1 The Paris Fashion Week Cheat Sheet - The Battered Black Book

The Paris Fashion Week Cheat Sheet

By Rachael Perry

Fashion month is well and truly underway, and it will draw to a close with its grand finale in the fashion capital of the world; Paris. It’s no secret that Paris and its people exude ‘chic’, and Paris fashion week is the ultimate opportunity for fashionistas and their fans to flock together to celebrate the diverse craftsmanship that designers have to offer. It’s a feast for the eyes, not only on the runway, but the street style also excels season after season and is an opportunity for everyone to get involved in some way. I’m a red carpet stylist, and private shopper for clients all over the world and I’m here to offer you five insider tips and takeaways that will offer a little bit of insight into how to cope with the hectic pace of fashion month.

Pick your shoes wisely

Unless you’re driving between shows (which is often a rookie error because the roads become chaos!) you’re likely to be on your feet for eight or nine hours a day, so I cannot stress the importance of picking good shoes. Save your heels for the afterparties, and go for a boot or a good loafer for running around during the day. By day three, you’ll be extremely grateful for that decision!

Fuel up…

Anyone who tells you that people in fashion don’t eat is fibbing. It’s perhaps even more important during fashion month because you’re constantly on the move and your schedule is always back to back, so grabbing a bite to eat when you can is essential. You don’t know when your next meal will be. Lunch at eleven am? Absolutely. However, fashion week is also an opportunity to catch up with old friends because it brings everyone together in one place, so use the time wisely. Enjoy the excuse to go out for (a very quick) lunch and make the most of being out and about with the people you don’t get to see as often as you’d like, in places you don’t often get to visit. Paris is especially good for this – charcuterie and a glass of vin rouge is mandatory.

Layers are your best friend…

You’re going from running around outside to whizzing into show venues, jumping into a cab or hopping on the tube, so you want to be able to de-layer if you overheat and keep warm if you’re on the move. Think light sweaters that will fit in a handbag or can be tied around your shoulders if necessary, and long, light coats that are easy to move in.

Say yes to everything…

Take this one with a slight pinch of salt, but generally, fashion week comes with plenty of last-minute invites to parties, presentations and events, and my advice would be to say yes to them all. After two years of lockdown and not being allowed out of the house, it’s more important than ever to embrace all the social occasions that life throws at us, but also you never know who you’re going to meet and what opportunities may arise. Fashion week is supposed to be fun, and not everybody gets the chance to get involved. It’s also an important opportunity for industry networking, and connecting with other like-minded individuals.

Don’t panic if you don’t get photos of everything…

It sounds like a cliché but it’s true; live in the moment and enjoy what you’re watching. The front row consists of hundreds of iPhones trying to capture every runway moment, but filming everything means you risk not taking it in properly in real life. Fashion week is a hive of creativity, an accumulation of thousands of hours’ worth of work that deserves recognition and appreciation. You can find photos of every show online afterwards (and normally the quality is better than an iPhone anyway), and not everyone is lucky enough to be able to attend shows in person so make the most of that.