TSUMORI CHISATO prêt-à-porter automne-hiver 2016-2017
My second gracing of Paris Fashion Week last March was a completely different affair from the first. More shows, more presentations and more parties meant more scheduling conflicts, more yoyo-ing between the left and right banks of the Seine and more moments of panic. Never before had I given any thought to the importance of a comfortable pair of shoes till that moment when it started pouring, Uber stopped working and I was late for a re-see. Believe me, I ran. And I have the blisters to prove it. But at the end of the day, how could you not love the whole experience? It meant more pay-offs. I'm in the fashion capital of the world, chasing my dreams, rubbing shoulders with the best of the best. It could be a whole lot worse, right?
Apparently I was wrong.
It's totally understandable if you've been doing this for years and find this whole shebang exhausting, but multiple encounters with a certain fashion editor left me flabbergasted. She was actually disgusted by the fact that I was completely excited to be attending shows. Each time I ran into her, her nonchalance started to look more like apathy. And with each roll of her eyes, she made it seem like she did not want to be there. Until she confirmed my suspicions and actually said she'd rather be at home in bed. Every time I opened my mouth to lighten the situation, she cut me off with a snide remark. "Don't be so excited. It's just work." Cue eye-roll.
Was I the naïve one? Was there something wrong with me for publicly displaying my enthusiasm?
The following day I made my way down to the salons at Maxim’s, the words of the Eye-roll-Editor still echoing in my head. I was standing inside what was, once upon a time, the most exclusive of restaurants in Paris. Around me were the most breathtaking Belle Époque interiors I had seen in the city, but I just couldn't bring myself to show the awe I felt. Strangely enough, I was feeling shy. I didn't want to look like a noob among the fashion elite.
It was here that Tsumori Chisato housed her intimate presentation. Compared to runways like those at Dior or Chanel, I felt like I was BFFs with every one of the attendees, except for the Eye-roll-Editor, of course. Before the show even began, she couldn't stop complaining and left, because she didn't want to be late for Balmain. I didn't mind at all - it felt a little easier to breathe in her absence. The remainder of us cosied up in the historically rich venue and got to experience a little magic.
Ombre-legged psychedelic nymphs transcended through time and space, wafting from salon to salon. She could be a cowgirl from the 60s, or she could be part of Rihanna’s squad in 2017. Chisato proved that it’s not necessary to have a time or place for everything. What's important is to just be in the moment. The models embraced a no-fucks-given attitude, which felt like a splash of cold water across my face. It was pure enchantment. I was reminded of the many reasons why I was drawn to fashion in the first place - it allowed anyone access into an environment where we could experience a freedom of expression. We saw an abundance of colour, we saw symmetrical prints that popped, we saw movement with the most delicate of fabrics, but most of all we saw the passion and creativity that Chisato puts into her craft. Humbled, she took a bow at the end of the show and you could see in her eyes the joy and pride she felt - as if it was the first time she was in a room full of people appreciating her and her vision.
If a great woman like herself, who's been in the industry for close to four decades, still wasn't overcome with cynicism, who was I to question my own starry-eyed behaviour? As I joined the scores of others in applauding Ms. Chisato, I realised that it is possible to remain madly in love with what you do. And why the hell should I be ashamed for it? I decided that perhaps the Eye-roll-Editor wasn't following her passions and ended up disenchanted over the years. Clearly she's the anomaly, not me. Sometimes haters are going to hate - you just have to take Taylor Swift's advice and dance to that sick beat. Which I did. With supermodels, no less.