In the immortal words of Audrey Hepburn; Paris is always a good idea. This is a belief wholeheartedly shared by my mother who decided that a weekend in the French fashion capital was essential and “persuaded” me and the other female members of my family to come along. Unsurprisingly I needed very little persuasion. After all, Paris is where this blogging malarky all began for me so it seemed timely to revisit the city exactly three years on. Anyway, no fashion loving fille in their right mind would turn down a trip to the Mecca of all things chic right?! Coincidentally our petite vacance just so happened to coincide with the menswear shows which added an extra dimension to the fun.
Packing for Paris is never easy firstly because the weather is much like London’s (aka at best unpredictable, at worst rubbish) and secondly because everyone is so ridiculously stylish, the last thing you want is to look like a gauche Anglaise! We may have only been going for three days but I probably packed enough for a month and felt like a bit of an idiot pitching up at St Pancras with a suitcase thrice the size of everyone else’s. There are few things more glorious than arriving in Paris to be greeted by sunshine let’s be honest, it’s not the case all that often. Luck was evidently on our side and even had to peel of a few layers, arriving at our Marais apartment bare legged and ready to hit the nearest café.
That evening I had a couple of “work” commitments (very heavy quotation marks), namely back to back Paris Fashion Week parties. First up was the Moynat & Port Magazine soirée at their exquisite store on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Evidently half of London were in town for the shows and I was delighted to discover many a familiar fashion face among the crowds. Amid the mingling and champagne drinking, I spotted an extremely familiar face indeed when none other than Karl Lagerfeld turned up! As is always the case during fashion week, there was no shortage of parties. After grabbing a snap with Karl (obv) and rounding up Michael, (New York PR boy, NOTION Magazine Editor and my serial party partner in crime) I headed on to the Lacoste ‘do before finally ending up dancing until the wee hours in a Montmarte nightclub. Apparently it was an after party although I didn’t have the slightest clue what for!
Above: Me & Karl (duh), Below: Me & Michael Shane, images courtesy of Francois Goize
Day two did not dawn sunny and bright, but having brought enough stuff to clothe and groom a small army, I wasn’t particularly bothered. Plus, the afternoon’s main event would be taking place inside the exquisite surroundings of Hotel Le Bristol. I don’t know whether you remember me mentioning that I met the CEO of Chloé with the brand’s Creative Director, Claire Waight Keller at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards a few weeks back. Well, not only were they both unbelievably charming and non-terrifying at the time, when I later mentioned that I was going to be in Paris soon, the CEO invited me for lunch! Unsurprisingly, I was beyond nervous and decided to leave myself bags of time to stroll there at a leisurely pace and still be early. For some unknown reason and despite having spent the previous evening on the very same Rue as Le Bristol, I set off in precisely the wrong direction and continued walking in said direction for over an hour. When I finally realised my mistake with just 15 minutes until our reservation, it was everything I could do not to sit down on the pavement and cry. In my experience, finding a cab is even more nightmarish in Paris than in New York which is saying something. After elbowing my way through a gaggle of fanny pack clad tourists I managed to get one, only to be stuck in traffic for half an hour… Zut alors! Thankfully my lunch companions were sympathetic to my plight and much more understanding than I deserved about it. Once I’d got comfy in the tastefully opulent Jardin restaurant and my state of panic/stress/mortification subsided and the whole thing was dreamy, if slightly surreal. If you’d told me three years ago that I’d be chowing down on King Crab with the CEO of one of my all time favourite brands while Donatella Versace sat a few tables over (yes really!) I’d have told you to pull the other one!
Cheeky loo selfie at Le Bristol
The rest of the day was spent en famille, wandering the rose gardens at the Rodin Museum and drinking Café au lait before a delicious dinner at a traditional brasserie on the Place des Vosges.
When I’m travelling, I always try to pack in outfits-per-day with a couple of “options” in case of bad weather. Somehow I ended up lugging world’s biggest suitcase to Paris but still not taking an appropriate amount of warm clothing. My planned outfit for day 3 involved city shorts and a broderie anglaise blouse (AKA very flimsy short sleeved shirt with lots of holes in it), resulting in me being thoroughly cold all morning. Goose pimples aside, it was still a fun few hours kicking off with a visit to the Keith Haring exhibition (so amazing, post coming soon) at the Museum of Modern Art before browsing the Saturday markets. There’s nothing like a cacophony of delectable sights and smells to make you forget all about being chilly!
As far as I’m concerned, no visit to Paris is complete without a trip to Colette and that was next on the agenda. Sadly even the Summer sales, or rather “soldes”, didn’t put any of the gorgeous garms in our price range so we consoled ourselves with lunch in the cooler-than-cool Water Bar restaurant.
By this point it was 20 degrees and gloriously sunny, instantly transforming me from shivery to smug as everyone else sweated in their jeans and jumpers. I decided to give the next museum a miss and meet up with a Parisian friend to bask in the Petit Palais’ gardens. With nothing on the agenda the next morning aside from dragging myself to Gare du Nord, I decided the only sensible option that evening was to hit up the Damir Doma party. After a delicious dinner at Café Ruc involving vast amounts of crisp rosé, Michael and I headed to the super glam 79 club where the champagne was already flowing. A hell of a lot of fun was had by all and suffice to say, my plan to work on the Eurostar home did not happen… Paris, I miss you already!
Love Ella. X