I recently spent some time in what is considered by many people to be the most romantic city in the world, Paris, France. I was fortunate enough to be there during Paris Fashion Week and spent three glorious days in the City of Lights seeing some amazing sights and some breathtakingly beautiful designs.
Fashion Week always brings out the celebrities, and they were scattered all over the shows. Big name celebrities like Pharrell, Lady Gaga and Pamela Anderson, were among those in attendance, along with well-known and highly respected actors and actresses, including Catherine Deneuve.
It’s always beautiful in the City of Lights, no matter what time of year you’re able to go. The three days I spent there were during Paris Fashion week, so of course there was even more to do and see than normal!
Paris Fashion Week Day #1
During the first day of my visit, I went “Behind the Seams” with Samira Buchi in her design studio. At the age of 50, this Swiss lady left her home to pursue the American dream. Currently, Samira Buchi is known worldwide for her luxury handbag designs, and has offices in Paris and New York.
Rahul Mishra Fashion Show
I was also fortunate enough to attend a Rahul Mishra fashion show at the Mona Bismarck American Center. His label was first introduced in Mumbai, in 2008. A few short years later, in 2014, his designs earned the world’s attention when he was awarded the prestigious International Woolmark Prize. In that same year, he was featured in an edition of Business of Fashion 500 in an impressive list of designers responsible for shaping the world’s fashion industry. The 2015 Paris Fashion Week was his debut internationally and he’s now on their calendar regularly.
Palais Garnier Tour
I took a fascinating Opera Tour with Revolve through the Palais Garnier, named after Charles Garnier, the architect Emperor Napoleon III commissioned to build it in 1861. Throughout history it has been known by several names, “Royal Academy of Music and Dance”, “Imperial Academy” and “Opéra de Paris”.
The construction of this enormous opera house was finished in 1875 and seats almost 2000 people. It’s one of the most, possibly even THE most, well-known opera house in the world.
The Paris Opera House is mostly used for ballet now, but this iconic Parisian landmark is the one Gaston Leroux used as his setting for The Phantom of the Opera. It has also showcased some of the most famous operas in the world, such as La Traviata.
As you take your first steps into the Grand Foyer, you can’t help but be awestruck by the sheer number of paintings, mirrors, mosaics and chandeliers. From the Grand Escalier (the breathtaking main staircase) to the Member’s Rotunda and its inlaid mosaic floor, to the impressive auditorium, every inch of this building exudes opulence and elegance, floor to ceiling.
FWRD Redemption Party
The evening was capped off by FWRD by Elise Walker and a Redemption Party held at the Les Bains. The Hotel Les Bains is unlike most typical hotels. It’s more of a hybrid, a mixture of hotel, restaurant, club, bar and boutique, all rolled up into one luxurious experience. A favorite of many celebrities, it’s frequently known as Paris’ “favorite lifestyle hotel”. They offer 39 rooms and suites, with each one offering a slightly different appearance and their own unique personality.
In the restaurant, La Salle-à-Manger, you’ll find mahogany tables ensconced in deep purple tones beneath rotundas and ceiling domes. Local, sustainable producers provide all the ingredients for the menu that changes with the seasons, with every dish and menu item created in-house.
Keeping with the eclectic theme of the entire hotel complex, the Club Les Bains in the City of Lights is no different. A combination of nostalgic music interspersed with newly discovered musicians, everything about the club is designed to appeal to those who love music.
With a bouncer at the door, and a well-stocked supply of fresh DJs, the club is open from midnight until dawn, and gives new meaning to the phrase, ‘party all night’. From the black and white checkerboard dance floor to the indoor swimming pool, Le Club is a nightclub experience like no other.
In the bar (Le Bar Les Bains),you’ll find unimaginable cocktail creations, with bartenders and mixologists performing their magic as you watch them create whatever your heart desires. Not in the mood for a cocktail? Choose a succulent house wine or even a healthy juice or wellness drink.
When your time at Les Bains comes to an end, visit La Boutique Les Bains for memorable souvenirs of your experience. Like the hotel, the boutique is also a hybrid, part boutique, part gallery and part coffee shop. You can take home reminders of your Bains memories with unique pieces from the worlds of fashion, design, music and art.
Paris Fashion Week Day #2
Brunch at Pink Mamma
There is no shortage of places to visit in and around the City of Lights. On day two of my trip, I had brunch with Revolve at Pink Mamma, the newest addition to the Big Mamma group of trattorias in Europe.
A four floor delight from top to bottom, lush with greenery that spills over outside onto a bright pink exterior. Loads of artwork line the walls as you step up the decorative iron-railed staircase. Pink Mamma is a beautiful jewel of a restaurant and not to be missed while you’re in Paris. Be prepared for a wait in line, though, they don’t take reservations.
Sightseeing Around Paris
Much of the rest of the day was spent just sightseeing around Paris. There are dozens and dozens of incredible sights to see in Paris. Travel down the Champs-Élysées, the famous route to many historic landmarks such as the Louvre Museum, Tuileries Garden, the Arc de Triomphe, and a plethora of lovely shops and exquisite restaurants.
