How To Experience Paris Like A Local
Harper's Bazaar India|September 2019
How To Experience Paris Like A Local
From the hottest after-parties to the best lunch spots, luxury entrepreneur Kalyani Saha Chawla shares her notes on how to experience Paris like a local during Couture Week.

Paris is always a good idea, especially during Couture Week. The city comes alive, and that ambience and palpable excitement is a pure adrenalin rush. The journey of a couture collection is fascinating. From conceptualisation on the mood board to experimentation with fabrics, embroideries, and most importantly the draping of the toile.

The atelier is abuzz till show day. The excitement begins at the entrance to the venue with the paparazzi, who wait for front-row celebrities to appear. The entire production—from staggering sets and heritage venues, to models and, of course, the clothes, make for the most expensive 20 minutes. Over a decade in fashion, I have witnessed many collections develop from sketch board to ramp, but I still get goosebumps everytime.

My first show this season was Ralph & Russo at the British Embassy in Paris. The sprawling gardens with a 90-mts runway made for a beautiful venue. The collection depicted a 1930s soirée en plein air, or garden party, referencing the drawings of artist and designer Erté. The pretty, feminine silhouettes were generously embellished with pearls and sequins and came in bold colours that are perfect for an idyllic summer wedding or gala. Each piece could also be worn separately keeping in mind the house’s increasingly new, younger clientele. I already see Sonam Kapoor Ahuja wearing their looks at the next awards season.

My dearest friend Bibhu Mohapatra was also in Paris to showcase his Resort 2020 line. Bibhu’s journey from Bhubaneswar to New York is a story by itself. This season his collection was full of sparkly sequins with elegant silhouettes that would flatter every body type.

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September 2019