Premiere Classe: A Showcase of Upcoming Trends at Paris Fashion Week

Ah, Paris Fashion Week: That magical time of the year when aspiring bloggers, couture lovers and people from the highest echelons of the fashion world walk around Paris dressed in their very best, and suddenly you realize what a trendy and beautiful city Paris really is.

Although there are always downsides to a massive international event dedicated solely to materialism, fashion is also art for many people–it really is magical, in that sense. It’s simple art appreciation, watching these new clothes and accessories develop based off of designers’ personal experiences or passions.

Tuileries Garden Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week is also one of the best times of the year for bloggers–it’s like Christmas. We storm the Jardin des Tuileries and the outside of fashion shows looking to get a snapshot of some pout-faced girl dressed in the hautest of haute couture. Or, maybe as this awesome Vice article demonstrates, she was just bullshitting us all.

The posh Premiere Classe is an “exclusive showcase” for the hautest and most eclectic accessory designers of fashion week, and was celebrating its 25th anniversary this year at the Jardin des Tuileries.

paris chic

The event was closed off to the general public, except for students and retailers looking to buy (even though these two groups are on opposite ends of the financial spectrum; another reason why I love France: students are so highly-regarded here). I was able to get a press pass for Paris Chic, saving me from paying €40 for a pass that would allow me access to the salons.

Here are the a few of my favorite chic-est jewelry designs I encountered while navigating the stormy seas of high fashion.

1. Yuki Mitsuyasu

Yuki Mitsuyasu’s line is inspired by her past and personal experiences, which I love. Fashion is truly the most inspiring when there’s depth and meaning behind the design.

yuki mitsuyasu YUKI MITSUYASU

When I first picked up Mitusaysu’s eggshell ring out of curiosity, I immediately shrieked and dropped the ring, because I had broken it. Really. I had cracked a delicate piece of designer jewelry that probably cost thousands of dollars.

The woman behind the counter laughed and explained the ring is actually meant to be broken. The eggshell part isn’t supposed to last for very long–it’s supposed to parallel the life of Cambodians living in landmine fields, where one wrong move could “break the eggshell,” or end someone’s life. After the eggshell is broken, what’s left is a band with a miniature landmine head modeled into the top.

What a cool awareness campaign to sponsor through couture.

YUKI MITSUYASU

I also loved Mitsuyasu’s “Shine” collection, which are beautiful pearl necklaces that clasp together by two magnetic pieces of a star.

“When you choose your partner, his religion, nationality, or wealth does not matter; be with someone who lets you shine, then he is a man worth being with,” says Mitsuyasu on the symbolism of the magnetic necklace. This girl freaking rocks: she knows how to use the power of fashion to change the world.

2. Ekria

EKRIA jewelryEKRIA jewelry

Palm cuffs. They’re the next big thing. And I love Turkish designer Ekria’s take on them–bold, futuristic, simple.

 3. Lotocoho

Lotocoholotocoho

I love this ancient Grecian theme Lotocoho was embodying. My particularly favorite pieces were the chunky gold chokers (making a comeback) and the watch with no clock, as pictured above on the designer’s wrist. The line aims to embody symbols and landscapes into unique jewelry.

So many salons and so little time–the examples above are just a taste of what’s to come in the fashion world. If you’re interested in perusing the hottest new trends of fashion, you can visit the next international Premiere Classe showcase in March.

Warning: This Tattoo Exhibit Causes Extreme Urges to Get “Inked”

Whether you’re a fan or not, tattoos are becoming more common in our world. We wouldn’t double take at a person with a tattoo sleeve today, but just a few decades ago, tattoos were still considered “taboo.” Today, over 1 in 5 adults have tattoos in both the United States and the United Kingdom, and the tattoo trend of expressing oneself through body art continues to grow in other parts of the world.

This recent shift in our cultural values has drawn much attention from art field as well. Whereas before, tattoos were considered a symbol of deviancy by the westernized world, museums and art curators are beginning to appreciate “getting inked” as a true art form, marking the individuality of human beings. An example of this recent appreciation for tattoos as art can be found at the Musée du Quai Branly, which is currently hosting an exhibition titled Tattooists, Tattooed.

