Kick Start Your Fashion Education in Paris

by Sarah Clark
Fashion School Review Columnist

April 7, 2006

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While Paris may not be the future of fashion, its contribution to fashion over the years makes it an important destination for the fashion-school bound. The city produced, nurtured and celebrated fashion legends like Coco Channel and Yves Saint Laurent. In Paris, great fashion is in every corner of the city.

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As someone preparing for a career in fashion, you'll want to visit the ultra-chic rue Faubourg St-Honoré. Here you'll find upscale boutiques like Hermés, Lanvin, Chloé, and Christian Lacroix. For a lesson in haute couture, visit nearby avenue Montaigne, which is home to some of the best-known fashion houses including Chanel, Dior, Valentino, and Escada. The digs of the boutique are just as interesting as their contents. You'll find elegantly designed historic mansions adorned in fine wrought-iron.

Fashion School in Museums

To further your fashion education, visit some of the nearby museums, where many fashion designers get their inspiration. Some fashion designers, for example, took their inspiration for last spring's soft-hued makeup palates (such as those requiring nothing more than a bit of lipstick) from the Dutch masters. Notice line and color, two elements that are central to masterful clothing design. Start with the Louvre and Musée d'Orsay--you could spend a week in these two museums alone.

When you tire of walking, head to St. Germain-des-Prés for one of its many cafes, populated with writers, journalists, politicians, and other members of the international elite. Known as one of the most fashionable parts of the city, you'll likely find regular people with a great sense of line and proportion, wearing what American youth won't find in their stores until next year, if ever.

Fashion school isn't just about attending classes, it's about getting out and seeing places that have a rich history in clothing design. So get your fashion school career off to a great start in the city that's inspired some of the greatest names in fashion.

About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer specializing in career development and postsecondary education.

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