The end of Paris Fashion Week concludes a fashion chronicle, with this season shaping up to be one of the most successful runs since Covid-19 got around to the world. Yet, it wasn’t without its challenges. In light of the ongoing war in Ukraine, the fashion houses and cognoscenti struggled internally as they reflected on the purpose of fashion and the role it had amidst life-shattering issues going on in the world. And the conclusion was clear: the procession of the fashion week calendar was never to abate the severity of it all, but rather to use the influential platforms to which these fashion houses already owned to stand in solidarity with Ukraine.
The same applies for industry professionals and influencers in attendance. “The war in Ukraine has casted a sombreness never quite known to this season and attendees are experiencing the shows with solemnity and reflection. We are definitely seeing a lot of designers and industry professionals use their platforms to show solidarity with Ukraine,” remarks Chriselle Lim.
The Korean-American who has been a longstanding Fashion Week attendee for eight years, feels grateful to be back for in-person shows. “It’s been incredible to be back in Paris. There’s been a lot of excitement and energy here as it is the first season that most major brands have resumed in-person shows and events since the pandemic lockdown.”
Below, she tells us the highlights of this season, travelling hacks as well as her personal rituals when visiting the City of Lights.
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When in Paris, I always stay at...
Le Meurice, which really is the most beautiful hotel in Paris. When you stay here, you wake up and go to bed in the heart of the city. You have the iconic Tuileries Garden as your front garden, the Louvre to your left and Place de la Concorde to your right.
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In the mornings...
I usually order room service (typically yogurt, fresh fruit, a pastry, and coffee) but on the rare chance where I have a slow morning, I will go to the cafe next to the hotel and enjoy a leisurely breakfast with a book. I never have headphones in when I’m in Paris, as I love to soak in all the sounds, language and music around me.
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What most people don't know about fashion week...
is that it requires long hours and lots of endurance—involving very early mornings and very late nights. I try my best to go to bed as early as possible but that is always challenging as the French love to do late dinners, as opposed to us Americans.
What people don’t often see and appreciate is the hard work and the lead-up that goes into making Fashion Week happen. From the designers, the PR agencies, the production companies, the editors, the hair and makeup artists, the photographers, and to content creators like myself, we have been preparing for this months in advance.
As far as creators like myself who attend the shows and capture the footage, the job really happens when we come back to our hotels. It’s where we start working around 10pm to edit our content and meet our various deadlines and deliverables.
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The best part of this season...
is being able to experience in-person fashion shows again. There is just so much creativity and production that goes into bringing these shows to life and it really does provide me with so much inspiration to be able to take home. Though brands have been really creative with showcasing their collections through digital fashion shows, it just doesn’t translate the same as to seeing the collection in real life. The choice of venue, the audiovisuals, the models, the fabrics, the movement…these physical shows bring the collections to life.
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My favourite shows this season are...
probably the Acne Studios and Balmain collections. The Acne Studios fall/winter 2022 collection embodied elevated craft with patchworked denim, raw seams and exposed pads; while at Balmain, Olivier Rousteing looked to the future for inspiration and played with the dichotomy between strong, masculine looks and soft, feminine details. The collection featured sharp shapes paired with feminine details like feathers and lace. I loved all of the outerwear pieces—i.e. oversized fur coats, biker jackets and tailored blazers.
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My secret to packing for fashion week is....
having one suitcase for my shoes, one suitcase for my outfits, and one suitcase for my accessories and beauty products. After having traveled to more fashion weeks around the world (from New York to Milan to South Korea) than I can count, I have got packing down to a science. I typically pack very simple, everyday pieces for outfits I would wear to meetings—i.e. classic jeans and tees, sweaters, button-ups, trousers, etc.
I’m lucky enough where most brands will typically dress me for their shows but usually what I am missing from that is the undergarment that needs to go under the sheer top that the brand didn’t have, so I always pack a ton of undergarments, tights, bralettes, etc.
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When it comes to grooming...
I prefer to do most of my hair and makeup on my own, as I’ve grown to be quite good at it and I am quite fast (which is important especially when you are doing touch-ups between shows).
The one thing I never forget to pack is a ton of sheet masks when I am traveling. I always use a sheet mask in the morning for about 30 minutes before I do my makeup. I also travel with a jade face roller so I roll my face while I have my sheet mask on to depuff my face in the morning. If your hotel room has a mini-fridge, I’d recommend putting your sheet masks and roller in there to keep it cold.