I’m too sexy . . .
I was thrilled when a friend called to tell me she had an extra ticket to a fashion show. So thrilled that I didn’t even bother asking whose show. Which was just as well; I would not have recognized his name, anyway. And who cared? I was going to be a part of Fashion Week. I’d be joining reporters from across the globe to see what the fashion world has in store for Spring 2010.
The week featured a series of nearly 100 fashion shows in exotic venues across the city. Karl Lagerfeld took over the Grand Palais, while other shows were staged at the Louvre, the Palais de Chaillot and the Fine Arts School. All of the international brands put on a show, and those are the ones we hear about. But about half of the designers are not well known beyond the cloisters of the fashion world, and this was why I found myself with exclusive access to this prestigious event.
Tim Van Steenbergen was the designer, a young man from Antwerp. For those in the know, Antwerp is something of a style incubator, with a fantastic fashion museum, inspirational vintage boutiques and a history of extraordinary designers, like Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester.
The invitation was a thin sheet of wood with a black ink-block stamp, and the space was a converted industrial warehouse. Lots of clean lines, open space and natural lighting, which is a real luxury in Paris. There were bodyguards at the door, reminding us how lucky we were. The seating was assigned by row, and we had front-row seats. We were there for the fashion, but to be honest, the real show went on before the models ever hit the runway.
First were the photographers. They were grouped together in a solid block, each refusing to move for fear of losing a prime spot. They did not even move when a large spotlight exploded, showering them with shards of glass.
Then came the media stars, prancing and preening, hoping to catch the camera’s eye. They were immediately followed by the elite of the fashion press, some of them looking heart-sinkingly elegant; others looked so silly they could have just arrived from an appearance at the circus. My favorite was the man with the fur purse that looked like a dog.
Suddenly the music began and the models marched out, reminding me of the queen’s Royal Guard in their refusal to smile or move their eyes. The clothing was as clean, light and spartan as the venue. Five minutes later the designer came out, everyone applauded and we were done. I couldn’t believe it. So fast . . . I was left hungry for more.