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An American Teenage Dream: Paris Fashion Week

As fashion week season has started again in 2023 – we take a close look at the experience of two American teenage girls, Riley Thomas and Bennett Choi who embarked on a dream trip to Paris Fashion Week last season – to hear their first person experience!

Paris has been the capital of all things fashion since the 19th century, and the venue for this year’s event perfectly complements all the high-end designs produced for the 2023 menswear show. The American Cathedral is an iconic landmark for fashion shows, and this year was no different as it was filled with frills, lace, and all things couture. 

Several well-known designers from all around the globe gathered in the Cathedral to present the hottest new looks of 2023. Givenchy stunned the audience with printed fur coats and multiple layers while Saint Laurent showcased sleek black looks ranging from leather to satin to sheer. With over 70 designers, Paris fashion week did not disappoint. 

Here is a look at Paris Fashion Week from the behind the scenes experience of two American teenage girls taking on paris: 

LASM: Was Paris Fashion Week all that you expected it to be?

Riley Thomas: Some of it was, but some of it was not what I thought it would be. It was so amazing to see every different designer and what they imagined with all their collections. I wasn’t expecting all the immaculate designs the designers came up with. 

Bennett Choi: I think that the feeling of glamour and elegance that I expected was definitely there, yet there were other aspects of it that I did not anticipate. As Riley mentioned, we were not expecting the intricate and complex designs that we saw, and I did not consider beforehand the number of photographers and people rushing and running around us. It feels electric, and you truly feel like you are part of the action. 

LASM: What were the people like (attitude/demeanor)?

Riley Thomas: Everyone was filled with excitement, and it was evident that they couldn’t wait to witness the show. We even had the pleasure of meeting a super sweet couple from Utah and a group from Spain who came to attend the show. It was incredible to meet new people and to hear their reasons for being at the fashion show. It’s such a fantastic experience to share the excitement with others. 

Bennett Choi: It appeared that everyone had an air of belongingness, exuding confidence and strength even before we spoke to them. However, after having a conversation with a few girls sitting across from us, we discovered that they were genuinely lovely people.

LASM: What was your favorite part?

Riley Thomas: I don’t have a particular favorite part; the entire show was simply amazing. It was an incredible experience to witness every different design and clothing line showcased. Each clothing line was unique, and it was so exciting to see every model come out and display the diverse ideas for their attire.

Bennett Choi: I believe that my favorite part of the show was when the designers had all of the models walk together at the end. This allowed me to see the designers’ vision and how some of them intentionally planned for their designs to create a pattern together. It was fascinating to watch and observe the correspondence between each design.

LASM: How would you describe the style of attendees?

Riley Thomas: Everyone who attended had their own unique style, ranging from dressed-up and designer outfits to simpler yet still fashionable ones. It was wonderful to witness the diverse range of ideas people had for what to wear, as well as the mix of different styles on display.” 

Bennett Choi: If I were to describe the style of the attendees in one word, I would say ‘eccentric,’ but in a positive way. The clothing choices of each individual were a reflection of their personalities and self-expression. Despite many attendees wearing high-fashion dresses, some opted for a more casual and comfortable look. Ironically, these individuals seemed to exude confidence and feel most at ease in their attire. 

LASM: Favorite 3 designers – how would you describe their “runway style” in a few words? 

Riley Thomas: My top three favorite designers from the event were Candice Wu Couture, Pluto, and Jorge Contreras. While their styles were different from each other, they all showcased beautiful and unique designs. Candice Wu Couture’s line was the most luxurious and glamorous, featuring stunning wedding gowns and breathtaking dresses that left me in awe. However, all of the designers’ clothing lines were equally gorgeous, and it was fascinating to see the diverse range of designs each designer had to offer.

Bennett Choi: I also had the same favorite designers as Riley, which were Jorge Contreras, HillTribe House, and Candice Wu Couture. However, Candice Couture stood out as our all-time favorite. Their designs were wedding dresses that exuded elegance and intricate details, such as beautiful gems, lace trims, and corset-style bodices. I was also in awe of Jorge Contreras’ designs, as they embodied the perfect vision of wedding dresses for a royal family, with huge elaborate sleeves and beautiful green and red details on the veils. Additionally, the gold crowns worn by each model added a striking touch to the ensemble. Lastly, I loved the Hill Tribe House designs, which were vibrant and expressive, showcasing different cultural and personality traits.

LASM: Was there anything you didn’t like?

Riley Thomas: No, the entire experience was absolutely amazing, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity. I believe that for many things, especially fashion shows, it’s important to just go with the flow and embrace the experience. 

Bennett Choi: I can honestly say that there wasn’t a single thing I didn’t like about the show. Throughout the entire event, I was struck with awe and wonder, and I felt incredibly fortunate to have such an incredible experience at such a young age. Everything went perfectly, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

LASM: what was the strangest or coolest thing you saw in Paris Fashion week?

Riley Thomas: I believe one of the most unique aspects of the show was that one of the designers actually sang at the beginning and occasionally during the different shows. It was something I found to be very cool and unique, as not many fashion shows typically feature a designer performing themselves. Additionally, the location of the fashion show was another highlight for me. The beautiful chapel was a stunning venue and a perfect place to host such an amazing event.

Bennett Choi: The coolest thing I saw during the fashion show was one of the designers having their daughter model for them. It was both adorable and beautiful to see such a young soul experience the feeling of walking on the runway for Paris fashion week. 

LASM: Would you go back to Paris Fashion week?

Riley Thomas: Absolutely, I would love to attend another fashion show. It was amazing to see all the beautiful and unique styles that each designer came up with. One of the most impressive aspects of the show we attended was the presence of many up-and-coming designers. We were able to see a wide range of styles and clothing lines from different people, and it was truly wonderful to witness the diverse perspectives and creative expressions. 

Bennett Choi: I am absolutely certain that I would go back to another fashion show, and I would love to bring my daughters with me in the future to share this incredible experience and glimpse into the fashion world. It would be fascinating to witness how the designs evolve and progress over the course of a year or two.

Photo Credit: Candice Wu Couture
Paris
Paris

Written by Grace Clarke

Interview by L.A. STYLE Magazine

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