C’est La Fashion Week!
When I got off the bus from the Gare de Lyon upon my return to Paris last Tuesday, along the way to my apartment, I passed a tall and very skinny woman. I knew immediately it was Fashion Week without really knowing it. That was the day all hell broke loose in the “quartier” and in a few other parts the city, thanks to the biannual event.
The runway models floating all over the neighborhood aren’t the only ones showing off their reason for being in town. Tons of over-dressed young people abound — showing off what they think is fashionable, even if totally inappropriate for the cool, rainy weather and cobblestoned streets. They are so “in place,” in spite of being so “out of place,” if you know what I mean?
One evening last week while dining at Au Petit Fer à Cheval with two daughters of my oldest, closest friend who live and work in Tel Aviv (NOLA American Bakery), along with the son of an old friend from Knoxville and his girlfriend who are here this year studying, we were drowned out by the ruckus coming from a neighboring table of fashionistas. The group was so eclectic and unique, that one of the daughters referred to them as being “alien,” in a joking way, particularly in contrast to the conservative British couple sitting adjacent whose eyes were rolling at the scene.
The group was a mixture of young men, women and “androgenies” — men who were so effeminate and women so masculine that it was almost impossible to determine what genitals they truly possessed. One woman was very tall, almost a blue-black, with long hair to her knees and wearing a bustier exposing most of her breasts. Our waiter, Buba, who is an institution at the restaurant and one of my favorites in Paris, didn’t know what to do with himself except sport a rather large white toothy smile, dance around the tile floor, giggle a bit and exclaim, “C’est La Fashion Week! C’est La Fashion Week!”
At one point, the entire table of fashionistas sang “Happy Birthday” to one of the women (I think?), then handed over a big pink box to her, and when she opened it, out popped a big baby pink fur coat. The British couple left early, but not before sneaking a photo of the group for themselves. We left laughing over our new theme song: “C’est La Fashion Week! C’est La Fashion Week!”
Just wandering around the neighborhood has been a feast for sore eyes, not just for the eye candy of the fashionistas, but for the one-week-long showrooms that pop up in the little retail spots that abound. The week-long city-wide event ends tomorrow and life will go back to normal without the interesting sights. Ugh.
While the fashionistas were invading the “hood,” I wasn’t paying attention to the more important woman in our midst: La Grande Dame de Paris — La Tour Eiffel — which just celebrated it’s record of 300 million visitors since opening to the public in 1889. To show its appreciation, the Eiffel Tower put on a special program on Thursday the 28th, including live music across all floors, a giant wall of photos of visitors willing to take part, and a special light show that took place every 30 minutes from 7:30 pm until midnight.
Fortunately for us, Patty Sadauskas, of Paris on a Dime, didn’t miss it! Thanks to Patty for this fab photo of Paris’ own tall thin super model!
A la prochaine…
Adrian Leeds Group
(with Yael and Talya Rasner of NOLA, Tel Aviv)
P.S. Next week author Cara Black returns to join as at Après Midi–see the notice at the top of this newsletter for details. Cara is always one of our most popular speakers, so plan to arrive early to get a good seat. And…to order your favorite beverage before the wait gets longer. See you there on Tuesday!