For the industry’s top models, fashion season is a nonstop, caffeine-fueled round of shows, fittings, appointments, and hurried backstage meals, broken up by the occasional party. How does it all unfold? And how many cups of coffee can one model drink? We sent Derek Blasberg to tag along with Jessica Stam on a typical day in Paris to find out.
When Stam was told her car was picking her up at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning for the Lagerfeld Gallery presentation, she nixed any plans of going out the night before. “Although, look, it’s still technically nighttime,” she jokes as we pull up to the Louvre before sunrise, her ever-present Starbucks cup in hand.
After the Lagerfeld Gallery show, Stam throws her typical fashion week look back on—a Sophomore T-shirt, “because they’re the most comfortable ones I’ve found”; Dior Homme jeans; and Christian Louboutin pumps—and squeezes in an interview with Agyness Deyn.
As we walk from Lagerfeld Gallery through the tourist crowds and gift shops of the Carrousel du Louvre to Valentino, Stam deadpans, “Should we get a lollipop in the shape of the Eiffel Tower?” Once at Valentino, she heads straight for makeup artist extraordinaire Pat McGrath. “Pat has this vibrant personality, quick sense of humor, and endless creativity.”
“Without this guy, I wouldn’t make it to any of the shows,” Stam says of her driver, Jean Michel. “He’s like a big brother now.” As Jean Michel delivers her from the Dries Van Noten show to the Loewe show, he reminds her of her schedule, takes a Starbucks order (“He doesn’t have to do that,” Stam gushes, “but he does ’cause he likes me. All the other girls are very jealous”), and tells her where they’ll meet after the show.
There must be something in the water at Stella McCartney’s studio: At the designer’s fitting, no less than three pregnant women adjust Stam’s looks, including the designer herself (she’s seven months along with number three, “but still beaming, even through the stress,” Stam says). Here Stam clowns around with casting director James Scully on her way out. “James and I have a relationship based on compassion and a mutual love of coffee,” she confides. “During the New York shows he gave me a Starbucks gift card—it made my day.”
Finally, Stam gets a chance to eat and catch up with friends, including Mary-Kate Olsen, Christian Dior’s Alexis Roche, and Proenza Schouler’s Shirley Cook. They consider the Hôtel Costes for dinner, but decide to avoid the lobby scene and opt for an Italian restaurant in the Marais, where every pub is tuned to the European rugby matches. “I feel awkward wearing couture when everyone else here is wearing rugby jerseys and jeans,” Stam teases. Believe it or not, in some parts of Paris, more attention is being paid to sports than fashion week.
The last appointment on Stam’s schedule is a party at Parisian hot spot Le Baron that she’s hosting with Carmen Kass for a yet-to-open, eco-friendly club in New York. “Everyone is asking what tips I have on getting green,” Stam says on the dance floor. “I feel silly saying, ‘Buy hybrids and recycle.’ But listen, I actually recycle, and I actually drive a hybrid!” If it continues to bother her, she can always borrow Carmen’s answer: “I tell everyone to shower with a friend.”
Finally, a mere 19 hours after starting her day in sunrise shades at the Louvre, Stam climbs into her hybrid and heads back to her hotel. “It’s a wild month of my life,” she says. “But I love it. I love fashion and I love the shows.” She had better: Her call time for Stella McCartney is in seven hours.
While it may be de rigueur for fashion editors to have a child join them in the front row at a show or two, Brit supermodel Agyness Deyn decided to bring a different next of kin with her to the Paris collections: her brother Greg, an aviation engineer who’s based in the south of France. “I’m not sure who everyone is yet,” he sighed at Karl Lagerfeld yesterday. “But Agy is helping me learn.” While the brunette (right now, anyway) is enjoying the company—”Aw, I love having my big bro with me,” she said—her sibling is finding a whole new respect for his little sister’s vocational hazards. “We were at Jeremy Scott last night, got into bed, and before I knew it we had to get up for another show. And it’s like that always: Go, go, go!” Welcome to Paris.
When Academy Award-nominated director Mike Figgis signed on to collaborate with Agent Provocateur on a series of ads-cum-short films starring Kate Moss, we knew we were in for some beautiful smut. The result, The 4 Dreams of Miss X, is finally being released as a DVD and accompanying book in the U.S. today (the shorts all had online releases over the past year, but this is the first time they’ll be available together). Called Shadows, Scale, Exhibitionist, and Narcissus, the films are a down-the-rabbit-hole look into Figgis’ version of the subconscious, the underlying theme of which seems to be: Buy garters, now. Mossophiles, take note: Miss X is the model’s first speaking role, unless you count the four words she uttered in the Rimmel campaign.
Although London fashion week is regaining its footing on the collections calendar, many industry players—particularly those overworked ladies on the catwalk—still look at the week between New York and Milan as time off. But in an effort to make sure that U.K. designers have top models at their disposal, the British Fashion Council developed the Model Bursary for London Fashion Week, which was sponsored by high-street retailer (and H&M sister store) COS this year. The lucky ladies recruited to push through all four weeks of the Spring collections (and who are already in Milan for the Italian leg of the journey) were Behati Prinsloo, Julia Dunstall, Solange Wilvert, Vlada Roslyakova, and Tanya Dziahileva. Not that the Bursary, which kicks in for runway fees, flights, and hotel costs, took its investment lightly: Each girl was required to take part in a minimum of six catwalk shows. Said Hilary Riva, the British Fashion Council’s CEO, in a statement last week: “The Model Bursary allows all of the designers at LFW the opportunity to have access to some of the world’s elite models when showcasing their collections to buyers and press.”
As she told us last week, Agyness Deyn seems to be lining up to be the next Linda Evangelista. Except what the original queen of the hair color switch did from one season to the next, Agyness does from one day to the next. We left the girl a redhead in London, only to find her with raven black tresses in Milan, where her newly dark-and-punky look appeared on the runways at Burberry (above), Giorgio Armani, and Alessandro Dell’Acqua. OK, it’s not the all-colors-in-one-week extravaganza she hinted at, but still. Freja Beha Erichsen, meanwhile, is sporting a fresh, sleek bob that momentarily disappeared over at D&G, where her mane was longer and more flowing than ever.