Paris Fashion Week…..More

As I write this, Paris fashion week is just winding to a close, after a frenzied week of fashion shows all day long, and people in fashion from all over the world in Paris to see the shows. I have to admit, I picked the cream of the crop, and peeked at the other shows online. There were some beautiful clothes shown in Paris in the last week. One of my favorites, Celine, didn’t have a show, just a presentation, so I looked at that one online.

I missed Balenciaga (which is always one of the best shows) because I was sick with the flu, and I told you about Dior. On Sunday night, on a bitter cold night in Paris, the whole flock of people in Paris for fashion week turned up at the Lycee Carnot, to sit on benches in a school yard, where Givenchy hold their fashion show almost every year. The show is worth sitting through a blizzard at the North Pole, but as I sit there shaking with the cold every year, I wonder how they talk us into it again. I’m not sure who looks more frozen, the audience or the models, but as soon as the show begins you forget how cold you are. The show was absolutely fabulous, and the clothes were gorgeous!!! There were a lot of Sarwell style pants in leather and fabrics, some great tops and blouses, a few gem colored and black really sexy pretty dresses, and some really fabulous jackets and coats, many of them short in front with a longer panel in back, some encrusted with jewels, and others in fur, and there was a multi colored fur coat. The show was striking, and really beautiful, and despite the freezing cold weather (it’s still very much winter in Paris!!), I was thrilled to have been invited and that I went. My daughter and I loved it, saw some really wonderful clothes, and warmed up when we got home.

And the last show I went to is always one of the most impressive: Chanel. It’s at the Grand Palais, the spectacular old glass structure with its elegant domes, and enormous expanse inside. Chanel must have the largest group of spectators, I think there were probably three or four thousand people there. The vast area in the middle was covered with fine gravel, and there were what looked like enormous spikes of crystals in various shades of gray, white and purple sticking straight up in the air as part of the decor (the models walked around them). And the usual excitement filled the air in anticipation of the show, which began with the precision typical of Chanel, and it was a beautiful impressive show. The clothes were elegant and wearable, the most frequently seen style/silhouette was of leggings with a matching tunic and a short jacket over it, all three pieces of the outfit in the same fabric, either sporty or dressy depending on the fabric. I thought it was really a ‘cool’ look. All of the shoes in the show had Lucite heels. The first model in the show was my favorite, a very famous English model named Stella Tennant, a beautiful tall woman with short black hair, and another 35 models followed her. The outfits were elegant and beautiful, and the designer/Karl Lagerfeld adds a new twist, feeling, and element to every show. He continues to be an absolute powerhouse and Icon in fashion. At nearly 80, he is vital, energetic, brilliant, a real genius in fashion, he designs Chanel Haute Couture and Ready to Wear, also collections for his own label, and Fendi as well. And he is a talented photographer as well. He came out at the end of the show, always in his high white collar, snow white hair pulled back in a pony tail, and fingerless gloves, among his personal trademarks. He is a man of endless energy, creativity and talent, and it’s always a thrill to see what he does, whether for Haute Couture a few weeks ago, or Ready to Wear.

Paris Fashion Week ended with Miu Miu and Louis Vuitton today, and by today, the buyers, editors, and various spectators at the fashion shows were looking somewhat frazzled and exhausted, after four weeks straight of these shows, first in New York, then in Milan, London, and Paris. It’s a grueling schedule for anyone, and it sounds like fun to you and me, but four weeks of it all day long, in order to write about it for the fashion press, or order clothes for their stores, must be overwhelming and exhausting to see that much in four weeks. But for me, it’s always fun, just hitting the high spots in Paris, usually with one or several of my daughters. I had two with me in Paris this time. And I’m always sad to see it end, as my children leave to go back to work in their cities. It is sooooo much fun for me to go to these shows with them, and hear their take on what we’re seeing, and how it compares to the other shows they’ve seen in New York. It’s an intense business (which represents a huge volume of money, serious business and a major industry), and there’s a Cinderella quality to it when fashion week is over. The excitement dies down, the pretty clothes and beautiful models have vanished,the movie stars who came to see the shows have all gone home, tomorrow the halls and exciting locations we saw them in will be empty. The clothes will be ordered now, and photographed for magazines. They will appear in stores six months from now, and by then, another series of fashion weeks will be taking place in the same four exciting cities, and the magic will start all over again. But tomorrow, as I go back to ‘real life’ in jeans and an old sweater, the glamour of fashion week will be a memory……until next time….it’s a fun time and a very exciting week while it happens, and I feel lucky to be able to see it!!!

Love, Danielle

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7 Comments so far
  1. Eunice Wilson March 12, 2012 12:27 pm

    Hi Danielle:
    I have read all your books, starting with Fine Things and that got me hooked. Just finished Happy Birthday anad really really enjoyed it. Looking forward to your next one – can’t wait. Keep up the good work.

