Diary of a Fashion Editor: Couture Week, Day 2

Sahar Nooraei here and reporting for duty. I’m in Paris to ogle and obsess over fashion’s magnum opus: Haute Couture.

Check back for more diary entries and make sure to follow S/ magazine on Instagram (@sstylemag) and Snapchat (@smagazine) for visual updates.

July 5th

7:00AM: Not only do I wake to a ringing phone from front desk reminding me to get up and address the day but also to a ringing alarm coming from my iPhone. Yes, I arranged a wake-up call and set an alarm, because today is a big day and I can’t risk missing Chanel’s Haute Couture show.

8:45AM: After taking some liberties with the snooze button, I finally get out of bed, freshen up, and put on my favourite sheet mask—an escargot-themed one from The Faceshop. Then I try (and fail) to recreate an Almodóvar moment. (If you haven’t seen it, watch The Skin I Live In—it’s fantastically creepy in the coolest way.)

9:15AM: I put on my navy Muji pajama set, which has become a bit of a uniform these days. It’s so comfortable, I brought two other sets, and will likely purchase a fourth—one as a backup for daytime wear and another to wear to bed. (Yes I am that kind of person.)

11:30AM: I depart for the Grand Palais. Traffic is heavy and my eyes struggle to settle on any one sight. Between the stylish locals on their bikes and Vespas and the historical buildings, there’s lots to look at on this overwhelmingly beautiful morning.

Views from the traffic jam
Views from the traffic jam

12:00PM: I arrive at the Grand Palais and am immediately stunned. Great architecture  has a remarkable ability to transform your mood, and this was a perfect example. Walking into the Grand Palais was poetic, refreshing and humbling to say the least. I was so overcome that I didn’t even snap a photo. Sigh.

12:15PM: The décor for Chanel’s Fall ’16/17 Haute Couture presentation celebrated the ateliers, even featuring the talented artisans who bring the looks to fruition. The displays ranged from yards of Chanel’s iconic tweed to the finest silks, muslins, and beyond.

As seen at Chanel
As seen at Chanel

It’s as if we were all flies on the wall, watching the beautiful production of Haute Couture garments. Much to my surprise, these artisans were naturals in the spotlight and carried on with their work, fitting “fit” models as if they were truly clocked in.

I was lucky to have a seat right in front of a not-so-secret door where guests such as Vanessa Paradis—who happens to look great in every photo I took, even the ones where she has her eyes closed— entered.

Vanessa Paradis

My personal favourite was Ines de la Fressange’s daughter, who wore Nike’s Air Force 1s with her Chanel look. I’ve never seen a woman wear high tops with Chanel, but I’m glad that I did because it looked superb!

As seen at Chanel
As seen at Chanel

Milla Jovovich was also in attendance and wore an incredible Chanel coat-style dress in a stunning russet-orange hue.

Milla Jovovich

12:30PM: Everyone takes their seats while the Michel Gaubert-curated soundtrack blasts. If you don’t already know Michel Gaubert, he is one of the best (if not the best), sound directors in the business. And if you’re not following his hilarious and semi-provocative Instagram account (@michelgaubert), please do yourself a favour and follow him stat.

While it’s easy to deem each look as a favourite—an editor must do what an editor does and edit. My standout looks included the wide-legged pant and tunic sets—their embellishments and embroidery was so extravagant, you could likely see them sparkling from miles away. I also loved Karl’s Haute Couture take on gothic style—a trend that’s so big for fall. Many people forget how romantic and pleasing the colour black can be, and a head-to-toe black number by Chanel is the perfect example of gothic-chic. Lastly, I loved this black and white coat. This angle of this photo doesn’t show it, but the coat is styled with a wide tie—an accessory I’ve wanted to try forever. Perhaps I’ll take the plunge this fall.

After the last look, Mr. Lagerfeld comes out to greet guests. I really did not think he would walk around the entire venue—but he did just that with the première d’atelier in tow. It was a really sweet moment to witness.

Karl Lagerfeld and the premiere atelier

12:50PM: The show draws to a close and I am eagerly waiting for my interview with Caroline de Maigret. Having seen her at shows in New York, I’ve developed a great admiration for her personal style. True style to me is a man or woman who has the capability, sense, and eye to mix and match the every day with the extraordinary. And I think de Maigret embodies this concept—nothing ever looks too overdone with her. She’s polished, but in a way that’s not forced or pretentious.

