The last fortnight of any January is a particularly busy time. Everyone who is the world’s anyone is either at Davos‘ luxury Steigenberger Belvedere hotel for the economic forum or inhabiting the golden triangle in the French capital for Paris Fashion Week.
From Pyongyang to Paris – the Sybaritic Single is a lover of sharp contrasts and audacious luxury hotels. He arrives at Hôtel Plaza Athénée to find that its culinary genius Alain Ducasse will be adapting recipes from Christian Dior‘s favourite cook book, first published in 1972. Sybaritic Single is an old hand at Paris Fashion Week. Here he shares his eight golden rules of fashion weeks, to allow any fashionista to enjoy the most glamorous time of the year seamlessly:
1. Pack smartly and only the very latest looks – you will have to change up to three times a day. This is the time when you might have more baggage than usual. Accessories are key and they are the details which will set you apart from the otherwise perfectly dressed crowd.
2. Leave all coats and all bags at the hotel. For the January 2016 fashion week, Paris wears strictly Summer 2016 collections (not cruise, not trunk, not even Spring – and of course not the otherwise logical Winter which is so much out of date by now – we all wore it last July). Unless a couture house has booked it for you, you have of course arranged a limousine between the various shows, therefore you do not need to look like a distant family member who has just arrived from a train station. During the défilé, enjoy the show and keep your mobile phone in the pocket – your pictures will never be as good as the look book.
3. Your limousine follows you, day and night – it is your ‘hotel room away from a hotel room’. The limousine must have a battery pack or a proper mobile charger and fast WiFi. Sybaritic Single‘s Dior minders this year reserved a glossy black minivan, which doubled as a hotel suite as well as a dressing room on wheels.
4. Iron and ironing board must be in your hotel room upon arrival – the hotel’s laundry will be overloaded with requests and they not deliver in time. Three years ago, the Sybaritic Single made the mistake of sending his entire wooden trunk to laundry upon arrival. The following morning, he was seen running up and down the gallery of Four Seasons George V wearing a bathrobe and slippers in absolute panic, looking for his clothes, two hours before the Dior fashion show.
5. Fashion week is the only time of the year when Champagne pyramids give way to Champagne glasses. Cap your daily intake at five glasses: one in the morning bath tub, one at breakfast, zero at lunch and two at dinner. Reserve the fifth one for any incidental meetings.
6. Tip the hotel personnel generously as soon as you arrive: you must have central tables reserved at all times both in the hotel’s lobby lounge and at breakfast. There will be no time to wait or room to compromise.
7. Many photographs will be taken, so be very courteous to photographers and street style bloggers and allow them to do their job. They are the ones who will make you look good. Your eyes must sparkle – feel excited, slightly hungry or have another Champagne – but do have that sparkle in the eyes and avoid wearing sunglasses in the middle of Parisian winter unless you are a VIP.
8. Avoid spa treatments, they will make you look overly relaxed and sleepy, they will ruin your hair. Instead, head to the gym in the morning. An hour’s power walk, at 7.2 km/h (the optimal speed to lose weight), will make you both look sharper and feel energised.