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fashion caste system.



Illustration by Sara Singh.
 
I'm officially on vacation and I'm loving every second of it. I tried to sleep in this morning but couldn't make it past 9:00 am. I'm sure that will change by Wednesday. I'm hoping at least. 

So I have to be honest, last week I found myself at times a bit grossed out during my second installment of working Paris Fashion Week. The first part, the shows, was truly magical, everything about it; the excitement, the people-watching, the music and of course the collections, but the showroom was altogether different experience. I knew it before, but I must have forgotten how vainglorious some of the folks who work in fashion offices are, and how ridiculous some of them look. 

One chick who was boorishly barking orders at poor unpaid interns was sporting a "look" that surely was expensive but it was just wrong. So, so wrong. To me, it was some kind of oompa-loompa meets Jay from Clerks hybrid. No really. The awkward cut of her high-waited, ankle length slacks made her tookus look like a bag of lumpy apricots. She paired it with a shrunken crew neck sweater with its exaggerated shoulder pads making her look like a line backer, that kept rolling up baring a slice of her upper midriff. It didn't stop there. Oh no. She topped it off with a skull and cross bone beanie lending to my stoner from New Jersey reference. I caught myself looking up to a higher power, mouthing why and shaking my head every time she charged by, which she did quite often. I admit though, taking secret pleasure at just how dumb she looked. Her entire week was peppered with these silly ensembles mixed with total bitch face, which really did provide a small dose of entertainment.

I had been on the fence about returning to showroom work, and after last week, including an awkward lunchroom moment where I wasn't welcomed to sit at any of the tables (seriously), I'd say I have my answer. I love fashion and know some wonderful people who work in the industry, but there are some folks really paint any ugly picture with scenes that are almost satirical, playing out some sort of fashion "caste system". I definitely won't be reprising this Ugly Betty role. Ever. Perhaps I have outgrown this portion of my fashion life.

Moving on...in big news around these parts, yesterday we were treated with a sunny 60 degree day. Hoping that today would repeat what most of us thought was the beginning of spring, I strolled around my old neighborhood in the Marais. Here are some things that caught my eye....

 Downstairs from my old chambre de bonne on
rue Vieille du Temple.

 
Bonjour, we're officially in Paris.
 
As a Sunday treat,
we wanted to see what all the buzz was about,
and went to Happy Oyster Hour at


 ...for cocktails.

and you guessed it, oysters.



The buzz is so well-deserved.  
Really, this place is just fantastic. 
A total must-do in Paris.

...and to celebrate the end of a very long week,
and that my hair is relieved from the skin-tight bun,
I did my best Mary Tyler Moore.



Although last week was far from my ideal, 
it was yet something else to chalk up to experience.
That's all you can do, right?

I hope you all had a lovely weekend!

24 comments:

  1. Sometimes you can see how ridiculous a fashion looks 20 years on, sometimes you can see it immediately! :-)

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    1. Hahaha yes, I definitely saw it immediately with this silly look! What's the quote? 'Art becomes more beautiful over time while fashion gets uglier'...I read that somewhere.

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  2. Lol, happy hair release day, enjoy your holiday!

    PS, snowing again here today, ugh!

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    1. Yep, I got the snow too! Hopefully it's the last of it!

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  3. I love your Clerks reference. Nobody can pull off a beanie like Jay!

    And to respond to your comment... I thought you knew I was from NY??!! Originally from NYC and then moved to Poughkeepsie, but my mom continued to work in Manhattan for years so I was always on the Metro North headed southbound. I'm thinking we need a good chat over Oysters and cocktails at La Mary Celeste. x.

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    1. The beanie isn't easy, and this girl certainly couldn't pull it off. Fashion people can be silly sometimes.

      No, I didn't know you were from NY!!! WOW! Whao a commute from the city to Poughkeepsie! That's intense. We have family friends up there, so I know that drive. How cool is this. You're a native New Yorker. This makes me really happy. :)

      Oysters and cocktails, so need to happen. We need blogapolooza - paris edition.

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    2. We were a couple of stops before Poughkeepsie so it wasn't too bad :)
      And yeah, I seriously need to plan a Paris getaway!

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  4. I love the second MTM photo, you look like you're floating! And I love a good Clerks reference too :)

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    1. Gwan, I was floating! That was my happiness levitating me over the Marais that I wasn't working in that showroom anymore! Clerks references never get old, do they? Berzerker...

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  5. yummm Oysters....and those drinks look pretty great too.Have to file that resto's name for future ref..

    lovely and sunny weekend here too...except the clocks went forward and robbed us all of an hours sleep.zzzzzzzz

    and since we are talking Mary Tyler Moore..spare a few prayers for Rhoda..she needs them.

