It was a memorable day. You put together your perfect outfit for the occasion. It took you hours to decide on what to wear, perhaps your partner was super annoyed at your constant changing of mind, (What kind of mood am I today? Playful? Edgy? Classic? Girly? Damn! Should have brought my Charlotte Olympia “It makes you happy” clutch. Seriously, what was I thinking to try lightening up my luggage load), which led to a two hour delay to the rest of your day’s schedule. When you were finally ready, you knew it was all worth the effort. Because you understood how important this occasion was going to be. Shopping!
No, this was not an ordinary shopping day by any means. But little did I know what happened later on the day would have MADE my European trip. That particular sunny morning in Paris, I was going to the prominent, colourful, stylish and legendary Rue Saint Honore. Personally speaking, this street is in the perfect location. Wrapped by the always charming and beautiful French buildings, rest along side Musée du Louvre (visit is a must), Place Vendôme and La Seine, it is so much more than it’s mere prettiness. Today, this stretch of street houses many top fashion designers – Hermes, Lanvin, Prada, Moynat, D Squared, Goyard, Chanel… Having presence at Rue Saint Honore means you are a fashion heavy weight. Being a fashion blogger, this was somewhat of a religious pilgrimage (to the Religion of Fashion, Vogue being the bible).
Looking at it’s past; so many fashion moments had unfolded within this very district. My favorite had to be with Coco Chanel. At Rue Cambon, it was year 1910 when Coco Chanel opened her first independent millinery shop, Chanel Modes, in number 31. The ateliers above were where the magic happened, inside where she would have carefully fitted her models, getting ready for the presentation downstairs. Soon the models would walk down the infamous mirror stairwell (designed to multiply her designs as they walked down) to the Salon. Coco herself would, however, have hidden at the top of the mirror stairwell, peeking at her collection being presented, not wanting to be seen. Today, the same address remains Chanel’s Parisian Flagship store (Chanel, 2014).
Being at the very same street where it all happened. I can just imagining what it must have been like watching Coco Chanel’s design walking down the stairs. The glamour, the crowd, all in awe, witnessing the imaginative world of Chanel. Lost in my imagination, I was casually strolling past the splendid Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Rue Saint Honore while still thinking of Chanel. And when I thought today cannot possibly get any better, something happened, or more accurately, SOMEONE happened right in front of my naked eyes.
White hair tied into a ponytail, black sunglasses, black suit, black tie, leather gloves. Talk about a double, no, triple take. It was the one and only Karl Lagerfeld! Walking out from the hotel front door towards his vehicle, chatting with whom must have been his assistant; he was very much two meters in front of me. I could not tell if he ever saw me behind the dark lenses but if he did, I must have looked like an idiot. I mean STARING and turning my head to peek at what he was up to whilst walking away. Oh god, I must have made a fool of myself (was my outfit at least Okay? Please approve!). Panic mixed with excitement, my heart rate sky rocketed as the rest of me had no clue what to do. All I could remember next was that he disappeared into his black van. Damn! If only did I have the courage to ask for a photograph!
P.S. To find out more about Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, I highly recommend the Chanel official series of “Inside Chanel” on Youtube.
Chanel. (2014, September 17). Paris by Chanel [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3QAxtE1L20