Models prepare for the catwalk before the Tony Yaacoub show as part of Paris Fashion Week Haute-Couture Spring/Summer 2014 at the W Hotel


The Parisian haute couture season has begun, and I’m starting to sweat. Both literally and metaphorically. The literal is easy to figure out – Paris isn’t a fan of air conditioning, plus cramming several hundred people and several million watts of lighting into an airless hôtel particulieur ends up making you feel a bit like a rotisserie in a kebab-shop window.

That’s a very un-couture thing to say. Which is part of the concern. I’m not very couture. The two types of people I know that orbit around haute couture are either indefatigably fabulous – such as Lady Amanda Harlech, who pairs knackered Converse with her Chanel – or stinking rich. Admittedly, I don’t know the latter, but I see them.

They’re the women hauling diamonds the size of municipal pools, fanning themselves languidly with couture programmes. They’re clients, the women who actually buy. Or Anna Wintour.

Video: Best of haute couture for spring/summer 2015

There’s something about the haute couture that induces a slight hysteria. I think it does the same to many journalists. Everyone eschews comfort for the pointiest of Manolo Blahniks, or in my case heavy, overly polished brogues. It pretty much functions like a podiatric corset.

Frankly, that’s as polished as I can get. Here is a confession: I’m scruffy. I think it comes from being British, and a bloke. Looking down the line of predominantly male English editors at the spring 2015 menswear shows last week, I was struck by how ordinary we all looked – creasy and greasy, a rag-tag bunch.

But I tend to think British people aren’t great at summer generally. We rarely get much of one – hence the reason we (read: me) are so bad at dressing for it.

At least, that’s my excuse if a couture cadaver asks why I’m perspiring all over her grain de poudre.