Friday 2nd Sept
First full day at the tradeshow, I was raring to go. Luv tea was one of the event sponsors and I was on a mission to sample every type of tea that they had on offer. The spicy cinnamon & orange tea was particularly nice. I had my stash of fair trade wine gums to tempt buyers with, but admittedly ended up eating them all myself. It was a good day and I met lots of buyers & press. We hopped on the metro to Belville and randomly picked a Vietnamese restaurant. We shared a prawn papaya salad, pork & rice, fresh spring rolls and a demi caraf of red wine. I personally think I’ve had better Vietnamese in London, but these dishes weren’t spiked with msg which was a refreshing change. When we returned to our hotel room, it was Napees, a jaffa cake style biscuits for dessert. I was transfixed by some glee-like talent competition hosted by Baby Spice, dubbed over in French so it was hard to make out what they were saying.
Saturday 3rd Sept
The novelty of having lots of sweet things for breakfast started to become a bit tiring, I was longing for a hot bowl of porridge and some toast drizzled with olive oil. It was very quiet at the trade show, but I managed to get a chance to meet the other designers and saw some really interesting work and social projects. It was 30 degree heat and glorious sunshine outside but you would never had known being stuck inside an air conditioned hall (with no windows, no natural day light!) I could only suspect the nice weather from summery attire of the visitors. Whilst my other half went sight-seeing in Versaille, I sat shivering under a blast of cold air, and had a video interview for Lenzing with the Super Mario Brothers.
The award ceremony took place that evening, I didn’t win the sponsorship but I’m really glad that it went to a really talented and lovely designer. I felt really tired and a little deflated from the day. We walked back through the Marais district but were caught in a thunderstorm. I foolishly left my brolly at the hotel so we had to find somewhere to hide. We dashed into a restaurant & settled down to eat. It’s a horrible feeling when you go somewhere and realise that it’s 1. Too expensive and 2. There’s nothing there that you want to eat…This restaurant fell in both categories. However, I opted for the cheese on toast, Croque Monsieur, and my partner had the Omelette Champignon. We also had a side order of haricot verts and a demi caraf of wine. Dessert was a min scoop of chocolate & grapefruit sorbet. The bill didn’t reflect the standard of the food, but we were dry and fed so that was all that mattered.
Sunday 4th Sept
The final day of The Ethical Fashion Show was such a contrast to the other days. It was super busy! I couldn’t keep up! I met a lot of buyers and individuals who loved my clothes. It’s always nice to receive positive feedback, it makes it all worthwhile. David did some sightseeing in Montmartre. Packing away took seconds compared to setting up. I was happy I had the opportunity to showcase in Paris. The buyers were a lot more welcoming of the ideas of ethical fashion, and it was great meeting so many like-minded people. We celebrated our final night in Paris at a Franco Italian restaurant near our hotel. We shared a very retro looking avocado & prawn salad, and merguez pizza. For desert we had Tunisian pastries, which unfortunately didn’t taste as good as they looked.
Monday 5th Sept
I felt a bit disappointed that I didn’t manage to do much sight-seeing during my stay in Paris. This was my last chance to see the city, but I had been given a couple of complimentary tickets to another fashion trade show, Who’s Next at Premier Class, so I thought it would be silly not to go. This show was on such a huge scale, there were hundreds of exhibitors, it was all too much. Couldn’t remember the name of the brand I was supposed to visit so we had a quick look round then left. We wandered through Monteparnasse Cemetery and looked at famous people’s graves, before having a picnic of Viennese style baguette, (a spongy milky bread, easier to eat than it’s crusty cousin, no sharp shards or an excessive amount of crumbs), and bio yoghurt with the remainder of the rhubarb jam.
We then headed towards the Latin Quarter, up & down the steep hills passing numerous creperies and mouth watering patisseries along the way. The nutella crepe was very tasty and a bargain at only €2.50.
Stocked up on printemps roulades (spring rolls), baguette, bananas and a macaroon for the journey back to London. A British beef sandwich and chocolate mousse from M&S welcomed us back to UK turf, and consumed on our last leg of our journey back home to Oxford.