The Georges Hobeika AW1213 couture show in Paris showed a pastel palette and a whimsicle fairytale style of gown. Princesses of the forest, peppered in delicate floral details, beaded lace and buttery velvet walked the catwalk in the opulent salons of the France-Amériques building on the Franklin Roosevelt avenue off of the Champs Elysées.
Life has its ups, life has its downs, (it’s a roller coaster ride really), and there’s all that inbetween time that we stuff full of activities, writing blogs, scrolloing thousands of tweets, devouring books, chatting over wine, riding the metro to work and back, grocery shopping and oh so many more things, until life feels like one big race for time. A train chugginng at a breakneck speed down the track of an existence. Have you seen how fast it has been going lately?!? 2012?!? WTF!!!! How did we get here so fast? And why am I in my thirties already?!? LOL!
ok so, let’s ignore those questions.
I would rather recap a fun week in the life of Prête-Moi Paris, and show you how I fill my time. I was saying to someone the other day how I could hardly believe that it was already over two years that I had been writing this blog, and it has really given me the opportunity to do and see so many fun and fabulous things. And let me tell you, it certainly helps fill up all that time I keep chasing after! Although, granted, not every week is as jam-packed as last week, many of them are.
In addition to my day job at Hermès, I also ran around to various events, most of them brought about because of the connections I have made and opportunities I take via the platform of this little Paris blog, and thanks to social media, like facebook and twitter, wordpress and fourquare, where the extent of a modern woman’s reach in this world is endless. I never would have met such cool and talented people nor would I be living such a full life were it not for these tools that I have put to great use.
Monday : After putting in a full day of work, I headed over to Ô Chateau for some wine with a big group of twitterites, most of them anglophone for the 2012 edition of the annual event organised by Pricilla of Weekend In Paris. It was great to catch up with friends I don’t get to see as often as I’d like since they like myself are also chasing after that slippery critter “time”, and meet new faces and interesting contacts, like Sofiane MOURAH of Ambiancity who’s created a fabulous business concept that I was (and am) totally enthusiastic over. It’s kitch and it’s fantastic!!! Check it out!
Tuesday : I was off from the day job and had filled my schedule with fashion shows for Couture Week in Paris. I love couture week! It’s not as much of a frenzy as prête-à-porter week, people are nicer and more champagne is served! After a morning of catching up on email, blogging and laundry, I went to see Didit Hediprasetyo‘s show at the Crillon palace hotel, thenI skipped over to Claudine Ivari’s presentation in her boutique at the Ritz hotel (which is sadly closing for 2 years to complete a total renovation of the historic building). Then I sauntered over to the 6th near Odéon to see Basil Soda‘s show at the Couvent des cordeliers. Early to the venue, I decided to grab a quick Starbucks nearby before baring through the bitter wait in the cold January rain. Fashion shows always start late! And the last event of the day was the Julien Fournié show at the Showcase club where I met up with my friend and fashion pal Quinn from Quinntessential style blog. More waiting in the rain… and then thankfully when we made it inside we were invited to sit (hallaluhia) …front row! More fashion blog posts will follow soon for the rest of these shows, I promise (just as soon as I find the TIME to write them!). Tuesday was mighty exhausting, with much running around town, dozens of metro rides, intervals of rain, and then there’s the constant umbrella obstruction, the cold and the lack of time to eat… As much fun as I had, I was glad when I crawled into bed. Yet the glass of champagne after the last show was a welcome delight! And we got our mugs shot by Runway magazine.
Wednesday : After another full day of work, I ran over to the Shangri-La palace hotel for another couture show; this one for Eva Minge which was 55 minutes late in starting! I was glad to have a seat and chat with my pal Octave who I found next to me (Octave is afashion student and writes for Mademoiselle à Paris). After that I booked it over to my dinner invitation where Chéri and I were served a gorgeous Asian meal with chic company, just around the corner from the Elysées palace. We took a taxi home with full and happy bellies and finally turned out the lights at 2am. Aïe! The morning alarm was only a handful of hours away…
Thursday : With deepening under-eye circles, after work I headed just around the corner to meet Kasia Dietz for a wine tasting event at the new hotel with a wine bar, hôtel du Ministère near la Madeleine. Judith who runs the bar is the most wine enthusiastic person I have ever met! She threw a fun little shindig with bloggers a plenty in attendance and even a lifestyle reporter from the New York Times. We tasted some fabulous wine and won some fabulous prizes! If only this could be a weekly tradition! I stayed longer than I had anticipated I was enjoying myself so much, and I completely forgot how tired I was!
Friday : After a long day at work where I got to visit the Hermès site in Pantin and observe the purchasing of the Fall/Winter 2012-2013 collections for all the different sectors, I ran over to Mademoiselle Rose to pick up my wedding shoes that had been dyed blue! And the rest of the soirée was reserved for Chéri.
Saturday : After work I was supposed to head over tot he opening of the new bakery Cake Bake in the 10th with a bunch of other Paris bloggers, but my feet just couln’t drag me there. (Is this was being in your thirties means???) I made it as far as the Tuileries bar of the Westin hotel, where Chéri and I ordered a glass of relaxation and chatted quietly in the large English leather armchairs, munched on rosmary herbed cashew nuts and let the fatigue of the week slip to the bottom of our shoes.
