As a shortlisted designer for the Lenzing fibres contest, I was invited to exhibit my collection at the Ethical Fashion Show, Paris earlier on this month (1-4th Sept).
Wednesday 31st Aug
Our adventure started at 2am on Wednesday morning We had tickets for the 5.25am Eurostar, departing from the shiny new Kings Cross St Pancreas station. It was strange walking down the empty streets of East Oxford; silent activity within the residential streets, the Italian sports bar and student pub still open but empty. Once we got into London it was a different story – there were cars and people, a buzzing 24hr city. Kings Cross was bustling commuters and budget holiday makers. Breakfast part1 – crackers and half a Dove’s organic flapjack – I needed the energy to stay awake, but nodded jerkily as we entered Paris.
Our hotel was a 30min walk to the Place du Republique. Bleary eyed, we trundled along the canal St Martin in search of breakfast part2. Baguette, butter croissant and yop yoghurt drink were sleepily consumed on a bench facing the canal. I perked up a bit & we then headed towards Belville, passing a multitude of groceries selling produce from across the world. Tuna from Tunisia, rice from Vietnam, pastries from North Africa, and Monoprix from France.
We had an apple-break in the blazing sunshine in a grassy square, before moving very slowly back in the direction of the hotel. After a power nap, we decided to enjoy the lovely weather and have dinner alfresco. Fish salad, chevre fougasse and chocolate hazelnut cake. The fougasse was different to how I had expected, it was lighter, brioche style bread. The chocolate hazelnut cake was very chocolaty and dense, a walk to the Pompidou centre was required.
Thursday 1st Sept
As I grow older, birthdays come and go and I start wishing I was younger. Freshly baked baguette and croissants with rhubarb jam and super chewy ‘German style’ bio muslie with mini-cartons of soya milk and fruit compote were eaten from teacups in our hotel room. Hot chocolate from the hotel vending machine also accompanied this ‘feast’.
We trundled off to the Louvre, suitcase full of clothes & display material in tow. Setting up took around 3hrs…when I had finally finished, I was hungry and in a bad mood. Picnic lunch consisted of goats cheese, couscous & my birthday cake – zingy organic tarte au citron, yum!
The Ethical Fashion Show opened at 5pm that evening and I was extremely excited to showcase in Paris for the first time! The fashion show kicked off at 7.30, I was thrilled to see my designs on the catwalk to a packed-out hall of buyers & journalists. Champagne and canapés were to follow, although I’d have to elbow my way through crowds of fashionistas who were greedily eating all the canapés. There were some strange titbits on offer – scrambled egg served in an eggshell, mini hamburger on a stick.
I sat on my stall for a while before deciding to call it a night. We wandered back to our hotel through the Marais district. Dinner was a merguez falafel & chips from Authentic Falafel Café. The chips were good…