“Magic Paris”, say China’s fashion buyers

by Paris Chérie

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“I came to Paris to discover the new and I was not disappointed,” said Chengdu fashion buyer Mei Mei Zhao.

Wearing a white Y-Project blouse with a ruffled collar, Mei Mei looked the epitome of elegance – and at once showed off her taste for a fashion adventure.

Speaking to Paris Chérie after a colour-infused Manish Arora show, she said her clients are all looking for the new and undiscovered brands. “They’re looking for the next Dolce & Gabbana,” she said.

Behind every fashion show it’s easy to forget that the key influencers are the buyers. Their decision on whether to buy a collection or not, dictates what we’ll be wearing next season.

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Eva Lee, owner of the 4 Shanghai boutiques called Wolee said; “The big brands are over for my clients. They want new names, although I am cautious about very young designers. They need to show consistency for a few seasons before I buy them”. Eva described Paris as the “cradle of creativity” where trends not only emerge on the runway, but on the street.

“You can see the influence of the street on the direction of fashion and it’s fuelling creativity”, she said. As for her own taste, she has a passion for hats and wore a vintage green silk cloche she picked up in Milan.

As China’s fashion buyers continue to choose Paris as their favourite city to spot new design talent we share 4 key trends they witnessed on the streets.

On Message

We can thank Demna Gvasalia, now Balenciaga’s creative director, for introducing Vetements DHL citrus yellow T-shirt in 2016. Then came a second cult T, when Maria Grazia Chiuri offered up the slogan “We Should All Be Feminists” on a white Dior T. But messaging is a tad more sophisticated, if not subtle this season – hitting the waist with this GOODBYE belt and a sailor collar designating the wearer a DREAMGIRL.

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Fun, furry friends

Fashion’s fur pom-pom made its funny, friendly debut back in 2015. Then it morphed into the ‘bag bug’ with the help of Fendi and model and actress Cara Delevingne became the bug’s No 1 fan. Bugs signal that fashion is fun again. Paris takes it one step further, of course. In this city you can carry your real, live, walking, barking furry accessory to lunch.

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Feet First

There’s no dispute - fashion is fun again. It’s real women, on the streets, who prove it every time. Photographer Brandie Raasch spotted the most outrageous shoes of all in these ‘message’ heels and long before we saw feathers make a huge comeback on the catwalks one woman was ahead of it all, drawing all eyes down to her feet with a spray of ostrich feathers at her ankles.

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They may be the enduring symbol of Chanel but pearls made a few surprise moves during fashion week. Chiara Ferragni wore her Chanel pearls on her Chanel sneakers and at Manish Arora models wore pearls dotted on their bare skin.

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Photography: Brandie Raasch; Story: Amy Tang

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