Normally, when we visit a museum exhibit, we expect to see arcane artifacts, ceramics, and paintings from ages past. Tattooists, Tattooed is an incredibly unique experience because the museum is exhibiting solely the art on human bodies throughout history.

TATTOOISTS, TATTOOED

When you visit the exhibition, a variety of multimedia hooks you to the walls. There are films with grainy old footage of sailors and veterans showing off their primitive plethora of tattoos, which are basic in their composition compared to the tattoos we see today. There are also drawings illustrating the earliest tribal tattoos and documentaries of spiritual ceremonies applying tattoos to ward off evil non-living entities.

Getting inked has traditionally served a function, which isn’t the case with the more artistic expression of Western tattoos today. For example, in Māori tribal culture in New Zealand, the “moko,” a tattoo normally covering the face, is a rite of passage into adulthood and the ultimate affirmation of identity. The facial tattoo signifies the wearer’s place in his or her family and specific tribe. Another use for tattoos included punitive tattooing in ancient Greek and Japanese cultures, where the forever visible symbol of a criminal would suffice as punishment.

TATTOOISTS, TATTOOED

It was only around the twentieth century that tattoos as a “spectacle” entered their golden age in Western cultures because of traveling circus performers. Tattoos began to spread to mainstream culture in the 1980’s when traveling tattoo artists met with tribes and cultures practicing tattooing all over the world.

TATOUEURS, TATOUÉS

According to the museum, “In urban societies and in the ‘westernised’ lifestyle, [a tattoo’s] marginal character is fading and it is becoming a relatively common bodily ornament.” The exhibition shows that we are currently witnessing an unprecedented revival of traditional tattooing, drawing heavily from traditional Japanese ancestral tattoo styles and traditional tribal markings.

TATOUEURS, TATOUÉS

It’s easy to lose yourself in “Tattooists, Tattooed” for a couple of hours. The Musée du Quai Branly provides an excellent in-depth exploration of the original purposes for tattoos to the evolution to the types of tattoos we see on the streets today. It’s important to know the artistic influences for what we choose to mark ourselves with, and this exhibit provides a context for today’s tattoo phenomenon.

TATOUEURS, TATOUÉS

Tatouers, Tatoués (May 6, 2014 to October 18, 2015)
Musée du Quai Branly
37 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris, France
(Free for students)

This article was originally published on The Peacock Post.

Vogue Fashion’s Night Out: Paris Edition

Free macaroons, $100 bottles of champagne, and the “who’s who” of fashion casually bumping into you in exuberantly-decorated designer stores. I’m talking about Vogue Fashion’s Night Out, an event that’s enjoyable for men and women interested in fashion and free champagne alike.

What is the Vogue Fashion Night Out? The event is held across 32 international cities during the month of September and is meant to “restore consumer confidence and boost the industry’s economy.” Essentially, all of the top-name designers open up their stores on a central street until late into the night, playing haute music, serving haute champagne or other hors d’oeuvres, and showcasing their haute new fall/winter collections.

Vogue Fashion's Night OutLanvin dressVogue Fashion's Night Out

This event is huge, particularly in Paris, the fashion capital of the world. The key to your entrance is to buy a French Vogue September issue–the *exclusive* invitation is inside.

My crew and I arrived at the event a couple of hours late (one must show up fashionably late at a high fashion event, of course). Rue Saint Honoré was filled with fashion-loving Parisians, and trendy soirées in apartments above the street added to the lively atmosphere.

Vogue Fashion Night Out Vogue Fashion's Night Out

Several stores had exclusive lists that your Vogue ticket wouldn’t let you into, but peer inside and you could see top-dressed aristocrats of fashion, either enjoying an exclusive party or watching a private fashion show.

Vogue Fashion's Night Out

A private fashion show at Vogue Fashion’s Night Out.

