My first exposure to Paris Fashion Week was booking a hotel room, with a view and a bath, for the Fashion Director of the magazine I assisted at. I didn’t know much about the event itself, but I did know she charged her Jurlique hydrating mist, spa visits and several champagnes to her company credit card as “work” expenses… I wanted in.
Cause it’s important to have #goals.
Fast forward to now, and I have been attending Paris Fashion Week as beauty editor for a few seasons. And despite the street style snaps, front rows at shows and after, after parties, I have never deduced in detail what the heck everyone else actually gets up to while they’re in town.
Cue: both my curiosity and part un of our #PFW ROUTINE series, where RUSSH Fashion and Beauty Director, Billie Iveson, invites us to her Saint Germain hotel room to talk Paris Fashion Week from the perspective of a magazine editor.
TB: How many seasons have you been coming to Paris Fashion Week?
Billie: I think about 5 seasons.
TB: Where do you stay?
Billie: I usually stay over on the left bank in Saint Germain, because I love the area – it’s full of all of beautiful designer shops – and it’s very calm, and civilized, and away from the craziness.
TB: Paris Fashion Week in one word?
Billie: Extended pause.
You can pick a positive and a negative if you need to?
Billie: Okay. Busy and inspiring!
TB: The best thing about Paris is…
Billie: The shows.
TB: Which is your favourite show?
Billie: It changes every season but I do always look forward to Loewe. And always Chanel – it’s a spectacle and amazing. And Louis Vuitton.
TB: What is your Paris Fashion Week morning beauty routine?
Billie: It depends on the day. I always cleanse, and then I will use a serum, and a moisturiser. Sometimes if I have had a late night I will do a sheet mask, or the Sisley Black Rose Mask. I am a bad beauty director and I have only just started using SPF every day – I have been using the Rationale Beautiful Skin SPF50 – it is SPF 50, tinted, and it’s perfect if you don’t want to wear much. If I want more I will do a bit of RMS uncover up, a bit of mascara and some Tom Ford bronzer, and that’s about it.
TB: Basically, you’re the TOMBOY Beauty girl…. That’s why we got you!
Billie: Oh wait I forgot to mention my full lash and my contouring.
TB: It’s controversial, but I actually don’t mind a bit of a subtle contour!
Billie: Me either actually, I have just started using the Dior one. Have you used it? You pretty much put it on (pointing to the bronze end) and buff it in, and then the other side is a highlighter, it’s quite clever. I can’t do the powders because I don’t like matte skin.
TB: What’s your strategy for getting dressed in the morning?
Billie: I have refined my travelling wardrobe and everything just goes together. So it might be my Levis and my Manolos, and a jumper or a knit, and maybe a blazer. And then at night, it will be a pair of black pants and a silk blouse. There’s no looks, there’s no outfits, no day 1 outfit, no day 2 outfit, I don’t do that. I just see what the weather is and go from there.
TB: What is your Paris fashion week soundtrack?
Billie: If I am going for a run in the morning it’s Drake, Rihanna, and some Beyoncé. I don’t really listen to any other music during the day, because it’s always quite hectic and I feel like you need the headspace to just be…
TB: Talk me through your tea and vitamins?
Billie: Because I travel so much I always try and bring little things from home to try and make it familiar. So I always bring my candle, I bring this evening tea, I like coming home and having a glass of tea, it makes me feel a little less… Where am I in the world? And what am I doing? And Melatonin I need – I take it for the first two nights after arriving somewhere, and getting home – It helps so much, it’s just a natural sleeping aid, so it makes it easy. Maybe its placebo!? Placebo is good enough for me…
TB: Favourite beauty haunt in Paris?
Billie: I love visiting the Buly store near my hotel. It’s just the most beautiful store, they have a calligrapher. Everything is in bottles, so it makes it feel like it’s been there since the 1800s, which it has.
TB: Favourite food / café?
Billie: There’s a new café that does juices and healthy Acai bowls and things like that, called Wild and the Moon, it’s in Le Marais, I am often there for showings and appointments and things like that.
TB: Favourite Bar?
Billie: Le Mary Celeste, is always fun. Or Le Progrès is in the Marais as well – I like to sit outside and have an aperitif and watch the people walk by, it’s always great people watching, and very French.
TB: Best Coffee?
Billie: I don’t drink coffee, it’s my one thing that I am like, “Yes, killing it a life!” because I don’t get stressed when I am travelling wondering where am I going to get good coffee from. Sometimes I do think, I wish I did drink coffee right now, like at 3pm everyday, I could do with some false energy. I drink tea, but I am not fussed.
Photography: Rodney Deane X TOMBOY Beauty
Interview: Chloe Brinklow