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Guest Post: Top 5 #PFW moments from fashion weeks gone by.

As the final preparations for this season’s Paris Fashion Week get under way, Elizabeth Harper from takes us through some of the city’s best sartorial moments
Ah, Paris. The other three fashion cities (New York, London and Milan) all have their own merits but there is something undeniably special and unique about the French capital. Perhaps it’s the fact that some of the oldest and best loved design houses were born and continue to thrive in the city? Or that the city’s beauty and grandeur play into the sophisticated and romantic feel of the collections on show there? Or maybe we all wish we could just up-sticks and live the chic, bohemian life we’ve always dreamed of? Whatever that je ne sais quoi is, we can rely on Paris to deliver creative and dreamy shows that have the style-set clamouring for front row tickets. Paris Fashion Week has been the backdrop for many fantastic fashion moments which we have whittled down to a top five:   

Au revoir Marc- Marc Jacobs’ final collection for Louis Vuitton in 2013 was a sad but fabulous day for the fashion industry. The plucky New York native had been creative director for the French fashion house since 1997, injecting new life into the brand with their first ever ready-to-wear collection. In the years that followed in Paris, Marc brought escalators, carousels, boudoirs  and an actual train to the runways, full of models dressed in luxurious fabrics, theatrical head wear (who didn’t love those bunny ears?) and wearable styles. In his last all-black show for Louis Vuitton in Paris, to the chiming of a grandiose clock, Jacobs revisited many of these classic moments, in act of sadness but, importantly, in celebration of all that he achieved and established at the design house.

CHANEL- Chanel deserves an entire category to itself. Under the premiership of Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s runway shows verge on performance art. The editors, writers, bloggers and photographers attending the show become an audience for the spectacle that he composes, making the Chanel events exciting, dramatic and completely unpredictable. The Chanel shows have taken us everywhere, from icebergs, to the countryside, under the sea, the supermarket, a brasserie and on a feminist march where the models and spokesmodels for the brand, for example Gisele Bundchen, Kristen Stewart and Lily Rose Depp, slotted into the shows seamlessly. As a result, you can guarantee that the Chanel shows are particularly star-studded affairs.

Kim and Kanye make an entrance- Love them or loathe them, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have become familiar sights in the front rows of Paris Fashion Week. This is partly because they have become firm friends with some pretty influential designers in the city, for example Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy, who designed Kim’s wedding dress, and Olivier Rousteing, the young hotshot creative director at Balmain. Kim and Kanye are pretty useful to have at your show because wherever they go, cameras and followers go with them, effectively providing free publicity. They are criticised, however, with some disgruntled members of the fashion industry unkindly referring to them as ‘Fashion Flu’ because of the media furore they bring with them. Their most controversial and dramatic moment saw them arrive late to the Lanvin show where they were heckled and booed by photographers.

Zoolander returns- Who can forget Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson strutting their stuff down the Valentino runway last season? Decked out in luxury pyjama style suits with sneakers and heavy overcoats, the duo was perfectly in character to the delight of the style-set present at the show. Valentino is renowned for its sophistication and glamour, making this comic addition to the line-up quite a surprise. Their presence was lapped up, however, with the pair rubbing shoulders with everyone from Anna Wintour to Cara Delevigne backstage afterwards. Let’s face it, there are definitely worse ways to promote your new film!

Naomi’s debut- Naomi Campbell is one of the best known and popular models the world has ever seen, and it is in Paris that she made her runway debut. In 1987, and still a teenager, she walked in the Yves Saint Laurent S/S 1988 presentation, sporting a luxurious velvet two-piece suit and a chic boater. This was the start of a career that took her to Vogue and Elle magazine covers, made her into one of her generation’s ‘supermodels’ (along with Christy Turlington, Lina Evangelista, Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer) and saw her walk and pose for numerous other brands and designers.    

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