Every year since I started at NYU, I have found myself latching onto the hype surrounding Fashion Week. My first year, I studied abroad in Florence and eagerly cyber-stalked all of the happenings of Milan Fashion Week. Though MFW was arguably quite easy for me to get to by a two-hour train, I went to Paris for their fashion week the following weekend instead. While I was in Paris, a local friend showed me around and we somehow managed to finagle our way into a very chic Parisian nightclub where we spotted walking Chanel ads left and right. The rest of the weekend was spent with a keen eye, but we didn’t do much more than dawdle by the Dior show tent at the Louvre and hope that someone famous would walk by.
After unsuccessful attempts at trying to get standing room at lesser-known shows in New York sophomore year, I was hoping to have a little more luck during my junior year abroad in Paris — after all, I had gotten into that club that one time. I decided there was no way I would miss out on the festivities this year.
My mom decided to visit during Fashion Week, and being with her pushed me to explore more touristy areas that I might not have been checking out otherwise. This is where some of the major shows were happening, and wandering through these gardens on a Saturday afternoon didn’t seem like a terrible idea. I got a close-up of Hailey Baldwin after hearing a gaggle of French girls shrieking her name (and initially thinking they were calling to me) and we spotted many fashion industrialists and models. I honestly had no idea who most of them were, but seeing the wild, occasionally group-coordinated outfits that people had put together was serious eye candy.
After this, we strolled down Rue St. Honore and whom should we see but Kim Kardashian stepping out of Hermes, the day before her terrifying experience in her Parisian private residence. Once we had recovered from the excitement of watching her take two steps from the shop door to her Range Rover, we popped over to Hotel Costes for drinks. It was packed to the rafters with Parisian socialites puffing on cigarettes and wearing the most out-there threads I’d seen all week.
The real trick to mastering the art of rubbing shoulders with industry people during this outrageous week seems to be to have fun with it and to step outside of your usual routine. Splurging on a cocktail at Titty Twister or Le Montana or wandering around a cool area like Le Marais has its rewards. There are also concept and book stores like Colette and Taschen that often hold book signings during Fashion Week. Just make sure you’re out and about — if you’re exploring a city like this one, you’re bound to stumble upon something (or someone) fabulous, even if it isn’t Fashion Week.
Email Haley Crawford at [email protected]