You never know where you'll end up in a week's time.

  • 9AM: Phone of a sleepy freelance photographer rings 
  • Freelance photographer shuts phone off; 9AM is too early for him
  • 9:30AM: Phone rings again
  • With a few grunts, freelance photographer aggressively silences his phone again.
  • 10AM: Phone rings once more
  • Finally, freelance photographer answers:
    •  "HELLO, WHAT?"
  • Startled by the aggression, caller explains the urgency.
    • "What would you say if you & I went to Paris next week, Lucas..."  

And so, little did I expect at 10 in the morning one a week ago from today, I found out I would be traveling to Paris, all expenses paid. *cue falling to the ground* 

My friend Nik, pictured ominously above, runs a small design studio, Nikolas Bentel Studio. What he had just been informed before making that surprising call to me was that one of his former projects had been selected to feature in a collective designer show at Paris Fashion Week 2017... and the show was happening in 5 days! 

Before I knew it, my e-ticket was in my inbox and we were en route.  

The group show, Prototype, culminated the works of 6 speculative designers who each conceived clothing designs thinking towards a drastically different, yet not so implausible, future. The show was co-sponsored by the upcoming movie Ghost in the Shell, which depicts a future of computer robotic advances and cyber threats, starring Scarlett Johansson.

All 6 featured designers' works.

Nik's project revolves around the idea of an increasing presence of pollution in our atmosphere and developing a line of clothing that can react and alert you to the level of pollutants in the air. Though his project still rests in the conceptual phase, he created prototype designs and a video demonstrating how the clothing reacts visually to various airborne pollutants.

Though our trip was quick.. like 3 days quick.. we squeezed in more than our fair share of excursions, including le Musée Rodin, la Sainte Chapelle, and le Palais de Tokyo. It was hilarious and humbling to see Nik outside of the typical setting that we have always known each other in; showing him around a city that, though I cannot call it a second home, exudes all the reasons I'm proud to be French. 

Congrats, ol' chap!