Miss France: young apprentices exhausted at work to make the costumes for the beauty contest

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Apprentices from the Octave-Feuillet fashion and crafts high school in Paris were asked to make five dresses worn by several participants in the Miss France contest. According to Mediapart, high school students followed a daunting pace of work.

In the shadow of the Misses, did high school girls work – sometimes at night – to make the costumes for the beauty contest? Anyway, that’s what it says Mediapart who, in an article published this Wednesday, January 25, reveals behind the scenes of the event. The article points to the workload – to say the least – of the students of the high school of fashion and crafts Octave-Feuillet in Paris, who had to design five dresses for the finalists of the competition.

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If the high school students received a shower of praise and congratulations for their achievements, these however attest to particularly difficult working conditions.

So much so that before the final of the beauty contest, on December 17, the Paris rectorate and school medicine had warned of the frantic pace that was required of the students. According to Mediaparthigh school students were indeed required to work day and night, sometimes forcing them to sleep within the Parisian establishment, to finish dresses and costumes on time.

The rectorate of Paris thus speaks of an excessive pace of work: “This year, this project led, in particular because of constraints of delivery of supplies, to expose some pupils of the establishment to an excessively sustained pace of work in the last days before the demonstration”. On December 16, just before the broadcast of the program, the director of the establishment was thus summoned “to no longer have students work at night in high school”, testifies a member of the high school teaching team.

Sleep “at the workshop table”

Physical fatigue, pressure… For several weeks, the nerves of these high school students, in apprenticeship, were put to the test. Most of them were even forced to doze off “with their heads resting on their crossed arms, on the workshop table”. It remains to be seen whose fault… And on this question, neither the management of the Octave-Feuillet high school, nor the rectorate of Paris wished to take their responsibilities. On the side of the Miss France company, producer Frédéric Gilbert explains that the “wishes for artistic orientations for the making of these five costumes” were formulated in October 2022, i.e. 6 to 7 weeks before the show. He also explains that it was the teachers who “defined the production schedule as well as the creative projects, according to what they considered appropriate for the level of study of the students within these deadlines”.

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The ministry responsible for education and vocational training, and the entourage of Minister Delegate Carole Grandjean, explains for their part that they were not informed of this pace of work.