Written by Jennifer Harlow. Chanel photos by Walter Grio.
First Class, Fouquet’s, and Famous Monuments
Fashion, style, and design can be interpreted in many forms and by many artists, but when you get the opportunity to see widely acclaimed and world renowned designers assimilate their creativity and ideas of la mode on Parisian runways during Paris Fashion Week, it is an opportunity you simply cannot pass up. So in three short weeks and in the name of fashion, my Parisian odyssey unfolded.
With seemingly effortless planning, it was time to leave for our trip. I decided to bring along my ten year old daughter, Sarah, mini fashionista in her own right, who was beyond ecstatic at the opportunity to travel. We planned to meet up with my friend, Lisa Klein, in New York City to catch our plane to Paris together.
After an 8 hour flight from JFK, a five course meal, and the ability to recline my seat 180 degrees while flying across the Atlantic Ocean, we landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport feeling surprisingly refreshed and ready to hit the ground running. We grabbed our carry on bags and headed out to grab a curbside taxi. First stop was 66 Rue St. Antoine to meet up with our good friend Walter, Fashiontographer’s Editor-in-Chief, at our temporary Parisian digs.
Without delay, we arrived at our apartment, which was conveniently located in one of the most fashionable districts in Paris, Le Marais. Our apartment was super chic with a sort of Frank Lloyd Wright flair with contemporary fixtures throughout and white leather furniture. The neighborhood is known for its tempting boutiques, galleries galore, and many great landmarks. It is also walking distance to the Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée Picasso, and the strikingly modern, Opéra Bastille, not to mention the amazing cafes (Chez Joséphine turned out to be one of our faves) and patisseries surrounding our place, which made us feel as though we were completely submerged in the local lifestyle from the moment we jumped out of the taxi.
Rendezvousing with Walter in the corridor of our apartment building was completely surreal and amazing at the same time because the last we had seen each other was back in DC. We followed him up to our place and after quickly debriefing about the Chanel show, which he literally just finished photographing, as well as the other events that were happening throughout the week, we headed out via metro to Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
The day was beautiful and showing my daughter Paris for the first time will always be a memory (souvenir) that I hold close to my heart. The Champs-Élysées was bustling with life and seeing the imposing Grand Palais and the Arc de Triomphe looming majestically in front of us were certainly highlights of Sarah’s day.
For lunch, we decided to try Fouquet’s, a place that Walter had passed the day before. Located on Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the restaurant had a swanky feel with high class brasserie appeal to match the equally swanky prices. Apparently, it is one of the places to BE in Paris with its legendary first class reputation and being the host to famous clients from the world of cinema, arts and culture, and the Qui Est-Ce Qui (who’s who) in the city.
I’d have to agree that the traditional French cuisine and service at Fouquet’s was impeccable and I thoroughly enjoyed the ambiance and the melon, tomato and prosciutto salad. Lisa swears that she had the best sea bass of her entire life and Walter claims that his mysterious lobster dish was somewhat of a gastronomical delight (LOL!).
With little time and much to see, Walter headed off to photograph another show and the girls continued on their sojourn, jet lag and all, to the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and a Batobus ride along the Seine. Not soon after the tour of Notre Dame, a nap was clearly in order; so, we headed home to rest up for the night.
PARIS AT NIGHT
Johnny Depp, Citron Mousse, and Creme Brûlée
Waking up in Paris is a beautiful thing. Doesn’t matter what time of the day it is. Period. But in our case, it was 8:00 o’clock at night and we had just awakened from a three hour jet-lag recovery nap. I quickly washed my face, pulled on my skinny jeans and boots, black tank and velvet magenta colored J.Crew Blazer – a perfect combo for a chilly Autumn night in Paris.
Here is my top ten list from the night:
* Walking the streets of Le Marais while looking at the galleries and boutiques
* Stumbling upon Chez Joséphine in Quartier Saint-Gervais
* Dining with Johnny Depp (not kidding), scruffy unshaven, Bohemian tweed blazer with dangling cigarette
* Citron Mousse, which was served as a side dish to my salmon
* Laughing with Walter and Lisa, while Johnny Depp was smoking next to us
* Sarah’s amazing table manners and her ability to hold a conversation with some very cool and dynamic adults
* The bustling scene in Le Quartier Saint Gervais
* Still sitting outside the cafe at 10:30 at night, with a glass of red wine and looking up at stars
* Moving the soiree inside because we were getting chilly sitting outside
* The creme brûlée
Editor’s Note: No comment on the lobster dish at Fouquet’s. And everyone starts to look like Johnny Depp in Paris after you wake up from a 3 hour jet-lag induced nap.