Romantic, artistic, beautiful, the most beautiful … We talk about Paris in superlatives. In many ways.Paris is a city with a rich culture and an interesting history. It is a multiethnic and multicultural metropolis. It has always been renowned for its liveliness, unconformity and the fusion of the old and the modern. Many adore it, others dislike it, but the world’s most visited city leaves no one indifferent. It has too many faces. It is the city of lights, of lovers, the centre of art …But most importantly, it is the European and world capital of fashion.
It was not Coco Chanel or Louis Vuitton who earned Paris this title, but Louis XIV in the 17th century. In the Baroque era and the spirit of absolutism, the luxury industry fell into royal hands with the King’s Court also ruling on matters of taste and style in Europe.
The Sun King established the belief that a person’s clothes and outward appearance reflect one's character and above all one’s social status.
The more lavish and expensive the clothes, the more important the person. He observed this and wore the most expensive clothes, being anything but reserved in style. He would organise all kinds of events where he could show off his new and extravagant creations. He swore by colours and above all by impracticality: big hats, tight corsets, high-heeled shoes, loose-fitting dresses with long trains and enormous wigs. He probably introduced the latter in order to hide his baldness. It was not long before French fashion began to be seen all over Europe. This was partly due to the development of printing and articles on clothing styles also introduced the concept of the fashion season and the need to change styles.
Up until about the 19th century, individual styles and ways of dressing were dictated by the upper classes, but then the father of “haute couture” or high fashion, Charles Worth, put his name on the clothes he designed and presented his creations to clients on live models. This novelty met with a good reception and the designers began to set fashion trends. Today, Paris still remains famous for its high fashion, known more for its elegance than its practicality. During the celebrated fashion weeks, the city vibrates in an entirely different rhythm. Pret-à-Porter collections are presented at the end of February and October and high fashion in January and July. Invitations? Anyone not sufficiently established in the fashion world and does not "know somebody who knows somebody” with good connections in a certain fashion house, can only follow the fashion shows via the Internet. Unfortunately.
This is a time of a special kind of euphoria, when we admire the crazy creations of fashion gurus, the whole metro smells of the latest Chanel perfume and the streets around the Louvre and Grand Palais are swarming with long-legged models. Fashion journalists, editors and photographers try to get a shot of world-famous names. Real life gives the impression of a movie. Sex in the City, for example. The locals, the few real Parisians left, turn up their noses in their usual way – atIn the crowded streets, the jam-packed restaurants and the general euphoric hubbub that takes over the city at that time. If you live in Paris, it is no longer something intriguing, but even something annoying. Although it is true, on the other hand, that real Parisians are proud of their fashion repertoire and like to buy locally.
The right place for high fashion, including outside the period of the “famous fashion weeks”, is the Place Vendôme. A walk through Champs Élysées, a visit to the Galeries Lafayette and the nearby Printemps department store gives a great overview of French chic even to the random, not very fashion-conscious visitor.
The trendy Marais district, full of the colourful boutiques of young designers, will be of interest to fashion enthusiasts. Along with various creations, this part of the city offers everything from porcelain to jewellery and exotic artworks. It is also the only place in Paris where stores are also open on Sundays.
Every year, Paris “takes on” London, New York and Milan for the title of world capital of fashion. The experts are divided, but it is a fact that the leading names in the world of fashion come from Paris, that the main fashion shows are held here and that the greatest number of young designers go to Paris to present their work. With its mixture of romance, art and craziness, Paris is not only always in vogue, but also sets the trends to others trying to keep pace.
Adria In-Flight Magazine 2, APR/MAY 2013