Julia and Louise Take Paris: A Day in the Life of a Fashion Buyer
It’s that time again…Paris Fashion Week is upon us and the whirlwind trip that is a complement of extremes begins!
There are no chic modes of transport for Louise and me when it comes to getting to fashion’s most glamorous of capitals; its good old budget airlines, restricted baggage and pre-wrapped sandwiches. Then the question of the luggage, so small no serious fashionista can transport her on trend wardrobe to compete with the cool girl style on the streets of Paris.
We pack small, dress clever and keep the colours to a minimum to mix and max. We pack one jacket to go with all and go for an understated, comfortable look. Thank goodness trainers are the ‘De Rigour’ of every stylish outfit anywhere in the world today, no heels for us it’s comfort all the way. To travel in Louise wore her ASH Lucky Star Sneakers, favourite AG jeans and label of the moment Smythe striped blazer. She also cleverly packed some chic black cropped pants and a silk shirt; Louise nailed it in a different look each day.
I went for a more relaxed look, travelling in Dea Kudibal’s leopard print silk pants, a Duffy cashmere sweater and the ‘go with everything’ sneaker of the season, the ASH Buzz in white. With my new Belstaff black leather biker as my top layer and packed in my case and old faithful IRO black jumpsuit for a second outfit.
Arriving in Paris early Sunday evening Louise and I were up for a glass of fizz and some delicious dining, Parisian style. This is the alternative side to our trip… Our usual choice of restaurant was fully booked so we headed off to its sister restaurant, La Regulade Conservatoire which was chic and contemporary serving classic French bistronomy. We were delighted when the chef’s signature house terrine arrived at the table, so much so that we tucked in forgetting we were going to eat three more courses!
We walked back to our hotel grateful to walk off some calories…
Monday morning came early with the noises and smells of AM in Paris wafting into the hotel; Showered and dressed from our micro wardrobe we headed off to the huge fashion trade fairs that Paris is famed for. Endless aisles of stands, selling everything from handbags to hosiery, international buyers hungry to find something new. First stop the famous Tulleries, where we met up with one of our soon to arrive designers Hayley Menzies who was showing her SS’19 collection of fabulous printed knits and silk dresses. After a quick chat with the girls and successfully managing to persuade Hayley into coming to one of our ‘meet the designer’ events, we headed off in search of more goodies.
Next stop The Louvre, where a huge fashion event is held underneath the famous museum, finding our prize was the highlight with some great cashmere socks you will all be rushing in to buy for Christmas!
After a quick call to see if we could view the hot US brand Veronica Beard in the sumptuous Place Vendome showroom, we were delighted when the wonderful Maddellena said she would love us to take a look.
Unable to resist the collections chic contemporary separates and with our strict budget now definitely blown, Veronica Beard is looking to be a sell out at Stanwells next summer!
Hurrying on to do late afternoon appointments at cool sneaker brand Golden Goose we excitedly did our selection with many customers in mind!
Having made arrangements to meet a fellow fashion buddy who was running late and with Louise needing to rest her recently broken ankle, there was no alternative than to have a glass of champagne!
We drank our champagne in style in the cocktail bar of the iconic Meurice hotel on Rue di Rivoli. With fashion shoots going on in the hotel’s glamorous corridors we soaked up the ‘fashion atmosphere’ whilst sinking into the luxurious leather armchairs. People watching and reflecting on our day in the fabulous surroundings of Salvador Dalis favourite hotel. Supper beckoned and our budget didn’t stretch to the Meurice’s three star Michelin offering, so we headed off to nearer our hotel where we enjoyed a light bite; the perfect end to a busy day…
An early start the next day with an appointment at Jerome Dreyfuss in the Marais. Louise opted for her black AG jeans and Smythe jacket with a change of top and ash sneakers. I wore my IRO black jumpsuit, belted with a wide leather wrap and Belstaff Marvingt leather jacket. We were greeted by the lovely Florence at Jerome Dreyfuss and looked round to see the man himself running up the stairs. For those of you who don’t know, Jerome Dreyfuss is the husband of Isabelle Marant, making them the super cool, king and queen of Parisian style.
We were so excited to see lots of new styles in the collection, with green, chestnut and bougainvillea as the stand out hues of the collection along with khaki suede cowboy boots that will be perfect teamed with next summer’s pretty printed dresses.
Next stop IRO, one of the busiest showrooms in Paris, it is always bustling with multiple appointments going on at any one time. We have to be really focused as the models and samples disappear of the rails quickly and it is easy to miss a key piece. Lots of lovely print dresses in floral and a subtle leopard plus the usual signature tweed jackets and an overload of supernatural silver. Look out for the IRO silver leather pants next summer, they are a wow!
Well that’s it until next spring, our Paris week was over. Happy to have bought fresh from the existing brands and super excited to have discovered some cool, under-the-radar labels that are sure to be future favourites of our fashion forward customers!