Diary of a Fashion Editor: Haute Couture Fashion Week, Day 2

Sahar Nooraei here, reporting from Paris for Spring 2017 Haute Couture Fashion Week.

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

January 24th, 2017

About last night: Third night in Paris was spent at an old cafeteria-style restaurant called Bouillon Chartier. It dates back to 1896, which is actually quite “young” considering the café I’ve been going to every morning dates back to the 14th century–no big deal. It reminds me of similar restaurants back home in Tehran, where I’m originally from. This particular spot is where Parisians come for fast service, tasty, no-gimmicks-style food. The atmosphere feels French with a splash of the Wild West. I’ve never liked one type of dining experience and am quite drawn to haunts that don’t try too hard to make a statement. I order the Spaghetti Bolognese with a side of frites and bottle of Côtes du Rhône–when in Paris, I’m a part-time vegetarian.

After returning home, I receive confirmation that I’m to interview Ines De La Fressange and Vanessa Paradis following the Chanel SS17 Haute Couture show. I play it cool, but am internally beaming with excitement. Ines De La Fressange represents a time in fashion where models were personalities as well as muses–not just Instagram stars–with true, unfiltered personality. I’ve seen her a few times at shows and she’s always smiling–and not in a forceful, disingenuous way. Her energy is infectious and in my opinion, she’s one of the most memorable Chanel muses and models of all time. 

Nevertheless, I prepare my questions and eagerly await the following morning. I set several alarm clocks–this is what you call Chanel hypersensitivity and paranoia, I am always afraid of missing the show! 

8:30AM My outfit today is a mix of Chanel and staples from my closet. I pair a striped shirt to offset the classic tweed–I quite like the juxtaposition. I head over to Le Moulin de la Vierge for the usual and gather myself for the day ahead. The crowd at the café is particularly good looking today–it must be a good sign. 



10:15AM I arrive at the Grand Palais and await the end of the first show to interview Ines De La Fressange.

10:30AM I’m taken to meet Ines at her seat and instantly feel her amazing energy–she’s truly the best. My nerves subside and I’m ready to ask her what she thought of the show. She was very candid and true in the way she expressed herself and my respect and admiration for her grew. You’ll have to wait for the interview which will be posted later on the site. Ines kindly posed for a photo with me and remarked on my très serious face–you can see I smiled or attempted to smile next to her–turns out I’m just like Wednesday Addams.


After our interview, I made my way out of the venue, not before seeing Korean superstar G-Dragon. I have to say, he’s probably one of the few fellas in fashion right now whose style I actually like. He pulls everything and anything off seamlessly. I particularly loved the sequinned beret he was wearing from the Chanel Cuba Cruise collection–c’est cool!


11:45AM After a short coffee break at a nearby café, I make my way back to the Grand Palais to have my turn at seeing the latest Haute Couture collection. I walk inside again and take a walk around the mirrored venue–mimicking Gabrielle Chanel’s famous mirrored staircase at 31 Rue Cambon–and stop for a quick Chanel-fie. I also sneak a photo of Peter Marino–luxury retail architect extraordinaire and also a leather enthusiast. This is the man who makes your shopping experience exquisite–thank you Peter Marino!


Peter Marino

12:00PM I take my seat and eagerly await the start of the show. I’m excited to hear what music Michel Gaubert has in store this season–I’ve mentioned before and I’ll mention it again, if you’re not following him on Instagram, please do. I’m still obsessed with this song from the last Haute Couture show.

The opening look was modelled by model Arizona Muse. I remember when she was a breakout model years ago and has been under the radar for the last few seasons–she looks amazing! Your heart can’t help but beat fast as the looks power through the runway. No matter how much black or androgyny you incorporate in your wardrobe, this collection instantly taps into your girlish side. Safe to say my favourite looks were the ones that sparkled brightly. One of the reasons I still regard Chanel as one my favourites is that the house still champions fashion as  playful, fun and truly beautiful–there’s nothing ironic being sent down the runway here–it’s sheer gorgeousness, and for that I am thankful. We tend to forget what an important institution Haute Couture truly is and how the house supports the artisans who bring these amazing looks together. Tangent aside, I have to say that the finale was breathtaking. Miss Lily Rose-Depp emerged onto the runway in a pink ruffled gown with a wildly impressive train–somehow she made this over-the-top look appear quite effortless.



As the show came to a close, I was escorted to a sectioned-off area to interview Lily-Rose’s mother, Vanessa Paradis. As I waited, Karl Lagerfeld was just a couple of metres away from me, being greeted by friends of Chanel as well clients and editors. Stay tuned for my interview with Paradis, a French icon!

3:00PM I make my way back to Place Vendôme, and head to the Ritz for some downtime. As I take my seat, a perfectly dressed, groomed woman emerges from the seating quarters in front of me and looks me up and down–who you ask? Anna Wintour or “AW” as some show producers call her when she’s arriving at the shows. No, I did not take a photo of her, but I did take a photo of the room she came out of.


 7:00PM I hail a cab to head to Palais Tokyo, where I think the Alexandre Vauthier show is taking place. Luckily I looked at my email and realized that the show was actually taking place at the Grand Palais–the tally for my trips to GP today is at three–but I’ll gladly and happily travel to the Grand Palais any day of the week.

One might assume that arriving with no hard-copy invite in the digital age might not be that big of a deal, but in the fashion world, hard-copy invites are like Willy Wonka’s golden ticket–nine out of 10 times, you need it to get inside the shows. Not to worry, I have my passport, email confirmation with seat assignment in hand–how hard could this be? Arriving at the first checkpoint proved to be not that difficult–spelling out my name is always an ordeal–but I’m a proud Nooraei and Nooraei’s hold their head up high and do what they can with what they have. Second checkpoint proved to be a bit harder–again no hard ticket? Big problem. Luckily the US press agent for Alexandre Vauthier came and rescued me and walked me to my seat.

The show starts and Miss Bella Hadid opens the show. The collection was filled with ’80s vamped-up references, complete with sequins, provocative cut-outs and hems–I loved it all! The shiny red cut-out mini frock was definitely one of my favourites–surprisingly, as it was definitely a body-conscious number. Kendall Jenner, model/influencer/Instagram star/reality TV star/etc. etc., is someone I’m not quite sure about–however, I have to say, she closed the show with a lot of strength and I was convinced for a second of her supermodel status.

Alexandre Vauthier


8:30PM What can I say, every second spent on Parisian sidewalks is a treat. People here know how to pull themselves together. I think it comes down to pride and respect. Pride and respect in looking good and feeling good. Nothing is rushed–you might have to wait 15 minutes for your Café Crème–but it’s not a worry, because life is about living, not about pacing. Today’s note to self: style can’t be rushed and must be comfortable. And no, this does not mean sweatpants.