24 Hours At Paris Fashion Week With Journalist Alice Pfeiffer

Alice Pfeiffer is a fashion writer in Paris. She writes for i-D, the Guardian, Le Monde and Elle. In the last of our fashion week series, she talks eating food on the go, the strange concept of a "fashion bus" and learning how to write anywhere - it's a day in her life at fashion week.

I get up 7am at the very latest

The first show is usually at ten, but I have to either file reviews or stop by the office to get last minute invites. The sound of the alarm clock fills me with terror every morning.

Photo © Alice Pfeiffer

I never have any time to sit down and make breakfast

The only thing left in my fridge at the stage is nail varnish— so my diet turns entirely to street food eaten whilst running to catch the metro. For breakfast I usually buy two pains au chocolat (gluten intolerance will have to wait) and a double espresso to go that I’ve already swallowed (or poured all over myself because I can’t double task) by the time I step on the train.

I have a heart attack when I hear the alarm clock

I notice I forgot to charge my phone and almost start crying; find the only pair of clean underwear left; figure some outfit that I haven’t already worn (oddly, this is something fellow journalists pay attention to). My trick is: wear something H&Mish and comfortable and cover it all up with a giant vintage coat. If anyone asks, it is Céline.

Photo © Alice Pfeiffer

Before I leave the house, I have reviews to file from previous day

I answer emails and keep up with the rest of the ordinary work that isn’t fashion week-related (sadly the whole world doesn’t stop when it’s La Semaine de la Mode).

I generally see about ten shows a day

Between each, I try and squeeze in a presentation or two, which means I’m always at least 30 minutes late to each show. At night, there is about a dozen event that I go to for 5 minutes max, just to show my face, smile neurotically and pretend I’m feeling great.

Photo © Alice Pfeiffer

I write all day and all night

I write during shows, in the car between shows, before going to bed, at 4am when the copy is being edited for that day’s paper; I open my laptop more frequently that I go to the bathroom. I take a gazillion photos and take notes on my iPhone; documenting it on social media has become a big part of the job for journalists.

Photo © Alice Pfeiffer

For lunch, I usually eat a terrible sandwich that I buy at the first boulangerie I find

It’s hours past my usual lunchtime and I’m starving so anything dripping in calories is great. I conceal it in my pocket when I walk into the next show and take a sneaky bite before its starts.

Photo © Alice Pfeiffer

How I travel between shows depends

If I’m affiliated with a magazine, they have a car and a driver for the week that you share with your colleagues (who are all nervously writing whilst commuting between shows, or screaming ‘Mais quelle horreur!’ about the show they just saw). If I'm covering the show freelance, there is a ‘fashion bus’ ‘(I’m still confused about who pays for it, but hey) that ships lonely car-less journalists from one show to the next.

I absolutely don’t have a drop of alcohol all week

I’m tired enough as it is, need to write all night and can’t function with a hangover on top of it. I get in TOO LATE. Midnight at the very earliest: all your colleagues and former bosses are in town from London or New York wanting to meet, so you usually mix business and pleasure and attend cocktails together; you eat finger food, and pretend you’re not about to have a nervous breakdown.

Photo © Alice Pfeiffer


I fall asleep before I’ve even had time to take off my makeup

My flat looks like a bomb exploded in it, but c’est la vie. I work up to the very last minute. When I’m on the loo I give myself a break and read reviews on Vogue Runway. And then feel guilty I haven’t filed mine yet. I go to bed around 2 or 3, already dreading waking up the next day. I sleep in the middle of a pile of invitations and goodies and empty cans of Redbull on the bed.

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