Fashion Week Journal

Fashion Week

Our Designer VPs on Their Favorite Paris Fashion Week Moments

Tricia Smith and Jennifer Wheeler enter the stylish back bar at Daroco looking like they just came off the beach in Saint-Tropez. Well, except that they’re in ankle boots and turtlenecks, trench coats and long sleeves.

The attitude, though—it’s pure relaxed satisfaction. Contented fulfillment. It’s a mood that isn’t necessarily native to this part of Paris Fashion Week. We’re on the tail end of the week and at this stage of the game, buyers and editors tend to be exhausted, a little cranky, and sort of overwhelmed by all the schedule-packed days they’ve just made it through.


First two images by Jessa Carter

But this time has been different. “It’s just been such a consistently good season,” says Tricia, our executive vice president of women’s and designer apparel. And even more than that, she tells me that the entire industry seems to have banded together in a united front. There’s a feeling of camaraderie in the shows and in the streets.


“It’s like everyone really wants to hold each other up,” agrees Jennifer, vice president of women’s designer apparel. From more white bandanas to all kinds of great color, this is how it went down and these are the moments that mattered most.



Ten SPACE Favorites from Paris Fashion Week

Rolling around Paris for a week or so with Olivia Kim and SPACE buyer Raul Becerra is kind of like an advanced fashion version of National Lampoon’s European Vacation. Especially the part where the Griswold family circles the Eiffel Tower and Clark (played in our version by Olivia) tries passionately to squeeze all the relevant points of interest into that one lap.

You can’t go to Paris without making your own Griswold joke at some point, but Fashion Week really is about making the most of every moment you get with each and every icon you get near—whether it’s a national monument, Grace Coddington or Simon Jacquemus.


Olivia in the Jacquemus showroom; all images by Jessa Carter unless otherwise noted

On the last day of the fall shows, we look back at ten things that mattered most to us, from Comme des Garçons to Y/Project—complete with theme song and more.


Fashion Week

Worldly and Intimate: With Our Buyers in Sea NY’s Paris Showroom

As I chatted with Sea NY cofounder Sean Monahan, an almost-forgotten term from high school social studies came back to me: melting pot.

We were talking about handmade silk beads that come from India, a print from Liberty London and a blouse’s weighty, gorgeous lace—which he gets in Italy. And he was talking about how he and his partner, Monica Paolini, exist almost entirely outside of the Fashion Week schedule; they don’t have presentations or runway shows. Instead, they concentrate on really knowing what their customers in Korea, Australia and Vancouver BC wear. They make featherweight tops for the girls Down Under and ruffled hoodies for girls in the Pacific Northwest.


All images by Jessa Carter

Sean told me all this with a soft but unmistakable New York accent—perfect in this analogy, because NYC has always been America’s symbol of multiculturalism. There in the heart of Paris, watching buyers Joyce Lin and Laura Janney select cool, chunky knits and sweet tie-waist dresses, Sea NY felt like a very real and very cool mix of traditions, crafts, communities and commonalities.

It felt like one of contemporary fashion’s prettiest melting pots.


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Fashion Friends: Robert Clergerie and Self-Portrait Celebrate Collaboration

A few weeks ago, back at New York Fashion Week, Self-Portrait founder and designer Han Chong added menswear plaids and velvet rompers to his established vernacular of lacy dresses and off-the-shoulder silhouettes.

And on Wednesday in Paris, the iconic and historically French footwear brand Robert Clergerie gave fans and the industry a late-’80s/early-’90s collection inspired by the stories and film Slaves of New York. Creative director Roland Mouret and the team showed soft, stretchy leather and shiny, textural exotics in a late-summer palette of muted green and wine tones for fall ’17.

For the buyers, editors, bloggers and stylists who’ve been spending the past month on the city-to-city global Fashion Week circuit, there was only one shoe collection fit for both of those events.


From Robert Clergerie x Self-Portrait, the spring ’17 collaboration; all images courtesy Robert Clergerie and Self-Portrait.
For stores and additional styles, call 1.888.282.6060.

The just-released collaboration between Self-Portrait and Robert Clergerie contains pointy flats and kicky slides that somehow multiply the best elements of both brands. It’s a perfect cross-pollination of sleek, pretty architecture and smart, classic-riffing romantic edge, and it’s available right now. And, we got both creative heads to open up about working together in style.


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In the Showroom with Clare Waight Keller’s Final Chloé Collection

How would you say farewell to an iconic brand after six years? Would you go backward through all the seasons and revisit your favorite looks; or would you go forward as you always have, trusting what your heart tells you is most beautiful, most meaningful, most immediate and right now?

News broke in January that Chloé creative director Clare Waight Keller would be leaving the company. During her tenure, the Chloé girl has been a biker and a boho; she’s been sporty and tender. And she’s always had amazing bags. At the show this past Thursday, the crowd—all those real-life Chloé girls, including Solange—represented that interplay of boyish cool and sweeping, woke-up-like-this finery.

chloe front row

chloe front row solange

Solange is a Chloé girl

But there on the runway was an entirely new iteration of the brand’s muse/loyal customer. As the fashion press has positively noted, Clare did not review her past. She stepped ahead. Her final collection was largely inspired by Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, but it was also about freedom and liberation. We went into the showroom with Sahar Sokhandan and Lauren Zimmermann from the designer buying team to see how they’ll bring this grande-but-grunge finale back to you.


