Letter from Paris Mode City 2012
Above: Photo features Wacoal – Beauty Secret
Kathryn Kemp-Griffin is the founder of Paris Lingerie Tours and offers exclusive lingerie tours as an unusual alternative to the regular tourist attractions.
“There, all is but order and beauty, luxury, quiet and delight,” – Charles Baudelaire, An Invitation to Travel
“But the wedding is in Tuscany,” said Lucy, my college roommate. “As in ITALY!” she shouted into the phone. “Pleeease come.”
“I can’t,” I moaned, seeking refuge under an awning from the torrential rainstorm slamming Paris on the first day of Mode City, the international swimwear and lingerie trade fair. My feet sloshed in my brand new Repetto flats and my vintage silk floral dress stuck to me like cling wrap. “I’ve got to work.”
“Can’t you just get the catalogue and write from that?” said Lucy. “Honestly, what’s left to say? The bra has already been invented and so has the two-piece bathing suit. There’s an Easy Jet flight at 3pm. You can be sipping a glass of Vernaccia di San Gimignano on a terrace overlooking the hills by dusk.”
As I considered my alternatives, the awning buckled under the weight of the rain and water poured over me, drowning my Tuscan dreams.
I said goodbye to Lucy and to any hopes for a weekend escapade and made the last dash for the Paris Expo Center at Porte de Versailles.
Inside, I pulled my hair back into a sleek ponytail, smoothed out my dress and looked up to find myself immersed in white elegance: white carpet, walls and furnishings. Gold medallions graced the floor while overhead, a floating decor of gold curls cast intricate shadows around the words of Baudelaire, “There, all is but order and beauty, luxury, quiet and delight.”
I’d stepped into a gold and white fairy tale.
I forgot about the rain. I forgot about Tuscany. I was in Paris, at Mode City, surrounded by the creativity of tomorrow.
Lucy was wrong. Turns out there is still a lot more to say about bras and bathing suits.
In this two-part series, I hope you’ll enjoy the 12 enchanting discoveries I made.
ART & TRENDS
1. TRENDS for Summer 2013
Making the ordinary extraordinary
The forecasting agency Trend Union appealed to the senses with an interactive universe to interpret the four main trends influencing the future of swimwear and lingerie: See, Touch, Taste, Feel.
SEE: a floral installation bloomed into a temporary boutique, offering a natural, yet sophisticated approach to merchandising and showcasing plant-based prints for a fresh and carefree alternative. (photo credit: Daniel Schweizer for Bloom issue 7)
TOUCH: shades of white and natural tones gave a calming and contemporary feel to the artistry of using renewable materials to create new objects from old. (photo credit: Camille Dupuis)
TASTE: a pop-up candy shop with exaggerated shapes and sugar sculptures to accentuate the drama and irresistible fun of fashionable accessories and offer delicious edibles to customers. Photo credit: www.amourgloireetbanquet.com
SMELL: an olfactory ambience offers numerous possibilities in marketing and merchandising to enhance the shopping experience for customers. Photo credit: Sylvie Becquet for Bloom issue 17
2. DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
by Paris Capitale de la Création
Save the Queen
An Italian brand created in 1985 by Marco and Elena Fantini who are dedicated to combining fashion and style using artisanal techniques and innovative technology to proudly state “100% Made In Italy.”
Save The Queen! Sun offers a range of swimwear and beachwear with particular attention to prints, which are drawn by hand. Each collection is a sequence of sensations representing art, nature and different cultures. Elena describes her motivation, “To create something I could feel was exceptional and full of emotion.” Each piece is a work of art and the result of imagination, innovation and essential values.
3. YZ: Urban Artist
YZ (“eyes”) is an acclaimed French urban artist whose art takes whatever form it needs to be expressed. In a Baroque-themed pop-up atelier, YZ created a 1900’s-inspired female using a variety of mediums – paint, collage and gold lace to capture the eternal beauty and resonating femininity of every woman.
Check back next week for Part 2 of Mode City 2012!