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    1. The clocks went forward here and in the US, but not in Europe...

      Hi Debs!:)

      I too was thinking of Rhoda when I saw the hat throwing pics... V Harper is great! What a shame:(

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    2. @deb - This place is really great! It's getting a lot of attention but it's well-deserved. The cocktails are a bit pricey (12 euros) but having one is a nice splurge and then move to the wine.

      The clocks going forward is annoying the first day, but just think of that extra daylight you'll be getting. Our DLS is in a few more weeks, but it's already getting dark at 7.

      I had to Google search what's going on with Valerie Harper...brain cancer. Oh man, when will the big C stop striking? Seriously...

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  6. I think I know where you did your MTM! Was it a little place near Les enfants rouges?

    I'm glad that your last week in fashion showed you that you had outgrown this part of your life. You got great learning and a little extra cash out of it... And best of all: you still have a whole week left to chill out!:) Now how cool is that?:) A paid week off in Paris... What will you do with your free time?:)

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    1. Yes! It's a little place on the northern tip of the Marais near a cafe called Cafe Creme. I love this little nook, it's quieter than the rest of this busy neighborhood.

      I learned a lot last week. Even though the extra cash is good, I have more value than what I was being expected to do. The reason why it worked out so well in previous seasons was because the woman managing was someone I had worked with in NY, so she had respect for me as a fashion professional. She has since moved to CA to have a baby and was working with people who barely knew me and lumped me in with a boat full of unpaid interns. They didn't even give me a desk, just a fold up chair behind a garment rack in the dressing room! And they wondered why documents were missing! It was humiliating but a nice lesson in being clear on your job role when there is a shift in management.

      Free time? HA! I'm doing admin stuff for the wedding, organizing the apartment, exercising, and plucking away at my infinite to-do list. I am getting up at 10 though! It feels awesome! :)

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  7. YES, finally it's over, not more tight bun, and vaycay! Now you are getting on to a great start! The restaurant looks and sounds great! I'll have to put that on my list. Love all your pics! Enjoy the weather and your time off ~

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    1. Thanks Dana! It feels good to have some free time, finally! While I still have tons to do and have been vigorously plucking away at my do-lists, I still wake up nice and late! I feel refreshed!

      Oh you'd love the restaurant, it's so Brooklyn hipster. It's fun!

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  8. I think we all thought you were too real and too cool to be fully seduced by to what us "normal" people think fashion is which a bunch of image and status obsessed people. I think you should stick to the shows to get a taste for it. Remember there was a reason you left your office in NYC. I'm sure you've met some of these characters before. Am I right?

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    1. Well I can see that the fashion world comes across like this to people who aren't so much involved in the industry, and a lot of the times it is like this, totally. Saying that, there are some great people who work in fashion who like me don't take SO seriously.

      You're right, the shows are the way to go. All of this was the universe just pushing me in a different direction. I'm too old and have to much experience to do the Ugly Betty thing!

      Yes, a lot of these characters were in NY too! Oh do I have stories!!

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  9. MTM was one of my favorite shows when I was a child! My mother is from St. Paul so watching the opening scene (or whatever the first part of a tv series is called) was like a mini-trip home for her. I love that you did a remake in Paris!

    Enjoy your time off from work!

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    1. Damn! I didn't mean to delete both!:)

      MK, I was saying that if you liked the MTM opening sequence, you would love Oprah's tribute to it;)

      Oprah does MTM - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lv2iomcopRk

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    2. I wore my best MTM wool suit. I found this at a thrift store in a small town on Long Island. It was from a department store called Bonwit Teller from 1967 and I bought it for 40 bucks back in '06! I actually have a pillbox hat that I wear with it, but I left that in NY.

      Everyone loves a little Mary Tyler Moore reference!

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  10. I worked NYFW a month ago and while it was fun, it was equally as exhausting! I'm glad I can say that I've done it once and that I have photos published from it but I don't think I'll be into it next year..

    How many holidays do you have in Paris? I told my 6 year old that she has something to look forward to with all of the days off when we move!

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    1. It's something everyone should experience, if not one time in their life. I actually do it every season here in Paris and while it's usually great, this past experience (minus attending the shows of course) just didn't sit right with me.

      We get a two week vacation every six weeks. So this is "ski vacation" and in six weeks we have spring break, then summer. School does end in July though. I was surprised by that.

      How is the planning going? We haven't caught up in a while. If you need help with anything, you know my email. : )

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  11. While my younger self would have bent over backwards to do stints at Fashion weeks, my current self will have no patience for the ensuing drama. Not being allowed to sit at the "cool" table? Who does that???

    Anyway - I love your hair x

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