Paris Fashion Week is a big, far-flung thing. Okay, well, let’s put it this way: central Paris is fairly small. But unlike in New York — currently centralized in a few big venues — a Paris fashion show can happen in any number of historical monuments, galleries, museums, nightclubs, or gardens. In that sense, it’s more akin to New York Fashion Week pre-Tents.
Of course, the paramount thing will always the designs themselves — um, and the various invited fashion dignitaries, and the hip after-parties that may only make a tantalizing appearance on IG. But the venue still has to bring magic.
(Note: The guide below is also an excellent resource for all you street style photographers out there. We’re also working on a Paris Fashion Week venue map, to help you out.)
The venue that a designer chooses could either promote his or her products or demote them. Although most of central Paris is at play, location-wise, lately the plurality of shows seem to happen in the 1st, 4th, 7th, 8th, and 16th arrondissements. Specifically: the Carrousel du Louvre and Palais Royal (1st), Hôtel De Ville and Pompidou (4th), Invalides (7th), Grand Palais (8th), and National Museum of Modern Art and Palais de Tokyo (16th).
Having said that, last season the 3rd arrondissement hosted designers such as Estrella Archs and Sophia Kokosalaki. The Espace Ephémére des Tuileries near the Louvre is ever popular, and the Impasse de la Defense has hosted many shows. Dévastée even displayed his youthful summer collection in Le Showcase nightclub.
The Epicenter of Paris Fashion Week
Many designers play it safe, and showcase at the Carrousel du Louvre. This is the epicenter of Paris, filled with photographers trying to capture the faces of celebrities … not to mention tourists trying to squeeze past the guards to get a look at the action. There is a chic upstairs lounge there that offers coffee and other kinds of drinks. This year, a number of designers were hosted in the Carrousel, including Elie Saab, Wunderkind, Collette Dinnigan, Léonard, and Alena Akhmadullina, among others.
Other Designers Choose Grandiose Venues
Other designers choose venues like The Palais de Tokyo, which hosted Gareth Pugh, Agnès B., and Yves Saint Laurent. Chanel blasted off in amazing style at the Grand Palais, while the Jardin de Palais Royal was occupied by Dries Van Noten. Espace Eiffel was very popular this year with shows from Giambattista Valli, Hermès, and Lanvin, as well as other designers.
The bottom line is that even though the venue plays a significant role, every designer’s show stands or fails on the merit of their imagination, sartorial presentation, and skill.
If you want to know more, check out the Paris Fashion Week schedule. We’re also working on a map of popular Paris Fashion Week venues.
So stay tuned.