Monday, July 26, 2010

La Tour de France

Happy Tour de France day! Today my boyfriend and I fought through the crowds on the Champs Elysees to get a glimpse of the Tour de France. It was set up with a jumbo screen which followed the tour into Paris. There were also food stands, and merchandise stalls set up to buy hats and t-shirts. It was almost like being at a concert.

Before the cyclists came through the street, there was a parade of advertising cars and floats. There were many different vehicles there which were quite well done.

I must admit, I don't know much about the tour, other than flicking past it on the t.v. previously in Canada. The only person I know in it is Lance Armstrong, yet seeing it live is quite spectacular. We waited by the side of road, and suddenly the crowd started cheering as the cyclists flew by us. If you blinked, you might have missed it. Luckily, they do 8 laps around the Champs Elysees so you do get to see them a few times. I couldn't believe how many people are cycling, and how fast they go by! I am so glad I went to see it live!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

YSL Retrospective

Tuesday morning I got up early and set off to Petit Palais for the Yves Saint Laurent Retrospective. I had tried to go the week before, but after waiting in line for over half an hour only to find out that the wait was at least another two hours to get in, I decided to come back another day before the exhibit opened.
I picked a morning that was raining thinking no one else would stand in the rain waiting for an exhibit to open. I was wrong. As I walked up towards Petit Palais from the Seine, I could see about 50 people waiting there already. I guess I was not the only one with the idea to come early.

Once the doors opened to the exhibit, I was finally granted access to see the fashions created by the legendary YSL. The retrospective showed over 300 designs of haute couture and ready-to-wear, from his start in 1958 with Christian Dior to loosely pleated chiffon gowns in his final collection in 2002. The collections were divided up into different rooms to showcase the stages of the designers career. From "Trapeze" dresses to tuxedos for women, every noted design in the fashion industry was there.

Of course, my favorites were the haute couture pieces. I was thrilled to see the Iris jacket on display embroidered by Lesage. Since studying with Lesage, I have am able to spot their amazing hand embroidery and beadwork easily!
One room was dedicated to evening gowns that were dripping with crystals, bows, sequins and beads. I never wanted to leave this room!

Longtime partner Pierre Berge painstakingly conserved all of Saint Laurent's work, including scraps of cloth to put this show together. I think he truly captured the magic that is brought to life in the Yves Saint Laurent designs.
Overall, it was a great retrospective and a MUST SEE for all fashionistas!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Sterling Silver Designs

Over the past few days I have been hard at work making some new designs for I have new chunky necklaces, and also my new line of sterling silver and gemstone necklaces and earrings! Please visit my website or my Etsy shop and let me know what you think!! All designs are made in Paris, and inspired by the city of lights!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Paris at night

Evenings in Paris can provide some of the most beautiful sights. Many of the main attractions are illuminated with bright spot lights throughout the city. Walking home from the Chanel Couture fashion show last week, I stopped to snap a few photos on the Pont Alexandre III bridge.

Notre Dame lights up every night to create a stunning photo opportunity, and the Louvre is always a great place to take photos day or night!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Basille Day in Paris

Yesterday was Bastille Day here in France, so my boyfriend and I woke up early to hit the Champs Elysees for the parade. The streets were already packed with people, police and army tanks. There were army vehicles all lined up around the Arc de Triomphe.

After having my bag searched, then being frisked by police we were allowed to enter the parade area. I couldn't believe the amount of security that you had to pass through to watch a parade! I guess I am just not used to it in Canada. As we stood and waited for the festivities to begin, the skies opened up and rained like never before. It rained so hard, that it even started coming through the umbrella. The only good thing about that was people started leaving because it was too wet, so we managed to front row against the barriers. Once it was time to begin, Aircraft started flying over spilling Red, White and Blue smoke into the sky.

The parade started and the army vehicles started rolling by. I snapped some photos and tried to stay under our umbrella as much as possible. We decided to leave right after the parade ended since it was still raining.

On the way home to our apartment, we saw all the army helicopters flying around the Eiffel Tower.

At night, the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower were amazing! We made our way over to the tower just in time for the celebration to start. It was packed with people, and we heard on the radio this morning that there were approx. 300,000 people there watching the show.

You could see the outline of the Eiffel Tower behind the lights. At one point, they turned on the sparkling Eiffel Tower lights, and it was beautiful! What a great way to end Bastille Day!
Press the PLAY button below to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gaultier and Valentino Couture

Yesterday, I headed out into the warm sunshine over to the Gaultier Couture show on Rue Saint Martin. The show was an tribute to Parisian glamour, with models holding cigarettes in cigarette holders and having turbans on their head while wearing beautiful creations in a range of dark shades, although black was the dominating force in the collection. The show ended with Dita Von Tess as a surprise model wearing a Gaultier corset.

Once the show was over, celebrities and fashion journalists poured out onto the street. Once again, Grace Coddington was there for Vogue, and Hilary Alexander for Daily Telegraph.

Models from the show also came out, some still wearing the dark eye makeup from the show.

Next, it was onto the Valentino couture show at Place Vendome. Outside the show was another stream of celebrities and paparazzi trying to get their pictures. Clair Danes, Elizabeth Hurley and Jessica Alba were just some that had to make their way through the screaming fans.

Jeanne Beker was there doing interviews, and Anna Wintour was taken through quickly in and out of the show by her body guards. Hilary Alexander was there to report on the show, and I was lucky enough to be able to give her one of my necklaces. Hopefully she likes it and wears it to some events!

Inside the Valentino show, the collection was called “The dark side of first love.” The dresses where a mixture of light chiffon and blush organza to black silk. Valentino is obviously directing to its new generation of customers. However, the hand beading and embroidery is still seen on the clothes to keep the Valentino legacy alive.

Chanel Couture Show

The Chanel couture show on Tuesday evening was a crowded event held at the Grand Palais in Paris. As I walked along the Champs Elysees and turned the corner to head over to the Palais I could see the crowds gathering out front. Everyone from excited fans, to fashion bloggers and paparazzi were trying to get pictures of those attending the show. I took my place in the crowds and began clicking away with my camera trying to capture the moment. I saw beautiful Chanel outfits and accessories entering the building.

I saw a few important faces in fashion entering into the show including Monsieur Lesage, who I had been studying Couture Embroidery with at Lesage Atelier house last year. He was too quickly for me though, so I was unable to stop and speak with him before he entered the show.

Bernadette Chirac (former First Lady of France) was there surrounded my police and security as she entered the show.

Paris Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld was there in good spirits, meeting friends while making her way into the show.

Style icon, Daphne Guinness appeared in the crowd drenched in diamonds sparkling in the evening sun. I had to get a close up shot of her accessories!

Grace Coddington for Vogue was there to take notes on the newest seasons must haves.

Inside the event, Karl once again showed a stunning collection of pieces for his fall couture collection. Many of the looks, in rich reds, purples and chocolate browns, were entirely covered in sequins that glinted wildly under the flashes of hundreds of cameras. The runway was also quite spectacular with a several story high golden lion in the middle of stage. It was to pay tribute to Coco Chanel, the brands founder who was a Leo.

Once the show was over, the models started spilling out onto the streets after their hard work on the runway. Freja Beha worked her way through the crowds onto the busy streets.

Baptiste Giabiconi also came out into the crowds after walking the last model around the runway. Baptiste is Karl Lagerfeld's male model muse. I was lucky enough to meet him and get a picture taken with him!