Diary of a Fashion Student, part 1: The Departure / The Arrival / The Commencement

Today completes my first week of school in Paris. Honestly, not that exciting – picking thread out of your hair really isn’t but we all start from modest beginnings. It just so happens to be my birthday too and perhaps partly out of fear word will get out that “you’re just on the other side of too old to launch a fashion career,” I didn’t tell anyone to avoid drawing attention.  And, okay, it’s not that I’m too old, it’s just everyone in the program is young. But what they don’t know is that I could sew circles around them, have worked in the industry they’re so desperate to enter, I’m completing a second degree and generally are pretty skilled – I can cook a pretty decent dinner and have a few cocktail recipes that would stun!

That’s beside the point, to get to the unspectacular conclusion of my first week of school in Paris, I have to start somewhere…


Found this picture and thought it funny the light sticks are lit up blue, white and red, the french flag...

Found this picture and thought it funny the light sticks are lit up blue, white and red, the french flag…

FLASHBACK – The Departure – Los Angeles, LAX, 30th September, 2013

I leave for Paris this morning after what can only be described as the worst send-off imagined.  While my family, of course, is supportive but no one wants to wake up to an email saying your housing arrangements have been canceled and because Paris is nine hours ahead of sunny LA, emailing them will only mean they get back to you (maybe they get back to you and as you might come to find out through your own exchange experiences that the French are a little difficult to engage through email) when you land or probably later.  So I made hasty arrangements in a hotel near Belleville or a train station or a cemetery perhaps in an okay area, perhaps not. We’ll see when I land. And it’s fashion week and everything is booked up not that I imagine the “fashion people” want to stay that far out of the center.  It can’t be that bad. I’m sure it won’t be ideal but it’s only temporary. I have a few days to settle in before school starts, find a new, temporary place to live, finish the two projects (which by the way I’m still not sure I’m going in the right direction with either) and get them printed… Tick-tock, Tick-tock!

FLASHBACK – The Arrival – Paris, CDG, 1st October, 2013

Okay, that flight wasn’t bad. Air Tahiti Nui is an okay plane, not the best I’ve been on but, I don’t fly first class. I landed, right? After a little bit of a hassle getting transportation to the hotel sorted I arrive. Drag two 50 lb suitcases, an overstuffed carry-on and a “personal item” across the street to the desk to check in, things look a little rough and there’s a school across the street where kids are playing. Pour myself into the roach motel door (the hotel experience and the cherry on top after coming soon), check in isn’t until 2, awesome, failed to mention that when I booked the hotel yesterday morning! It was fine I didn’t freak out and the guy checked me in anyway. Now the hard part, over 100 lbs of it. That’s right I was on the 5th floor (6th in American buildings) with no elevator. It’s okay, I’ve overcome similar feats before. Finally get up to the narrow hallway open the door, push my stuff through the door stand up straight, huff and think to myself:

you’re ready for this, right? what else can you do. you’ve told people “i’m leaving” and you are…

you just were on a plane going to paris and you’re only asking yourself this now?! the city of dreams, or is it lights? “it isn’t what it was,” they said, but you don’t care, you said you’re going to make it what you want. how cliche. “the scene has changed,” they said and fashion isn’t the dream of a troubled artist anymore – it’s the bottom line of a fat cat…but you know like everyone else scared to admit, there’s a part of it that’s dying and you want to be a part of the sink. are you ready, you think… what else can you do. you told people, chipper as can be, “i’m leaving,” and you are… anyway you went through check-in at and the attendant said, “oh how

nice, i’ve always dreamed of going to paris,” like they all do. and she made jokes about seeing you on some american reality show. yes girl you thought, i’m going to paris. to get eaten alive. to come back and be some LA ratings pawn and make a second rate fashion show for fat girls in the mid-west. you joke back because you hope she won’t notice your two suitcases are each 3 lbs over and full of fabric… she notices but you slide an

yway, the flight isn’t full. maybe $he $hould have $aid $omething $o you wouldn’t have had to carry that dead weight up the stairs…

are you ready for this…what else can you do. you’ve told people “i’m leaving” and you are…you’re already here. 

FLASHBACK  – The Commencement – Paris, School, 14th October, 2013

PRESENT DAY – Sigh of Releif – Paris, Indian / Pere Lachaise, 18th October, 2013

But like I said, school was okay, better than first weeks for many students, even ones back home. I’m finding I know more of the language than I give myself credit and I know over time I’ll build the confidence to fully arrive at school (and Paris for that matter). For now, my work will do all the vocalizing for me.  And yes, it is my birthday and tonight I’m going to eat Indian food by myself to sit quietly and think about my special person back home and tomorrow morning I will have my cake and walk through Pere Lachaise Cemetery…

pere lachaise panorama

It’s going to be a good weekend here in Paris, hope you’re safe and warm.



5 responses to “Diary of a Fashion Student, part 1: The Departure / The Arrival / The Commencement”

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  3. Nicanor says:

    … Feliz cumpleaños!!

  4. nicanor says:

    Feliz cumpleaños and thanks for sharing! Will be following you for sure!

  5. fashionsphinx says:

    Loved this post ! thank you fashion student for sharing
    can’t wait to read more !
    welcome to Paris



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