Do you have a spare invitation for Chanel, Dior, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton or Givenchy? During the Paris Fashion Week, you suddenly become awfully popular. Everyone wants to drink champagne, celeb watch and bask in the glamour. For those who have to visit the shows and various cocktail events for their job, Fashion Week is stress incarnate. Every hour, you rush from location to location in your painful high heels, struggling through the city’s permanent gridlock: Mostly a little tipsy, because you were served champagne instead of coffee at 10 o’clock in the morning, and chronically hypoglycaemic because the industry’s food traditionally consists of thimble-sized portions such as guacamole or a shrimp on a stick. And even these are as difficult to get hold of as trout in the River Seine because the waiters have a tough time getting through to you due to the busy crowds. You have a hard time feeling sorry for these people? So do I.
Paris is a wonderfully crazy madhouse at this time, and it is only really then that it truly pays homage to its fashion metropolis reputation. Only in the fashion weeks do the Parisians take their glamorous and extravagant outfits out of their closets and turn the whole city into their own personal catwalks. So you don’t even have to be part of the inner circle of fashion pros if you want to cheer people on and embark on a photo safari. As an impartial, silent observer, it’s much funnier and significantly more relaxed anyway. Those who are invited mostly only find out the venues of the respective shows the day before. But whoever is sitting in Café Le Progrès in 1 Rue de Bretagne has a very good chance of being able to observe the long lines of styled fashion victims who pass by to visit a catwalk show at one of the many locations in the third arrondissement. The designer showrooms pop up in the temporarily redesigned galleries around this district, and as an onlooker you get to take a look inside. You simply follow the craziest looking character and, after walking 10 minutes, you are sure to find yourself outside an entrance door, where once again supermodels, actresses or model/actress wannabees are posing just before a fashion show for the hordes of photographers from all over the world. The timetable of the fashion shows is usually published a few weeks earlier on www.modeaparis.com. And Chanel always presents its show in the Grand Palais. There too, the before is often as pompous and crazy as what happens inside. Oh, I can’t wait for another sleepless week and a diet of pure champagne. From 27 September to 5 October.