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The Three Catwalks of Paris Fashion Week

Last month, the already impossibly chic city of Paris was invaded by the most stylish figures of the fashion industry for the Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear shows of Paris Fashion Week. While not everyone who was giddy from the fashion bliss was lucky enough to gain access to the exclusive shows, outside the fashion tents formed two other catwalks — free and accessible to all.

The Show the People Came to See:
Unless you know someone or are a part of the fashion industry, you probably won’t be seeing these shows. Inside the exclusive white tents, upbeat music blares and the tallest, skinniest models flaunt the latest trends of the hottest designers. Trends for fall seen at Paris fashion week: floral, collared day dresses, funky head-to-toe prints, and 60s-inspired shifts.
The White Carpet:
Just before and after the fashion shows, there is a mass influx and exodus of the fashion world. Models, editors, photographers and buyers, all dressed in fabulous daytime wear or bizarre, but amazingly intriguing ensembles pass through the crowd of camera-clutching fashion lovers and down the white carpet leading to and from the white fashion tents. As famous figures from Grace Coddington, the creative direction of Vogue, to Kanye West, gracefully pass by, this carpet creates an incredible show in and of itself. Fashion seen on the white carpet: long flowing skirts, fur-trim detailing, and posh fedoras.

Beyond the White Carpet:
This is where I was, standing at the edge of the white carpet hoping to catch a glimpse of the action. Although I was without a ticket, I was not without a show. Even us bystanders were trying to dress to impress, wearing the latest Parisian winter trends: slouchy trousers or sleek leggings with boots, tailored jackets and statement scarves. While the fashion industry people were watching the show, we had our own as we admired each other’s outfits and got new fashion ideas. Plus, with so many street style photographers running about, there’s always the chance you might be asked to put down your camera for a bit and actually pose for your own miniature photo shoot!

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