Friday, July 11, 2014

The Future of Fashion

There is beauty in doing something on a whim. Taking a chance and having it pay off is undeniably such a great pleasure in life. Last year, one of these very chances was taken when I applied for the Future of Fashion Program sponsored by Who’s Next in Paris and Not Just A Label  

It started with an email popping up in my inbox about the application process. It was an extremely busy time of year for me meaning I put it aside, thinking I would come back to it later, and then promptly forgot about it until the day before the deadline.
The decision to stay up late one night sending over details of my label and lookbooks really did pay off. I was selected as 1 of just 10 designers out of hundreds to show at Who’s Next, completely sponsored, for AW14. As a result of a great first show and an impressed panel of judges, I was then selected as 1 of 5 of us to show for SS15 which brings me to now!

I arrived at my lovely little apartment in the Boucicaut area quite close to the show at Porte de Versailles. The apartment was oh so French with a beautiful iron and wooden door, an old fashioned gated elevator and a rickety spiral staircases leading up to my front door for the week. This opened onto a freshly renovated interior with Juliet balconies and an owner who had perfect Parisian taste in furniture and artwork.   

 My apartment was within walking distance of the venue meaning I could stroll the pretty streets with a detour to a delightful bakery before arriving for the day ahead. The show is on for 4 days from 9am-7pm. It’s a long day but the venue is huge and with around 60,000 buyers coming through the doors as well as press so the days go by quickly!  
One of the best things about participating in the show is that it’s in Paris – one of my favourite cities! The evenings and an extra day after the show were used to explore and fall in love all over again. A few amazing restaurants I tried with friends also working in Paris at the time were Naneshi on Rue Paradis – a French/Japanese fusion with a great buzz and sashimi that literally melts in your mouth, Castiglione on Rue Honore which is said to have the best burgers in Paris (it’s true!) and the famous Rose Bakery with vegan delights and the most incredibly Moorish desserts. 
 On one of my evenings off, I also took a walk along the beautiful River Seine making sure to sample an ice cream from Berthillion (Salted Caramel + Prune & Amaretto) Heaven!  
 And on my last day I made sure to fit in a few must do’s! As the central part of Paris is quite compact it’s easy to fit in quite abit while still feeling like you’re meandering around rather than rushing. After brunch at Rose Bakery in the Fille de Calvaire area I tried a tiny praline chou pastry from the gorgeous little store Popelini. I then checked out the super cool boutiques selling clothes, homeware and stationary in this area before making my way to Tuileries Garden to admire the amazing buildings and gardens. A trip to Paris also wouldn’t be complete with a look in Colette and my fave vintage store Catherine B in Mabillon before heading to Ladurees to pick up some world famous macaroons.  

 The trip also ended with some wonderful news indeed. I’ve now been picked as 1 of only 3 finalists to show in Paris again with my AW15 collection. The panel will then make a selection at the next show and will choose a final designer to show for a 4th time for SS16! It’s been such an incredible opportunity for us and one which has really changed the label. It’s opened doors to more international stockists that we wouldn’t have had the chance to meet and has also given us more exposure in a very competitive market.
So cross your fingers for us and stay tuned!