News__ Paris Fashion Week Part I

October 12, 2011 | By

A travel log from Elise Anderson's whirlwind debut including thoughts on France, fashion, fortune, fame, and a wonderful woman named Fanny who runs a blog

PART I: How I Spent My Paris Fashion Week (Neophyte is the Same Word in French and English)

By: Elise Anderson

As a new recruit into the world of fashion (fresh from the NC punk scene/promotional products industry), I was thrilled, naturally, when my new job as Social Media Director for rebel jewelry designer Pamela Love included a trip to Paris fashion week, as part of the Vogue/CFDA-sponsored “Americans in Paris” event.  Pamela Love was chosen among 10 other American designers to present her SS/12 collection in the Jardin du Palais Royale. That’s right, smack in the middle of the royal palace gardens in a tiny gallery called the Joyce.

Read more of Elise Andersen's Paris Week Diary Part I below.

Yes! Choosing what to wear on the plane was only the beginning of my fashion immersion. What do you pack for Paris Fashion Week? What if you just moved to NYC and all your clothes are still boxed and in storage? Here I am standing on top of my suitcase in a thrift skirt and an AllSaints tank top I borrowed from my FIT-schooled roommate.

One of the major benefits of working for a designer like Pamela is that her employees reap the benefits of her reputation as a bit of a badass in the fashion world. She likes what she likes, and her employees don’t fret about wearing posh labels because she’s established herself as who she is. Plus we get to wear her jewelry.

Pam and Allison in the garden

Paris- Day 1:

We arrive at Charles-de-Gaulle after an easy 6.5-hour flight--during which none of us slept--and book it via taxi to the apartment we rented. Fourteen etoiles later (that’s French for roundabouts), we arrive at the apartment about one block away from the Centre Pompidou. The weather report had prepared us for a beautiful, albeit slightly hot for European air conditioning (there was none), week of 70+ heat and sunshine.  We settle in, make a mad dash for a corner café and a little coffee pick-me-up, and then head off to the palace gardens to set up the collection.

Pam and Allison walking in sun

Nothing like black coffee and chevre quiche to quell the early signs of jet lag. Sunglasses help. I got those ones I’m wearing here at a gas station in Tampa, Florida, but luckily they’re so old the nerdy “Sun Classics” logo has worn down enough to be illegible.

After minimal trouble we find the little gallery that faces the main fountain in the center of the garden. There are trees lining the entrance and suited guards outside the doors. We unpack our bijoux and set up the scene, three of us polishing, tweaking, and laying out the pieces while Pamela steps back and directs the placement like a fashion shoot. Not too bad, right?

The collection was inspired by Morocco, so the table comes to life as we lay out the colored stones and intricately patterned metal pieces. Aside from the creepy hand stands provided for the bracelets and rings (they were thinner than a child’s hand but the fingers were long and positioned a bit too much like Thing Addams to be tasteful), everything gets organized quickly.

Pam setting up

Creepy Hands

Once we setup the table, dressed and bejeweled the mannequin, and added a few extra elements to make the spread more interesting (scavenged pieces of wood and a pair of ram horns we found in a closet), we wandered around the gallery and checked out the other designers as they prepared for the next day.  Prabal Gurung, Eddie Borgo, Gregory Parkinson, Sophie Theallet, Ohne Titel, George Esquivel, Billy Reid, Monique Pean, and Simon Spurr were all bouncing around the gallery.

Since we set up shop right next to George Esquivel’s gorgeous handmade leather shoes, I spent a few good hours drooling and marveling over his latest collection, which included hand-treated sunburned leather – a process which he invented himself to color and pattern the shoes naturally in the sun – and cool metallic derbies that I’m pretty sure were designed specifically for a cooler, European version of me.  A girl can dream.

Here are some of my favorites from his collection:

Esquivel regular

Esquivel metallic

Needless to say, I left my first day of fashion week not yet exhausted but hungry for a good meal and yearning for a pair of new shoes.

More from Elise Anderson's Paris Fashion Week Diary Part II coming soon!

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