When you live in Paris, it seems that every couple of months they are speaking about “Fashion Week“. The three reasons for this are: Haute Couture, Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter) and Men’s Fashions (Mode masculine). Two more reasons are Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. Paris Fashion Week happens so often one needs to keep up with the schedule from Mode à Paris (Fédération Française de la Couture du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode). If you want press credentials, check the accreditation page on their site.
Find out when, where and how
The Mode à Paris calendar drops hints of where to go and who to contact. Hover your cursor over the designer’s name and perhaps the location will be identified. The information contains the time, location, and press contact information (telephone and email). Some events are only visible via invitation. To drop a few names where the location was visible this year: John Galliano (Palais de Tokyo), Guy Laroche (Grand Palais), Valentino (Espace Ephémère Tuileries, Jardin des Tuileries), Barbara Bui (Grand Palais), Chanel (Grand Palais), etc.
If you know the place and time, get there one-half hour to one hour early to watch the promenade parade. Celebrities and catwalk viewers with invitations have to get in the front door somehow. That “somehow” is a promenade on a long train of runway material. They walk the promenade dressed to the gills or casual, usually carrying their invitation quite visible in their hand or sheltering their identity. For the Valentino parade, they walked from the entry to the Tuileries by Place de la Concorde to the back of the Musée de l’Orangerie.
Missed the fashion show? Look at the images after the fact. Check out last season’s schedule. Want to see a preview of collections to come? Follow their “avant-premiere!” link. Want to plan a year or two ahead, look at next season’s schedule; all on the Fédération’s website.
While at the Valentino “pre-show”, I learned from my friend, Lynn, that you can see some unusual activity before each event when you know the location. Lynn calls those non-invitees who dress up and walk the runway “strutters or prancers”. Even with no invitation they attract attention and are photographed by dressing up or acting strange. Browser searching those words strutters or prancers, I came across the word “prankster”. The Chanel show had a real prankster the other day. He physically and obnoxiously attacked a fashion editor with his microphone, while having himself filmed. He wanted to be on the cover of the magazine (Fat chance!).
Enjoy the show outside the show!