After a glass of champagne—I’m still at the Grand Palais and flutes are being passed around—I finally get to meet to Caroline and ask her what she thought of the show. (The entire interview can be found here.)

1:30PM: I’m off to the Hyatt for a lunch with Chanel Canada’s Virginie Vincens. As a vegetarian (for the most part) travelling can be tough. As an editor, I’m usually quite decisive, but unfortunately, when it comes to ordering a meal, I’m lost. Luckily, Virginie suggested I order the Thao ‘Dim Sum’ and with a carpaccio plate to start. I chose the colourful Gilthead Bream Carpaccio, which was plated like a true work of art. Lunch was served on the Hyatt terrace, which was another example of how architecture and landscape design can transform your mood. Lunch was delightful.

The most beautiful carpaccio I've ever seen
The most beautiful carpaccio I’ve ever seen

4:00PM – After a quick break back at my hotel, Virginie and I embark on a walk along the 1st Arrondissement’s Rue Saint-Honoré. Our walk takes us to Collette, where I am in my fashion element. I have a run-in with another musician: this time, it was Metallica’s bass player Robert Trujillo. He, along with his bandmates are currently fronting the Italian brand Brioni’s newest campaign—it’s outrageously random but so right at the same time. On the second floor, Collette is hosting a photography exhibition, and I purchase a few colourful, frame-worthy postcards by artist Hassan Hajjaj—the perfect keepsake to bring home.


5:45PM: The last stop on my mini tour was the Jardin du Palais Royal. Words can’t describe the impeccable shape of the gardens, which are perfectly landscaped and looked after. As always, I’m drawn to a graphic black and white combo—which was formed, in this case, by colomn-like structures. The scene made a good backdrop for a photo shoot… or a shameless selfie.

Graphic goodness
Graphic goodness

6:15PM: I head back to my hotel before taking off again to attend the Alexandre Vauthier show at the Palais de Tokyo.

7:30PM: I arrive at the venue. I’ve never been here before, and unfortunately found myself at the wrong entrance. I played it cool, and after a few unsuccessful attempts at getting help, I found my way—yes! Part of the magic of these high-production shows is the commotion that takes place beforehand. Guests dressed to the nines are photographed as they hurry to get to inside, but in a moment of clarity, I think to myself—we’re all here, we’re all going to get inside, so let’s just count our blessings and zen out.

Once inside, I take my seat and sneak a photo of the photographers eagerly waiting for the show to start. They seem tired but also super cool. Respect has to be paid to these photographers; they capture every garment for the editors and stylists who aren’t all able to attend the shows, making our lives so much easier when it comes time to edit.

The pit
The pit

Shortly after taking my seat, a Fashion TV host chooses me at random to talk about Alexandre Vauthier and his aesthetic. I’m not quite sure what came out of my mouth, but my lower-tone voice made a cameo, so it must have been très sérieux.

After my 15 minutes—er, 2 minutes—of “fame” I take my seat again and am tapped on the shoulder by a stylist I’ve been looking forward to meeting: Mr. Mike Adler, who worked on our beautiful Spring ’16 Haute Couture fashion editorial. Adler will be styling our Fall ’16 Haute Couture shoot as well, and it was lovely to watch the show with him and start the selection process.

As soon as the show starts, I’m already in love. Alexandre Vauthier has the ability to make revealing, femme fatale pieces look powerful and tasteful. My favourite look was a free-the-nipple contender, as I’m a firm believer that women’s bodies should be celebrated!

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 5.08.28 PM

And as a fan of fishnets (I wear them under culottes), I was naturally drawn to Vauthier’s sparkly interpretation. Haute Couture hosiery: now that is luxury.


9:00PM – Mike Adler and I end up at Nanashi in the Marais. Thankfully, with just the two of us dining, we managed to fast-track through the restaurant’s long queue and nabbed a table straight away. He and I both ordered a bento box with smoked salmon, which was refreshing after a regretful carb-heavy dinner the night before. The highlight of the evening was our Japanese beer, Kirin. Beer is not my drink of choice—in truth, I quite dislike it—but this one was smooth, light and a perfect accompaniment to the smoked salmon. If you have a chance to try Kirin, I highly recommend it.

Until tomorrow!