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My friend Connie recently spent three weeks in Paris. I left for Paris the day she returned. While Connie and I love The City of Light, we see it differently.
During Connie’s stay, the movers and shakers of the world of haute couture gathered in Paris for this year’s moment-of-truth: Fashion Week. And Connie was there, in a coveted seat at a hot-ticket runway show, a slice of Paris life that few get to see.
Though a foodie rather than a fashionista, I too came back with a fashion story. No ticket was required for the venue I covered. The boulevards of Paris are open to all. I walked those streets, my point-and-click camera in my pocket, and shot the city’s interestingly turned-out citizens—from behind, bien sûr!—or I might not be here to tell the tale.
My models, strolling, shopping, and smooching, in parks and marketplaces, some with underarm and backpack baguettes, bore no resemblance to those Connie witnessed on the runway—so forbidding in their science-fiction shoulder pads and mile-high stilettos and their touch-me-if-you-dare scowls.
As I looked at my photos each evening, a pattern began to emerge—the Three Bs of Paris street fashion this year are: Black, Boots, and BIG Bags. Legs are covered, in leggings or boots, often in both, and bags are bigger than ever—Parisian women are toting luggage with shoulder straps as they make their daily rounds. This pattern held across all ages and in shop windows across the city—from the Boulevard Saint-Germain on the Left Bank to Avenue Montaigne on the Right. Black was everywhere. The saving factor is, black is never boring.
The only deviation from this pattern that I experienced was my encounter with Lilac, a Yorkie with a lilac bow in her topknot, lovingly placed by her adoring maman who, from boots to bows, was herself a vision in lilac—a bona fide fashion rebel, rarely seen on the streets of Paris.
Vive la différence!
Even though the sales are taking place and lots of color is being displayed – what are people buying? Noir (black) to be sure.
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