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Paris has long been considered one of the fashion capitals of the world, and at no other time is it more evident than during Fashion Week. Twice a year top designers put on runway shows to exhibit the coming seasons top looks and celebrities, journalists, and fashionistas alike gather to observe the spectacle. Heres an inside look at what you need to know about Paris Fashion Week:

1. Start Early: With Hollywoods whos who on the guest list, Paris is packed for both the Fall and Spring Fashion Week events. Not only do you need to arrange accommodations, you need to get on the lists for runway events and afterparties. Please note that Fashion Week events are by invitation-only and tickets simply cannot be purchased. However, even if you dont have a golden ticket, you can still enjoy the fashion vibe in the city, attend outdoor fashion shows and even shop for top fashion at the trunk shows! If you do have the golden ticket, even more reason to secure a place to stay NOW. Hotels and luxury vacation rentals book months in advance and the last thing you want is to be searching high and low for where youll stay when you should really be focusing on what your wardrobe will be while in Paris and which designer looks youd like to snatch up when youre in town. Mens Collections run mid-January and mid-June, Haute Couture shows follow at the end of January and early July, Ready To Wear shows are at the end of February to early March and late September.

2. Play The Part: This isnt the time to play it demure. Paris in general is a city where the fashionable like to see and be seen, and Fashion Week is the time to pull out all the stops, ahem, all of those vintage labels and designer dresses. Its a great idea to meet with a stylist who can help you fill out your wardrobe and suggest specific outfits for your time in Paris. Theres no better place to shop than Paris itself, but if youre buying couture items, they wont be ready for several weeks or even months so dont rely on finding every outfit while youre there, even if you arrive a few days early.

3. Its Not All About The Runway: Fashion Week has become a week-long celebration of the industry and after the designers and models put in their hard work, theyre ready to play. Parties and events run around the clock and are hosted by celebrities, designers, and sponsors. The after parties are the perfect time to scope out what the magazine editors and fashion-savvy are wearing and notice who arrived with whom. Grab a glass of champagne and toast your good fortune to be participating in this once in a lifetime event!

4. Pay Attention to The Runway: It might be hard to tear your eyes away from the front row of spectators at the show youre attending, but focus on the fashion being (literally) paraded before you. Depending on which show you attend, you might not see yourself in many of the ensembles presented, but if you pay attention to the overarching themes of each collection, you will be able to take some fresh fashion ideas home with you. Look for prevalent colors and palettes (are nudes in? neons or jewel tones?), silhouettes and hemlines (tailored? full skirts and sleeves? cropped or long?), and makeup choices (soft and light? dark and bold?). These are things you can immediately incorporate into your everyday look and be at the forefront of fashion, regardless of where you live. Let yourself be inspired by the artistry and find what really speaks to you.

Bottom Line: Book now, Dress Fabulously, Celebrate, Be Inspired

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