Manish Arora. 3ème Paris. It was a lovely grey afternoon when my companion and I decided to try and get into a défilé, french for fashion show avec catwalk. My other friends had already succeeded in getting into Yohji Yamamoto three days prior, so to be safe I picked a designer I had never heard of before.
I'm not sure how strict it is in New York, but it was pretty easy to get into the shows here (at least the 'smaller' labels... a couple of my friends are trying Chanel tomorrow morning.. we'll see how that déroules for them). At Yohji my friends split up and waited until the very end of the admittance when the door people started letting non-invites in. Some said they were fashion students and the others claimed to be buyers for obscure New York boutiques. But in the end they heard the glorious "allez-y".
For us we didn't have the luck of having two separate entrances for buyers and press to linger by at a distance to see what plan of attack to use. The garage door on the street opened up to rather small courtyard with another garage door at the end. One entrance. Fuck. It was quite amusing watching the people stream in - a lot of enthusiastic japanese people with odd hair and bright accessories, non descript behind the sceners and that curious old woman in the elevated black veil/hat/witch combo that I also saw at John Paul Gaultier. About an hour later we had moved right up to the enemy lines and then all of a sudden non-invitees were being let in. The great thing was that we didn't even have to pretend to be students, just waltzed right in at the sound of "allez-y" and climbed an ascending concrete path to the catwalk.
The show itself was amusing. It opened with some kind of african dancer getting all tribal on the catwalk. Overall the collection was super-saturated and multicolored with some fantastic displays of tigers, a 3D moose, a mechanically whirring headpiece, stravinsky's firebird, japanese slicked hair and bright eyemakeup that resembled masks. The dresses were beautifully crafted and all very structural. It was interesting to see the crazy mix of patterns, colors and materials in a very strucural form. Very Hindu, reincarnation-worthy fantasy vibes. I believe the Manish Arora is Indian if I'm not mistaken.
Outside I even got my picture taken. I was very pleased that my go to ensemble of frilly white chiffon dress, motorcycle jacket, grey tights, domanatrixy boots and slouchy camel bag was picture worthy. Not gonna lie though, I was so tempted to Satorialist every wench queuing outside. Alas I resisted for fear that such an act might diminish my chances of hearing those magical words: Allez-y!
Après we found a café on a main boulevard after torturing my 4-inch heeled feet a bit more, sat outside under heaters, drank wine, people watched and argued about whether Paris or New York had more variety. I think I won on the accessbility factor - you can definitely get a kick ass meal or what have you in New York for a lot less money and a lot less effort than in Paris.
On a side note, among the many observations I've been accumulating about Parisians, one of them is their method of appraisal for restaurants and cafés. The more people outside, the more likely it is they will stop there and boire un verre. If there are only a few people inside, even if it's a potentially good place to eat or drink, it's automatically nixed.
Comme toujours, allez voir my flickr for more pictures. This time around though you're better off looking at the runway pics somewhere else. I am uploading many more pictures from earlier, non-fashion related me related events.