I suppose what separated us from the plane full of other Canadian tourists that arrived in Paris that day was that we were only there for three days. We have lives that cater to our kids and clients so Paris, and much of our extensive travel, is about carving out time for us - seemingly impossible to do from home. We wanted to soak in the sites, eat good food, drink champagne and I was, of course, keen to check out the Parisian fashion scene.
Eating baguettes and drinking coffee, we hit the sunny cobblestone streets to check out the trends of the day as seen on the streets of Paris. While the daily news from Paris Spring Shows reported a return to stripes, lots of minty green and both 60's and Asian inspired clothing, the fashions we spotted on the streets reminded us what we should be wearing right now.
It became evident very quickly, that everyone (men and woman alike), off runway, were wearing boots, skinny jeans/pants in all colors, scarves and little cropped coats - many of them in leather somewhere in their outfit. There were embellishments and textures of all forms adding textures to many outfits. And there was a lot of red touches in their outfits - a scarf, red jeans (on men too!), red hat etc. I fit in with my leather jacket and skinny jeans. However, my running shoes, which I wore to survive eight hours of walking, made me stand out as a tourist.
Jewelry was mostly simple - an electric mix of arm candy bracelets, delicate short necklaces and lots of longer chains/leather with pendants/charms on them. In Europe in general, they sell more accessories - particularly jewelry and watches. The most marked difference is that there up to a dozen shoe stores on every street - no wonder everyone wears leather boots and shoes!
The widely reported European recession, seemed impossible to imagine on the streets and in the malls of Paris. In Printemps (where we were told Parisians shop) and Lafayette we shopped alongside throngs of people (lower right photo) with lineups at the larger brand stores. There were rumours that some shops actually limit the number of purchases to Chinese people to five per store since these brands can be re-sold for double the price in China!
I smiled when I discovered that our short trip overlapped with Paris' Spring Fashion Week 2013. We did not have tickets. Never one to do things the easy or conventional way, it was just so "a propos" that we would have to discover the trends and fashion finds in the back streets of Paris.