3/13/17, Blast Off

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’re okay and that last week was a good one.

And yes, it’s Ready to Wear fashion week in Paris again, which is a big deal in the world of fashion. One of you who read the blog complained that they’re not interested in fashion, but I really have to share with you the shows I saw, they are just too good not to tell you about. So for those of you not into fashion, my apologies. And for those of you who love it, here goes.

After seeing the Celine show, which I told you about last week, I went to two shows this past week: Hermes and Chanel. Two stellar shows, and a big part of the fashion scene at these shows are the audience, the people who attend, the excitement, the stars, the music, as well as what you see on the models on the runway. And as fabulous events go for the overall spectacle, Chanel always wins hands down. They build sets that are just astounding!!

So first, I saw the Hermes show, which was beautiful, elegant, wearable, and everything you’d expect from a house as distinguished, elegant, and quality driven as Hermes. Really lovely clothes, in a dramatic setting at a museum, with the room entirely dark and blacked out, the runway lit, an elite crowd watching as the models came down the runway. It was really a lovely show.

And then there was Chanel, always held at the Grand Palais, a beautiful antique glass domed structure. Chanel once did their ready to wear show all built like a supermarket, as the models showed the clothes while pushing shopping carts. They did a vintage restaurant set. They have done sets that looked like landing on the  moon, a kind of moonscape, one that looked like the inside of an airplane, and they once flew a REAL iceberg in from Sweden and placed it center stage, and flew it back after the show before it melted. So it’s always exciting waiting to see what they come up with next. Their incredible sets are designed by an extremely talented man named Peter Marino. So guess what the set was this time??? A ROCKET SHIP!! Or what looked like a real rocket ship was placed center stage. It reached all the way to the top of the glass structure—maybe 100 feet up?? The idea was for the models to walk around the rocket ship. And obviously, if the rocket ship looked like it was touching the top of the glass building, it certainly wasn’t going to rise up any higher, right? Well, not exactly.

The sets of the Chanel fashion shows are usually as exciting as the clothes they’re showing. And to pay homage to the clothes, they were beautiful, the models were gorgeous, and the feeling was vaguely reminiscent of the lush, happy, lively, colorful and glitzy clothes of the 1980’s. There were lots of sparkles, sparkly boots and metallic threads, and some really beautiful, wearable clothes. And at the end of the actual fashion show, when all the clothes had been shown to about 1,500 or 2,000 spectators, the lights of the rocket ship began flashing, vapor/steam that looked like smoke came out from underneath it and filled the giant hall, there were sparks coming from beneath the rocket, some major noises, and slowly the rocket ship itself (fairly life size) began to lift or seemed like it. What was actually happening was that the lower half of the rocket ship was sliding into the top half, so it LOOKED like it was lifting off, and rising off the ground (if it really had, it would have broken through the glass ceiling), but it was the most life like simulation I have ever seen and the entire audience was mesmerized by it. And so was I. It was fantastic and a really exciting scene. And when the base finally settled down on the ground again, I was really thrilled to see Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s genius designer take his traditional walk around the runway, looking well and active, and moving at  normal speed. He is an utterly remarkable person and creative genius, in his mid 80’s now, with no sign of slowing down, so seeing him trotting down the runway was a happy sight.

It was a fantastic experience, the last show I was planning to attend for this season. (It ended with the Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu shows which I didn’t attend). So I ended on a high note. A very high note. The Chanel rocket ship would have been hard to top. If you look on YouTube, for the Chanel show, Paris fashion week for winter 2017, I’ll bet you can find a video of the rocket lifting off, and maybe even the show itself. I was reminded of a friend who once said of a Broadway show she went to, with particularly wonderful stage sets, “I came out humming the scenery”—-which we all did after the Chanel show with the rocket ship lifting off. Unforgettable!!! The rocket ship will go down in fashion history, and it was sooo much fun to see.

And although the fashion shows are certainly glamourous, and everyone tries to look their best if they get invited (the shows are by invitation only, and invitations are hard to come by!!)—so I wore a new red wool coat today, and a new black dress under it, with a red heart on the left, over my heart, and high heels. And after the amazing experience of the Chanel show, it was back to real life for me. From the sublime to the ridiculous in this case. My refrigerator died over the weekend, so I had to go to buy a new fridge at the local appliance store. So one minute, I was seated among the fashion set, and all dressed up, and the next I was trying to figure out what kind of fridge to buy!!! I felt like Cinderella after the ball, after the clock strikes midnight, the coach turns into a pumpkin, and the coachmen into white mice. I got a fridge that looks like it will be okay…..and a memory I will never forget of a real looking rocket ship rising into the air, shooting sparks and steam….it was definitely a Wow!!! And a fun day!!!

Have a great week,

love, Danielle

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5 Comments so far
  1. Melanie March 13, 2017 10:43 am

    I really would have loved some pictures 🙂

  2. Janine Hewitt March 13, 2017 1:36 pm

    Sounds like fun!

  3. Margaretha March 13, 2017 8:25 pm

    Yes, the Channel show was great… I always love to read how you write about the shows. And I always watch them on Vogue.com. Great fun! Hope you have a fabulous week too!

  4. Kerri March 14, 2017 12:16 pm

    Hi Danielle,

    Thank you for the blog entry on the Chanel show. Although fashion isn’t my milieu, I’m glad you had fun at the show. The part about the refrigerator dying while you were gone brought forth a chuckle from me. I can imagine the horror! And about the sourpuss who told you she’s not interested in fashion, I thought she was being rude to you. People who read your works and blog needs to understand that fashion is a huge part of where you came from. And for that, thank you for giving us a glimpse in the fashion world through your books and blog.

  5. Rob Scott March 16, 2017 11:27 am

    You are having fun, Danielle.

    So happy for you.

    I don’t exactly get the whole fashion thing either. But I had a grandmother who loved it and use to turn heads as she was all dressed up on her way to her office. Sometimes I would go with on summer vacation and people would stop her and ask if she was a lawyer. She would reply: “No, I am a Christian Science practitioner.” She said it with such authority. She truly found herself.

    So keep on being you!

    We all have been through enough storms.

    Enjoy your books and hope build a new library back up with them some day.

    God has me doing field work now rather than being in an office.

    All things work together for good.

    Keep Shining!

    Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL Mankind.
    Rob Scott
    Oaxaca, Mexico