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How Us Ugly Plebes Can Still Enjoy Paris Fashion Week

Lost your PFW invite too? When life hands you lemons, do what the models do: juice them, add cayenne pepper and extend your master cleanse.

Paris Fashion Week

Lost your PFW invite too? When life hands you lemons, do what the models do: juice them, add cayenne pepper and extend your master cleanse.

By Anne Ertle, John Carroll University

It seems like every day there is a new fashion week kicking off somewhere.

We’ve recently seen shows in New York City and London, and both of those are huge deals that will affect the social and economic climates in the coming months.

Currently, we’re just about to wrap up Paris Fashion Week, which is the most important. If fashion weeks were *NSYNC, Paris would be Justin Timberlake, because it’s the biggest star. Also, the city of Paris makes you see everything through rose-tinted glasses and here’s picture of Justin Timberlake wearing literal rose-tinted glasses, so I think I’ve made my point.

Now that I’ve regaled you with PFW’s importance, maybe you feel bad that you couldn’t be in attendance. My bad! It’s not your fault you’re not important, beautiful or a social influencer! That’s why I’m bringing Paris to the people.

On an episode of America’s Next Top Model, Tyra Banks once said, “You have to make your own wind.” She was talking about walking down a runway, but I’m following her advice and making my own fashion week.

Street Style

One of the most important aspects of fashion week is getting your picture out there. If you’re spotted by street style photographers enough times, you might become one of those cult figures that is just sort of assumed to be a fixture of the scene.

The best example I can think of for this is the titular character in the book series Where’s Waldo? First of all, great branding: Cher. Prince. Madonna. Waldo. It takes a special kind of star to be referred to by one name, and Waldo has achieved that status.

How Us Ugly Plebes Can Still Enjoy Paris Fashion Week

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Waldo? The anxiety when mandatory reading time was almost over and you still hadn’t spotted that string bean of a man.

The second thing, though, is his look. Waldo has a uniform. He always dons a beanie, glasses, those famous rugby stripes and jeans. His closet is obviously carefully curated.

Like the famous Vogue editrix Anna Wintour and her sunglasses + bob, Waldo has his own #look, and it really works for him. I assume this is why he is constantly being invited to every cool place under the sun—sometimes even in space!

Be Waldo. Wear what works for you, and make an effort to be in every picture ever. Is a tour group meandering through your campus? You need to be in that picture that mom is taking of her grimacing teen. Is someone taking a selfie in the library? If you’re not inserting yourself into the background, you’re doing yourself a disservice. See and be seen, you beautiful style maven!

Diamonds Dogs are a Girl’s Best Friend

One of the biggest stories to come out of this fashion cycle was when model Cara Delevingne brought her dog to the front row of a Chanel fashion show.

This was a really big deal for some reason. Maybe it’s the notion that a dog was inches away from the most expensive clothes in the world, and he couldn’t even appreciate the details because he can only see in shades of gray? I don’t know, but this was a headline-making turn by She of the Bold Eyebrows. The obvious solution is to make like Cara and bring your own pet with you everywhere.

There are the anti-stress benefits: pets help you relax. They help other people relax, too, unless they’re deathly allergic to your shi tzu, which is unfortunate. That’s what inhalers are there for, though. (While I’m at it, may I suggest bedazzling your breathing apparatus for a little more flair?)

I suggest taking it one step further and getting a little unorthodox. Bring your goldfish to class! Take a turtle to your intramural volleyball game! Show off your potbelly pig to your academic advisor! The world is your oyster—so why not tote around a clam?

This, when paired with your quirky uniform outlined above, will truly make you stand out from the crowd wherever fashion is happening.

(Anti) Social Media

Thanks to all of the technology available to us, “pics or it didn’t happen” is a valid argument for proof. You should be continuously adding your fashionable experiences to your social media accounts. Otherwise, no one will know that you were there, so you’ll whither away from lack of relevance. You might even, like, lose Twitter followers. Yikes!

Add blurry videos to your Snapchat story at all times. Everyone loves 30-second snippets of shoes walking on literally any surface. The people clamor for it!

Also, artfully arrange items like notebooks (filled with notes on trends, obviously), accessories like headphones or gloves and peonies. If you’re a fashion person who doesn’t have a peony in every pic on your Instagram, are you really a fashion person?

As long as no one knows the painstaking detail that you went to in order to make that notebook skewed just enough, you should be hitting triple digit likes in no time.

Don’t Eat

That’s it. That’s the whole piece of advice.

Signature Walk

One of the most important aspects of fashion week is the actual shows—I know, right?! Featured on each runway are brigades of women who generally fit the beauty norms as dictated by the patriarchy. Fashion is fun!

To stand out on the runway, models generally need to be “especially” something: especially beautiful, especially well connected, especially related to other famous people. If you are none of those things, you can differentiate yourself by working on your walk.

You get a lot of creative license here: maybe your signature is skipping down the runway. Maybe you’ve always been self-conscious about how you’re pigeon-toed—embrace that! Make it a thing!

Practice it always, especially on your walk to class. You might not be known in the fashion world, but I’m sure you could become some sort of campus celebrity if you’re always doing lunges on your trek across the quad.




Writer Profile

Anne Ertle

John Carroll University

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