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October 11, 2019

Students Kyra Christie ’22, Embrey Flener ’22 and Madi Baldwin ’20 dressed up in their best street style during Paris Fashion Week.

By Madi Baldwin ’20

PARIS, France — On Asbury University’s Paris Semester, there are a lot of ways we all keep ourselves busy. From trips to the Louvre to using the metro to go try a new coffee place, we manage to always be doing something. But last week was something special. And no, I’m not talking about the three major tests we all had to take (though that was certainly a specific kind of special). From Sept. 24 through Oct. 2, Fashion Week was in full swing here in Paris.

Brands such as Gucci, Valentino, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton and more graced the runways with their designs. An added bonus to the week was that our Paris campus sits directly across from the Balenciaga headquarters– which opened its doors one day to the public and a few of us got to go take a peek around.

A few months before our trip, I had heard that Paris Fashion Week (PFW) would be happening while I was here, and I had been hoping to attend a show ever since. So, a few weeks in advance of PFW, I began to research the steps to obtain press passes for the shows. Three weeks and hundreds of e-mails later, I received a few invites to collections showing at Fashion Week.

With the first obstacle out of the way, I moved onto the next one: how to create a Fashion Week-ready outfit on a very, very, very small student budget. But with the help of friends and some new store finds, I put together an outfit for under $100 that fit in with the best of them.

The first show I attended was for AfterHomework and was probably my favorite collection out of the shows I went to. Before arriving at the show, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I had read some articles online about proper behavior for Fashion Week and what I got were two completely different answers. The online articles weren’t helpful at all and made me even more nervous.

But I showed up anyways, determined to just go with the flow and follow the crowd. And surprisingly, while I had been assigned to standing for the AfterHomework show I was given a front row seat. The pieces were beautiful and showed a use of draping and layering that I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see more of coming up.

While the first collection may have been my favorite, each collection I saw was shown in an incredibly unique way and I feel incredibly lucky to have had this experience during Paris Semester. Throughout the week, I felt myself being reminded that truly, we are all in our own ways the ones that create our own futures. It’s easy to feel the possibilities and opportunities surrounding me here in Paris; they’re around every corner. But what does it look like to bring that confidence of future and self back to Asbury’s campus? Ask me about that next semester and maybe I’ll have an answer.