It’s fashion week in Paris. That means the city is being overrun by skinny models, preening celebrities and anxiety-ridden fashion designers. Actually, that sounds like any other day in Paris. Except now there are tents up in the Tuleries, the Hôtel de Ville is crawling with fashionistas, and, well, you try getting a reservation at Kong this week or next.
But I’ll be honest with you. As much as I love fashion, I really hate fashion shows. In my mind, both the models and the clothing they wear bear little resemblance to the real world. (Although, this particular Fashion Week showcases the prêt-a-porter lines, so the fashions that make it down the catwalk are pretty close to what will make it to the rack at Bon Marché.)
The big news at this particular Paris Fashion Week (other than Alexander McQueen’s collection being shown following his suicide last month) is that designer Giles Deacon has booted the “skinny models” and replaced them with the more ample Victoria’s Secret models. While these women are certainly bustier and curvier than the average 83 lb. model, they still don’t resemble the real world woman. And Deacon is showing his fall ready-to-wear line, which means the women will be dressed in layers of heavier fabrics. Not quite the revolution it was proclaimed to be.
Still, I get it. Clothes are easier to sell when they’re being modeled on six-foot models with legs up to there and a BMI of less than zero. But it’s a little frustrating for the 5’2” gal who has hips and boobs and legs that barely make it to her kneecaps. The frocks I see strutted down the runway will never drape as exquisitely on my body as they do on an Amazon who probably hasn’t eaten more than half an apple and a package of tissues in a week.
Then again, the Fashion Week shows aren’t for us “normal” women. They’re for the buyers at Bon Marché and Galeries Lafayette. They’re for Anna Wintour and fashion stylists and the celebrity paparazzi. And, thankfully, they’re for the discounters like H&M (and its slightly more upscale brand COS), who will immediately begin producing affordable versions of this season’s must-have finds so that those of us without bottomless budgets can still be en vogue.