On my recent trip to Paris, my friend Janelle (incredible illustrator of http://janelleburger.tumblr.com/ and photographer) got me into the Elie Saab show. My first real fashion show EVER! I'm saying *real* because we've all been to someone's graduate fashion show or mall fashion show with cheesy model poses and bad clothes. A terrible experience for all. But this show was the exact opposite of all that. It was beautiful, sparkly and EXCITING!
I got in with a photographer's pass so we were supposed to go to that very intimidating photographer's pit where a wall of photographers take pictures of the models. We didn't really feel like standing there for the whole time so we instead stood in the back of rows of seats. A great vantage point to see all the fashionable people and some not so fashionable people. One of the fashionable people was Chinese actress and pop star Fan Bing Bing. She dressed in what I called a 'sparkly condom' since it was all nude tones with sequins. She was a very beautiful sparkly condom though. The photographers went crazy for her taking her photo for at least 3 minutes straight.
There were two empty seats in front of us and it seemed that no one was coming to claim them. We didn't want to be rude and just sit down so we waited until the show started. Just before the lights went down, this older couple asked if we were going to use the seats. Without hesitation I said, "We're intending to!" and sat down. Ha! A few moments after sitting down, the show started (half an hour after it was supposed to). A hush fell on the room and everyone's cell phones came out and pointed to the direction of the runway. It was kinda like a concert when people bring out their lighters during a song. Instead it was to take pictures and video of the first look. At this time, I myself had my camera out documenting the whole experience but I just had to stop for a moment and really take it in. I WAS SITTING IN A FASHION SHOW IN PARIS!
The show starts and the first model walks down the runway. I always knew the models walked differently on the runway but in real life it looked really weird! They walked with their chest out, shoulders back and took very long strides down the runway. This all sounds ok but seeing it looked really not normal! Is that just me? Either way, they looked like very elegant giraffes. A really funny thing that happened was when Anja Rubik decided to only walk halfway down the runway. The wall of photographers booed her very loudly! I was so surprised! I thought fashion shows were quiet, mass-like situations. As she made her turn, you can see her smirking. Ha! After that, 3 models only walked half way too and the photographers continued to boo! The girl who finally broke that bitchy streak was new comer Arizona Muse (who is very pretty in real life! but like that's a shock).
As for the clothes, I really enjoyed those sparkly numbers. He loves that sparkle, doesn't he?
I never really paid much attention to Elie Saab before. All I knew of him was that he created Halle Berry's Oscar dress and MIla Kunis' recent Oscar dress. I kinda thought of him as a 'red carpet designer' but after seeing the show he actually made really beautiful and elegant day wear. I also loved those architectural gold neck pieces.
For me, the most exciting part of the show happened after the show. We also had backstage passes so we made our way backstage. Unfortunately all the models were at a separate closed area changing out of their dresses and we were unable to take candid pictures of them. So we waited near the doorway just before the entrance where there were a SEA of on lookers and street photogs waiting to take their pictures. I was lucky that I didn't have to compete with those guys because a lot of them seemed kinda vicious! For the most part, a lot of the models and celebrities were very gracious in having their picture taken. I had a really big Fujifilm Instant camera so maybe that peaked their interest and thought that I was a credible photographer who knew what he was doing. Karlie Kloss was very sweet and actually stopped and posed for me. I asked Abbey Lee for a picture and right away she stopped, posed like a rockstar and went on her way (she is so cool and she knows it). Daisy Lowe was very sweet and gave me a big grin! My favourite was Magdalena. She gave me various poses and I couldn't even keep up because my camera uses instant film! It needs to eject the picture before I could take another one! But she gave me one of my best shots of my trip.
Fan Bing Bing aka Sparkly Condom Woman
This whole experience was so amazing. Seeing the clothes and the models in real life was really just a dream come true for me. I can now check 'Attend a REAL fashion show' off my bucket list!
PS: Though she wasn't at the show, I ran into Leigh Lezark on the same day at the ChanelxColette pop-up store. Super pretty and nice too!