Bonjour fashionistas. It is an interesting time in fashion as the industry has been forced to consider the cost effective merger of men's and women's designs on the one catwalk (honestly I do not know why it has taken this long) and the photographers are following suit by not only shooting the fashionable lasses on the street, but also the gents, giving way to real integration of fashion. The fashion sphere is definitely leading the way for diversity.
A true highlight of the trip and example of diversity was an invite to attend The Globe-Trotting PR, A Caring Experience at Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris that the provided the chance to discover wonderful pieces from the middle east. Supported by Founder and Chairman of Ghribi Luxury Fashion Brand, Kamel GHRIBI, the event hosted a number of brands including Le Monde de GHRIBI who focus on both men's and women's made in Italy leather goods creating aesthetically pleasing bags. Also in attendance were media partners, influencers, socialites and international buyers from Europe, USA, UAE and Gulf. The line up was well thought out and showcased the strengths of each designer from foot ware designers af Klingberg , men's dapperly dandy shoe brand Maison Corthay through to Zambezi Grace. To me the spectacular designs from the delightfully elegant Tunisian Mehdi Kallel stole my heart. His gowns are so breathtakingly beautiful and romantic you can imagine an angel descending from the clouds in them gracefully. This man understands the female form and the proportions in which to create drama with lashings of bead work and intricate layering. A true example of how to show the female body without the need to reveal too much. It was such a wonderful event and The Globe-Trotting PR team deserve a stylish standing ovation.
Bouncing between shows that are all over Paris in all different venues, it is important to pit stop for a delicious coffee and take a quiet moment away from the fashion pack. Tucked away from the tourist central spot of The Ritz is a quaint Le Castiglione cafe that serves the most amazing club sandwich I have ever had and their coffee is simply liquid black gold! Perfect people watching location as well.
From coffee's to sashaying models in svelte original silky creations I returned to Jean- Louis Premiere Classe to devour the talent and scout some rising superstars. It is easy to see why the trade show runs for four days as it would be impossible to meet with every brand in a shorter time. Coming from Australia it was so refreshing to see so much volume, sparkle, feather and unique designs that our Industry rarely embraces. No need to despair in Paris, especially with Laure Welfling. My audience of instagram followers certainly shared their equal excitement by sending lots of direct messages when I highlighted Laure Welfling on my stories. Laure spends her time between Paris and Tangier which clearly influences her designs of colourful bold prints, luxurious embellishments and delicate nods to tradition. The collection was so stylish and elegant both in men's and women's that it was hard to not be enthralled by the gorgeous materials used to create show stopping garments. A clear favourite of mine and yours.
Images supplied :Laure Welfling
And just as fast as Paris fashion week arrived, it ended as showgoers departed Paris in droves and the skeleton of the marquees were in the final stages of being deconstructed. So what to do in Paris? You simply cannot go to Paris and not shop! If you are looking for bargains there is nowhere better than LA VALLÉE VILLAGE which a friend directed to me as soon as she heard I was heading to Paris. For Australian shoppers forget everything you know about discount shopping and what you have experienced so far!
Outlet shopping French style does not mean you need to be digging through a bin or trying to find your size in a pile of twisted garments whilst being starred at by an angry shop assistant. The stores at LA VALLÉE VILLAGE are beautiful, clean and merchandised just as good as their more expensive city stores. The only difference is the amount of tourists at the outlet, the fact it is last seasons stock and you will be pleasantly surprised by the level of professionalism, passion, products and people in this one stop, must shop, shopping destination. This location is not just for the ladies. So ladies and men, grab your wallets and keep a day aside to jump on the shopping express transfer.
This European adventure reminded me of just how much I love and enjoy fashion (and not just because of the champagne). I had the chance to attend many shows and it is impossible to write about each and every one, who I met and all the wonderful shopping, but the good news is, there is always next season.