I’m from Chicago, a big city defined by wind, hotdogs, and the Bulls. Certain big city rules, like public transportation and safety, translate to my new home in Paris, but the differences between the two are far more evident. In Paris, no one says bless you post sneeze. Perhaps it’s the product of a culture more secular than my Midwest upbringing. Dogs don’t have leashes, nor do their owners carry doggy bags. Unless you ask for your check at a restaurant you’ll be there until closing time. The most notable difference is in the people, specifically their effortlessly natural affinity for fashion. If the everyday styling of the locals is the daily corner bakery croissant, Paris Fashion Week serves as the five course meal that leaves you inspired and entirely satiated.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a style connoisseur, fashion week provides a variety of opportunities to participate in a once in a lifetime visual feast. Many of the top label brands don’t disclose the location of their shows but there are still ways to obtain the inside scoop. Head to the Tuilleries Garden near the Louvre where there’s a constant buzz of sartorialists and photographers casually mingling. The photographers have the location information, so get to know one and they are likely to share their trade secrets. Once you know the location you can watch the endless line of A-list celebrities file in and out at an arms length at no cost. My noteworthy spottings include Jason Wu, Olivia Palermo, Franco Sozzani and Lynn Yaeger. To take it up a notch, put on the most fashion forward outfit in your closet by thinking outside the box and putting on your cheapest and most expensive articles of clothing at the same time alongside an aloof expression and you’re likely to have your picture taken for a fashion blog.
Participants Warning: You’re likely to experience a temporary numbness to the previously inspiring fashion of daily Parisians. Not to worry though, once the models and runways are whisked away the fascination with the everyday will return, making fashion week seem like a far off dream.