I walked out of Patrick Pham’s show on a cloud, past Dior, past Gucci, past Louis Vuitton. The designer stores were tempting me but I was here on a mission to view the Haute Couture Parades. At lunch everyone was beautifully groomed and all were talking fashion.There were interns from magazines, editors, fashionistas and models of all kinds relaxing in the shady bistro after a busy and very warm morning. We saw some of the models from Patrick Pham’s show being whisked away. Their hair was still wavy but in their street clothes they seemed so normal, just like many of the girls we know at home. What a different and rarefied life they would lead.
Just before 3pm I handed Romain my beautiful invitation to Maria Aristidou’s Serendipity show. I had already decided to frame this one and hang it in my library. I told Romain I would probably not be able to make the 6:30 – 8:30 shows as we were booked on the 8:14 Eurostar. He reassured me that these presentations were viewings of jewellery on real models which would only take 5- 10 minutes. I could quickly preview the show before heading on my way. My excitement grew and I text my husband straight away to give him the news. I was whisked upstairs once more and once again ushered to the second row. This time I did not sit quietly and shyly at the end of the row but right in the middle. I soaked up the atmosphere.
In the front row were some media with selfie sticks and all sorts of video equipment I’d never seen. In front of me was a young designer and rapper, who was working the crowd beautifully, handing out cards and confidently posing for the cameras. He was not even as old as my sons and already front row. Many of the same people from the first show came rushing in and the show began with a wonderful version of the classic ‘Windmills On My Mind’. I smiled as I noticed Maria’s proud mother and grandmother sitting in front of me.
It was a different show for Maria Aristidou. Maria is a Cypriot designer who was inspired by her dapper Grandfather who always had shoes and clothing personally tailored. She also had an Aunt who was a seamstress. After coming second in a design contest , Maria, who had studied Economics, decided to follow her design dream and here were her beautiful designs streaming down the catwalk. Structured was the first word that came into my mind, with clothes cut so beautifully that they enhanced the womanly silhouette.
I coveted the beautiful cape in an autumn coloured tweed. I noticed the one – shoulder pantsuits and dresses and the petal cut hemlines before being wowed by a shimmering red gown with an amazing back. I imagined how a woman would feel gliding into a room in such a beautiful dress.
Then came the show stopper- an ivory sparkling hooded dress with a cross back
. Only the most confident of women could wear this design. Classic coats with embellishment, fringing and tweed were teamed with glittering turbans and boots.These were clothes I could see myself wearing to stroll along the avenues of Paris and New York. Purple, green and russet also featured , along with geometric patterns, embroidered embellishments, mesh and delectable, luxurious knitwear. I loved a long sleeved black gown with sophisticated embellishment and a split on the leg. One for a sophisticated woman looking to turn heads!
The model’s wore their hair in loose, flowing waves with it pulled back gently off their lovely faces. Make up was very natural with a hint of gloss on the lips and cat’s eye eyeliner accentuating their beauty. This is a favourite look of mine.
As the runway show came to an end a smiling Maria came out to applause for a wonderful show. Dressed in a black knit shirt and pants with a hint of sparkle her magic and radiant personality radiated from her.
Maria Aristidou’s inspiration for the 2018-19 Autumn/Winter Collection was an overjoyed roller coaster. She harnessed the romantic side of a woman and the power of the Universe. Timeless classics with a modern twist best describe this collection.
Maria’s words spoke to me when she wrote, “ It was an early Spring afternoon when ‘ Serendipity ‘ knocked on the door with a joyful, unexpected surprise.Was it coincidence or destiny? Sometimes you do not need to understand, just have faith and something wonderful will mark your way!”
As for me, fan girl moment 2 came when we went for an early dinner whilst waiting for the next show. I looked over, then looked again. There was Maria with her mother and grandmother sitting right next to us. It was so lovely for me to be able to thank her for her wonderful show. The magic dust was still working!
Alas my luck had run out. We headed back for the next presentations. The foyer was full of beautiful models and media. Two of the male designers were dressed in matching silver jackets paired with yellow and a model with a massive black hat, full skirt and low cut blouse looking as if she’d stepped out of a 1950’s fashion catalogue glided through the crowd. We enjoyed people watching although the stifling heat was now heightened by wall to wall people and more and more kept pouring in – a wonderful turnout. I was excited now to see this different type of presentation.
My husband kept reassuring me that we could wait five minutes more, then five minutes more and ten more minutes after that. My intuition finally told me we had to reluctantly leave or we would miss the last train to London. We raced to the metro, jumped on the RER and arrived at Gare du Nord with just minutes to spare. Sitting on the train half asleep, half awake I wondered had it all been a dream? But, no, I have the invitations and photos to prove it. Serendipity (one of my favourite words) was at play. Serendipity is ‘ The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.’ And perhaps a little bit of magic was at play. It was certainly one of the loveliest days of my life.
Till next time when I give a round up of some of the shows I missed including Australia’s own Azulant Akora and Barocq Jewellery, plus my favourite Dior looks from the Autumn/ Winter Haute Couture for 2018/ 2019.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).