Other stores were open to those with the golden Vogue ticket, and had photo backdrops set up with professional photographers to take your next Instagram photo. Many stores were offering free glasses of expensive champagne, macaroons, balloons, phone cases–you name it. If anything, buying a Vogue magazine for Fashion’s Night Out is a surefire way to get buzzed.

Vogue Fashion's Night Out

The man who forever owns my heart.

You can also peruse the latest collections and Vogue’s choice of best pieces on Fashion’s Night Out. This is one night in Paris that the bourgeoisie are actually encouraged to walk around and touch (gasp) thousands of dollars worth of clothing (aimed to restore “consumer confidence” again, whatever that means; after this night I’m doubly as confident that my meager paycheck will never allow me to even touch a designer sock).

Vogue Fashion's Night Out

Here’s a insider’s tip: you should always be nice to the person working the door–these people are usually not just bouncers at high fashion events. The man or woman with the guest list is oftentimes the one who organized the event and can be VIP’s who work at Lanvin, Chanel, etc. Also, talk to everyone you can if you’re trying to make it in the fashion industry, especially at an event like Fashion’s Night Out that brings the most elite of the fashion world and aspiring interns together. You might have never known that the women perusing the racks next to you was the head of marketing for a major fashion label, for instance.

The Vogue Fashion’s Night Out is worth the €5 for the Vogue September issue (if you can get your hands on one earlier next year the better–they leave newsstands like hotcakes). Not only is Fashion’s Night Out a night of couture inspiration, it’s a great way to network with the oh-so-enviable VIP’s and climbing members of the fashion industry. Have your business cards on hand.

Artisan Burgers with a Side of Sass

While trying to find a chic vintage designer shop the other night, I stumbled upon this chic-looking artisan burger joint that was dying for customers to bring it’s stoves to life.

burgers paris

The burger joint was Le Petit Marcel, a fairly new restaurant in the République area. Artisan burger joints are becoming the new “hip” fad for enjoying a burger all over the world, and Paris is no exception to this overly-priced burger fad.

How do you know a burger joint is “artisan,” anyway? Well, at Le Petit Marcel, the meat is fresh from a Chaloraise cow grown in France, buns are prepared by an artisan bakery, cheeses are made from raw milk, sauces are prepared on site, and fries are cut with knives (I don’t know why I thought this point was funny). Basically, a lot of love, fresh ingredients, and delicate artistry is put into making this patty an enjoyable and expensive experience for you. 

Tips to Make Your Life Easier When Ordering

  • You can’t customize your burger.
  • The free ketchup for your fries will literally be enough to cover one single fry.
  • You either pay € 12 to take the burger to go (à emporter) or € 13 to sit and eat the burger in the store. Not kidding. You have to pay an extra euro to sit. Don’t make the same mistake I did and pay € 12 to get the burger “to go” and eat the burger in the store (gasp). You will be receiving dirty looks and sassy comments from the chef/owner during your short stay.
  • Everything is expensive. If you’re used to In-N-Out’s under $5 combo meal like me, prepare to pay about $20 for a burger, fries, drink, and a seat.
le petit marcel

Being overwhelmed by the selection of fancy cheeses and sauces I’d never heard of, I decided to try burger choice #1, otherwise known as Le Petit Marcel. Never wrong to go with the original. It was sweet, and truly, you could taste the quality of the meat. France never fails to provide me with the tastiest flavors while draining my wallet. 

If you’re looking for an artisan burger experience in Paris, Le Petit Marcel will suffice. It’s not the best, truly, and here’s why: my buns weren’t buttered and golden and crisp like every other artisan burger I’ve ever had. The buns were kind of floppy and made me feel like I was eating a regular burger. I’m telling you folks, crispy, hot, light bread can make you feel like you’re eating a million-dollar burger.

le petit marcel

I wouldn’t return also due to the sassiness of the owner. I was given so much sass for sitting down and enjoying my meal even when I had paid for my meal “to go” and the small restaurant was completely empty when I walked in. Who wants to feel anxious and unwanted at a restaurant? And why do I have to pay to sit at a burger joint where I clean up my own mess???

