When the company I work for informed me that they would be sending me to work from our Paris HQ for 12 days this September, I was already quite excited. Paris in the fall, quel rêve (what a dream)! Once I started entering the trip dates in my Outlook Calendar, I became the most excited. I would be working from our Paris HQ during Fashion Week!
Last year, I had spent over a month in Paris. I rented a studio in Le Marais and spent my days learning the French Language and eating thirty too-many croissants. During this time, I became certain that Paris was my city. I was meant to be born in Paris (sorry Canada). Upon returning and moving to New York, I lost sight of how much I adored Paris – the architecture, the fashion, the charm.
Within two minutes of my Uber entering the Paris-walls, I was reminded of my adoration and already dreading my return to North America. To add to the already too-good-to-be-true experience, my company put two colleagues and I up in a true-Parisian penthouse in the 9th Arrondissement for the duration of our stay.
As everyone who truly knows me and my Instagram Profile will attest, my style changes depending on where I am in the world. In Paris, I am FULL blown French. YES I wore a beret, YES I was called out on it many times by my French colleagues, and YES I was told I was chic enough to pull it off. My Paris go-to’s consisted of a classic black blazer, Kenzo Loafers, vintage Levi’s (I like the juxtaposition of a formal jacket with not-so-formal pants, but hey that’s just me), and a lot of white t-shirts. Boring? Well, my nights out included a very fluffy purple ostrich jacket, a yellow-velvet dress, and a whole lot of fake pearls.
Due to my prior experience in Fashion, my current company’s mark in the industry, as well as my personal-affinity for the art, it was inevitable that I would immerse myself in the Fashion Week Frenzy. This included sneaking myself into all of the hot spots (including Hotel Costes pre Kim-K robbery). On my “days-off,” I freelanced on a street-style Stella McCartney shoot at L‘Opéra and Palais-Royal, and literally found myself in my younger self’s dream. I then acted as my photographer friend’s “assistant” to help spot celebrities and influencers at the show. Salma Hayek, Natalia Vodianova, Miroslava Duma, you know, the usual. But much to my Italian fan-girl eyes, I saw the ever-chic Anna Della Russo approach me. ME! She proceeded to complement everyone in our group and even posed for pictures (see @victoriamenechella for the proof).
Needless to say, my flight back to New York was full of heartache. Luckily, Canadian Thanksgiving provided an opportunity to reconnect with my loved ones and brought me back down to reality. Until next time Paris (Paris in the Spring, quel rêve?)
Contributor: Victoria Menechella