The amazing and yet equally tragic thing about working for a PR company in Paris during Fashion Week is that the days are jam packed with incredible things that make you want to jump up and down and scream like you’ve just won the lottery. The unfortunate thing is that you’re so busy you barely get a chance to savour the moment.
The first time I did a shopping pull for L’Officiel Magazine, Jalouse, i-D, Purple, Vogue Nederlands, and Vogue China I wanted to fist pump until the roof fell in, but I couldn’t. Not only because it would have roused concerned attention from my colleagues and bosses, but also because it was urgent that it was couriered immediately.
Don’t worry, it didn’t stop me from having my inner Michael Jackson dance moments in the privacy of my own head!
The first time you attend your first runway show, whether it’s Toronto, New York, Tokyo, London, Milan, Paris, or any of the other countless big cities which display their top designer’s creations, it’s an exciting experience.
For myself, being here in Paris and the experiences and struggle I have had to go through to arrive in this moment makes it all the more thrilling. There is an undeniable difference of appreciation between myself and my Parisienne colleagues. What to I mean by this? Well, it’s come to my attention that people here in France, and Paris specifically, have had the opportunity to interact with these legendary and mega brands on a personal and familial level since birth. Their home is the fashion Mecca of the world. Not only do they wear Chanel, if it was purchased it was purchased at THE Chanel boutique, and have pieces which in some cases have been given to members of their family or purchased directly from Coco herself! Now where I come from, the fanciest store growing up was Bootlegger, and you had to drive 5 hours to the nearest city to buy clothes from American Eagle so you could be “on trend”. I’m not saying that one is better than the other. I simply mean that there is an undeniable difference between cultures and the availability of being able to pursue certain interests. Girls here who are 19 have already interned with mega brands like Givenchy, and have been to the top show rooms in the world.
16 year olds are able to weasel their way into seeing some of the top shows in the Fashion Industry and complain about how they can’t believe they’re squished against other people in a crowed show. They have experienced things that for those of us in many parts of the world, is an incredible dream which may never come true.
One of our Head of Press agents once said to us in a group that we were young and naive because of our excitment. Perhaps he was referring to the way we have no knowledge of the reality of the people behind these brilliant creations. It seems people last only so long in the industry before they get tired of the bullshit and politics and the constant vying for popularity and chicness. It’s an interesting world where your importance is publicly displayed in a seating arrangement. But there are strange things in every profession. For me, I am less interested in getting close to the “cool kids”, or judging people’s outfits, and more focused on my self, my own presentation, presence, my creativity, and surrounding myself with people who want to work hard and create beautiful work.
I also find that there is a huge difference between seeing things with fresh eyes, and having a fragility or a weakness. This may be my first experience in Paris Fashion Week, but it is certainly not my first time around people who are shallow, looking for power, playing a game, being deceptive, or people who are doped up and high. This however does not diminish my happiness and excitement at having worked my way to being here. I see it with new eyes, but with the veil raised. I love that I see it with excitement and pride. I love it for all its beauty and all its flaws. I love Paris, and I love being here and seeing the shows. May it will be an excitement that will fade, and that would be okay with me because when you outgrow something it also means you can grow into something new. But just because there is a chance that I will lose this excitement doesn’t mean I won’t let myself fully enjoy the joy of all of this in the moment. It may be an experience easily achieved by fashion enthused Parisiennes, but for me, it has been the journey of a life time and I couldn’t be happier!