Those of you who read my Blog for some time now know that this time in Paris was, actually, my second time bringing my new Collection to Paris. First time I presented "The Secret Lives Of dolls" at The Box in October of 2010. This time I have been invited by Premiere Classe Pret-A-Porte to bring my latest "Les Enfants Terribles" Collection for participation in one of the biggest trade shows in Fashion Universe. Corrine, representative from Premiere Classe, who got in touch with me with initial invitation, felt that my newest Collection was very strong and would do very well in Premiere Classe setting.
She was right! Let's leave aside exhausting packing,custom paperwork, flight, airports and strenuous display assembly. Premiere Classe has greeted me with the publication in it's primary fashion magazine "Fashion Daily" Paris Issue for the professionals in the industry with a feature of my "Lolita" hat and an article I am still trying to translate from French.:-) The Trade Show took overwhelming 7 Halls of Porte de Versailles. I was assigned to Hall #4 Premiere Classe where leading brands in accessories division presented their newest, latest Collections for upcoming Season. Spectacular sight to behold.
The energy of the place is really indescribable, with so much talent under the same roof. This fact along makes you wonder in intimidation if you, in fact, are a part of this phenomenal crowd, but rather an accidental stranger who slipped through the closed door, overlooked by the gate keepers.:-) Four day flew by with the speed of a bullet. At the end of it, my brand has signed several large sales with buyers from Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France and Italy all due to be delivered end of April beginning of July. The number one seller this time: series of structured berets in sequined chiffon in the variety of colors, second favorite - Galliano mini top hat and third place: equestrian shaped hats with pom-poms and spikes.:-)
There were so many brilliant milliners presenting their new Collection - here you see my beloved Borsalino with embroidered hats. There were milliners from Australia, Italy, Spain, France and Russia..well and me from the US. Polina and I would get in the Hall a bit earlier just to see all the beauty, take some pictures an do a little bit of networking.One wery important thing: just this ones, for a change, it was such a pleasure seeing things that had tags with "Made in France", "Made in Italy", "Made in Russia" instead of "Made in China"...
I even had a chance to visit Famme section which displayed collection of the apparel designers. Very soon it became obvious that the best investment to make is into the clothes that are flowy, covered in sequins - silks and chiffon in pastel colors right next to very bright pallet, feathers and oversized sweaters.
The decision on the length has been almost unanimous: long skirts and maxi skirts and dresses are absolute favorites for the next season.
Delicate knits and heavy knits in the variety of patterns - I simply could not get enough of it.:-)
The jewelry designers presented also very oversized, heavy, chunky pieces. Large necklace and gold leafed cuffs were seen everywhere you looked. All in bold colors of gold, orange, red, azur...
Sunglasses suggested for the next Season were also oversized, in large frames - I fell in love with this particular shape and simply could not resist getting one pair in black for myself. :-)
Fun patterns in bags seemed to be everyone's favorite. Combination of tweeds, silks and printed cameos with different themes had tremendous success with the buyers.
The most favorite part of this 4 day experience was meeting those of you who have managed to come and see me. You, guys, are THE BEST!!! Thank you for your very faithful encouragement and support - it is something I really cherish. :-)
One of the greatest surprises for me was,finally, meeting Felipe, one of two brilliant minds behind much admired brand Tolentino Haute Hats. I think I went a little crazy for a second hugging Felipe who stopped by my booth to introduce himself. Here you see Felipe and Manolo - seriously, aren't they fantastic?
To me great millinery is always about design and craftsmanship. This magic combination is what makes it all happen. I have admired Tolentino for quite some time now for their unique vision and consistent innovation in design. In plain English - their hats are divine! My hat is off to Felipe and Manolo. What a privilege it was to meet you in person!
Extraordinary. This is how great millinery suppose to be: beautiful hats, presented in such a way that it creates fantasy, the ultimate desire to reach over and become a part of the story...
I have arrived to the conclusion that it would be, probably, wise on my part to reside to the following: "What goes in Paris, stays in Paris." I have never drank that much champagne in my life! With that, I have allowed myself a guilty pleasure of few cigarettes.Only in Paris!
January in Paris is full of roses, I kept noticing them everywhere, starting with my own hotel room. :-)
Polina and I really enjoyed our time in Paris, I am so very happy I could share it with her. Here she is sitting on legendary Rue Cambon after doing a little shopping at Chanel. Next time I will tell you all about our trip to one of the most guarded Ateliers in Paris. What an adventure and, definitely, a life changing experience!
Just as I was saying "Good by" to Paris and thought that things could not have gotten any better, who do you think I find sitting next to me in the airplane? No other than contributing fashion editor to Vogue.com and a contributing writer to Vogue, legendary Lynn Yaeger.My must read! I do not remember the time when I had such an insightful, intelligent and very informative conversation as I had with Lynn. What a graceful, wonderful lady. I could not believe my little lucky star - not every day you get to exchange opinions with one of the most admired reporters in Fashion. Just as we were parting our ways on arrival in JFK - one thought has crossed my mind. It is one thing when you really admire someone's work from a distance, but it is entirely different story, when the person you admire, in real life doesn't bare a shred of superiority, arrogance or snobbish bravado, but instead, extends kindness ,understanding and a gift of time.Thank you, Lynn. What a beautiful ending to a beautiful trip!