Last month first year students from our BA (Hons) Fashion and our BA (Hons) Fashion Media and Marketing programme headed out to Paris as part of a course trip. Here student Mikey Neale writes about the trip, reflecting on visits to the Fashion Mix Exhibition, designer stores in Rue Saint-Honoré, and major fashion event Première Vision.
Our first day mostly consisted of travelling and looking around the neighbourhood we were staying in but day two and we were up bright and early for Première Vision – a major event in the calendar for all the forthcoming trends and fabrics for SS16.
This was a big insight into the industry! As a Fashion Media and Marketing student, it was really interesting to see how the different fabric manufacturers marketed their fabrics through the making of garments and the design of their stands, each one being different.
Première Vision was a great place to give out our business cards to different manufacturers to see if they would contact us for future work or internships. Visiting Première Vision was obviously something I’ve never experienced before and it was very overwhelming at first, but once I found a map of the venue, it was really interesting to see how it works up close, gaining some first hand experience at a major event.
The Louvre was an incredible place where I had many ideas for potential future projects, using art as inspiration instead of other fashion brands.
Day three in Paris and we headed to Montmartre to visit various fabric shops, which was great for the Fashion Design students as they came back with a numerous amount of fabrics! It was interesting speaking to them about why they chose their fabrics. After going through the fabric shops to see what they had to offer, we headed towards Rue Saint-Honoré, which was home to the big designer stores; Goyard, Balenciaga, Givenchy and more – and also Collete, my favourite store that we visited, which to me was very similar to Dover Street Market.
As someone who is really passionate about streetwear, it was great to see what the vibe in Paris is like compared to England. Streetwear in Paris is more clean cut than distressed jeans and oversized T-Shirts. It reminded me a lot of Shoreditch. I expected the stores to be the same in Paris than in London in terms of the visual merchandising aspects, but I was wrong – they are on another level in Paris. I just wish I took more pictures of them so I could get ideas for future lookbooks. After a busy day of going to all the stores we all decided to unwind at the club the hostel had downstairs.
Our final full day in Paris, the first thing on the agenda was the Fashion Mix Exhibition which had a range of garments on display – created from the likes of Yohji Yamamoto, Yves Saint Laurent, Comme Des Garcons, and many more. To see these garments up close, was such a fantastic opportunity to see how well these pieces of art are created. A quick stop at the nearest McDonald’s to fuel up for our trip to the Louvre which lived exactly up to my expectations. It was an incredible place where I had many ideas for potential future projects, using art as inspiration instead of other fashion brands.
As someone who is really passionate about streetwear, it was great to see what the vibe in Paris is like compared to England.
I then decided to head to the Pigalle store, the one place I’ve wanted to visit the whole trip – Pigalle being the breakthrough brand from Paris in the past year, collaborating with Nike and opening a number of pop up stores across the world. They are such a stand out brand when it comes to streetwear. I was lucky enough to meet Stephane Ashpool at his basketball store and it was great to speak to him and discuss his current collection and upcoming collaboration with Nike, once again.
In all, it was a fantastic trip that all students across BA (Hons) Fashion and BA (Hons) Fashion Media and Marketing both fully enjoyed and could take home lots of skills from.
Words by BA (Hons) Fashion Media and Marketing student Mikey Neale.
Video by BA (Hons) Fashion Media and Marketing Kristy Cromwell.