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