My introduction to Paris Men’s Fashion Week was with Japanese designer Tatsuro Horikawa for Julius. The show was an incredible mixture of exceptional draping, tailoring and textures. Black was definitely not left out of this collection!
For details on Julius and a look-book of the show, check out the link below.
After leaving the venue on an incredible high, It dawned on me that I had left my purse back at the office and was horrified to realize we weren’t returning there after the show! I quickly checked my pockets and breathed a sigh of relief upon finding I had my metro pass and apartment keys. At least I could get home. Feeling relieved I continued my walk to the Metro with two of the girls from our agency (one Parisienne, and one Taiwanese). As we descended in the metro one of the girls realized she didn’t have a ticket. She then proceeded to crawl under the barrier… Obviously it was just our luck that there was a gang of Metro Police at that station at that precise moment. We all got stopped and the Parisienne and I had to hand over our passes. (I will continue to refer to these beautiful girls as the Parisienne and the Taiwanese to help protect their privacy, but still allow them to be distinguishable from one another.) The metro officer then pointed to myself and my Taiwanese friend and told us we both had to come with him. “Why both of us?!” I asked worriedly, a question which he felt disinclined to answer.
We descended another set of stairs deeper into the underground where a large and authoritative woman proceeded to inform me that I was being fined for not having a photo on my metro card. When she asked for my ID, I couldn’t produce it because it was locked in the office. She then proceeded to shout a lecture at me that if I was able to remember to bring my cell phone with me I should have been able to remember my wallet which is far more important. (Kids these days.) I tried to explain to her that the reason I had my phone and not my bag was because we had just come from working a fashion show where I was in fact required to have my cellphone, and that it was for that same reason that I didn’t have my bag with me and that it was locked in at work. I also tried to explain to her that the research I had done and information I had received for my metro pass was that I only required a photo for a MONTHLY pass, and not a weekly pass. I told her I had a weekly pass because I had just moved to Paris a few days ago. Expecting a humaine sense of understanding from this woman, I was sorely disappointed. She proceed to continue to shout “helpful” life tips at me about how she is always capable of making sure that when she goes somewhere she always knows the documentation she requires. Because I was unable to produce my ID or any money to pay my fine, she called the police.
She then turned from me and began to interrogate my Taiwanese friend to figure out “what possessed her” to crawl under the barrier. Because she doesn’t speak any french my Parisienne friend and I had to try to translate this woman’s furious rant to the Taiwanese in English so she could understand the situation. Luckily the Taiwanese had her ID card, but couldn’t remember her address in Paris which only further infuriated our Metro lady. She told us if we couldn’t pay our fines that we would be detained at the police station until they were able to verify our identity or until the fine was able to be payed. She was clearly just trying to scare us, but none the less, after working a 14 hour day, and then being detained for 45 minutes on my way home, I could not have had less patience for the situation. The Taiwanese then decided to play ball with the metro woman and told her she had no money to pay. She was fully prepared to go to war, saying later she was “ready to become such a big problem for them that they would have no choice but to let us go”. Between interrogations the three of us were finally able to get a moment to ourselves without the metro woman breathing down our necks, only to find out the whole time that the Taiwanese had money! She asked me if she wanted me to pay the fine so we could leave. “Um, YEA!”. It was the easiest question I’ve ever been asked!
As we walked away after paying, my Taiwanese friend looked at me and the Parisienne and asked “Was that whole thing my fault?”. I managed a muffled “Ummm I dunno”, while the Parisienne responded with a resounding “Yes!”.
As with most unpleasant experiences, there is a lesson that can be learned from it. So what have I learned from this whole experience? To make sure if you have any sort of pass for transit in France, TO PUT YOUR FLIPPIN FACE ON IT! Always bring your wallet, never expect kindness from cops, and that even though I had only been in Paris for 3 days, I’d already made friends who were willing to stare down the barrel of expensive and stressful situations with me.
When I finally arrived home, my feet were so sore and swollen from being in heels running around the city for 14 hours that I had to gingerly limp around the apartment. As painful as it was, it also made me feel a sense of pride at having finally joined that group of fashionable people who say things like “Omg, Fashion Week?! It’s so exhausting! My feet are sore just thinking about it!”.