Paris & Premiere Vision SS20
Twice a year, I visit Paris, this city feels like a second home. I’m not sure if it’s because whenever I go, I go there for work, so I end up walking all over the city and can pretty much get around without a map. During this time I also visit the huge textile fair Premiere Vision and it draws in all the real fashion industry people and Paris becomes a mecca for inspiration. You end up bumping into old colleagues at Galeries Lafayette or take another instagram-worthy photo outside of Merci and drool at the new concept, buying nothing but a funky new pencil (as that’s all you can afford).
For a few days, all the hotels are booked up, vintage stores scavenged, and hip restaurants are filled with different nationalities and creatives from all sides of the fashion industry. Whilst i’m there I enjoy eating both healthy vegan-style food and heavy french food (the beauty of Paris) and come home dissapointed that I haven’t eaten enough baguettes as there is so little time! Wild and Moon is my healthy pick me up, after trawling vintage and taking in the busy, beautiful and sometimes smokey streets.
One things for sure, the British high street should take a lesson on how Parisian’s do shopping. Small businesses excel here, whether it’s affordable retail space or just an openness to try new ideas, Paris has the charm not many other cities have (much like Tokyo) there are so many ‘arrondisements’ to explore, the nooks and crannies and hidden streets are the best way to shop. Chains stores are limited, although, this time, I realised I kept seeing Starbucks popping up around Paris, which really bummed me out. But otherwise, Paris will always be in my heart.
As for Premiere Vision this year, it was a good show. They change the ‘Perspectives’ area every season, to suit the market and industry trends and this year it focused on feeling fresh, vibrant and less grown up. They are definitely shifting the industry towards sustainability and happier consumers- which is a positive prospect, with a focus on recycled and natural materials, PV is doing it’s best to support the change, but I am not sure it is enough, especially from a designer POV. But as we know, consumers are demanding more than ever, in terms of product, quality, story, price and sustainability. Can we achieve this, whilst slowing down productivity, but still make money?
Overall the feeling was playful and rebellious, plastic-looking red trolleys were stacked high (maybe symbolizing that over-consumerism is over?) Prints were bold, graphic and colourful, ensuring that you captivate your online-shopper. A lot of the fabric qualities and prints I could imagine Emili Sindlev wearing; bright almost neons colours, quirky pastels, weird golf style checks and fun prints, but still sophisticated and cool. I can also tell that ethnic/folk pattern is making a slow come back (which I haven’t seen much at PV over the past few years), maybe recognising that traditional craftsmanship like handcrafted weaves and native patterns are a way of supporting the makers in less developed countries.
Premiere Vision Designs was overwhelming as usual, with an increasing number of studios coming on the scene. As a freelancer, you realise how much competition is out there and so much talent is driving this industry, but I worry about the saturation of the market. Studios are attempting to cover all the trends and becoming increasingly savvy with how they market themselves. But I also noticed that a number of suppliers were trying to get cheaper price on prints, which saddens me as a designer, as there is so much work that goes into creating prints and also in selling them. Price of goods needs to be respected (but that’s another story!). As PV goes, it once again stirs your creative juices, gets you inspired and excited for the season ahead and it reminds me that we are all in this together, and we all must be the change for a new sustainable, respected future.
All photos sourced from Premiere Vision website/instagram.