What happens when you show up to Paris Fashion Week uninvited and fully dressed?

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What happens when you show up to Paris Fashion Week uninvited and fully dressed?

A crowd began to form in the rain on Tuesday morning at 9 a.m., in front of the Grand Palais Ephémère in Paris. Onlookers lined the barricades, stood on concrete pillars and filled the street waiting for the Chanel spring 2024 show, which began at 10:30 a.m. A little drizzle wasn’t going to stop these people from experiencing the event, even if only from the street. “Paris vomits fashion,” said Elisa Hurtado, a 24-year-old spectator and Chilean sous chef living in Paris. “And it’s the Chanel show. Come on. This doesn’t happen every day. »

Hurtado is right: Paris Fashion Week causes a sweep of the city puke out of fashion. The nine-day extravaganza was filled with shows, presentations, dinners and events. Editors, writers, buyers, stylists, designers and celebrities have flocked to the City of Lights for a multitude of reasons (work, networking, the thrill of the stage). But behind the enthusiasm, exhaustion and occasional blasé of industry insiders was another group of fashion week attendees: the fans. Collectively, they are as much a fixture at fashion week as the editors, celebrities and photographers. Undeterred by the lack of a formal invitation and causing minor nuisances (occasional shouting, crowded aisles), fanatics from all over the world came to Paris just to feel part of it all. While the traditional fashion hierarchy suggests that out shows are not the place to be, the warm energy inside the crowd suggested otherwise.

Video by Skyler Dahan

One might assume that the hordes at Paris Fashion Week were primarily waiting for the celebrities: front-row regulars like Jennie Kim, Zendaya and Kylie Jenner. And certainly some were. But the Parisian crowd was just as full of fashion enthusiasts eager to get as close as possible to the designers and their worlds. Some were there just to watch people; still others were content creators taking photos.

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Photographed by Skyler Dahan

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Photographed by Skyler Dahan

“It’s not just about celebrities, as some might think,” said Malek Elimam, a 22-year-old designer who came to Paris from Algeria to witness the Louis Vuitton show — or at least from outside the new, under-construction of the Champs-Élysées store where the parade took place on Monday. Wearing a bubblegum pink silk wrap dress and leather corset made by Malek, she explained that she came to Paris (with her brother, also a fashion fan) to promote her work and find inspiration for his own line. “It’s my first year. We went to Dior, Coperni, Schiaparelli, Saint Laurent and Vivienne Westwood.

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Photographed by Skyler Dahan

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Photographed by Skyler Dahan

Elimam easily finds locations on TikTok and Twitter. “When I’m here, I feel like I’m part of a team. I create connections with people who share my passion. I get inspired and make friends… She’s one of them! She waved to another fan she’d met earlier in the week outside the Dior show (they started talking because they liked each other’s outfits). Among the Louis Vuitton crowd, spectators carried signature Pochette or Speedy bags. Others ignored house codes in favor of personal style. “When you’re here, you feel understood,” says Elimam. “You can express yourself. We don’t have that as much at home.

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Photographed by Skyler Dahan

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Photographed by Skyler Dahan

Other fans have the same desire to belong, but different dreams. “My biggest goal is to walk in a Louis Vuitton show,” said Vic Cayo, a 20-year-old who came from New York for show castings. She didn’t book, but decided to stay in Paris for the experience and the small chance of a last-minute call-back. “I like the environment. When I’m surrounded by people who also love fashion, I feel like I learn more about the industry,” she said. Even if the podium is still far away, she considers being in Paris a good step. “I haven’t been able to walk this season, but I know I have to keep a really positive mindset and keep showing up. »

Suddenly, interrupting our conversation, there were screams – screams of VIPs arriving. “Jaden!” Jaden Smith! » » someone shouted. For Cayo, Smith is not a priority. “I’m here to network. Of course people can scream and get excited about famous people,” she commented as the crowd settled back down. “But they’re just people. At every level in this industry, everyone is a fan of something. I think when you show up for what you love, good things happen.

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Gerald Russell

a passionate mechanical engineering student at the University of Technology of Compiegne. With a thirst for knowledge and a curious mind, Gerald dives into the depths of programming, immersing himself in the world of code. As a technology enthusiast and self-proclaimed mad engineer, he revels in pushing the boundaries of what's possible. Inspired by his deep fascination with technology, Gerald ventured into the realm of entrepreneurship, founding a tech startup that aims to revolutionize the industry. Driven by his insatiable curiosity and relentless ambition, Gerald continues to shape his path, forever driven by the pursuit of innovation and the desire to make a lasting impact.