and when you thought it couldn’t get more magical than the former,
The City of Lights lights up.
As if Paris wasn’t already beautiful enough, every corner and cobblestone gets enhanced with captivating details during the holiday season. Whether it’s the festive Prada window displays that light up Printemps or the serene blue and white orbs that garnish the Champs Élysées, the ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde or the little bursts of vitality that line every street, the city truly comes to life. There’s no escaping the holiday spirit or the magic that comes with it.
It’s kind of funny. I’ve been in Paris for over 3 months, and even though I’ll still be here until the end of January, I’m starting to get a bit of that excruciating nostalgia that accompanies the finale of every great journey. All of the editorial pieces, Paris Fashion Week coverage, and other projects wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t come here, but I feel like I need to take a moment to step away from the professionalism and get a little personal.
The first time seeing the Eiffel Tower could be best described as an emotional experience, and if that doesn’t do it for you, just wait until it sparkles at night. The same beautiful lights outline every avenue and boulevard, from the iconic Champs Élysées to the unbelievably chic Saint Germain. While navigating through crowds of immaculately put-together Parisians, you could probably collect enough immaculately crafted sculptures and architectural details to put in a museum. But why do that when the real museums present endless resources to explore unlimited subject matter? Although Paris’ typical smells might not always be the best, every taste of every meal is a reminder that there is such a thing as culinary artwork.
No matter how many books, films, or anecdotes describe Paris as the most magical place on Earth, it’s difficult to adequately convey how indescribably incredible it feels to be here. Nowhere else could truly embody the idea of “giving me life”; I’ve never been in a place where I consider nearly everything beautiful, where there’s so much history and culture in every crevice.
Stepping completely out of my comfort zone, I have never felt more inspired, motivated, or genuinely happy as I do while in Paris. The only thing I’m more thankful for than the experience I’ve had so far is the fact that this amazing dream is not yet finished.
Although no photo could every completely do this real-life fantasy justice, here’s a selection of some I’ve taken so far.
The world lost an incredible treasure today. After an ongoing battle with a series of illnesses, Nelson Mandela passed away at 95. It goes without saying that the man has been a remarkable inspiration to all, whether leading the movement against apartheid in South Africa or in his lifelong promotion of peace and its triumph over hatred. It’s difficult to explain the global loss, but it’s equally important to keep Mandela’s ideas alive long after his passing. His legacy will always be remembered and held to the highest standard.
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
When it comes to the most influential couturiers in the history of Parisian fashion, it’s impossible not to mention Azzedine Alaïa. After studying at the School of Fine Arts in Tunis, the designer began making his mark in Paris in the 1950s. His always exclusive, custom-made garments created a strong link between himself and his clients, a foundation of his expansive body of work. Alaïa created iconic pieces for the likes of Louise de Vilmorin, Arletty, and Greta Garbo throughout the 60s and 70s, finally gaining media acclaim for his work in the 1980s. With pieces that fit like a second skin, few designers have shown a true knowledge and appreciation for the female anatomy to the extent of Azzedine Alaïa. His mastery of crafting the inconceivable out of every material from chiffon to leather is difficult to match.
Finally, the exceptional work of Azzedine Alaïa is being honored in his first ever retrospective at Paris’ Musée Galliera, also known as the Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris. Opened during Paris Fashion Week and even upstaging some of the spring 2014 shows, the exhibition will continue to house some of the most iconic Alaïa designs until January 26, 2014.
You can see a few photos of the beautiful work shown at the exposition below, though they don’t quite do the pieces justice. Be sure to head over to the Musée Galliera in Paris and see the Azzedine Alaïa retrospective for yourself!
The fashion industry is often noted for it’s glamorous appeal, much of which has diminished since the peak of the 1990’s. However, editor at large at Style.com and former Fashion File host (and a major role model of mine) Tim Blanks takes us on a walk down memory lane with Style.com’s Throwback Thursdays. Exploring runway videos and interviews with some of the biggest fashion icons in history, the new digital installment is set to remind many of the golden age and enlighten others to a time full of inconceivable inspiration and freedom. We couldn’t expect anything but the best from Tim Blanks and Style.com, so Throwback Thursdays will definitely be an exciting weekly treat.
Check out the preview video below, and stay tuned to Style.com for updates every Thursday starting October 17!
The energy of Paris Fashion Week is the type of thing that sticks around for life. After only my first experience with a monumental fashion week, I’m already addicted to the atmosphere, the vitality, and the fashion that exudes from every corner of Paris. Though the energy died down a bit- everyone gets exhausted by the end of Fashion Month- there was still so much beauty and inspiration to be seen. Already nostalgic, I can’t wait for next season’s madness and excitement. But hopefully next time I’ll be reporting from the other side ;).
What would fashion week be without the glamor and the stars? The endless parade of models and street style is bound to feature a few appearances from major celebrities, including a very chaotic, blurry frenzy surrounding Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s presence at the Givenchy spring/summer 2014 show (very poorly depicted above). But it doesn’t stop there. Carine Roitfeld popped up around the city she calls home, representing a notion that could be reflected throughout the rest of these fashion week activities. The comfort of “home” could be seen amongst the attendees and other characters in the fashion fête, as everyone appeared in a natural, genuine environment. It’s the true sense of the term “candid” that really defines Paris Fashion Week.
If the last post didn’t do it for you, there’s plenty more Paris Fashion Week where that came from (please excuse that awful cliché). Those few ensembles that are less thirsty and more tasteful truly give me life; impeccable style is honestly its own art form. But let’s be real, insane outfits can get a little tiresome. What never seems to get old, however, is seeing models in person, as the stunning faces that grace magazines and runways are even more mind-bogglingly incredible in real life. What especially stood out to me was a more personal encounter with my current favorite, Malaika Firth. In her first season, the exquisite Kenyan-born mannequin is already owning runways, though she balances her success with a pleasant, polite attitude. When struggling to understand a French voicemail, I had the privilege to briefly aid her, commemorated by the photo above. Sorry if I seem like an obsessive fan, but it’s not every day I’m exceptionally inspired by a model, especially not a new face. Not since Gemma Ward’s heyday has a girl looked so amazing.
Okay, but let’s stay on topic.
On a less positive, though extremely humorous note, protestors from the Ukrainian feminist group, FEMEN stormed the Nina Ricci runway earlier this week, making headlines for their shirtless shenanigans. Yes, two members of the radical organization really took their tops off to reveal the phrases “model do not go to brothel” and “fashion dictaterror.” I’m not really sure what these ladies were trying to accomplish, as their poorly written slogans imply illiteracy. Unfortunately, FEMEN’s ability to make it on the runway resulted in heightened security at the rest of Paris’ top shows. Keep it classy, ladies.
There’s plenty more to be said about wonderful encounters with the likes of Grace Coddington, Anna Dello Russo, Liu Wen, and others, as well as precious puppies at Maison Martin Margiela and melancholy makeup at Comme des Garçons. But why not have a look for yourself?