Paris Fashion Week is the pinnacle of couture – the week that is circled on everybody’s calendars, from models and actors of stage and screen, to socialites and lifestyle bloggers.
It is the single most important fashion event of the year, where the latest designs are showcased in glittering parades from some of the most influential fashion brands around the world. This is a week of all things in vogue, including the most cutting edge garments, places to dine and to party, attracting celebrities, VIPs and royalty from across the globe.
The Place to Dine during Fashion Week
Ferdi is the place to eat during Paris Fashion Week, providing you pre-booked a coveted seat. Word is that this was the favourite restaurant of socialite Kim Kardashian, among other celebrities, and after my visit I could understand why.
Expect it to be filled with an array of ultra-chic people serving simple, down to earth food executed with absolute precision. Ferdi has an extensive menu but one of the dishes that people have to experience, is surprisingly the burger. It is the best in town. Choice picks are also the shrimp tempura, macaroni and cheese and the churros.
The décor of the restaurant is totally enchanting – scattered throughout with the old toys that once belonged the owner’s son, and the restaurant’s namesake. Seemingly an unusual choice, but one that makes it stand out with a unique concept in this already crowded gastronomic capital. As trendsetters and influencers flock to Ferdi, this is without a doubt the place to be seen during fashion week and I for one will be returning during Fashion Week and otherwise.
The Place to Party
The Hotel Costes, run by two brothers, Jean-Louis and Gilbert, is one of the most exclusive in Paris. My bedroom was sumptuous, decorated in a baroque style of lavish gold and red with crisp, clean, startling white bedding to contrast. My feet sank into thick luxurious carpeting while the solid wooden walnut panelling on the lower half of the walls and dado close to the ceiling complimented the rich red of the walls.
Not surprisingly, the hotel is fully booked over Paris Fashion Week and reservations must be made at the restaurant at least two days in advance to get a seat, a near impossibility at any time, even more so at this time of the year. After a busy day immersing in the latest fashions and mingling with a host of A-listers, Costes’ grotto-style swimming pool is a welcome sight and provides sanctuary from the busy Parisian streets outside, a perfect place to relax and pamper on the day beds.
Hotel Costes is the preferred hotel of the rich and famous from around the globe. I spotted David and Victoria Beckham and their entourage looking cool and stylish at the reception desk, while all the ladies sauntering around the hotel and dining in the beautiful and ambient restaurant were dressed in the latest couture gowns and were dripping in fine jewels.
As I entered the party on the ground floor, I meandered between tables of famous faces; from Gigi Hadid to all sorts of fashion luminaries. The Hotel Costes is known for being THE place for celebrity parties, and the atmosphere is brimming with excitement and anticipation for the spectacular festivities that erupt every night of this legendary week.
If you can manage to secure a reservation at this seriously exclusive hotel, then you mustn’t miss out from schmoozing with the superstars.
The New Designer to Watch
It was only until a few months ago, Serre had been working out of her tiny Paris apartment balancing two jobs. She had been working under Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga by day, at night she was trying to keep up with the demand for her designs in her ‘studio/living room’.
Serres’s graduate collection “Radical Call For Love” drew on her experiences of living in Belgium and Paris in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 2015. This won her the prestigious LVMH Award, and was shortlisted at the Hyères Fashion Festival, so her first show at Paris Fashion Week was always going to be the hottest ticket in town.
Manic Soul Machine, was the name of this collection – a reflection, as she put it, on the roller-coaster ride of the first six months of leading her own label. It was a breakout moment for a designer for whom the political, the societal, the cultural, the sustainable and the sexual parts of fashion are as important as each other. One to watch!
Show of the Week
The show of the week during PFW was the eternally glamorous Dior. For the first time ever a female designer is at the helm of this iconic fashion house, Maria Grazia Chiuri. The chosen venue for the Dior show of the week was held in a magnificent, ultra-modern boxed marquee in the stunning Musée Rodin gardens.
The Dior show, thanks to Chiuri, cried out female empowerment. The marquee was plastered in slogans, all of which were pasted over covers from vintage magazines. Female empowerment has now become a central theme to Dior’s ethic, a subject that has softened slowly throughout its 80-year history. I love the new shape of the skirts with pleated kilts and waistbands with the Dior stamp, along with newly designed blazers forgoing the traditional bar curve at the hip and bringing in a line that is more laid back.
From subtle designs to the more overt there is no denying the enduring allure of Dior. This glamour was highlighted in the dramatic veils and headwear that accompanied the designs. These were worn to honour the masked ball that Dior hosted for many of the high-profile couture clients later on that evening.
No event on earth can match Paris Fashion Week for innovation and refinement. Anyone who is anyone in the world of fashion descends in their thousands on Paris for an entire week of haute couture exhibitions, glittering champagne receptions, buzzing photo calls and decadent parties, brimming with celebrities and media moguls gasping for a slice of the action.
(Title picture: Models present creations by designer Maria Grazia Chiuri for Christian Dior’s Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2018 fashion collection in Paris January 23, 2018. — Reuters pic)