June 24, 2020

Paris Today and Tomorrow

, , by MARCY CARMACK | Edit
I'm so happy I went to Paris Fashion Week in October before COVID19 hit because fashion week will never be the same. And it's not necessarily a bad thing. I also don't know when anyone will be able to travel safely domestically or internationally.

Fashion week is over according to Alessandro Michele, creative director at Gucci.  He has always been a maverick so it is no surprise that he will be the first to go to seasonless collections twice a year. He has shone a light on the excesses and unsustainability of the fashion industry.

No matter what happens with fashion week, Paris will always be the fashion capital of the world. Even if you don't go to fashion shows you can get a very good education in fashion just walking the streets, looking in the windows and taking in the street style. It's in the sky as Coco Chanel famously said. You can gain knowledge by osmosis much like it is in New York City. 

Fashion is so deeply imbedded in the DNA of the Paris and it's citizens. The roots go back way back. My favorite department store, Le Bon Marché (Bon Marché for short) was founded in the early 19th century as a small shop. By 1865 it became the world's first department store. On this trip I stayed in Saint Germain in the 6th Arrondissement so it was an easy jaunt to Bon Marché. Dare say, I went more than once.

The famous newly renovated Hotel Lutecia is a fabulous Belle Époque hotel that is across the street from Bon Marché. And a great place for a drink after shopping.

Andrew Gn is a favorite among many San Francisco women I know because of his exquisitely executed and  feminine ready-to-wear. He comes in person to see his favorite ladies and that is a huge draw. What other Parisian designer makes an in-person appearance these days? Definitely makes them feel special as they should at his prices. His spring/summer show did not disappoint. Showing in October meant these clothes should of been shipped this spring. With COVID19 making it only available on the web, when and where are these ladies going to wear it?

Thom Browne is an old friend who I've known since he started his business. I have watched him have a pretty meteoric rise to fame but when I said that after the show he demurred and declined that description.. Being a designer today or in any day is not an easy road. It definitely has it's ups and probably more downs even when you have made a name for yourself. The problem is you never make that much money with ready to wear until you are a big enough brand to get licensing deals. Ermenigildo Zegna bought 85% of the company in 2018 for a half-billion dollars so while it wasn't a licensing deal, I think we can agree it was an awesome deal. Very happy for him.

Thom's show before the show was almost as exciting as the show itself. All these devotees running around in gray with his trademark red, white and blue grosgrain ribbon details. It was something.
Met this nattily dressed gentleman with a beautiful Thom Browne camel coat. I wore a Thom Browne oxford cloth blazer. I added an Ines de la Fressange scarf because it was red, white and blue; and French!
As you can imagine I've seen many of Thom's shows over the years and each one is more creative and original than the last. This show was no exception. The fact that he shows in Paris is beyond. This time he showed models with wire bustles and hair stacked high like a Louis XIV court.

Au revoir Paris, we will wait with baited breath to see how the new world shakes out.