Magali Pascal’s Parisian Diary

The designer takes us into her world during Paris Fashion Week

Magali Pascal’s love for the City of Lights radiates from every thread of her wares.

Bali and Australia may be home now, but the French designer’s heart leaps whenever she touches down in Paris, where she was born and raised.

It was no different when she arrived in the French capital during Paris Fashion Week to present her eponymous label’s latest collection, Terre Rouge, although Pascal admits that the uncertainty brought on by the Coronavirus has blanketed the city and created a sombre mood.

“Paris is definitely not as vibrant as it normally is during fashion week,” she tells marie claire in-between showings. “You can tell there are not as many people in the streets but people still seem quite relaxed and are still going about their daily lives.

“In the very French way – life goes on.”

(Credit: Laurence Revol)

Take us through your daily routine during showings:

Every day was different, but each day began with a café at one of my favourite spots, Ob La Di.

Mornings were often spent at the showroom, making sure everything as ready for buyers and muses stopping by.  Then I would rush to meetings with photographers and stylists, before stopping for lunch with some friends. Afternoons I would try and spend looking for inspiration at the vintage markets, local shops, or in the street.

In the evening we enjoyed going out for dinner and a glass of wine, before heading to one of the after parties to meet more industry people and celebrate the day. It was non-stop rushing, but such a thrill getting to be in Paris during Fashion Week and meeting so many amazing people.

What have been some of the highlights?

Meeting buyers and seeing the collection we’ve worked on for the last few months come together hanging on the racks, and hearing feedback from the clients.

Another highlight has been meeting the Paris-based muses and photographers we have worked with in the last year, including Jiawa Liu from Beige Renegade, and Lea Bonneau who we shot our Summer 2020 campaign with.

I’ve also had the opportunity to catch up with Parisian friends and family for dinner and that has been so special. It’s always a highlight to be able to reconnect with family and friends here.

And of course, visiting some of my favourite places to find inspiration for upcoming collections.

Laurence Revol
(Credit: Laurence Revol)

What are your restaurant and dining go-to’s while in Paris?

For restaurants, Chateaubriant; is a French classic where I try to go to every time I’m in Paris. It’s a modern, French gastronomy ‘bistronomic’ high-end meets French modern. The food is absolutely to die for.

If you are staying in Le Marais, you definitely have to go to Carbon. Their food is farm to table, with locally sourced ingredients and amazing natural wines all food is wood oven cooked.

For lunch, the location of  LouLou is amazing. It’s the restaurant of the Musee des arts decoratif in the Tuileries Gardens. It’s very chic. The food is modern French. Beautiful view over the gardens and you can see the Eiffel tower in the distance.  In summer you can have a drink outside on the terrace – the Parisian way!

And Oursin Jacquemus’ newest restaurant in Galleries La Fayette, Champs Elysee. It is the trendiest place to be in Paris – especially during Fashion Week.

For bars, Le Mary Celeste is the ‘incontournable’ (inescapable) cocktail bar for the Parisians. It’s been one of the best cocktail bars for a few years amongst the Parisian scene. And Septime La Cave. It’s the sister bar of the very famous Septime restaurant in the 11th. They serve the best natural wine, which has been the rage amongst French people the last few years. 

(Credit: Laurence Revol)

What are your favourite fashion shopping haunts?

My Number one department store is Le Bon Marche – they’ve recently revamped and it’s somewhere I go every time I’m in Paris. Even if you aren’t looking for something specific, it is still worth going to see the beautiful architecture and collections.

Merci is another Parisian classic. A great concept store with a mix of men’s and women’s fashion as well as amazing unique homewares. They also have a very cute café and bookshop.

For vintage stores, Kiliwatch and Episode are both great. You always find amazing, unique pieces here. It’s a little more expensive than other vintage stores in Paris but I always find something here. And the Porte de Vanves flea market – it’s well known by the locals but not very touristy. They have a great selection of antiques from the 1900s. This is where I go-to source for inspiration and they always have unique vintage lace pieces. 

For skincare and beauty, Monoprix is a French institution. I always go there before I leave Paris to pick up my favourite French products. 

What do you most love about Paris?

The architecture. I feel like I am in a painting when I am here. It is so beautiful and has so much history. Every time I am here I feel nostalgic of the time when I was living here. When I’m here I get to reconnect with my roots and that is becoming more and more important to me every time.

There are always so many amazing exhibitions and events happening here – it’s very culturally rich. So I love to get to the museums, exhibitions, or shows while I’m here. I very much miss this sort of thing living in Bali.

And of course, people watching! It is one of my favourite things to do – I sit in a terrace and watch as the people go by.  I can spend hours doing it.

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