PERSONAL STYLISTS: Life of a Stylist in Paris, Spring / Summer Collections 2017

Featuring some of the most spectacular designer catwalk shows in the world, Paris truly comes to life during the summer collections!  Days and nights are full of excitement, with back-to-back shows at grand venues and glittering after-parties.  As a Celebrity and Personal Stylist, styling one of Paris' most celebrated rap artists, as well as an invitation to the dazzling George V hotel were certainly special moments!  Below I share with you the highlights, including Spring / Summer 17 trends currently available - should your wardrobe need a seasonal update!

First Issey Miyake, the most grand-scale production I've ever seen.  Featuring a live orchestra, a dramatic tone was set even before the music played, as guests watched on in the dark anticipating the show to start. 

Dramatic silhouettes - the orchestra at Issey Miyake

Dramatic silhouettes - the orchestra at Issey Miyake

The looks featured geometric shapes and pulsating colour, such as this cropped-sleeve bubblegum pink jacket:

Pulsating colour - Issey Miyake

Pulsating colour - Issey Miyake

For the beauty looks, geometric shapes were also used, and stencilled onto the model's face in gold.  Another highlight was the 'electronic bag' developed with Sony's Fashion Entertainment unit, featuring seven changing patterns using electronic paper.

Electronic bags - Issey Miyake

Electronic bags - Issey Miyake

Outside the venue it was a battle to wade through the mammoth crowd - the sea of aspiring blogger 'influencers' vying to have their photos taken.  Increasingly it can feel these activities take the spotlight away from the shows themselves - still I carry away with me the memory of such a spectacular production. 

Another highlight was Vivienne Westwood's Spring / Summer 17 collection by Andreas Kronthaler - a tribute to the Mediterranean as muse, proclaiming that he sees England as part of Europe, as does Vivienne.  In the collection England's contribution is the tailoring, which is unisex, with jewellery from European iconography and Greek pagan sources.

Mediterranean influence - Vivienne Westwood 

Mediterranean influence - Vivienne Westwood 

Men's stylist - menswear at Vivienne Westwood

Men's stylist - menswear at Vivienne Westwood

As expected, Vivienne Westwood was a star-studded event, among guests Charlie XCX, Rafferty Law and I could not help but spot the beauty Christina Hendricks sitting across from me in the front row.

Christina Hendricks (far right) - Vivienne Westwood

Christina Hendricks (far right) - Vivienne Westwood

One aspect perhaps not so widely known is how exhausting the Paris show itinerary can be, as last-minute invitations, particularly for the after-parties can be received.  The back-to-back shows in the day and parties at night, in addition to getting ready in full glam (hair and make-up) and keeping up with social media reporting - sometimes until early hours of the morning - almost require super-human strength!  Thankfully for guests of Vivienne Westwood who wanted to recuperate, an afternoon tea only ten minutes walk away seemed like a God-send - the very Instagram-worthy La Bauhinia at the Shangri-La hotel:

Fashion's favourite La Bauhinia - vegan High Tea at Shangri-La hotel

Fashion's favourite La Bauhinia - vegan High Tea at Shangri-La hotel

Among the very special evening events was a cocktail party for Mugler, presented by David Koma and Virginie-Clarins.  Featuring resident portrait artist, Felix Floris, who provided guests each with their own portraits, and a photo booth from which we could take photos away as mementos.

Me (left) holding my portrait by artist Felix Floris (right) at Mugler

Me (left) holding my portrait by artist Felix Floris (right) at Mugler

Onto more extreme fashion, the Les Etoiles cocktail party hosted by Mercedez-Benz and Alexis Mabille exhibited show-stopping creations placed on revolving pedestals, which guests mingled around: 

Charlie Le Mindu featured at Les Etoiles, Mercedez-Benz & Alexis Mabille cocktail party 

Charlie Le Mindu featured at Les Etoiles, Mercedez-Benz & Alexis Mabille cocktail party 

Carolina Ritzler catsuit on display at Les Etoiles, Mercedez-Benz & Alexis Mabille cocktail party

Carolina Ritzler catsuit on display at Les Etoiles, Mercedez-Benz & Alexis Mabille cocktail party

These displays definitely showcased an edgier side which exists to Paris - indeed this catsuit could have come in handy for my friend's night motorcycle tour through the city later (we could only wish to take these stunning creations with us!).

Onto accessories and a standout collection for me was Stella McCartney.  Luckily I was treated to a private appointment to view some of the pieces, allowing a close-up view:

Stunning Stella McCartney earrings 

Stunning Stella McCartney earrings 

Just when I thought the week was busy enough, whilst out to dinner with friends unexpectedly I was contacted by an agent from LA, asking me to style a shoot for none other than Maitre Gims, France's celebrated rap artist and footballer Raphael Varane.  In 48 hours I had just enough time to meet with the shoot producer to receive the brief, and do the necessary preparations.  Before I knew it, I was on the rooftop of the historical Hotel Molitor styling Paris' rap royalty.  Only later did I discover he is friends with a private client of mine (a royal family member in Paris no less!) - such a coincidence was a reminder of what a small world it really is, and that serendipitous events do happen!

Celebrity Stylist: Styling for Maitre Gims 

Celebrity Stylist: Styling for Maitre Gims 

A chance to celebrate at the end of our two-day shoot was not lost.  Who could refuse an invitation from George V, lunch at Le George by chef Simone Zanoni who personally talked us through the inspirations behind several courses of his light and modern Mediterranean-style cuisine.

Celebrating with Shoot Europe at George V 

Celebrating with Shoot Europe at George V 

Finally a Personal Stylist in Paris cannot complete her trip without shopping!  After failing to navigate correctly and regretfully missing my last show because of it (possibly due to exhaustion!), I decided to travel outside Paris for the day for designer outlet shopping.  Whilst only coming away with one pair of treasured art deco earrings for myself, the shop research I did in Paris was nevertheless worthwhile for my clients.  As most of us know, sometimes jewellery is most treasured when found on your travels so you remember how very special your time was.

For more images from Paris Fashion Week Spring / Summer 2017, please visit my Instagram and for information on styling services, see Personal Styling.