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Every Woman is a Princess (Especially Tanned Parisiennes)

The empty MétroThe empty Métro

The empty Métro

Christian Dior, "Couturier du Rêve" exhibitionChristian Dior, “Couturier du Rêve” exhibition

Christian Dior, "Couturier du Rêve" exhibition

Christian Dior, "Couturier du Rêve" exhibition

Princess Grace wearing DiorPrincess Grace wearing Dior

Anniversaries in the Leeds family abound. This weekend we celebrated the 20th year living in our Marais apartment, along with the official date of my divorce, the 23rd year living in Paris and my daughter celebrated her 15th year living in New York City. Where does the time fly?

These anniversaries at the end of August/start of September are logical since it’s “La Rentrée” (or almost!), when real life begins — the school year starts, everyone goes back to work after a month of vacation and the weather in Paris turns to fall.

Like turning on a dime, everything changes whether we want it to or not. I’ve had to adjust to life in Paris again after spending the summer in Nice, where life is at a different pace. Wanting to show off my tan legs like the other “Parisiennes,” I put on a short dress and sandals last Friday, only to be rewarded with cold rainy weather so as to have to run to buy stockings and pull out the umbrella for the first time in two months.

It’s Paris. You don’t come here for the weather. I’ve been telling myself this for all the years I’ve lived here. Once, visiting friends cancelled their lunch date with me because it was raining. For some reason, that stopped them from venturing out. I argued, “If you don’t go out when it’s raining, you’ll never leave your hotel room and see all that the city has to offer!”

But Paris is still Paris and there is no other city quite like it. We all know that. All of us who live and work here, complain incessantly about the administration, the bureaucracy, the difficulties of getting anything accomplished, the high taxes, etc., etc., etc., but still continue to endure all the liabilities while enjoying the assets: beauty, culture, cuisine, lifestyle, etc., etc., etc. We’re not willing to give it all up…at least not quite yet. Or maybe never.

The city is still a ghost town as most residents are still at the beach, but by this coming weekend, it will be back in full swing. I was shocked when I ventured into the Métro station at La Tour-Maubourg Saturday evening at 10:30 p.m. and was the only person on the quay, going in either direction. I can’t remember when that may have happened last…or ever!

But, then there are incongruities at this time of year that don’t fit the passenger-less Métro. While the streets are dead and the Métro deserted, the crowd in line outside and the hordes inside at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs for the “Christian Dior, Couturier du Rêve” exhibition (on till January 7, 2018), were beyond expectations. It was bumper to bumper and suffocatingly hot inside, but still well worth the visit. The good news is that since it’s open for a good long while, there will be a chance to return when it’s cooler and less crowded.

The exhibition celebrates the 70th anniversary of the House of Dior and the many illustrious couturiers who succeeded him: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and, most recently, Maria Grazia Chiuri. Be prepared to spend a good bit of time there because not only is the exhibition extensive with a selection of over 300 haute couture gowns designed between 1947 and now, but it takes up almost 3,000 square meters of the museum’s space. This isn’t just for fashion-minded men or women, but for everyone, as every gown, shoe and accessory is seriously a work of art.

For someone like me who studied fashion design, it is particularly exciting to see the brilliant fabric draping Dior did to make a woman feel like a princess. Following a feminine body shape is what every garment achieved. One of his quotes was, “Deep in every heart slumbers a dream, and the couturier knows it: every woman is a princess.” (After seeing the exhibit, I wanted to be one of his princesses as there were dozens of dresses and gowns that I would have loved wearing!)

A la prochaine…

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P.S. Don’t forget, Thursday Aug. 31 is the airing of our brand new House Hunters International epidose “A Dancer’s Dream in Paris.” Details on our HHI page. Set your DVRs now!

AND:

For an upcoming House Hunters International episode, we are seeking comparable properties in which to film:

* house or villa in countryside or village, but with privacy
* located in the Languedoc-Roussillon, near the Parc naturel régional du Haut Languedoc or somewhere between the towns of Montpellier, Béziers, Narbonne, Toulouse, Albi and Millau
* with no less than 3 bedrooms, preferably 5 or 6 or more, accompanied by an equal number of bathrooms
* 150m2 or more
* with a pool, if possible
* at a value between 190,000€ and 300,000€

If you know of any property that fits this general description and is willing to let us spend about four hours inside with a small crew and light equipment, let me know asap! [email protected]

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