There’s something very beguiling about arriving at a Paris hotel late in the evening to discover a pile of heavy embossed invitations waiting to be opened from Chanel, Valentino, Louis Vuitton et al.
I took an early night in my romantic, curtained bed, as I knew I was coming down with a cold, and woke feeling refreshed but no better early the next morning. My hotel, the charming Hidden Hotel, just by the Arc de Triomphe, has a beautiful, sun-filled dining room, with tiny pots of white Muscari on each table. My Valentino bag (a Christmas present from the Maison) felt right at home. (The earrings are from here.)
Then I took a car to another Maison – that of Christian Dior, over on the Avenue Montaigne, for a 9am breakfast to get up close and personal with the runway collection.
Doing re-sees is one of the absolute privileges and pleasures of attending the shows in Paris. At the level of a house like Dior, being able to examine the the pieces right off the catwalks is an education in itself.
This leather dress on the right blurred the lines between pret a porter and couture with its hand-shaped leather embellishments. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was down on my hands and knees so I could stick my head up the skirt to see how it was constructed.
This leather bustled dress says everything that there is to be said about taking the codes of a house and adapting them to the 21st century.
Then it was a brisk walk around the corner to the Grand Palais for the CHANEL show, on a scale that only Louis Vuitton can equal in this city. (Can you spot M. Lagerfeld in the finale photo below?)
After the show, I headed back to the 1st for an appointment at the Hotel Lotti to look at Tom Binns’s new collection. He’s always been one of my very favourite jewellery designers, setting an agenda that everyone else follows.
By this point, I was practically on my knees: the flu was starting to kick in, as my head throbbed, my throat felt like glass, and that general feeling of whole body fatigue enveloped me. (Thank you to Sara for the Berocca). It was lunchtime, give or take, so I headed up the street to the Place du Marche St Honore – there are several okay restaurants there and ended up, rather to my shame, in Le Pain Quotidien, purely because they had a stew of vegetables and quinoa that sounded incredibly soothing and medicinal in a good way. Also: free WiFI.
Afterwards, feeling rather soothed, I ran a quick errand of vital importance on the way to Valentino in the Espace Ephemere in the Tuileries. To MAC, just around the corner on the Faubourg Saint Honore, to replace my left-at-home coral-y Vegas Volt lipstick, without which I feel naked.
I’m afraid I also hopped it into the Costes to use their rather glamorous loos. A much better class of restroom than LPQ. (Main entrance, straight on, turn right at the end, immediate first left through the sitting room & down the stairs.)
After the romantic, beautiful, wholly ravishing Valentino show had ended, I walked slowly up through the Tuileries with Sandra (of the eponymous Closet) whom I had sat next to at the show. She split to her hotel and I headed to Laduree by the Madeleine for more, erm, medicine. (Upside of spending so much time in the city – I can navigate sans carte to lipstick suppliers, hotel restrooms and cake shops).
The plan was to retire to bed with a box of cake, and feel extremely sorry for myself. Feeling sick a seul is never fun. So I treated myself to a Laduree Ispahan at vast cost- there is a disc of lychee gelee lurking inside that almond-y macron-y raspberry goodness, and headed back to the hotel with my prize.
I’m afraid I drew both a bath & the curtains, and then slept all evening, missing the Pringle party, the Valentino store launch and the rest of the evening’s jollifications, but I don’t honestly think I could have made it.
My date with the Ispahan – which I ate in this bath, seemed more pressing.
LLG was a guest of The Hidden Hotel