Sunday : Is for blogging, watching movies and if we can muster the courage, a stroll somewhere in Paris.
Moon Young Hee’s show was set in a bright white well lit space on the edgeof the Marais in Paris.
Straight lines with some asymetrics going on, black white and play on volumes as well as a few interesting pieces with lace and beading, and organza accents in bright hues mark this collection for next Spring. The models walked slowly, nonchalantly, in derby Repetto like flats (perhaps they were Repettos but no press was handed out with the seats in oder to verify). But honestly, I think many of these pieces would look great paired with heels. Especially since there is a streak of long lines running through this collection.
I love the deep V neck line, and that black lace skirt is just gorgeous. Makeup and hair evoked a lovely and sweet Spring ideal… Hmmm, ideas for my June wedding?!? There were also a few ruffles pieces with enough volume to invite you to dive in, much like a cream pie, and it contrast a bit from much of the collection, but then if you compare it to the billowed hip sillhouette, it’s not so out of place.
Here are some of my photos of my top picks of the show.
In two days the city of Paris will be in the midsts of that crazy time of year that thrills those of us who love fashion…fashion week!
The Spring and Summer 2012 collections will be shown…and as long as the apocalypse doesn’t ACTUALLY happen, we will get to wear all of these fine garments when the warmer weather seasons rolls back around again.
September 27th to October 5th… find the défilé schedule here : Mode à Paris
And… Here’s a little fashion week spirit from the last fashion week to tide you over…
… Devastée…rock and rebel as they like it. The style of the brand reminds me of Avril Lavigne (who was actually recently in Paris and visiting the Catacombes de Paris – are you surprised!?!) Not the kind of garb I would wear, but it does have an audience I suppose (teens with angst?). Smoky blacks, pale-skin whites, bone-clay jewelry, a grungy-goth look for your darker days I suppose.
For next Fall and Winter, they propose knits, tunic dresses in flowing chiffons and silks, silver mixed in with the black and white, Asian style flat shoes, tweed wools paired with black and white prints, chiffon blouses and LOTS of dark eye makeup! They give a wink to art with a Jaconde-knit sweater. (If Da Vinci’s work has made it into fashion, does that make la Jaconde pop art now?)
Fashion week descended upon Paris twice in the past two weeks…huh? Yep! Mens’ fashion, and then couture… the ladies are swooning by sheer overload of lovely things to oggle…
I got to attend the Songzio mens show, on January 23rd at the Bataclan, where I saw Tim Van Steenbergen last October, and where I was able to discover this time a Korean designer who incorporates a traditional “warrior” dress style into his line while making it fit into today’s fashion, and it works surprisingly enough. His palette is rather dark in this collection (for Autumn and Winter 2011-2012) with just a few (very few) flashes of red…(a splash of blood…?). His models were quite hooded by hats or hooded sweaters and coats, keeping that martial arts fighter stealth alive. I don’t know how popular on the street those shorts that always pop up in his collections will be…perhaps they were more shorts in Korea? But his coats are gorgeous on those boys… They flow around the knees just slightly as the men strode down the catwalk, and held a moody-broody stillness around the collar.
After a little research, I noticed that his collections don’t change too drastically from one season to the next, and I actually like this kind of designer, that has a particular style and sticks to it, to develop and perfect over time. Fads, are fads… it’s better to stay true to your own vision than try to follow the vision of the mass markets…. we all know how volatile those are!
Fashion week in Paris for Prête-à-porter SS2011 collections crawled in with a meow on September 28th and exited like a prancing stallion on October 6th, 2010; and in-between was the eat-or-be-eaten insanity that surrounds everything fashion. I was lucky enough to be able to attend several fashion shows, but generally steered clear of the big high profile défilés, for fear I might be trampled in the stampeding herd of fans and photographers.
But I did break out and attempt one show in particular for I love his creations and crazy passionate flair, John Galliano. It was fun, and funny, but mostly was a glimpse into what a frantic world it is the world of fashion design.
In front of the Théâtre Comique, where the show was held, there was a pressing crowd frothing at the mouth to get in. Non-ticket holders scanned the entrance looking for a furtive way in, and stared down those lucky attendees who were let in, with envious eyes. Everyone wondering who everyone else is, and if you are important enough to observe, photograph or be jealous of. And the mob pushes closer and closer towards the door while the guards and security fight every inch. “Back-down! Back-away or we’ll just start pushing!” they shouted at these famished fashionistas. Who knew frail women in spike heals could have such stamina! They were waiting for two hours outside of the theater with only a slip of a hope of gaining entry.
And then there are the fans who go dressed up in order to be photographed and don’t even try to push their way in the door. They prance around out front, break barely a smile and pose for everyone with a camera in the vicinity.
Some people claim that outside of the runway shows is often more fascinating than inside!
