The Most French Things About Paris Fashion Week

Michele Lamy and Cathy Horyn exiting the Comme des Garcons Spring/Summer 2018 Show

Paris Fashion Week just came to a close, which means the weary-eyed editors, writers, stylists, photographers, designers, models and everyone else involved in the month-long show circuit will finally get some rest. Paris, often thought of as the most glamorous of the four major fashion month cities (New York, London, Milan included) is known for a lot of things. One of them, obviously, is that it’s very French–much more than one might think. Some of the most high-end and well respected labels present there, like Chanel, Dior, Saint Laurent, Celine (all French brands) and well-loved favorites such as Miu Miu and Comme des Garcons. That alone makes for a lot of interesting experiences. But if you’ve never been, you might be wondering what’s actually so french about Paris Fashion Week. Here, 15 attendees divulge the most French things about Paris Fashion Week:


“I was eating escargot two tables away from Anna Wintour one time. That’s how you know it’s really Paris Fashion Week.” – Ramses Alexandre, stylist


“The most French thing that’s ever happened to me during fashion week is the catering backstage. It’s really French. It’s pastries, always. In New York it’s more healthy, you have all the options you need. In Paris, it’s pastries, sandwiches and that’s it.” – Giedre, model


“Once I was taking a cab to a fashion presentation, and the French driver was listening to classic music. The entire time he was driving, he was conducting an imaginary orchestra with one hand.” – Jason


“I work at the shows, so the most French thing that ever happened to me was a fight with the security people. It doesn’t get more French than that. They don’t know things, they don’t take responsibility, it’s always someone else’s fault. It’s tough.” – Daniel Urrutia, PR consultant

Ottolinger’s Spring/Summer show took place on a boat. Very French.

“Americans talk so much louder than people in France. I was out at brunch during fashion week and someone shushed us. Yesterday, at a show I was talking to another American friend and I realized after, because she continued the conversation, that the voice traveled through the room because everyone else was talking in hushed tones.” – Ruby Veridiano, writer


“The other day, I was leaving a show and walking across one of the bridges and there was this older French gentleman that was playing the accordion and singing. It was the most French moment I’ve ever seen.” – Samantha Angelo, blogger


“The most French thing is the different styles you can see. Some people are really more unique in their style in Paris.” – Beatrice, photographer


“I was at the Guy Laroche show, and a woman took my seat. I asked for it back and she had no problem giving it to me. At some point, I went up to interview a celeb sitting in the front row and came back to my seat. She was French, and sitting in my seat. She was like, ‘I’m not giving you your seat back. It’s not my fault you wanted to sit with a celebrity and the celebrity wouldn’t let you sit next to them. Of course, I found a PR person, they sorted out the situation for me. The woman was sitting next to me at that point. She just started Snapchatting me, and saying I was crazy and to look out for me. I haven’t gone to that show since.” – Anahita Moussavian, editor

Tea at Cafe Pouchkine between shows


“The most French thing I’ve seen at Paris Fashion Week is the street style photographers. They’re very different at Paris Fashion Week than New York. In New York, they kind of hang around and they’re quiet. In Paris, they often stand in a huge group together and whenever they see something they like, they start hooting. They yell, they make a whole lot of noise and they’re a very raucous crowd.” – Karen Resta, writer


“The most French thing is that the models in Paris are always in a lot of pain from all the hair brushing. They’re very sensitive, much more than New York.” – Bianca van Zweiten, hairstylist


“The most French thing about Paris Fashion Week is definitely Hotel Costes. Designers and fashion people just congregate there. Not even at the bar, just outside. It’s really cool, and we met a bunch of designers there.” – Chloe Yu and Sophia Walder, students


“The most French thing that happened to me at Paris Fashion Week is my journey here. I was at ballet class this morning, because I’m on stage tonight for cabaret. I left early, because they were working so much on the thighs and the legs and I thought, I have to run all day at fashion week. I can’t stress myself.” – Jean-Biche, dancer


“For me, it’s the architecture at Fashion Week. It’s so clean, it’s so neat, compared to other cities.” –Monique Haddad



Comme des Garcons Spring/Summer 2018

“During Paris Fashion Week, we were in a wine bar buying a traveling drink, as one does. There was an old couple, and we went up to the till to pay. The man and the woman were at the till, and it was a weird situation. The woman looked at us, and the man said something to us, but we don’t know what it was, because it was in French. The woman shouted at him, and made him leave without buying the wine they had. We don’t really know what happened. The guy at the wine bar went, ‘She left because of you!” We were like, ‘Why, what did we do?’ That is the most French thing that’s ever happened.” – Lucy Daverne and Janice Mitten


“The most French thing about Paris Fashion Week is the quality of the shows, the audience, the sophistication. Paris is what fashion is all about. New York is a struggling imitation.” – James Goldstein




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