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March 4, 2013

Postcards from…Paris Spring Couture

Editors' Notes

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT La Maison Angelina. Colette. Hotel Le Meurice. L'Avenue.

Editors' Notes

Elie Saab haute couture poppy Crepe Cady dress with embroidered bodice, cape and leather belt, prices upon request.

Editors' Notes

Armani Privé haute couture gold gazar light silk, unlined jacket, waistcoat with plissé edging and mid-length skirt with accordion plissés, prices upon request.

Editors' Notes

Valentino haute couture ruffled dress.

Editors' Notes

Chanel haute couture jacket, skirt and boots, prices upon request.
Producer Colleen Bell shares her Paris haunts and weighs in on the spring 2013 couture shows:

So much time, talent and energy goes into the production of the garments and the shows themselves, so it is difficult to pick a favorite. This year I attended Chanel, Elie Saab, Armani Privé, Stephane Rolland, Valentino and Gaultier. All of the collections were gorgeous and the shows themselves, mostly shown in historic Parisian buildings, were spectacular. As a producer of a television show based around fashion (The Bold and the Beautiful), I sometimes produce ten fashion shows a year for our characters, so I have a small idea of what it takes to pull a runway show together. In Paris, during couture, the fashion houses take runway shows to a whole different level. For instance, Stephane Rolland employed female violin players, draped in white, standing on platforms, playing to the music as the models glided down the runway. And, Valentino showed their collection in a historic monument, the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, where guests sat in gilded chairs, in rooms underneath frescoed ceilings as one spectacular look after the next made its way through the four consecutive rooms. [As far as parties], after catching an overnight flight to Paris, I was happy to lay low in the evenings and enjoy spending time with friends who I don’t have the chance to see throughout the year. My favorite dinner was at my friend Veronica Toub’s beautiful apartment overlooking the Seine. Six women, a roaring fire in the fireplace, Paris lights twinkling off the river, a couple of bottles of wine, foie gras and great conversation provided for my favorite evening in Paris.

During fashion week, I love staying at Le Meurice.  The hotel is architecturally grand, but the common spaces are also modern and very chic at the same time. You can’t beat the location which is across from the Tuileries Gardens, next door to Angelina (of hot chocolate fame) a block away from the best macaroons from Pierre Hermé and around the corner is shopping on Rue Saint-Honoré. I began staying here a couple of years ago after asking some Parisian friends where their European friends stay when they travel to Paris. The hotel has a nice mix of guests from around the world.

Lunch at L’Avenue is a personal favorite. I always order the butter lettuce salad to start, followed by chicken paillard served with curried mangos. Montaigne Market, one of the best edited shops I have ever been to, is right around the corner. For dinner, I enjoy treating myself and a few friends to Caviar Kaspia where you sip chilled vodka while eating butter laden Bellinis with crème fraîche and dollops of caviar.

It is always fun to do a little bit of shopping in Paris. I love to see what is new in Givenchy and Colette. Also, a trip to JAR fragrance is a wonderful, unique, experience. The perfumes are divine and JAR sells his collection of beautiful, relatively lower price, earrings from this shop.



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