And the real sharks wait by the back stage door. And as every black rented car arrives, they whistle and holler “this is gonna be a big one!” They get in position, brace themselves and raise their weapon of choice (a big fat Canon with a gigantic zoom lens), and click like mad as soon and the door opens. There is a strange music of camera noises and shouts of the celebrity’s name that raised like a tidal wave and then dies down rapidly as soon as they are out of sight. And the photographers and fans are left panting with baited breath for the next “big one” to appear. Models exit the building and land in this sea of piranhas like lost deer with big wide eyes and left over sequins in their hair as they search the crowd for their driver. And these people all feed off of each other like gremlins. Without the frenzy and buzz of the press, the models have no exposure, and without practically attacking doe-like creatures the fashion press has less material and little glamor. They are as opposite as oil and water, but make a most delicious stew, especially when you add a little Galliano flavoring, par exemple!
Vivement le prochain fashion week!
Prête-à-Porter Spring/Summer 2011 fashion week opened up in Paris yesterday with a slow saunter.
Among the afternoon and evening défilés there were some interesting things to see from Spanish designer Amaya Arzuaga and Portuguese Designer best known for her most-expensive-bathing-suit-in-the-world (year 2000), Fatima Lopes.
Arzuaga explored the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly with geometrical cuts and very textured fabrics that are formed into not-so-prête-à-porter shapes and forms. Set in the Galerie de Minéralogie in the Jardin des Plantes, guests arrived through the rose garden just outside the entrance. Colors were sharp whites, blacks with some reds rose-petal pinks and caterpillar greens here and there. Even more impractical than the garments was the footwear; models were perched precariously on impossible to walk in platform heels that probably weighed more than the models themselves, and some were forced to strut like ostriches rather than fluttering butterflies down the runway. Nonetheless textures and shapes were fascinating and had a very tactile appeal to them.
Fatima Lopes put on a show in the Maison des Métallos in the 11th arrondissement. In a large basement style theater space she had a back-drop of stretched fabrics lit from behind, and incorporated an entire choreography to her show, which is a welcome change from the long runway walk from one end to another.
Her theme was the undulations of sand and dunes, and the clothing was made of light and airy fabrics in pastels. Each piece was wearable. Shoes were intricate gnarled heels with a pale ballerina peach color and were textured as if made from wet sand after a sprinkle of rain has fallen on it. The hair designs echoed the gnarled heels of the shoes.
I decided to take advantage of the offer I saw tweeted on VogueParisLive a couple days ago, who has set up their headquarters for fashion week at the Crillon hotel. There, Lancome is dolling up the press “pipole” (that’s French slang for famous people!) and the rest of us who want to play dress up too. And we did. I took a friend with me and we skipped over in our fashionable best, she in a black JPG dress and a long coral Lacroix coat, I in a plum Grazia Bagnaresi dress and Louboutin shoes (swoon!), and waltzed into the palace hotel as if we belonged…. but of course!
To locate the room where Lancome has its make-up stations installed, we had to pass through the VogueParisLive “éphémère” bar (a lovely word for temporary in French), where they have flat screens for viewing the fashion shows live as they roll, and to catch their minute by minute tweets of the who’s who in the Parisian fashion world. (i.e. VogueParisLive Carine Roitfeld: “a military show at Junya Watanabe, that we would like to see in stores already, and a desert camouflage make-up #PFW“ ) So far it has been a huge hit! On opening night of fahsion week here in paris, they were expecting 250 people to come, they got 500! I have no idea where they put them all! I certainly didn’t see enough plush red velvet divans for 500. It seems there is no need for an invitation, so show up if you dare!
We found the rooms where the make-up magic happens, and the whole time I was expecting to see a line of women waiting for their turn. Guess what? There was not a stocking-wearing, high-heeled-bearing, hairspray-scaring soul to be found! We entered the room, which looked sparkling and fresh, and was surprisingly quiet and peaceful, as if they had been waiting just for us, merci beaucoup! Not at all what I had prepared myself for. Three gracious make-up artists greeted us, and we had our choice of the empty mirrors. Perched on the white and chrome stools, our vision was graced with a view of the charming courtyard below. Talk turned to make-up, fashion, careers and our afternoon activity (a concert at the Salle Pleyel) as the artists turned us into divas with their brushes, powders and palettes all lined perfectly in rows on their counters. With Enya playing on the stereo, fresh flowers scattered in vases and Beata Rosinska my make-up artiste delicately bringing my face to life, I couldn’t have felt more like a star than if I were one.
Lancome Paris will do your make-up for free at the Hotel Crillon in Paris at la place de la Concorde, March 4th to the 10th, from 11:00am to 8:00pm according to availability of the make-up artists. Rooms 41 & 43. Tell Beata “bonjour” for me!
(Beata Rosinska was hired by Lancome Paris for the occasion, but is a free-lance make-up artist. She can be contacted via her website : http://www.babybuzia.com or her email : firstname.lastname@example.org ; Beata Rosinska était embauchée par Lancôme Paris pour l’évènement, mais est une artiste free-lance. elle peut être contactée sur son site web : http://www.babybuzia.com ou via son adresse courriel : email@example.com )