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Thursday, July 7, 2011

PFW Day 1 - Bouchra Jarrar & Dior Haute Couture Shows

Diary of a novice streetstyle photographer/papparazzi

Day 1
Weather: Extremely hot and sunny
Mood: Excited

I arrived at the Odeon Theatre de L'Europe for the third show of the day, Bouchra Jarrar and was surprised to see the scene so quiet. But I managed to capture Jessica Michault of International Herald Tribune exiting the show, and was starstuck when I saw Tommy Ton and Nam of Streetfsn chatting in a corner. Side note: You should definitely check out Nam's blog for his natural photos that captures the spontaneity of the people wearing their clothes and not the other way round. Nam carries a really big lens and he usually -pardon the expression- hide in one corner to capture his subjects when they don't notice, unlike those other photographers that have their subjects pose for them.

I made a new friend, Noemie, a French history student who arrived in Paris since last year. She doesn't understand english very well so I could only talk to her with my embarrasing broken French.

Jessica Michault
Megan, American fashion blogger living in Paris


I arrived at Musee Rodin for Dior haute couture and it was complete madness over there with photographers jostling on the narrow sidewalks for a good photos and police yelling at people that don't listen. I felt that it was a rather horrible location for the guests as well, because the museum was next to a small road, and the cars couldn't come in properly, which caused a massive jam. It didn't help that the guests were mobbed once they stepped out of their cars either.

1. The Japanese fashion people usually work in pairs - a female fashion journalist and a male photographer. They have learnt that Paris photographers are not ones to follow social order, so they will literally run after the famous people they wish to capture. The only difference is that they don't push and shout.
2. The french papparazzi get pissed easily when they don't get a good photo. You hear curses of "Putain!" everywhere. Putain is the curseword in France, literally meaning whore/bitch, but used as the F word. One guy was shouting at the police "But this is the Republic of France! You can't direct people like that!" when a policeman prevented a model from stopping for a photo.
3. Half of the time the female guests exiting the show were looking on the ground not because of the sun, but because they were balancing precariously on heels. A large number of them needed help to hobble down to their ride, and there were even a woman that had a guy carry a stool next to her, almost as though she had to sit down any moment.

The madness outside Dior
Natuka, fashion designer, Georgia
Fashion photographer
Man in Neon alert!

Suzy Menkes
Mystery woman in head to toe Rodarte
Emmanuelle Alt
Constance Jablonski with glitter in her hair post show
Frida Gustavsson
These 2 guys tried to take photos with almost every model, claiming that it's 4th of July.
I doubt they were even American.
Altogether a very exhilirating first day. To even be able to stand so close to these people that I wish to emulate is really a very amazing feeling. It's so comfortable, as well, to be in the midst of fashion week amongst all those people who dress up so well and look so achingly chic. There's always a sense of energy, a quiet buzz in the air outside the shows as the photographers wait and crane their necks for the next famous person to shoot. And then there's all those others like me, who make an effort to dress up for fashion week, even if it's just to stand outside the doors.

The scene just makes me feel like fashion is ever so relevant to our lives - it affects our mood and it reflects our mood. It is an entire venerable industry that is alive with change, and that's what I love and will continue to love about it.

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