‘I went to castings for designers like Chanel’ Meet the third year who stormed Paris Fashion Week

While you were hungover and suffering from freshers flu, she was chatting to Jean Paul Gautier on the phone


Last month, we reported that third year Lincoln student Maxine Sykes would be missing her final Freshers’ Week to model for world-class designers in PFW. 

Now she’s back, Maxine told The Tab how it really is behind the scenes during the busiest time of the fashion calendar.

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“It was so tiring because of all the long days. The day I went to Paris, I left my hotel in London at 4:30am and didn’t get to bed that night until 11pm.

“As soon as we arrived, we went straight to the Roland Mouret show. Normally I only see behind the scenes so it was really exciting getting to see what everyone else does.

“It was extra special because I know how much hard work goes into putting together a show like that.”

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Maxine was one of three girls who modelled in the showrooms at the Paris ‘Ready to wear’ Fashion Week for the French designer, Roland Mouret.

Working in a showroom meant that instead of walking on the runway, she modelled clothes in an apartment for buyers from all over the world.

“There were so many big companies that came to see the collection we were modelling. One day it was for the buyers of Harrods and Selfridges and the next it for Macy’s, it was insane. ”

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As well as modelling in the showrooms, Maxine was able to attend castings for some of the biggest designers in the world.

“I went to castings for designers like Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier and Givenchy. Nothing came of them but it was still a great experience.

“We actually missed the Jean Paul Gaultier one but we got to speak to him on the phone. He apologised for not being able to see us and thanked us for coming, he was so lovely.”

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Working long hours didn’t leave Maxine much time for exploring the city but she did manage to squeeze in a trip to the Eiffel Tower.

“I didn’t get to see much of Paris but we were staying really close to the Eiffel Tower so it would have been silly not to go and visit it. It was nice to have a bit of time to relax in the evening after such busy days.”

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Although she didn’t get much free time, Maxine said there were a lot of perks that made up for it.

“Sadly I didn’t get to keep any of the clothes I wore but I can’t really complain because my whole trip was paid for. We did get to take home some things from the apartment though like wine and skincare products.

“There were always fresh pastries in the kitchen in the morning too, the Roland Mouret team were really hospitable.”

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As to whether PFW is as glamorous as it sounds, Maxine said there were long, tiring days but they were worth it because she always finished the day with a smile on her face.

“It’s definitely not as glamorous as doing a catwalk show. I stood around on a marble floor in uncomfortable heels trying on multiple outfits for multiple buyers but I loved every second of it and I would love to work for Roland Mouret again.

“The outfits I got to wear were gorgeous and the experience was unreal. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.”