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Eating French Fries with the Model of the Moment and Picking Out Handbags at Chloé with the Luckiest Nordstrom Shopper in the World (This Week)

Fashion Week Journal for Tuesday, March 10

Whether you’re watching the runway from home or from the front row, it’s impossible to not be completely captivated by certain models. There are the classically beautiful ones and the offbeat beauties, the girls who seem to come from another world and those who might be your awkward neighbor from kindergarten.

The best ones just have that something. Sometimes they’re even a little distracting—you look at them as closely as you do the clothes they’re modeling. But that plays into the brand too. Some models are cast because they have the perfect proportions and walk like they’re in a dream. Some are cast because they simply possess a spirit that draws you in—and keeps you there.

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Napavine, Washington’s Emilie Evander is among the last group. After she walked in the Gucci men’s show (they’re gender benders, you’ll recall) and made big waves there, Alexander Wang cast her as an exclusive for his New York Fashion Week show, then Gucci nabbed her as an exclusive for Milan. And they had her close the show. In Paris, she walked in the much buzzed-about shows for Rick Owens and Margiela.

It’s a big deal to be booked exclusively; it means it’s the only show you do in that market. It means you’re paid more. It means the brand really wants your certain something to represent their certain something. Evander’s certain something is in her 5’11” frame and her ethereal coloring, but it’s also in her goofball spirit and small-town roots. She’s a total sweetheart and a complete teenager. She loves her mom and family and her community, and she’s curious about the world. She also likes steak and french fries, as I learned when I had dinner with her at Le Relais de l’Entrecote.

Turns out there’s lots to know about Evander. All of it adorable. Here’s some of the best bits.

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Emilie with Terri Morgan, her agent at TCM Models in Seattle

Favorite fall ’15 runway look: Alexander Wang

Hardest fall ’15 shoes to walk in: Alexander Wang

Best hair and makeup moment: Being specially requested by the legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath at Margiela and becoming BFFs with her. They now have pet names for each other.

Best runway swag: Alexander Wang gave all the models handbags; she got this painted Rocco. She doesn’t plan to use it because she doesn’t want to damage it. It’s in its dust bag.

Reasons to hurry up and turn 16—aside from that whole driver’s license thing: At 16 she’ll be able to book more shows. Agent Terri Morgan (pictured) explains that here in Paris, for example, she can’t work on Sundays or past 8 pm until she’s of age.

Best meal in all of Fashion Month: A banana and Nutella crepe in Paris.

What models eat backstage: Lollipops and Diet Coke.

Drink order at dinner: Peach tea, which is not served at that particular restaurant, so a double round of orange juice was secured.

Best Fashion Month purchase: The bright blue jumpsuit, worn at dinner, in Paris.

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Emilie at Gucci and Wang via gorunway.com

Looking forward to going home because: Her friends were off at a state basketball tournament and she can’t wait to catch up with them.

Most amazing model moment: Meeting Coco Rocha. “She’s my inspiration.” She also met favorites Behati Prinsloo and Kendall Jenner, and Cara Delivngne stopped her to say, “I saw you at Gucci.”

Dream show: Chanel

Cool press moment: Being featured on style.com.

To what she thinks she might owe her success so far: “What I’ve learned is that just being myself is key.”

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Meanwhile, on the other side of the Seine (sorry, I’ve been waiting all week to say that)…

Cheryl Davis from Detroit, Michigan, might just be the world’s luckiest Nordstrom shopper. The Nordstrom Fashion Rewards member was offered the opportunity to accompany a team of buyers to market this season and attend the Chloé runway presentation as well an appointment at the brand’s Paris showroom.

Davis told me that about two years ago she put it out there: she wanted to go to Paris, and she wanted to go to Fashion Week. A well-timed call to Nordstrom and some anonymous encouragement later, and there she was when I met up with the team at Chez Chloé amid their fall 15 selection.

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One of the things she and I chatted about was how in Paris you really see the purpose in design. Davis works in the automotive industry in a true American car city and she told me that unlike the French, Midwesterners don’t actually need to walk very much. She personally loves to find reasons and make excuses to do so, but she lives in a car town. And has a car job. Although it’s not really a style made for driving, Davis said she favors crossbody bags. She just loves the look of them, the way they sit on the body—the way crossbody bags sit on these superchic Parisian women as they cut over busy avenues and ease down quaint side streets. Again: the purpose of design.

As we walked around the handbag showroom with Nordstrom buyer Rachel Adams, it was clear that while the runway had really ignited Davis’s passion a few days earlier, there in the showroom she was taking into account all that she had seen about the Parisian city lifestyle and putting it together with the new styles that the house has to offer.

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Adams added to all this by explaining what she had seen in the tassels and whipstitching accessory details shown with ready-to-wear looks on the the runway, and how they all relate not just to the longstanding feminine, retro ’70s vibe that Chloé all but defines in the industry, but to women’s lives and the current trends as well.

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So when Davis was offered the opportunity to pre-order one of the bags on the floor yesterday to purchase for the Detroit Nordstrom’s fall ’15 delivery, she did what any educated shopper thoroughly caught up in the moment would do. She chose one of the season’s brand-new Nano styles (shown above, on the right), in a beautiful and very Chloé neutral color way.

And I can just picture her next August, strolling around Detroit with that gorgeous gold chain across her torso.

Shop: current season Chloé

—Laura Cassidy