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Shopping the MSGM Showroom with Our Buyers

Milan is a long way from the Pacific Northwest, but MSGM creative director Massimo Giorgetti totally “went there” for fall ’17. Based on Twin Peaks (which took place in the aforementioned grunge-adjacent neck of the woods), next season’s collection is dark and moody—but shot through with acid tones, floral details and college references that tie into the iconic show and movies.


All images by Jessa Carter

About six seasons ago, Nordstrom was the first American retailer to pick up the ruffled, sporty line, and vice president of women’s merchandise Laura Janney and via C buyer Joyce Lin have been loving the brand’s novelty factor ever since. From feminine dresses to bright sweatshirts they run the gamut, and, no matter what, the vibe is always more color, more patches, more stripes, more flair. 

Given this collection’s glammed-up yet psuedo-serious ’90s vibe, Sunday morning’s Paris Fashion Week challenge is already pretty tricky. How to choose from all those statement-making tops and all that bold attitude? And because they already selected lots of looks from Massimo’s pre-collection, which was shown to buyers a few months ago and will arrive in stores ahead of regular-season looks, their job is even harder. Joyce needs to take in about 100 silhouettes and even more fabrication options, but she can only pick 10 pieces for our stores and online.


Fashion Week SPACE

Olivia Kim’s Favorite Parisian Vintage Shop

Every once in a while you end up in a weird situation where you’re ahead of schedule for an appointment or a meeting, and you can’t decide whether to just show up all awkward and early or try to kill a little time somewhere. But every once in a great while, something magical happens: a third option emerges. Maybe you run into a friend you haven’t seen in ages or you pass a bookstore that’s perfect for getting lost in.


Today, in the middle of our Paris Fashion Week showroom rounds, we realized we were headed for the Roksanda showroom with a fairly decent amount of time to spare. Should we just pop in early? Should we call ahead and see if popping in early would be OK? How did we manage to get that far ahead of schedule anyway, when 97% of Fashion Week is spent racing the clock and being almost-late everywhere we go?

Just as we were pondering all that, Olivia Kim looked out the window and noticed where we were.

“Hey! My favorite vintage store is on this street.” Problem solved.


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Visiting Louis Vuitton Headquarters in Paris to Congratulate the LVMH Nominees

With that other awards show behind us, it’s time to turn our eyes toward this year’s LVMH Prize. Kicked off in 2013 by the Louis Vuitton Foundation as the global fashion world’s blue ribbon tournament, the prize is chosen by a jury featuring some of our favorite designers—Marc Jacobs, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Kenzo and Opening Ceremony, Phoebe Philo of Céline—and the list of past finalists and winners includes SPACE designers Vejas Kruszewski, Marques’Almeida, and Simon Jacquemus.


Gloves by nominee Marine Serre; all images by Jessa Carter

Each March, just as everyone in the entire industry is in Paris for Fashion Week, the semifinalists are announced and an open house with the short-listed designers is held at Louis Vuitton’s main digs. We visited today to meet the crew and congratulate two SPACE designers for getting at least this close to the grand prize.




Our Favorite Shoes from the Front Row at Isabel Marant

The show after the show, before the show: the front row.

See, first there’s the show outside the venue—the street-style show. But then, after we all get inside and start to get settled, there’s the option to stroll the front row, or simply take it in from your assigned seat. This is called the front-row show. Oftentimes there are celebrities to check out, and every time there is killer style to study.

isabel marant2


The show show at Isabel Marant; all images by Jessa Carter

Particularly in the footwear department. We peeped a few great pairs at tonight’s Isabel Marant show; as it turns out, you can tell a lot about a brand by its fans. Like the Parisian designer, these shoes are sexy and tough, retro and nouveau.



Breakfast at Cafe de Flore with SPACE Designer Daniela Villegas

SPACE designer Daniela Villegas is in Paris often, and she loves staying in the Saint-Germain neighborhood and having breakfast at the iconic Cafe de Flore. But today breakfast is at 11am (jet lag, thank you), and, following the most recent advice of her naturopath, breakfast means tea and a glass of orange juice. Every six months she has her blood tested back home in Los Angeles and follows special dietary guidelines from there. There will be no croissants in Paris this season. Wheat is OK, but yeast is not.

“Cane sugar, that’s one of the things,” she says, showing us her list. “And fruit!” The maker of fine insect-inspired jewelry didn’t sleep well last night, and she thinks the doctor-recommended kick of sugar from the OJ will be key to keeping her going and going with all the preparations she has to take care of today.


All images by Jessa Carter

Tomorrow at 9am, inside a stylish rented apartment nearby, she’ll begin seeing editors and buyers and showing them her latest wildlife-and-gemstone creations. So today she will put out the flowers she ordered from her favorite shop on Rue Saint Honoré, and her twin sister—who came from Mexico to help her—will begin baking. Annapaula even brought ingredients from home, all the better for whipping up homemade matcha bread and other treats that will help make Daniela’s visitors feel welcome.


“I love when they look at their watch and they’re like, ‘Oh, I have 30 more minutes until my next appointment, I would love to just hang out here,'” Daniela says of her fashion industry clients, whom she always encourages to stay for as long as they’d like.


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