Every time I arrive in Paris there is something that makes me feel like I have gone back in time. Maybe its the beautiful old architecture or maybe the rioting that has gone on since the French revolution and doesn’t seem to ever end.

READ ABOUT MY VERY FIRST PARIS FASHION WEEK EXPERIENCE

Parisians are actually quite pleasant

Contrary to popular belief, Parisians are actually not unfriendly. My experiences on this visit were very pleasant. Everyone was very accommodating and helpful … well almost everyone. The gentleman on the train that tried and failed to help me with my suitcase was very indignant because apparently my suitcase was too heavy… Monsieur you have no idea, I packed so light this time…go to the gym and get some gains.

Paris Fashion Week is nothing like Milan

Milan is my favourite. Milan is exuberant and the energy in the air is just so exciting and contagious. It’s classic Italian style. Celebrare la vita. The show, the set, the lighting and the music are all so dramatic and current. The press bus is always late, the uber, also running on Italian time takes 6 min when it says 3 and the show schedule is packed. Every hour another show till the evening comes. And then there are the cocktail parties.

Read my Milan recap here

Paris on the other hand seem slower. Shows are every hour but there are break times and the show schedule gets quieter after 17:00. Unlike Milan the shows usually start on time. The music most of the time is classical and the venues are usually in old Parisian apartments or for the bigger shows older venues like the Grand Palais, Palais de Tokyo or the Hotel Salomon de Rothschilds .

I arrived on Day 5 of Paris FW. After Milan I took a little break and missed the first couple of shows.

Here a recap of Paris Fall Winter 19.20 Fashion Week

Day 5 – Leonard, Balmain , Issey Miyake, Christian Wijnants, Anna Delle Russo book presentation, Gauchere and touristy things.

LEONARD

The Leonard show was held in the Hotel Salomon de Rothschilds. The brand known for it’s signature printed silk motifs, got a new creative director in March 2016. Since her nomination Christine Phung has breathed new life into a brand that could be considered old fashioned because of its heritage.

Our invites were boarding passes. The show themed around a plane trip to Jaipur, India. On every seat silk sleep masks were laid out along with the press kit. The runway models held printed neck travel pillows and some even rolled Tumi suitcases. A beautiful traditional but modern feminine collection. Oversized bomber jackets with faux fur collars, the print maybe too busy for some. Beautiful silk blouses with blues and touches of orange. Maxi silk skirts that I can imagine will work well on yachts in St. Tropez or for shopping in the streets of Cannes. My favourite playful active wear that would be the perfect outfit to travel in.

Photos by DOMINIQUE MAITRE

BALMAIN

Now this was an incredible show!! The collection was chic with a strong expression of feminism. Music was from the 80’s… The Eurythmics, Roxette, Alphaville and Depeche Mode. The collections were most certainly 80’s inspired. Big Shoulders and pointy shoes with beautiful crystal details or spikes. I can’t say that the collection had a particular consistency. It had a lot of different looks.

I feel it was a new experiment for Balmain, but the classic Balmain finishing was still there. Olivier Rousteing certainly got away with being himself and making his mark on this collection. But I don’t think he went too far. His market is after all the influencers and the Kardashians. Here is the show and it is well worth watching.

ISSEY MIYAKE

I got to go to Issey Miyake in September for the spring collection preview and I really did like the collection. This time I wasn’t too sure. It was very colourful, along with some blacks and greys. New fabrics were introduced with easily modulated shapes. I can only explain it like this: if you take it out of your suitcase you won’t have to iron it. A spring like texture. Only when I went to the showroom for the resee and saw the collection up close did it appeal to me.

Photos by DOMINIQUE MAITRE

I then attended the Belgium designer, Christian Wijnants’s show. I also went to the book presentation of Anna Dello Russo and the Gauchere show. Finally I had time off and could enjoy Paris as a tourist.

DAY 6 – Rahul Mishra, Vivienne Westwood and the Loewe showroom.

