Paris fashion show presentations are exclusive. Except in rare occasions and during festivals, Paris Fashion Week and such, you can expect even the most prestigious designers' collections to be exhibited in restricted, relatively small settings. What that means for most is that, unless you are extremely well connected in the fashion and entertainment industry, or a notorious high roller, you will be very lucky to gain access to any of those events.
Occasionally, they might have seats available for non-insiders, but the reality is that for the most part, people are there to work rather than play. Buyers, magazine editors, stylists and others all have a specific reason for attending. I think the fun factor of those events is highly overstated.
Of course, there is a certain amount of excitement associated with the presentation itself, as well as rubbing elbows with celebrities if that's your thing. But the real thrill of a Paris fashion show is in the unparalleled creativity and artistry that is put into these spectacles.
Unlike fashion shows in New York, Milan or the other world meccas of fashion, top fashion shows in Paris are not designed to sell products. They are a showcase for the exceptional creativity of the designers, which will then translate into brand notoriety through which the end products will be marketed. The actual designs displayed during top Parisian shows are not intended for public consumption or mass reproduction.
The video below is an example of a Paris fashion week spectacular presentation, which tends to be more about the show itself than it is about prêt-à-porter fashion, although you can make the case either way depending on where it is intended to be worn.
Now, if you're realistic, and disappointed that you will most likely not find a way to attend one of these Haute Couture affairs, there are other ways to satisfy your itch. A Paris shopping expedition is a good start because of the sheer "wow" factor of quality and quantity that will overwhelm even the most irrepressible fashion shopaholic. You have bankable and reliable happenings like the weekly fashion show on the 7th floor of the Galeries Lafayette's La Coupole building.
Most Fridays at 3:00 pm (they sometimes take breaks, so check the calendar if you're in Paris), Galeries Lafayette will exhibit the latest designer collections of cutting edge fashion clothing, accessories and eye-popping footwear. That in itself is worth the trip because with minimum planning, you will in fact get front-row sitting where you can see all the details of the presentation up-close and personal, including the shoes. Yes, designer shoes are going through an unprecedented explosive trend.
With as little as an online reservation , you can secure your seat and have the models parade right in front of you as if you were a deep-pocketed mogul (which of course you may be!).
If you think you
might be interested in checking out a show, try to take care of your
reservation ahead of time to make sure your trip coincides with a
scheduled show date (firstname.lastname@example.org). As well, that will ensure that seats are still available.
This is a little known Paris attraction in its own right. People in the know have always been smart in taking advantage of it; so be aware that a Paris fashion show at Galeries Lafayette does have a lot to offer beside the obvious.
By the way, you won't find a better way to sample gourmet food anywhere in the city, between the Lafayette's gourmet market, the roof-top restaurant and terrace cafe. Quick thinking travelers are putting two and two together, planning a lunch at the Galeries to enjoy spectacular views of the city and the nearby Opera Garnier while feeding on amazing treats, and then catching the fashion show at 2:30 - 3:00 pm.
That still leaves the rest of the day to shop till you drop if you're so inclined.
Not the worst way to scratch your Paris fashion show itch, if you ask me.