I was invited to join a fun and delightful tour with a new company called Wonderful Time. They were in the final stages of testing their tours, and asked me to join a group (thanks to Pamela of francophilia who put me in touch with them, and who joined me on the tour) for a tour of Coco. THE Coco. A Coco Chanel walking tour.
So this walking tour is one that brings you through the evolution of Coco Chanel, with the bone fide expert, Nathalie who teaches fashion history in the French ivy league schools, and is an expert on the legend. We got a 45 minute crash course on how Coco Chanel transformed throughout the decades while staying true to her codes and extracting inspiration from her past. Nathalie gave us many delicious anecdotes and seemingly secretive details about the life of the enegmatic woman who has continued to mystify the fashion world from beyond the grave.
I was with a small, fun and eclectic group of fashion enthusiasts and expats. We met in a fancy café had coffee over the Coco class, and then skipped over a few steps away to the High End Chanel jewelry store. There we were shown dome of the highlighted pieces from the latest collection. I even got to try one on! Yikes! That’s the first (and most likely last) time I have ever had something worth 150K€ on my wrist!
Black and white diamonds strung on a golden strand. It was a perfect fit for me in all ways except for my bank account! Ha! A delight all the same to try it on.
We got to visit the private rooms where high-end clients are welcomed to view/purchase this exquisite jewelry with enough twinkling stones and pearls to make your eyes water… One room that is used to entertain guests of the Chanel brand, or hold director meetings looks right out onto the place Vendôme, that oh so exclusive view was all ours to take in for 20 minutes. It was a delight to behold, as was the furnishings and decor. All beautiful, done designed by invited artists, all exclusive and all beautiful. I wanted to flop on a couch and ask for tea while waiting for Karl to come in and speak some magic about the power of pearls and bows…
This luxury jewelry boutique also boasts some of Coco Chanel‘s own Chinese folding screens that she loved so much and had applied to the walls of her apartment.
We left this haven of plush luxury to head over to the mythical rue Cambon boutique. That famous Chanel store, that I had actually NEVER been to (yeah, over a decade in this city and I finally visit the place). With the legendary stairway where Coco Chanel would sit and watch her fashion défilés. And then there was the entire new collection to admire (prête-à-porter, accessories, and then the perfume…). And you all know what a perfume fiend I am…
I found intriguing all of the exclusive scents that are sold only in the Chanel boutiques. Each one is named something that evokes an element of inspiration for the dame of 20th century fashion. Holding onto those roots. I like that.
I found the entire tour a delightful way to detach from reality for a short while all while feeling like I was getting a fun quick education and « inside information », on an icon of couture.
If you are a fashion enthusiast and are visiting or live in Paris, take the time to explore Coco Chanel with Wonderful Time. You get the inside details communicated by an expert, and you get a taste of that special treatment throughout the tour.
Wonderful Time offers tours that are special and fun like this one in several areas of interest in Paris : Wine, Gastronomy, arts… and more. It’s a great way to see Paris differently from the average tourist or visitor.