The city of light is buzzing as fashion week is just beginning! Following on from London, New York, and Milan, Paris Fashion Week is the industry's homestretch, ending a month-long run of beautiful shows and fashion. The French capital is known for its glamour, and it’s the perfect stage for luxury.
After landing and settling in, we decided to start with art and inspiration. Off we went to what was Leslie Jane Tyrell’s favorite museum, the Musée D'Orsay. Situated at the former Gare d'Orsay railway station, the Musée D'Orsay museum is one of Paris' most significant art galleries and features the largest collection ofimpressionistandpost-Impressionistartwork in the world. Next, we visited the Palais de Tokyo - a gallery dedicated to modern and contemporary art located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. What better way to spend our first night in Paris for Paris Fashion Week than with art and an after-dinner stole to the ever-special Eiffel Tower, the quintessential Parisian evening. On this evening the tower was shut and darkened in commemoration of former President Jacques Chirac.
Ready to be awed by the beautiful textiles, colors, materials and upcoming fashion trends, we started our PFW designer visits with our friend Harvy Santos at his private showroom in the Haute Marais. Born in the Philippines, Harvy began his career as a professional ballet dancer in the Hong Kong Ballet, then studied millinery at Kensington and Chelsea College. Well known for styling Queen Elizabeth and many people for the Royal Ascot, one of Harvy’s pieces was inspired by Sophia Loren and her work in Federico Fellini’s film Juliette of the Spirits. We had the wonderful privilege of previewing his Papillon (butterfly) inspired collection, which was pleasantly colourful and playful.
For our next appointment we visited Barbara Lang. A short walk from the Marais, we arrived in the Bastille neighborhood, her minimalist showroom assembled with gorgeous black wrought-iron and country antique furniture. Known for selecting materials with attention, impeccable quality and durability, Barbara Lang’s touches and upcoming line inspired us with daydreams of far-away travel. Lang is a perfectionist and environmentalist and prides herself on creating timeless clothing that can be worn from morn to eve, from city to country.
We began our second day with a visit to Vlas Blomme at the Palais de la Bourse, Flemish for "flax flower," Vlas Blomme is known for their use of high-grade Belgian linen to create textural clothes with a worn-in, relaxed silhouette. Vlas Blomme has a "Farm-to-Table" approach; they produce their own flax, which they then turn into the fibers and fabric that they then craft into their garments. The styles and colours this coming season are truly exceptional! Our friend Satoshi and his team at Vlas Blomme were amazing at presenting this upcoming season’s beautiful lineup of clothing - inspired by the designer’s passion for antiques and gardening.
Next was our Khadi and Co appointment at their location in the Haute Marais, viewing their spring-summer collection of impeccable shawls. This atelier’s scarves, clothing, and household items are as exclusive as they are environmentally friendly - proudly boasting of natural organic cotton and fibers.
We then popped across the street for lunch at the famous Used Book Café at the Merci store, Devon and Paul’s favourite place for a petit dejeuner in Paris. No time for shopping though, as we had to eat and run to our next appointment!
It wouldn’t be a fashion week if we didn’t visit our friends at Manuelle Guibal, and the new showroom overlooking the Seine river was absolutely breathtaking. Three walls of windows bring in lots of natural light and allow for excellent people watching! This evening we had the pleasure of witnessing one of Paris’ many roudy protest/parades across the river for the for most of our time at the showroom. None of us could figure out what they were protesting this time: the environment, housing, the economy...was it a gay pride parade, or maybe somehow related to the "yellow jacket" protests we witnessed the day before at the Bourse? We were shown Manuelle’s SS2020 collection by Tatiana, Yasmin, Manuelle’s son Sinann, and Manuelle herself. Truly a family affair that we are so privileged to be a part of! Bold, beautiful colour were paired with delicate soft textiles - we’re in love! Her creations are simple, enveloping, protective and calm yet often dazzle with tiny surprises and poetic details - and this collection certainly didn’t fail to impress.
Spending our time in between appointments exploring the city for all its beauty, we headed off to the Jardin des Tuileriesfor the Premiere Classe show. Here our friends at Épice welcomed us with patterns, masterful colour combinations exciting styles of shawls, bags, t-shirt and hats for next spring.
La Fée Parisienne Cashmereat the Tranoï, Carrousel du Louvre, was our next destination, and designer Lara Bruneau-Lauré shared with us what it means to be organic in the world of Cashmere and how long strand cashmere is infinitely superior. Her extraordinary cashmere sweaters use only yarns made out of the highest quality long fibre cashmere, from the most precious part of the fleece of Capra Hircus, from the highlands of the Himalayas.
The most precious raw Cashmere is combed only by hand, as opposed to shaved. The yarns selected by Lara are used to create the “cashmere of your dreams" …and we do not disagree! Not all cashmere is created equal, as Lara Bruneau-Lauré demonstrates. Visit LeslieJane at take a peek at our newly arrived selection of Lara’s superb cashmere sweaters for fall.
Back to the Palais de la Bourse for our final designer visit during Paris Fashion Week we said “Ciao” to the wonderful women of apuntob of Rome. This exquisite Italian line is amazing in so many ways. The colours, styles, and fabrics are all to die for. The showroom was energetic and bursting with life. Gaia greeted us and immediately went to work grabbing samples from all over, organizing them in the appropriate order. Paul and Gaia flipped through swatch books, customizing pieces while other buyers clambered for a look at our selections. At 5 pm, like clockwork at this particularly glamourous show the drinks cart arrived serving champagne to all! Fashion buying in Paris certainly has its perks.
As quickly as it seemed that we had arrived in Paris, it was then all over. The upcoming spring/summer 2020 deliveries are definitely something to anticipate!