My Paris schedule was much less hectic than Milan. From all the invites I was very selective about which shows & presentations I attended, only going to the ones I really wanted to see. My inbox gets filled up with invites to shows and presentations and I eventually just gave up on trying fit them all into my schedule.

I will write about the Vivienne Westwood show in a separate post …
LOEWE SHOWROOM

I didn’t get an invite for the Loewe show. But I did get to go to the resee at the showroom. In this collection we see fabrics mixed together in many of the pieces. Last season there were tassels and this season the tassels also appeared along with feathers too. Kaki, baggy trousers and oversized pullovers with pompom details. Feminine pullovers with pearl detail on the collar. Some sheer dresses. Pointy, masculine shoes and handbags in non traditional shapes. I liked the collection. J.W. Anderson produced garments with so much character and simple in detail.

Photos by :Filippo Fior

DAY 7 – Each x Other, Kristina Fidelskaya, Valentino street style

By day 7 I was running on fumes. I was so exhausted and homesick. I felt like I was going to vomit tassels, faux fur and sheer fabrics. It was cold and rainy and I still had some clients to see and shows to go to and all I wanted was my own bed and family. I did a few small shows and I went past the Valentino show to see the street style which you can see here.

Photo by Yvonne Aberhard Stutz

I liked the Kirstina Fidelskaya collection very much. Very feminine and not over the top. Nothing screaming for attention. Just pure class.

Day 8 – Issey Miyake showroom, Maje showroom, Nobi Talai & a new bff

ISSEY MIYAKE SHOWROOM

Going to the showrooms is a treat for me. Yes the fashion shows are obviously a wonderful experience and a must because you see the garments on someone and that always makes a big difference. But I do believe that going to the showroom is also essential. Touching the garments and seeing them up close gives a better perspective of the collection. I wasn’t so impressed seeing the collection from Issey Miyake on the runway. But once I was in the showroom and actually got to play with the garments and see the collection up close it all made sense and I really liked it. It is a very innovative and clever collection.

MAJE SHOWROOM

I am a total Maje junky. If you have a look in my wardrobe you will establish that much. Maje collections are just my style. Honestly I cannot leave the Maje store without a purchase (I have banned myself from even just walking down that street) Their stuff is exceptional quality and most items so classic that you can wear them into other seasons without looking dated.

HE MET A STRANGE LADY, SHE MADE HIM NERVOUS -MY NEW BFF

Since the first time I attended Fashion Week Milan and Paris I have always spotted this guy with his blingy Balmain jackets – always a different jacket and always very blingy. James Goldstein is as it turns out quite well known in the fashion and NBA circles. He has all access passes and always front row seats at all the Fashion Weeks.

After the Viv Westwood show he was on the press bus … why the press bus I cannot imagine. Maybe this multi-millionaire just felt like doing whatever common people do. I jump onto the empty seat next to him and he introduced himself. I think he was shocked at this loud South African shooting a thousand words a minute at him and none of them on the same theme…

I saw James again at the Nobi Talai show. I grabbed him for a photo opportunity. I enjoy the characters I meet at fashion week.

Photo by Yvonne Aberhard Stutz

What do the trends for winter 2019/20 look like?

Unlike Milan, where there was a clearer indication among the different designers of what would be trending in Winter 19.20, I did not see that in Paris. Each designer had a very different and individual take on the trends for next fall and winter. Leonard had bold prints, Issey Miyake colours, Balmain mostly black with 80’s influence and Loewe simplicity. But in the end ZARA will dictate which trends from the fashion houses we will wear.

AU REVOIR TO ANOTHER FASHION WEEK SEASON GONE

That was that for Paris Fashion Week. And Au revoir to another Fashion Week season. It passes so quickly, but it is extremely tiring. And at the end I always feel so drained that I say to myself I won’t do this again next season.

But when I go through my photos and my notes I remember how I felt being in the shows and showrooms and I feel again so very blessed and privileged to be able to do this.

Photo by Yvonne Aberhard Stutz´╗┐