Les Invalides is a combination of army museums and the tomb of Napoleon along with other famous French officers.
There’s also the Musée de l’Orangerie, with a collection of 20th century art, including eight water lily murals by Monet. A huge art collection is found in the Musée Picasso, where 5000 pieces of Pablo Picasso’s artwork is archived.
Another famous artist, Rodin, is featured at Musée Rodin in an impressive 18th century mansion with a sculpture garden. Included among the sculptures is one of his best known creations, “The Thinker”.
If you tire of museums and opera houses in the City of Lights, there are numerous gorgeous gardens and beautiful parks to explore. Jardin du Luxembourg is a 17th century park, decorated with sculptured statues and trees planted so they form patterns.
Tuileries Garden is a huge, expansive formal garden, also from the 17th century and also offering an array of statues throughout the garden. Then there’s Jardin des plantes, showcasing plants grown in alpine and botanical gardens and beautifully restored hothouses.
An urban park, filled with fountains and sculptures, Parc de la Villette also boasts a music complex, a cinema and its own museum.
Bois de Boulogne used to be over 2000 acres of royal hunting grounds, but was developed into a public park. At nearly two and a half times the size of Central Park in New York City, this beautiful park features botanical gardens, lakes, and nature trails.
Paris Fashion Week Day #3
The last day arrived far too quickly. There was so much still to see and do. With the world-famous Eiffel Tower as our backdrop, I had a glorious picnic with Revolve.
The day was also full of fashion, with Marie Linker showing her fashions at the InterContinental Paris-Le Grand.
Nobi Talai Fashion Show
Another fashion show, this one from designer Nobi Talai, was held at the Salle Pleyel – Paris – Germain Pire. Nobieh Talaei is based out of Berlin, and she first came to Germany at age 11, from Iran, the home country of her parents. Details of some of her designs are inspired in part by Persian nomads, such as the using saddlebags as accent pieces, and garment sleeves of recycled cotton yarn macraméd into beautiful, eye-catching patterns.
Her designs skillfully blend traditional accents with modern elements specifically targeted for today’s urban nomads.
InterContinental Paris – Le Grand Fashion Shows
Then there was the fashion show Myoocouture, SheShea Bespoke Fashion Studio, also presenting designer fashions at the InterContinental Paris – Le Grand.
Myoo Couture is a relative newcomer taking the designer world by storm. It was born in 2016 by a mother and daughter team. Inspired by the birth of a second ‘princess’ in their house, they developed the first Myoo Kids ready-to-wear collection that same year.
The mom and daughter duo make all the dresses in their Berlin studio, and most of their business is currently conducted online.
Their presence at Paris Fashion Week ushered in their first ever Haute Couture Women’s collection, showcasing bridal gowns and luxury cocktail dresses.
Paris Fashion Week Closing Party
And what Paris Fashion Week could be called complete without an LA Party in Paris? This one was hosted by Elyse Walker & Michael Mente at the BOUM BOUM.
Just opened in September 2017, Boum Boum is one of, if not THE, hottest spots for Parisian nightlife. Open only on Wednesday through Saturday, you’ll want to come late and stay even later. Their hours are 11:30pm to 6:00am.
You can choose from two different areas with two distinct atmospheres in BoumBoum’s spacious, nearly 3800 square foot facility, set up in arena-fashion. It’s almost like a theater experience with a nightclub as the backdrop.
There’s a micro bar with a laid-back lounge for anything your heart desires cocktail-wise. Or you can also choose to spend time on the heated terrace, a great place to get acquainted or even flirt a bit with someone special in the City of Lights.
Once you’ve got your nerve up, move over into the club area and join in on the karaoke singing in the middle of the night. There are giant screens, hidden behind the walls, that display song lyrics and customers are encouraged to participate singing along with their favorite tunes.
There’s a wide diversity of music, from rock, electronic and hip hop, to classic hits and random music selections from the 80s to today. The focus is more on high-energy dancing than any specific genre. The club also offers plenty of seating, including 38 tables as well as long benches for additional seating.
You should note there is a dress code at the Boum Boum club for smart or business casual clothes. They forbid sportswear, distressed clothes or subculture clothing items.
You should also know it’s not easy to get into the Boum Boum club. It’s a favorite place for the wealthy, trendy young people in the city, and is also frequented by visiting celebrities. To make sure you get in, you need to be on the guest list. Even if you are, you’ll still need a reservation.
There are many places to explore in Paris, both for the architecture and the shopping, the dining and the dancing, and the souvenirs, the sightseeing and designer clothing.
I hope I’ve been able to give you just a taste of the wonder and beauty you’ll find in Paris, France. There’s truly no other place like the City of Lights in this world!
Have you been to the City of Lights? How about during Paris Fashion Week?
What were some of your favorite things to do and see in Paris? Comment below!