Of Paris, I can say this… there is no other city in which the romance of the past and the modern day more perfectly collide. Amidst the natural flow of daily life, there runs an electric undercurrent that pulses with an energy and creativity, that was only amplified by the highly anticipated Paris Fashion Week and fashion trade show, for which I was in town. For one full week, every year, the streets of Paris are swarmed with fashion editors, bloggers, influencers, celebs, socialites and buyers alike, whose privilege it is to get a first glimpse into the future of fashion in the making. [Get caught up on my Paris Fashion Diary: Part I]
Oh yes! The fashion takes center stage as we get to marvel at the decadent and dazzling, the embellished, accessorized and over-the-top creations of the city’s most promising talents. This is where names are made, and trends are forecast. To be a part of this massive parade is such fun! And to see the city come alive for this occasion is to understand why it continues, after so many decades, to be regarded as the authority in the realm of fashion.
The week long trade show was massive, with an overwhelming number of emerging designers who filtered in from all over Europe. Held in three distinct venues throughout the city, we shuttled (or in some cases, ferried!) back and forth between them, reviewing collections and creating a working list of designers and pieces we had in mind to introduce to LILA for the spring/summer 2017 seasons. So very exciting, and also quite challenging, trying to keep them all straight. I’m sharing below a visual diary from a day at the show, with a little more sightseeing tossed in!
For the first day of the show, I styled a white button down with a gold studded collar, mustard mini skirt, suede camel jacket, a Rebecca Minkoff crossbody and my favorite gold glitter slippers. Though heels were tempting, walking around the showrooms all day made flats very necessary (and my feet were very grateful). I especially enjoyed seeing the ensembles of the other buyers and designers; so much flair and eccentricity in one space it was visual overload.
Showtime! Snaps before heading to the first venue.
Cake for breakfast… literally.
The patisseries became my daily morning addiction. It would be the first stop of the day, before heading to the show. So many delicious pastries, cakes and tarts, it was criminal having to pick. The pain au chocolate was definitely a favorite. Paris, you’ve made me such a dessert snob!
The shinier the better, right?
Metallics definitely seemed to be trending in a major way at the show. Designers found every which way to incorporate it into their pieces – from handbags, to shoes and clothing. We loved how much these Italian made leather clutches in metallic pink and orange really popped. Like kids in the candy shop, we oohed and ahhed over every style and color these beauties came in. Definitely a fave collection.
So. Many. Options.
The shoe woo was for real, guys! Flats, ballerinas, wedges, platform heels – spring and summer is looking pretty sweet if you ask me. I was incredibly excited about the range of styles and colors that we’ll be seeing in the coming seasons. Glitter was a major contender – think full glitter boots and sandals, and slip-ons accented with a glitter block heel. Metallics were all the rage as well; I especially loved how the style was incorporated into the striped blue and bronze metallic ballerina and t-strap flat (pictured above).
Handcrafted leather mini bags from Italy
Is it just me, or does it seem like handbags are trending smaller and smaller? Tiny top handles and structured shoulder bags and clutches have been ‘in’ for a while, and from what was glaringly obvious at the show – they won’t be going away any time soon. Brightly colored, fringed and ornamented with rhinestones, chunky hardware, glitters and metallics galore, these beauties are my current obsession. There’s nothing like toting around one of these conversation starters. My recommendation: Find that one statement piece (be it a shoe, handbag or accessory) to invest in for the upcoming season – what will you pick?
En route see Notre Dame!
I envy the Parisian photographers, bloggers, you name it, for having Paris as their daily backdrop. The city is undoubtedly photogenic. Every building, street corner and cafe exudes such beauty and romance… how can anyone ever snap a bad picture? I especially loved watching (and of course photographing) the ferry boats gliding on the waters of the Seine. The temps were so perfect for it!
Made it to Notre Dame
Notre Dame was definitely a hot spot for tourists, but worth a visit all the same. For sightseeing (because I am a tourist, always), I opted for cozier ensembles. A wool sweater, denim skinnies and booties got me through quite a few long days of trekking through the city.
The Jardin du Luxembourg in all its glory
The stunning gardens and L’Orangerie of the Jardin du Luxembourg set the stage for a few of Fashion Week’s most dynamic shows, including Sacai and Alexander McQueen. I wanted to get close enough to ‘smell the roses’, and sure enough, the garden was in full bloom. Such a vivid mix of pinks and greens against a bright blue sky, no filter was needed. Can you believe it? It was a delight to find such a beautiful, serene space in the heart of the bustling city.
I think I’ll move in…
The Jardin du Luxembourg and Jardin du Tuileries (which I mentioned in Part I of my Paris Fashion Diary) both appeared to be perfect places to spend a leisurely afternoon. I could certainly tell that the locals love their gardens. I observed so many people reading books or gathering with friends to share a bottle of wine or a picnic lunch, in view of the sculptures and fountains. I need to infuse a little bit more of that approach into my own life. It’s so easy to forget to slow down. Otherwise, I’ll just have to plan another trip to Pareee…
For more updates on fashion trends and other news, stop by the LILA e-shop and official blog at lilafashioninternational.com!