When Desiree and Jennifer Selmanović started their Fashion and Lifestyle Blog Des & Jen as a hobby in 2013, little did they know that they would soon become Austria’s elite bloggers, working full-time between Vienna and Milan, where they live now. Famous for showcasing sophisticated fashion and avant-garde designs incorporated in street style looks, as well as wearing the hottest new designers such as Amen Style and Litkovskaya, they now stroll along the streets of fashion’s most important destinations. We talked to Jennifer, who just arrived back in Vienna, about Paris Fashion Week, her job as a blogger and the latest trends.
It’s nice to see you after returning from Paris. How was it?
Paris Fashion Week was really great. We met a lot of interesting people, the shows were amazing and we also got to see other designers like Altuzarra and Sacai. I was really amazed by both of them.
I like Paris, there is so much culture and life. It is a huge city and it hosts one of my favourite of the four major Fashion Weeks.
It was just really cold for a couple of days so it was quite hard to take pictures outside as it was also raining, but the last days it got warmer and it was really nice.
What exactly is it that you do at the Fashion Week?
My sister Desiree and I cover many tasks, as we do them by ourselves. Basically, we organize the whole trip, starting with flights and hotels and get in touch with PRs, showrooms and brands regarding tickets and our outfits. This is I guess the most time-consuming task because we need to find pieces which we really like and that match each other, which can often be challenging. We start to prepare for Fashion Weeks a long time before we actually fly there.
What was your favourite moment this season?
There were many favourite moments during fashion week. In Milan for example, we went to a private dinner with Getty Atelier. This is an American brand that does beautiful evening dresses for gala dinners and award shows. There we met some very interesting people of the fashion industry like Brian Atwood and Robert Cavalli, the son of Roberto Cavalli.
In Paris, one of our favourite moments was definitely the show of H&M Studio, which was quite exclusive. All together they invited 50 influencers from all around the world and we had the chance to be part of it.
What trends did you see for the following season?
I would have to look at the models from the shows again to answer that, because we have just come back from Paris and are more or less on our way to the next trip. But what I can say now is, next season we will have a lot of colours. For instance, we went to the Dior presentation, it coloured all over the place, then I also recognised there will be a lot of layering. Purple is a very strong colour this season, yet there are still a lot of metalic colours to be seen, especially silver metalic.
What is your favourite spot in Paris
During Fashion Week it is quite hard to go to all of our favourite places because we do not have so much time to travel around. So after a fashion show, for example, when we are hungry we just go to a place close by. The café and restaurant Da Rosa at Rue de Mont-Thabor is very nice. When we have more time, we like to go to the Hôtel Costes, but this time we went to Hôtel Bachaumont. It is a really nice boutique hotel, they have a beautiful bar and a restaurant downstairs. This is more of a dinner place though.
People see a lot of the glamorous side of Fashion Week, how is it behind the scenes?
Many people have no idea of what is happening behind the scenes. Especially if one does not work in the Fashion Industry, they think it is so easy just to take a couple of pictures, but in reality, it is a lot more work. It takes a lot of time to find the right outfit with accessories, to find a nice background because we do not shoot just anywhere, we also organise the photographers. We also have to plan time for the shootings, because there are the two of us, so it takes even more time when we shoot a whole outfit with the details. Sometimes this can take 30 minutes to one hour for one look alone.
It can be quite stressful, especially if you do it alone like us, and when you don‘t have assistants who help you with styling for instance. When I left Paris on Wednesday morning, I had to take care of all the packages for the agencies and showrooms, that have to be picked up or returned by us. Then, we have to select the pictures for social media and our posts and the pictures have to be retouched from time to time.
Another thing some people are not aware of, Desi and I are quite tall (laughs) and there are pieces which we love in the showrooms, but which we cannot wear. For example, pants and trousers are often too short for us.
What makes Paris so special for you?
What I really like about Paris is that it is quite big. there are a lot of restaurants, cafés and bars to discover. I would say it is more international than Milan. I spend three months of my studies in Paris, so I know there are always new spots to discover.
And regarding fashion, in my opinion, no Fashion Week can top Paris Fashion Week, it is really glamorous, very sophisticated and very chique. It is where the crowd is most international and there are brands like Dior and Chanel with a long history. And when it comes to Chanel, I think no brand can top their fashion shows.
Paris has a lot to offer, it is not only bars and restaurants, there is a lot of culture; incredible museums. I love their little passages and I am so happy to see that the specialised shops in there can survive and have customers. My favourite spot is the Palais Royal in spring and summer, to sit on a bench with a book or a cafe to pass the time. I like that there is such a hidden, calm place in the middle of the city centre.
I love that Paris is such a vibrant city. In the middle of the week you see people in cafés and bars, having fun despite the fact that they have to work the next day: In Milan and Vienna, you do not see it that often. In Paris for example, you are in a small street and you see a crowded place in the middle of the week. In Vienna on the other hand, you would only see that in very few places.