My Gay Paris: Fashion Fever Hits Paris

We might only be a few weeks into the New Year—and the weather is certainly pretty wintry—but Paris has been buzzing over the past few days because it’s fashion week.

Fashion Weeks Explained

Or rather, fashion weeks, plural. For the uninitiated, the multiple fashion weeks here in gay Paris can prove a little complicated, so let us explain how it works. The first thing to remember is that like in New York, Milan and London, fashion week in Paris takes place twice a year: once in the spring, previewing clothes for the upcoming fall/winter season, and again in the autumn, with new styles for the following year’s spring/summer season.

In Paris, the official dates by the official trade body, the Fédération Française de la Couture du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et Créateurs de Mode, with three different shows following a strict pattern every year. While Men’s Fashion Week obviously brings the biggest influx of gorgeous young men to the French capital, fashion being the industry that it is, all six annual events see a lively, creative buzz in the capital and around the Marais.

Men’s Fashion Week

First off the blocks is Men’s Fashion Week (our favourite!) which from Wednesday 18 January through to last Sunday. The city was quite literally teeming with gorgeous models, while those lucky enough to have an invite to one of the catwalk shows got a chance to visit some very exclusive venues both inside the Marais and beyond. Key trends this year included floating capes and new, higher waistlines for trousers, as illustrated here by Rick Owens.  The boys will be back on 27 June to show off designer looks for spring and summer 2013 and we can’t wait!

Haute Couture

Starting by tradition the very next day, the Haute Couture shows that follow Men’s Fashion Week are an altogether more exclusive affair, with only a select few houses exhibiting their collections. That’s hardly surprising given that some of the outfits cost tens of thousands of dollars, but the sector is doing surprisingly well in the current financial climate. There might not be many people willing to spend that much on clothes, but it’s safe to assume that the ones that are have got some pretty substantial savings behind them. The big news this year has been the return of collection by Donaatella Versace—it’s been more than eight years since Versace staged a haute couture show, so Monday’s event was big news.

PRÊT-À-PORTER

The third and final burst of fashion week comes later—February for the spring round of shows—and covers Prêt-à-porter (‘ready to wear’) womenswear. Most of the big houses represented in the Haute Couture shows have more accessible pieces, and they’re joined by a much wider range of designers.

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