After the Runway: Inside a Paris Fashion Week Afterparty

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Photo: L'ARC
The last week of September is the one that every fashion-minded individual is waiting for. The runways, the shows, the clothes, the models, the designers. 

However, after the runway, when the Grand Palais is being cleaned up, the Eiffel Tower is back to being a tourist destination and the streets of Paris are being cleared from the blockades and VIP zones, Parisian nightlife begins.

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Photo: L'ARC
So what happens when Winnie Harlow, Michael Jordan, and Cindy Crawford get together after hours in Paris' most exclusive club? Madame Blue was there every step of the way to find out. 

Photo: L'ARC

The place to be for all the official PFW parties is L'ARC club. Just off the Champs Elysées, it is real estate heaven.

To enter the club even on a non-fashion-week night, there are strict dress codes that must be adhered to, and the doorman is lightning quick in deciding who gets in or not. A swift opening of the velvet rope means that you walk straight on in. But beware. If you are asked if you have a reservation, or table booked, that means that you aren't getting in this time.

Photo: L'ARC

During PFW, it is imperative that you know someone. The doorman, the owner, the cocktail waitress that can open the back door for you... if you haven't stepped directly off a runway or a private jet, then the only way you're getting in is through connections.

Once inside, the darkness envelops you, and the thump of the beat wafts through the long corridor that leads to the main club area.

 Girls queue up to get a photo in front of the official PFW backdrop, and everyone weaves their way through security and bodyguards to decide where to lay camp for the night.

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Photo: L'ARC
The main room of the club is split into two sections: VIP and "those who got in through connections but aren't famous." However, as it is all open-plan, even those who aren't VIPs have a full view of all the celebs having the time of their lives, just meters away.

Of course, if you came here with a promoter or if you know someone, you have a table assigned to you. As soon as you're at the table an ice bucket is brought out containing bottles of Grey Goose and Dom Perignon, as well as mini Evian bottles. Hydration is very important. 

Photo: Millija Laszkiewicz
Throughout the night, more people come and go, the DJ goes through his repertoire. He must have been practising for months, considering there was the possibility that one of the world's biggest DJs would be there to witness it... Oh yeah, David Guetta just turned up.

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Photo: L'ARC
 The VIP area is full of models. You spot countless celebs, both from the Fashion World, and any other world you could imagine. People you'd never dream of seeing party together in Paris, but this week has indeed brought them here, to the club where dreams are made of. 

Photo: L'ARC
Sparklers and rockets and confetti are the norm when partying with the stars. 
Marshmallow cake for Sofia Riesing? Don't mind if I do! 

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Photo: L'ARC
Of course, after a long day of runways and networking, everyone is a bit tired. 

The sofas around the edge of the VIP area are lined with young models, many of whom look a bit below the legal drinking age. 

They're sat trying to look like they're having fun, but honestly, they'd rather be in bed. They're walking for Fendi, Chanel AND Balmain tomorrow and really just want to get some sleep. Of course, they have to get those Instagram stories of them looking like they're having the time of their lives, otherwise this would all be for nothing.

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Photo: L'ARC
With the party in full swing, and a drink in every available hand, the DJ calls out "Everyone, let's welcome the world's biggest basketball player, and the woman who redefined fashion!" and sure enough, in walk Michael Jordan and Cindy Crawford. 

Dom Perignon flows, confetti flies, and you realise that this is what it's like to be within the 1%.

Photo: L'ARC
The cumulative price of all the clothing in the room is in the millions at least. You catch yourself wondering what you'd wear it all to... or could I sell it and pay off my student loan perhaps? 

At about 4 a.m. things are starting to calm down. People have moved on, or gone back home. After all, tomorrow is another day and another party. And I've heard that Virgil Abloh is hosting...

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Photo: The Key
After an incredible fashion week, some unbelievable looks, and unforgettable parties, we say goodbye to Paris for this season, and look forward to the next.