Less than two weeks til Christmas, I hope you’re enjoying it, and not dreading it, as some people do. I think I’ve almost finished my Christmas shopping. I’ve been seeing friends, a little shopping, and had an amazing invitation this week. I most enjoy seeing good friends around the holidays, and spending Christmas with my family, but as you know I go to fashion shows occasionally. They’re mostly in and out affairs, you dash in by invitation, sit down, the fashion show begins, and then half an hour later, after seeing some very pretty clothes, you leave. The locations and decor can be exciting and beautiful (like the year Chanel had flown in an iceberg from Sweden and placed it center stage for the models to walk around—-and then they flew the iceberg back to Sweden after the show. But this week I went to the fashion show to end all fashion shows, a MAJOR event. It took me by surprise, and was a real show stopper.
Once a year, Chanel does a special collection of ready to wear clothes (as opposed to Haute Couture, which is made to order and all hand made. Ready to wear is what you find in stores and can buy off the rack). They do the once a year special collection in an exotic location: Beijing, Dubai, Venice, Dallas, Cuba last year—-and the influence and style of the clothes is influenced by the location. They are called Metier d’Art shows, and are then referred to as the Paris/Cuba show, or the Paris/Dubai show or Paris/Dallas a few years ago, with a kind of cowboy theme. The fashion show introducing the collection is held in the location being honored. And although I’ve been to a lot of fashion shows, I’ve never been to one of these, and had no idea what a massive undertaking it is. They invite well known people in the city where it’s held, and their good customers, and they also fly in hundreds of glamourous women from around the world. So there are women there from South America, Asia, India, Hong Kong, Dubai, all over Europe, the USA, some famous, others just fashionable women. And I discovered that they pick up all the expenses for the women they fly in, airfare, hotel, etc. In this case, the fashion show was held at the famous Ritz Hotel in Paris, and the women invited stayed there too, for four days of related fashion events, all hosted by Chanel. They were given limousines, several of them borrowed clothes to wear to the show, and many of them were also all decked out in fabulous jewelry also by Chanel. Not knowing how elaborate this was going to be, I dressed in ‘grown up clothes’ (black slacks and a sweater, my uniform) wore a pale pink coat, and black suede high heels—-all my own not borrowed. The show was at noon, and I was stunned when I got to the Ritz Hotel to find that there were about 800 women there, at tables all over the lobby floor and restaurants of the hotel, for a noon lunch, followed by the show at 2pm. (There is normally no food served at fashion shows). The luncheon was very elegant, and the women (no men invited that I could see) were dressed to the nines, some even wore evening gowns, and floor length fur coats at lunch time, and tons of jewelry. I felt like a bumpkin from the country in my lunchtime clothes. Several movie stars were there, and the singer Farrell Williams. Lunch was elaborately served and very diet conscious, since probably all of those women were on diets!!! And champagne flowed. I don’t drink, so it was wasted on me. And finally, the fashion show started, it had a jubilant exciting feeling to it, and the theme was “Cosmopolitan Paris” this time, so they were mostly dressy city clothes, and some very glamorous creations—-and the usual beautiful models. It was definitely “A scene”, and not at all what I expected. There was a breakfast the next day, which I didn’t go to, where people could try on the clothes the models had worn the day before, as they threaded through the tables to bouncy music, and looked like they were having fun. Apparently, Chanel spends millions on those events, for publicity. It was dripping glamour, and I had fun, even though I didn’t know anyone there, except a friend of one of my daughters, and I was happy to see her. I was seated at lunch with four very nice Parisian women, and an Italian woman, wearing a gold evening gown, floor length sable coat and a ton of jewels. I looked a lot more subdued in my pale pink coat. It was definitely an experience, and I felt a little (or a lot) like Cinderella after the ball, when I went home to my dogs and my typewriter. And yes, one could think that there are more important ways to spend money, for charity, but in reality this is business for Chanel, great publicity for them, and I’m sure they donate to charitable causes during the year as well. So I had my moment of glamour, and had to share it with you.
Have a great week!!!