A Parisian Week with catwalks, fashion party and afternoon tea
Wait! Don’t start yet! Put some –appropriate- music on first!
If you read this blog systematically, you know that I do not miss Fashion Week in Paris because of professional occupation but mainly because of professional perversion. But during this Fashion Week for Autumn-Winter 2017, I was with my friend Silia, a Greek photographer who lives in Vienna. So, I decided to experience fashionable Paris mostly away from the catwalks and only choose the most interesting for me of Paris Fashion Week.
Are you ready to travel with me to the craziest Parisian period?
My first stop was the Hotel Le Pavillon in the rue Saint Dominique, one of the most picturesque streets of Paris. We were offered a cute suite in this hotel so as to be close to the shows. Rue Saint Dominique is in the 7th district, near Grand and Petit Palais and Palais de Tokyo, spaces much preferable for the shows. I loved this white room and felt it like home. But the best of all was returning every night to the hotel and popping into the Eiffel tower which was sparkling like magic.
Waking up early and sleeping late is kind of mandatory during Fashion Week, but who cares? Everything else has stopped.
My first show was the colorful Indian designer Manish Arora with his cosmic love. In celebration of his tenth anniversary, this collection took us on a visual journey that spanned form the tribes of Africa into the outer reaches of the cosmos. Astrological embroidery of shooting stars and golden sun rays adorn silk crepe drawstring dresses and cropped denim jackets and intricately embroidered heavenly bodies align in glittering galaxies for the stellar forecast full of cosmic love. The perfect debut of Fashion Week. Love fills us and takes us anywhere, even if we are in the beginning of PFW and we don’t want to go anywhere else.
Between the shows I like whizzing around town and visiting my favorite places in the city of lights. So, after Manish, I went for a walk to Île de la Cité to capture the most instagrammed restaurant Au Vieux Paris d’ Arcole and then to Île Saint–Louis to eat burgers at Saint-Regis, a place that fashionable world loves.
My next show was Pascal Millet, which started with live background piano music. La femme Pascal Millet is elegant, sophisticated yet modern, confident and utterly feminine. She is “quintessentially Parisian” says the note on my chair. And I imagine her exactly like that. A woman who wears youthful looking dresses and jackets wearable for day to night. She walks her dog in the streets and parks of Paris, goes to her usual cafes, and loves “Diner en ville”. She enjoys nightlife, chic restaurants and the Opera, as well as dancing in a buzzing Parisian Club.
I also got an invitation for a Fashion party at Le Kong. On the 5th floor of a Haussmann building, every window boasts a different view: the Pont Neuf, Henri Sauvage’s Art Deco design of the Samaritan building, Art Nouveau by Frantz Jourdain, the Seine, the Louis Vuitton HQ… You may know the restaurant from Sex and the City, where Carrie met the ex-wife of the Russian but below there is the classy bar, with female face prints on the chairs as well. Le Kong was for years my favorite place for dancing. I used to go with my Greek girlfriends who lived in Paris and dance all night long. So I have excellent memories and I don’t miss the chance to visit it again even if my friends are not in Paris any more. But beware. Cocktails are succulent but as pricey as the roof is high.
Another highlight of this Fashion Week was the presentation of the Italian shoe designer Cesare Paciotti at the hotel Plaza Athenée. It’s always a pleasure to visit this kind of luxury hotels even if it’s only for an event. Entering the space of the presentation felt like I found the promised land (of shoes)! I grabbed a glass of champagne and went straight to shoes. I swear I could have run away with these fur sandals.
After this presentation we got the chance with Silia to discover the Peninsula’s afternoon tea at “Le Lobby”, a Belle Epoque dream! From the ambiance and the live jazz trio to the incredible sweets, everything was perfect and the relaxing moment that we got to spend at Le Lobby in this iconic hotel was very appreciated after our busy day.
The next day Silia proposed me to go to a showroom with many brands because she knew the PR Manager Julia. We were really close, so I didn’t check the brands, I just said yes and opened my umbrella (The Weather God played a joke on us with torrential rain almost every day). By surprise I discovered 3 Greek brands there, Evi Grintela, Ancient Kallos and Di Gaia. Because Greeks are everywhere!
Evi Grintela is a renowned style icon and a former Editor in Chief in L’ Officiel and Vogue Hellas. Her exquisite capsule collection “The Shirt Dress” is based on the idea of the timeless iconic, high quality well-cut shirt that combines sensual elegance and intellectual simplicity, in feather soft cotton and luxe silk.
Lamprini and Stella are two sisters from Thessaloniki who are behind the first purely Greek Resort wear brand Ancient Kallos, a name deriving from the ancient Greek word for beauty, “kallos”. A series of beach wear like kaftans and pareos and beach towels make up the highlights of the collection, for women who love summer and know how to enjoy holidays.
And in the end I fell in love with Di Gaia, a high-end footwear brand, designed by Elvira Panagiotopoulou, -born in Athens and educated in Paris and Milan-, and hand-made by the finest artisans in Tuscany. The name of the brand is inspired by Gaia (Γαῖα), the primal Mother Earth Goddess, Di Gaia is reflecting the inner strength that women were given instinctively by nature. With these shoes, -hell yeah!- we are strong.
Last but not least of Paris Fashion Week, my favorite designer, the Russian Valentin Yudashkin. I don’t miss a show of his. This year he changed his location, from the Westin Paris to Palais de Tokyo, a key-movement because this collection was far more minimalistic, but with a luxury (Russian) twist, as he had some “grande” outfits that turned heads.
I could continue writing about my walkways through fashionable Paris, the shopping windows at Avenue Montaigne, Parisian cafés and the weirdos of this fashion world that don’t let me get bored, but it would be yet another 1000 words and I should keep my energy for next Paris Fashion Week. I will definitely need it.
All photos by me
If you follow me on Instagram (@polinetta_) you might also noticed some of these photos that are always on my happy dreams…
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