I had to roll my eyes a little bit at a tweet from the New York Times‘s fashion and design blog the Moment. The writer was complaining about “schlepping” to far-flung arrondissements during Paris fashion week, which is going on now. Admittedly, the schedule is pretty grueling, and time is of the essence when you’re trying to hit a half dozen shows in one day, but this resource-deprived fashion writer would love to have someone send her to Paris, even if I had to become intimately acquainted with the outer reaches of le métro.

It’s something of a miracle that an American newspaper is sending anyone overseas to cover fashion. Doing some fact-checking on Robin Givhan for a recent post, I was amazed to see that once upon a time the Detroit Free Press sent her to Europe to report on fashion. How times have changed.

Nowadays most papers depend on syndicated content if they want to include on-the-spot coverage, or their readers can do what I do: check out the shows online. But there are some things that just don’t come through in a photo or even on video, such as the subtle changes of fabric in motion or the iridescent quality of the sheen in a silky skirt.

I spent a little time this weekend catching up on the shows, especially those of my favorite designers. I am a huge fan of Marni and was pleased to see more chunky necklaces, a trend that seems to have no end. (I haven’t bought earrings in years.) The straight silhouette contrasted with the waist-defining styles of some other designers, including Lanvin, where the influence of the 40s was undeniable. And going through the Paris slide shows on Style.com, I was struck by how many of the designers front-loaded their presentations with a lot of black and gray. Fashion types love black, of course, but I take it as a sign that designers are aware of the worsening global mood.