Le showroom de Capsule: a fashion inspiration in Paris
A passion for fashion had been somewhat dampened for the Lyon fashion school students by a 5am start and an unfortunately timed, seemingly unending Parisian drizzle.
These were people who were understandably more than a little fatigués, having spent a few full-on days in Lyon and now Paris learning about all aspects of working in the fashion world. En plus, some had recently taken long-haul flights to be here, following recommendations from their teachers or having read about the course online.
What had they come for?
Despite the aching feet, long-haul flights and hunger pains, they were driven by a desire to learn about fashion outside of the classroom, and to experience what a real showroom entailed. Wandering between the rows of immaculate, pristine clothing, dotted in between by colourful daubs of fantastically bright ties and shoes, there was no doubt they were in the right place to do so.
And so just a few hours later, post-showroom, post-Capsule, they had a bounce in their step, a flounce to their skirts and a new lease of life despite the lack of coffee.
Diverse beginnings, diverse people
Wandering between the intimidatingly well-presented clothing racks, the students were eager to hear about how the designers had got their foot on the fashion career ladder.
The designer of sunglasses brand `Eye Respect` had a slightly unconventional story to share. Having started his professional life as a guide for mountain expeditions, it was hard to connect the dots (mountain expeditions to designer sunglasses?). He explained that he had then fallen into designing jackets for mountaineers, which led to shoes, which led to sunglasses… And so the fashion world spirals.
He now has a photographer who travels the world, capturing striking images by posing the camera behind one of his pairs of his sunglasses, thereby capturing exactly what you would see if you were wearing the product. C’est créatif, non?
‘I want it all’
The students continued to wander the aisles like children in a candy store, greedy for everything and a little afraid to touch. Such a showroom was a first for many of them, and a valuable opportunity to experience what working in the industry would actually be like.
One of the students even admitted that he had been a business student until a trip to Paris when he was 18, where he had been inspired by everything he saw to change to fashion – so coming back to France for this fashion course was an added bonus for him!
Many students were starry eyed as they roamed between the labyrinth like booths of shimmering fabrics and delicate embroidery, but some managed to keep their feet firmly on Parisian soil, networking and chatting to designers. One of the students, Elizabeth from Toronto, even met a designer who offered her work experience in her Toronto based company, 18 Waits.
For one student from Uruguay, the showroom worked to clarify her ideas on her next fashionable steps to make.
“Where I come from, it is very difficult for young designers to participate in this kind of event. Now, I believe I could have my own small agency and represent them here”.
For Stef (also Canadian), the most important conseil she garnered was to do work experience in a small company, where you can learn so much more by experimenting in all areas (rather than simply doing coffee runs for the Vogue fashionistas).
Impression of the day
The Lyon students came to Paris expecting to be dazzled by the famous mode Parisienne. Rather, it worked to clarify their ideas, inspire their designs, and hone their thoughts.
Even Kevin Harter, the fashion director at Bloomingdale’s has been quoted as saying that Capsule is `a fashion designer’s dream`. For the students, this was partly true. But even more importantly, Capsule offered them a glimpse of the reality that they were all keen to get their enviably fashionable hands on, and to change ‘I want it all’ into, ‘I was behind it all’.
Are you interested in fashion, and have you visited a showroom like this? What impressions did it make on you? Share your comments with us below!Images Courtesy of © Jill Craig and Coline Martine, Université de La Mode, Lyon.