Article by Frank Cierpial
After a bit of hiatus from blogging, I am back. Not only am I back, but I’m finally living in Paris and the inner Parisian in me that was always clawing his way out is in his own element for the very first time. My classes at ESMOD start next week, which is so opportune because I was given the privildge that I always dreamt of which is brining all of you Paris Fashion Week. Paris Fashion week is totally different from the Fashion Weeks that I experienced prior in New York. Ici, Fashion lives. Here, fashion has a life of its own and Parisians, no matter what they do for a living, no matter who they are, and no matter whether they are fashionistas or not…all come together through the language that we all speak being: Fashion.
Parisian fashion really goes beyond the label. I have seen H&M, Chanel, Longchamp, and Alexander McQueen walking down the streets of Paris today and all coexisting together. I see scarves, denim shirts, plaid all being worn according to a person’s own taste and twist which makes it interesting. It is a truly exciting time to be in Paris. It is an exciting time to not be in school and able to go to fashion shows.
And, it is an exciting time to be starting a Fashion Business Program at ESMOD. In New York, fashion shows are all the same…it seems. In Paris, things get a bit intriguing and today we are going to explore the most interesting and most brilliant runway show and event I have ever had the pleasure of attending for Prete-Moi Paris. La rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré is like a candy store to me. Hermes, Longchamp, and Givenchy….OH MY! That’s where I got to go… at a luxury hotel called L’Hotel Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg. The Hotel sits just in between La Place de la Concorde and the king of French luxury brands : Hermes, just blocks away from Le Palais D’Elysée, Saint Laurent and trendy Maje.
There was a red carpet laid out front in front of the hotel that poured out through the giant 18th century French door. Like every runway show I’ve ever seen, the door opened, the cameras went up and with just a moment of suspense…it had begun. The models (all French actresses and famous personalities) all came out in couture dresses made by different designers and each one was carrying a different type of French cheese. It was brilliant! If you ask anyone on the street anywhere in the world, what France is known for they will tell you Fashion, wine, and cheese. This one event during Paris Fashion week on one of the most Parisian of streets has captured the French Spirit Perfectly!
After watching all the couture gowns and cheese walk down the runway, I was hungry, and and thank goodness it was time to go in for the brunch, and Crazy Horse dancer show! Inside, was an elegant tour of French gastronomy. You have cheeses from all over Normandie like Isigny Ste Mere from a town by the same name in Normandy where quality and delicious cheese have been made since the 16th century. Also at this smoozy press party, I tried an exquisite wine that was possibly the most amazing wine that I have ever had in my life called Chateau de la Grille. This wine goes back to a town in Loire valley called Chinon and two men named Jean-Martin Dutour and Christophe Baudry who began their own winery and kept the French wine tradition alive.
Perhaps the Sofitel event was more about cheese and wine than it was about fashion, but fashion was the main character of my Parisian afternoon as we were just starting Paris fashion week. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to be welcomed back to Fashion Week, welcomed back to Paris, and welcome back to Prete-Moi Paris… these things that define so well my life, my identity, and my soul.