Diary of a Fashion Editor: Couture Week, Day 3

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 6th, 2016

8:45AM Despite having travelled a fair amount, I’ve fallen victim to intense jet-lag this trip. It’s been a struggle adjusting to Paris-time, but knowing that I have a handful of exciting shows to attend certainly gets me up in the morning. I eventually rise and put on my Lemaire dress (my big splurge this summer) and my Courrèges jacket on top (okay this was my big summer splurge).


9:45AM I sashay my way to the lobby where I’m greeted by Chanel Canada’s Virginie Vincens. Together we head to The Ritz Paris to see Chanel’s latest High Jewellery collection.

10:30AM  We arrive at the recently renovated Ritz Paris. To say it’s decadent would be an understatement. I must say, although I am drawn to more modern furnishings, the Ritz and its French décor did me in. I’ve decided that I’d like to live at the Ritz and no one is allowed to advise me against it.

Walking through the corridors and the shopping quarters reminds me of the shopping mall Barbra Streisand has in her basement—yes a shopping mall. (Google it.) In all seriousness, I’ve never seen a Ritz this fantastic.

Les Blés de Chanel, the French brand’s latest High Jewellery collection was on view in a suite modeled after the one Gabrielle Chanel used to occupy at The Ritz—a beautiful and meaningful backdrop. Blés, meaning wheat and/or grain, has long been an important icon for Gabrielle Chanel. Born on August 19th, her birthday fell during the harvest festival. Famously superstitious, she regarded wheat as a symbol of renewed wealth and good luck. Salvador Dali even painted an original piece for her that featured the symbol, which was on view as part of the presentation. I tried my best to contain my excitement at the sight of the art.

Virginie kindly took me through each piece in the collection, breaking down and noting all the details that I could have missed without her guidance. The level of craftsmanship and artistry is awe-inspiring, to say the least. It also makes you feel slightly inadequate to be in the presence of such beauty; is it too late to become a jewellery designer? Kidding, sort of.


The “Moisson de Perles”, which is set in 18K white gold and 13-pearl cut diamonds, and the “Moisson Ensoleillée” necklace, which has an astounding 977 yellow sapphire beads, were my two favourites.

After the Chanel High Jewellery presentation, Virginie Vincens and I head to a re-see for the Haute Couture collection shown the day before. I’ve always enjoyed re-sees as you get to feel and examine all the pieces that passed you on the runway. This is also where a stylist begins choosing what they would like to photograph. Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of the re-see is being surprised by looks that you may have overlooked during the show.

After a short, sashimi-filled meal—another vegetarian fail to add to my list—I meet up with Mike Adler at the Jean Paul Gaultier headquarters for the Haute Couture show.

Not to get too sentimental, but I have an emotional attachment to Jean Paul Gaultier and what he represents in this industry. As a kid I would watch Fashion Television and amongst all the talent, there was Jean Paul Gaultier in his striped shirt, enthusiastically talking to Jeanne Beker about his latest collections.

Not only do I continue to admire his work, but I regard him as an example of who I want to be creatively. He’s incredibly intelligent, talented and he has a great sense of humour. Jaded attitudes are plentiful in our world and he’s always a breath of fresh air. Putting the emotional tangent aside, the HQ itself was an über-cool space. Imagine walking up those stairs every day?

I get settled in my seat, behind none other than Alister Mackie, Creative Director for Another Man and one of my all-time fashion idols. The brilliance of Another Man’s Rolling Stones-themed issue can be credited to him as pure genius.

The show begins and Canadian supermodel (and long favourite of Jean Paul Gaultier), Coco Rocha opens the show in a body-hugging, woodsy print. I felt the collection, whether intentional or not, was quite Canadiana, with plaids, fur, and earthy tones dominating each look. The Grand Finale was modeled by S/ magazine cover alum, Soo Joo Park, dressed head-to-toe in white in what I want to selfishly call a bridal look. This look reminded me once more, that it’s possible for a woman to actually look cool at her wedding.


4:30PM I head toward the Grand Palais with Mike Adler, where the Zuhair Murad show will take place. We discuss the looks we’ll be selecting for our shoot on July 13th over snacks at a nearby restaurant.

5:00PM We enter Grand Palais and quickly take our seats. The lights go down and a Middle-Eastern-inspired remix of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody comes on. My eyes were treated to a different kind of woman at Zuhair Murad. Models had a “rock ‘n roll” air, but they were simultaneously covered-up and posh. She had a love for hats and wasn’t afraid to pair them with dazzling gowns. And she loved jumpsuits.


During this entire week, I’ve come to know what a true finale look entails. Not to take away from the other excellent ones, but Zuhair Murad’s finale gown was as over-the-top as you can get. The moment I thought the show was over, in comes the Haute Couture version of Cinderella (or Sleeping Beauty? I get my Disney movies confused. I liked Aristocats more.) I loved that the gown was not in classic white, but instead a light beige—a twist on the expected is always welcome in my books.


5:45PM The show wraps up and as we’re heading out I see the incomparable James Goldstein. Mr. Goldstein is a man of mystery in a lot of ways, but most famous for his iconic Sheats-Goldstein Residence, where our brother publication, Sharp recently held a photo shoot. I remember “running” into Mr. Goldstein at my friend Matin Zad’s photography show a couple years ago in New York. I had approached him and politely expressed my love and appreciation for his home. He was unfazed by this sentiment, and if my memory serves me correctly, he responded with “great.” Well, Mr.Goldstein, it was great to see you at Zuhair Murad.

7:00PM I take the long way back to the hotel to freshen up before meeting Virginie Vincens at the Hemingway Bar located on the first floor of my future home, the Ritz Paris—I’m still not kidding.

8:00PM I walk into the Hemingway Bar and suddenly see Justin O’Shea, the new Creative Director for Brioni responsible for the ad campaign featuring Metallica. He always looks so incredibly tailored.

I immediately fall in love with Hemingway Bar. It’s dark enough to make you comfortable and light enough to not feel like a dive—we are at the Ritz, after all. Virginie gives me some pointers on the French language. I try to practice on the wait staff but overthink each phrase. Every time I want to say “excuse-moi,” it comes out as “ex-squeez-eh moi.” (My sincerest apologies to everyone in Paris who has been subjected to my failed attempts at speaking French—I promise to practice!)

9:00PM After a couple of cocktails, we head to the oldest restaurant in Paris called Café Procope. The restaurant was established in 1686. It’s incredibly charming inside and worth a visit should you find yourself in Paris. (It’s another thing for you to Google.)