Lights, Camera, Fashion! Inside Paris Fashion Week with Carly Dame

Forget sterile studios and staged poses. Paris-based photographer Carly Dame thrives in the bustling heart of fashion, capturing the electric energy that pulsates between runway and backstage. 
Foto: Carly Dame
This year, she captured the essence of Chloé's runway magic, Isabel Marant’s effortless chic, Vaillant’s backstage buzz and much more: Linda Evangelista, a name synonymous with 90s fashion royalty, stands before her. The silence is shattered when Linda, with a knowing gleam in her eye, asks about Carly's camera. It is the same one the model likes to use. "She didn't know how she should pose," Carly laughs, her disbelief tinged with a hint of awe. "Of all the people in the world, I think you’ll do fine,” she reassured one of the world’s most influential models.
Carly's Paris is a sensory delight. She vividly portrays Chemena Kamali's debut for Chloé - "mesmerizing bohemian ruffles, flowing lace, and capes" gliding through a forgotten industrial space, a testament to the transformative power of fashion. Then, there's Alighieri's hidden sanctuary, a treasure trove tucked away down a cobbled street. Carly is the first guest, welcomed with an ancient tea ceremony and surrounded by founder Rosh Mahtani's collection of talismans and heirlooms. Every detail sings - gold and silver offerings scattered like secrets, a hand-carved knife glinting next to saffron butter, a pendant whispering stories on an ancient vase. “The closer you look, the more the magic unfolds,” says the photographer.
As the Parisian sky fades into a golden sunset, Carly finds herself at the top of the Pompidou Centre. Below, the backstage of the Vaillant Studios buzzes with anticipation. Alice Vaillant, the visionary founder, breathes life into structured femininity, each silhouette promising a revelation.
But fashion isn't just confined to the runway and hidden chambers. In the heart of Paris, Carly runs into a rising star and LVMH Prize semi-finalist - Fidan Novruzova, a young designer of Azerbaijani heritage. Here, dreams are fuelled by espresso and pastries, and Carly describes Fidan as "down-to-earth and genuine" – a breath of fresh air in the industry’s whirlwind.