4 cities, 10 airplanes, over 40 fashion shows and snow, rain, wind and sun- this season’s fashion month was a wild ride. We had our ups and downs, yays and nays, got to eat in some incredible places, reunited with dear friends and seen some pretty amazing collections. So which fashion week was the best? What where the highlights? What surprised us? Fashion week is like a rollercoaster ride- a bit uncomfortable but an overly thrilling, horizon shifting experience.
Anyone who goes to New York fashion week in February either a) doesn’t know what they are doing, b) they are insanely crazy c) the get paid a lot of money to travel to New York at -17 C. Our case was a) we didn’t know what we were doing. Some told me that the winters in New York are horrible but I never really comprehended the extent until I felt it on my own skin- have you been to a spa recently? If you have then New York winters feel like the part where you enter the ice cold pool after the sauna, only that you spend about 5 seconds in the pool and we spent at least 10 minutes taking photos at -17C.
Not focusing on the negative for the time being, New York has one of the most organised and social fashion weeks- everyone who attends is proactive about meeting new faces and having a good time. Street photographers are very active despite the cold weather so those who prepped their outerwear wardrobe can profit from features, as surely they got snapped.
Some of the shows in New York like Karigam, Vivienne Hu, Dennis Basso, Chiara Boni and Thomas Wylde were amazing but even better were the fashion presentations- comparing them to the European presentations, with the exception of Paris, New York wins in making a presentation into an artistic experience. We loved the Baby Ghost, Nika Tang and Damnsel presentations especially. All of the collection had a very urban feel.
I stayed at the Sixty Soho Hotel on Thompson street, an ideal location for shop hopping. It was challenging to do proper shop coolhunting but I still managed to find some amazing shops like the 3NY shop on Broome Street, The Hat Shop on Thompson street, the Stadium Goods street on Harold street and the one and only Opening Ceremony. It was really nice to re-visit these stores.
The coffee, breakfasts and food was also sensational in New York. We went to the Ralph Café, Café Henrie, The Butcher’s Daughter, Chailait, The Egg Shop, Carbone and Red Farm.
Visiting my ex-home town of 10 years is never easy, so I had some mixed feelings about London Fashion Week from the onset. In comparison to the rest we had the best weather conditions, watched the most artistic shows and the captured craziest street styles. London continues to position itself as the centre of avanguarde fashion with its consistent release of fresh emerging designers.
The organization of the fashion week was somewhat disappointing however- how it works is that you have to stand in a long queue and pray on the mercy of the PR gatekeeper to let you enter on time and to get a good seat. We skipped all of that though and went straight in by introducing ourselves to the PR and acting out as important. It worked 90% of the time.
Still it was nice to be in London, enjoy some good weather especially after New York and dive into street style opportunities as there were colourful people everywhere. We were only there for 3 days so we didn’t have time to explore but we did have amazing breakfasts at Lantana Café, Dean Street townhouse and a dinner I Yauatcha- all familiar places I love and miss.
Our experience in Milan was positive, we were well received everywhere, the shows were reasonably well organised except that we had so much on our agenda that we didn’t managed to make it everywhere! We missed the Byblos show on Thursday and despite running like Forrest Gump, taking the metro and tripping and falling flat out on my face we also missed the Aigner show. Then we understood that fashion week wasn’t worth risking our life over and started to take it less seriously- not in the irresponsible way but in the ‘I am doing my best, don’t sweat it if you don’t make it way’.
The weather in Milan on Saturday and Sunday was awful- we had to take photos and go to all of the shows with 48 hour rain. But on the plus side we had pretty amazing Italian food and also one of the best Brazilian style sushi- Temakinho, were we got to try the incredible banana, cream cheese, salmon sushi. Breakfasts in Milan were a huge problem though and we were missing the matcha lattes and eggs any style from New York and London. On the first day we were so clueless of where to have breakfast that in the end we each enjoyed a slice of pizza at 11 am.
We also got to see some more high end shows and presentations in Milan like Laura Biagiotti, Elisabetta Franchi, Tod’s, La Perla and the Marni closing party. The not-so-familiar brands were a mix of either very classic Italian heritage bag brands or quite young and contemporary emerging designers like Atsushi Nakashima, Leimotiv and Maryling.
Paris was a pleasant surprise; as our schedule was not so packed we got to enjoy the city also, to an extent. Before I never really liked Paris because it was too ‘French’ for my global taste but this time I got a to see a friendly and international Paris during fashion week.
Staying in the right area also helps. We stayed in Odeon, right next to St.Germain Des Pres and everything was so wonderful, the shops, the people the ambient. Marais is where the trend-setters go and this is where we went to have brunch on Sunday and it was too packed- we had to wait for 40 minutes to get a table at Benedict- a French Brunch Bistrot. The shops in Marais are amazing and it is unfortunate that we didn’t have time to get to know the local Paris designers.
We saw some amazing shows in Paris like DROMe, Lutz and Leonard. I wasn’t very impressed with the showrooms at Rivoli because the couture was quite out of date- pieces no one really wears apart from in styleless wedding parties. Some of the presentations in Paris were also amazing and different- like the Andreas Crew and the Mira Mikati presentations, the former was a virtual 3D experience and the latter had an inflatable jumping castle in the room.
We also loved discovering Marlon, a Californian inspired bistrot and 13A Bakers Dozen a brunch and lunch venue run by 3 bubble Americans and 1 Swede all empathising with our fashion-week exhaustion- we were recharging our battery with hearty brunch.
Paris was sweet also because my fiancée came to visit me for a weekend and we had a good time socialising with his Parisian friends who took as to a sleek private house turned hotel Particulier in Monmartre. We also could not have chosen a better hotel to stay in for the Paris Fashion Week, Hotel Baume, that was decorated in beautiful Art-Deco and where we had some beautiful pictures taken for one of my looks which are to follow this up-coming Wednesday in my fashion week look diary.
Fashion week was a positively stressful opportunity that we were lucky to experience. It is also a very exclusive experience as a fashion newcomer you have to pay your expenses out of your own pocket so it was a reasonable investment but also big step towards my fashion career I was not only to the trends but also to the fashion community which are integral for my network. Also the content production opportunities immense- just going to the fashion weeks enabled us to produce the amazing articles available on Mi.Magazine!