So, I’m hotfoot back from Paris seeing the Paul & Joe SS18 show; the very last show of this season’s Paris Fashion Week. I can’t help thinking that London Fashion Week passed as though it never was and yet there was still plenty of buzz for Paris.
The show was at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts on the left bank, with a view of Louvre across the Seine. Unusually, the backstage area was huge – it’s rare for so much space to be available for hair and make up creations, but the entire venue was so spacious and atmospheric; a perfect place to be both thoroughly Parisian and highly dramatic.
A big space doesn’t mean less chaos though – timings are always so tight that getting twenty models ready with 80’s hair and make up to offset feminine, floral and floaty fabrics is never going to be entirely calm!
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While all the beautiful Paul & Joe make up was laid out so perfectly, artists were working two at a time on the models, ensuring that both nails and faces were completely ready.
The make up looks were created and directed by Georgina Graham who gave bold, kohl inner rimmed eyes with sharp, graphic liner and a fresh, natural skin finish. Hair was highly textured with plenty of 80’s perms and long, messy ponytails.
One of the exciting things about Paul & Joe beauty is that it always reflects their fabrics – everything that came down the runway would make a perfect beauty interpretation – yellow silk prints, denim blue abstract flowers and multicolour sprigs on floaty white dresses. I was putting them straight onto lipstick cases in my head. There were a couple of pastel silk suits with gold textured patterns – my brain was turning them into highlighters!
Of course, the show ran fashionably late, to loud music (one of Sophie’s sons DJ-ing) and was over too soon! As you can see, as well as the photographer gallery at one end of the catwalk, everyone was snapping away on their mobiles. I did a little bit of live-streaming from my own phone.
It used to be that fashion editors, buyers and retailers would be furiously writing and sketching in notebooks because it would be a wait of a week at least before any official photos came through. Now, a show can be filmed by anyone as it happens and shared across the world in real time. If you bear in mind that shows were never held as entertainment but as live demonstrations for the global fashion buyers to place their seasonal orders, and as a secondary thought, for fashion editors (Tatler, Vogue, etc) to forward plan their features (months ahead), I wonder if everyone seeing everything NOW makes any difference to the sales and editorial processes. By the time the collection appears in print (January, probably) we’ve been able to see it for months on-line. What this certainly does enable is the fashion copiers. You can bet that high street stores are ordering their yellow floral sprig prints from China right about now.
As always, Paul & Joe was lucky with the weather (last year it was outside by the Seine!) so when we left, it was to a dark and balmy evening, finished perfectly with café gourmands and rose wine.
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