt, it was all there.
Thus, whether it’s Hussein or Hermés, Featherstone & Co or Colette, Paris is the city of fashionistas dreams and when you get the chance to go there do, get hold of a scooter and see the city. You only live once, but in Paris you live to the full and in all honesty, that’s the only way to live.