Fashion Weeks are notorious for taking a less practical route on many an issue – all in the name of creative integrity, one might say. Everybody knows to allow an hour and fifteen for one show – half an hour to get in, half an hour to get out, and a quarter hour of strut time – bottleneck is show production’s middle name, after all. Everybody needs their time in a cab, in snail’s pace traffic no less, en route to a show on the opposite side of town that was supposed to have started 10 minutes ago (but it’s MOSCHNIO and Katy Perry will be an hour late, so we’re sweet). And of course, no matter what degree of snow and sleet, the show must go on in suede stilettos.
In short, Fashion Month costs most of us hundreds of dollars in the most trivial matters.
Upon landing in the eye of New York’s snow storm, I resolved that I would only take the subway between shows, which did result in some reasonably hilarious sprint-sliding across Meatpacking’s damned double blocks to MILK Studios, saved me at least $400US to spend on the disastrous number of cabs I ended up flagging in London and Milan.
And then, we find ourselves here in Paris, where there are something stupid like thirty collisions a minute around the Arc de Triomphe, and cars scraping down backstreets where cars were never intended to scrape. Like New York, le metro is a good place to start, and yet it would seem that Paris is a much more cycle-friendly city (I have seen far less people getting door-ed during my time here), and there is something exhilarating about riding solo in the city of love.
But, unlike Catherine Baba, I am yet to master the art of biking in heels (the thought alone conjures vivid imagery of broken bones and mangled wheels), so with mobility comes a different kind of show-goer dress code, where any feathers, frills and foot damage remain hidden from Parisians’ judging eyes in the confines of the largest bag I own. Serendipitously, this seems to be precisely what makes French girls so chic – stripping it down to the bare minimums of sharp shoulders, skinny or slouchy denim, bare ankles, and slim pseudo-sneakers.
The difference here is that instead of Isabel Marant, Vanessa Bruno, and IRO, my pedal-safe attire has revolved almost exclusively around Armani Exchange, TOPSHOP, Stuart Weitzman and Mulberry.
So perhaps, I have a while to go until I’m So Frenchy So Chic…