Then again, my lack of understanding of the French language may have caused me to perceive the owner’s intentions unclearly. But, you don’t need to speak French to feel tension.

If you like your burgers served with a side of sass and don’t mind ketchup enough for a sole fry, Le Petit Marcel is right up your alley.

Le Petit Marcel

9 Rue de Lancry

Metro line 9: République

How to Dress Paris Chic Vol. 2: Leather Pants

leather pants leather pantsleather pants leather pants The moral of this story is that you can never go wrong with leather. Especially leather pants.

As this very authentic Parisian gal demonstrates, black leather pants are the automatic key to dressing “Paris Chic.” They’re so much more stunning and bold than regular black jeans. They scream, I love my body and I love looking like a rockstar. If you decide to leather up, people will be asking you questions in French left and right–leather is one of the key textures to making yourself blend into Parisian couture this season.

Pair with a simple top that keeps the edge flowing from head to toe. With leather pants, there’s no need to over-accessorize. They’ll do most of the talking.

Release Your Inner Hipster at Point Éphémère

Got a visible tattoo? An edgy new haircut? Non-prescription glasses?? Come casually mingle with the coolest of the cool Parisians at Point Éphémère.

I decided to visit Point Éphémère after doing some research for cafés where I could connect to wifi and prep Paris Chic’s launch to my heart’s content. Little did I know Point Éphémère would mean so much more to me than a strong wifi signal.

5 Reasons Why You Should Chill at Point Éphémère

Point Éphémère

1. It’s on Canal Saint-Martin. When you sit on the terrace of the café, you’re overlooking the peaceful canal, where hoards of nicely-dressed Parisians and young people flock to.

point Éphémère

2. Calling all writers on a budget: The cheapest beer is Grolsch Blond for €2.8, and wine is around €3 a glass. Truly a steal for Paris. Also, they have an amazing Thai food selection–I recommend the coconut lemon soup. Just by the looks of it, I don’t recommend the dessert…but again, I’m hardcore judging this aspect by its cover.

paris bookstorePoint Éphémère

3. It’s not just a café. Point Éphémère is also a bookstore with almost all its books priced at €1 (these include great classics, although most books are in French), a vintage thrift store, and a gallery for up-and-coming artists.

point Éphémère

4. They say eavesdropping on others’ conversations is a great way to learn a language. Hardly any English speakers are present, for those of you looking to immerse yourself in French culture and language.

point Éphémèrecanal saint-martin

5. It’s all located in an old warehouse. The ambiance is woodsy, urban, grungy, and exudes Paris chic. Cynical manifestos criticizing the state and political graffiti adorn the streets of this trendy area.

Point Éphémère is a top contender for one of my new favorite cafés in Paris. If you want to meet the artists and well-dressed citizens of non-tourist Paris, spend an afternoon at this trendy joint.

Point Éphémère is located at 200 Quai de Valmy, 75010 Paris, France.

How to Dress Paris Chic Vol. 1: Black on Black on Black

paris black outfitparis black outfit paris black outfitchic shoes parisChanel purse

Number 1 Rule to Dressing Paris Chic: Black is always the new black. 

Number 2 Rule to Dressing Paris Chic: Contrary to what your friends might be telling you, you don’t need a thousand dollar bag on your shoulder to look nicely-dressed. Case and point. This might be going against everything fashion bloggers stand for, but if you have a nice-looking faux designer bag, who the hell cares? Wear it. Own it. Act outrageously offended if someone asks if it’s real.

Number 3 Rule to Dressing Paris Chic: Never look like you tried too hard to pair an outfit in the morning. As my beautiful model Savannah demonstrates, a blouse, jeans, and wedge runners suffice. More layers means more thought put into the outfit; there’s a reason why Parisian girls don’t walk around with half-naked shirts and bandeaus. They’re too free-spirited and worried about bigger priorities in life to worry about bandeaus. Stick with simple pieces and exude elegance.