For this fashion story, called The Visitor, Navaz Batliwalla and I shot with beautiful new face Laurence from Premier models. He’s an English boy but he recently graduated from studying in Paris. He is also, as it happens, very good company, and likes a nice chat.
Emma Miranda Moore: Hi lovely, I got you croissants to be a bit Parisian
Laurence: Oh, that’s OK. I don’t actually like them
EMM: What do you mean you don’t like them?
L: Well, I think living in Paris I OD’d on them a bit you know. I can’t actually face them any more.
Navaz Batliwalla: What did you study in Paris?
L: I studied French History, so like, history, but from a French viewpoint.
EMM: So do you speak perfect French now?
L: I don’t speak as well as I should because so many of my friends were English. I mean, yes, I speak French, but really I should be amazing.
NB: Who did you flat share with?
L: I shared a flat with three English girls and we were totally as one by the end! Completely in sync, it was almost a bit unhealthy actually, but we’re still close.
EMM: I haven’t been to Paris for ages, did you get some good shopping opportunities there?
L: Well there’s quite a good vintage scene, and we were students so obviously we were looking for value.
EMM: So where did you like to go for vintage stuff then?
L : Well we went to Free’P'Star, it’s called that because frip is short for friperie which is second hand or old.
It’s great especially if you need something for fancy dress because the have a mezzanine where everything is a euro, so my friend got like a long black wedding dress, for a euro.
Actually the main model they use for all their adverts is this trans woman who was the hostess at a gay club which was on our street. The shop is run by quite conservative, sort of angry looking people but it was fine. There are three stores I think, there was another one on our block that had a little basement, they had the euro mezzanine thing too, but all the other vintage shops around there were quite expensive. You expect to be spending pennies but it’s not. I mean it’s still not bad, if you’re a tourist and you want, like, a nice leather bag, it’s twenty euro, it’s alright. It’s just not quite as cheap as you might want.
NB: Anywhere else?
L: So Geraso is really good. They have a website but it’s really out of date because they have so many new shops and some have closed. Some of their stuff was like yellow or brown and they have weird stains on the walls in the changing room, you take anti bac hand gel!
*everybody pulls the same face*
L:They have big baskets of knickers and bras and obviously it’s not a place you’re going to buy underwear! But the people who have cottoned on to it go in there and you get the hipsters looking for the sweatshirt with the old logo and all that.
Oh and they have fur as well.
NB: *perks up* Oh really? Nice fur?
L: Well my friend found this one, I haggled for it, it’s a fox fur stole. It’s massive and the softest thing you’ll ever feel, it was 15 euros and I gave it to my sister. It was so nice.
EMM: So you know you have to keep fox cold or it molts?
L: Oh she’s got a very cold bedroom, I’m sure it will be fine.
EMM: It’s the one you have to watch, temperature wise. Just be careful where you store it.
L: OK, I’ll warn her about that. So Geraso, they’re in the interesting parts of the city too. Like Barbés, it’s proper filthy, you come out of the Metro and people try and sell you fake cigarettes and fake Gucci.
EMM: Ooo I did wonder if we should get some Gauloises today..
NB: Oh I love a smoking shot
EMM: We’re so nineties
NB: Well apparently young people are very anti smoking now, they don’t like it because they are so health conscious. Do you find that?
L: Well I don’t smoke anyway, I never have. My friends in Paris smoked, all of them.
EMM: French friends or English friends?
L: I didn’t have any French friends haha! But no, my English friends. I’m just not into smoking, I can’t get into it. But I like the smoking culture, it’s really good. Like you know when everyone leaves the pub for a cigarette…
NB: It’s quite social
L: You can make friends from it
NB: but when I was at school and everyone was smoking, I just couldn’t do it. I just could never do it properly so I just decided not to
EMM: I do like a smoking shot though…
NB: Oh yeah!
*everyone cracks up*
We clear up the croissants, scratch the idea of fags and get on with the serious business of the day. Capturing Laurence in all his smoldering glory. And having a bit of a gossip in between.
Merci beacoup Laurence, a biéntôt x
The complete story of The Visitor can be seen over on Boys by Girls, today.