  2. mike reid March 12, 2012 1:21 pm

    Hi Danielle–sorry to hear you had the flu–sounds like you had a great time in Paris–hows that book coming along?? I hate the cold weather-some people like the seasons – but I prefer sunshine and warm climate.I saw some new fancy high heels at the new Neiman Marcus in WC yesterday that were stunning!!!! CK it out —
    Stay warm—-mike

  3. Nicole Theron March 14, 2012 5:56 am

    Dear Ms Steel,

    I also adore Chanel, with Mr Lagerfeld at the helm he never disappoints. His just a lovely man, a real class act. Such a pity people these days have no respect for those who are older. A few weeks ago people on the Internet were angry about some remarks he made. I think when you reach 80 years of age, you are old enough to have your own opinions, and not have to suffer backlash from the general public.

    Mr Largerfeld is without doubt living proof that 80 is the new 50! His also got the most beautiful eyes, I so wish he would not hide them all the time behind his sunglasses!

    P.S. So glad your books are on Kindle some established authors have tried to fight the new tide, so really glad to see you have embraced it! BTW what are your thoughts on self publishing with Kindle?
    When you have a chance, even if it is later this year or the next please would you kindly write a post with your thoughts on it. I imagine plenty of other fans would love to know your thoughts on how the industry is changing too!Have heard so many horror stories about the publishing industry. A recent example would be an author who writes YA fiction Ms L.J. Smith she wrote the very successful “Vampire Diaries”. Sadly she now has had all her rights stripped from her books.A ghost writer now writes the books of the series and this poor lady has no rights at all as to what happens to her creations. Apparently (not sure) but she signed a contract some twenty years ago and signed all her rights away! That is just plain scary. Would love to know what you think of “writing for hire”. Do you think it is a good idea or too risky?

    Sorry I know you are busy, but your thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. I think if you wrote your own book “On Writing” it would easily out sell the one written by Stephan King for sure, can you imagine that? HE WOULD BE FURIOUS! LOL

    Competition is good.

    His book on the craft was wonderful, I think Mr King is completely under-rated as an author. His not literary but in my opinion I think good writing is about escape and entertainment, think (Dickens, M.G. Lewis,Austen,F. Burney & Bronte)like those authors both you and Mr King do that in our time.Both of you will have your books read in generations to come. Simply because your stories are timeless and not contrived in sending out clever little hidden messages for the literati to have an excuse to be”employed”. If I want a lecture/lesson on a certain topic I will read a non-fiction book on the subject concenred instead of some convoluted novel that is no fun to read.
    BTW some literary books, one in particular that got called the “book of the decade”, I will not mention any names, we all know who.I personally felt after having read “HIS” book that I had read all of this before, in fact it seemed so similar in sentiment to some of your previous publications one example being Family Album. I very much doubt that it took Ms Steel 10 years to write Family Album. So who is in fact the better writer? Not saying his book was bad but certainly not any better than any of the many family saga novels you have written over the years.

    Ms Steel your books are wonderful and those who drag you down are just envious of the fact that people are actually interested in reading your work. Which is why many of your fans feel that if anyone should advice on the writing life it should be you!

    Mr King’s advice on craft was invaluable, and greatly appreciated but the romance genre is another ball game, and only YOU who is without doubt the: The Queen Of Romance can write that book! So Ms Steel, please give us a book about the writing process, I beg of you, pretty please?

  4. Nicole Theron March 14, 2012 6:16 am

    Apologies on the typo above I meant Stephen King not Stephan!

  5. Evelyn March 16, 2012 12:53 pm

    Realmente amo sus libros, desde que lei el primero no eh podido parar.
    Me encanta su trabajo y espero que siga escribiendo por mucho mas tiempo…
    Por último tengo una duda…¿Por qué en la mayoria de sus libros los personajes ejercen la profesión de abogados?

  6. Katherine March 26, 2012 11:00 am

    My goodness! I just found this blog. It has mademy day. I just saw you on GMA with Robin. You are so beautiful and classy. Now I know I will be able to keep up with you and your life via your blog. Thank you!!!

    I also love all your bracelets. Hope someday you take pics so we can see them up close. I have always worn stacks of bracelets, too. Nice to know I am not the only one!

    Can’t wait to get Betrayal on my Kindle and read it. 🙂


  7. James Borton March 29, 2012 1:13 pm

    Hello Danielle,

    It’s James Borton. The other day Pat Montandon posted a photo on her blog (Facebook) of your wedding to John Traina. In the photo were you, the radiant bride, standing beside Arthur Hailey with Pat and I gazing at your beauty and happiness. Time how quickly we past through it.

    I am a college professor in South Carolina but returning for a visit to SF in May (almost 3 weeks.) Not sure if you are leaving the salons of Paris and will be back in the Bay area but would love to see you again. I am also writing and would love to share “Heart Chronicles” with you.

    With affection,
    Where Story Matters