Monday, January 25, 2010

Haute Couture

My lovely friend dave interns for Joseph Thimister. Thimister is a Dutch designer who has shown at couture week before and was invited back again! Every year they (being the gods of fashion?) invite one guest designer to show. Supposedly they were impressed with him eight years before so they asked him back. Dave invited me to the show and it was amazing!!! It was cool to be on the other side because when I dressed models for Elie Saab I didn't actually get to see them walk the runway.

The show was in Palais du Tokyo on the second floor in a square room. It was all very modern and sparse. I liked the layout though because since It was a square and the models walked around it everyone had a great view. Plus, you got to see the clothes from different angles. The show was called "1915, opulence and bloodshed" and was inspired by the bloodshed in Russia in 1915. Thus, the blood stained t-shirts. I loved the Russian military jackets on the men, so crisp. Even though I'm not a fur fan, there were some gorgeous furs, like the red cape and huge white coat. Some of the later dresses made looked like tinfoil and made a lot of noise, but they moved beautifully. I read that they were based on the blankets that were used to warm the soldiers and whatever material that was makes a lot of noise. My favorite was the last dress. It was really spiky and masculine, but also such a beautiful classic gown. The way it wraps around her arm in the back, ah so pretty!

I think I saw bill cunningham, but i'm not sure, i have to research to see if he was there. I saw grace coddington! She's anna wintour's right hand man and after seeing the september issue I have so much respect for her and think she has much more of a vision than anna. I also think I saw Lilane Bettencourt, the chief shareholder of L'oreal aka the richest woman in Europe.

It was surreal to be around such fabulously dressed people with amazing jobs. I got to pretend for a little I was one of them!

Here's the link to all the pieces!
I still don't have school! It's the first week of classes, but only lecture classes. I'm taking two lecture classes, but only one is meeting this week...oh Sciences po. I'm not complaining! Since I don't have school I've been trying to go to museums and neighborhoods I've been meaning to try. On Friday I went to a little free museum in the marais. It was someone's house in the 18th century so it's basically a museum of their things. They had some beautiful tables back then, let me tell you.

My favorite part was the collection of paintings of women fully clothed, except for their breasts. It was as if someone just ran into the picture and pulled down their shirts. They had great titles like "indiscreet" "frivolous love" and "beautiful dream." They cracked me up.

Yesterday I went to Angelina's with Ari for their famous hot chocolate. It was delicious, but so rich. We walked by the American embassy which was reassuring because I'm pretty sure I'm an illegal alien right now (I'm working on it.)

So, I'm trying this whole jogging thing again. Being a poor college student and sciences po not having a gym, I've succumbed to the streets of paris. It's a lot different than running in Chicago or D.C. In Chicago you've got the lake and there's always a million people out. In D.C. there are also always a million people out because everyone in politics jogs, I swear. It's what motivates me. I'm like "alright, if Bush ran 3 miles everyday I can do it too!" I was watching the west wing last night and they had a meeting while running-so D.C. Everyone works out, so that's my motivation there. Here, I'm like "hmmm, I could be having an espresso or some chocolate right now." But I'm gonna keep trying!

I got another babysitting job! "teaching" English to children who are already fluent in English, it's great. There apartment is amazing. I want to sit the parents down and ask them how you get to a point in your life where you have such a stunning Parisian apartment.

Speaking of kiddies, there was a swarm of them outside my door yesterday waiting for the actor who plays Zorro next door to sign their playbills. Adorable! He was so nice to them too.

I saw "Gainsbourg" the other night...not what I expected. There was lots of paper mache involved and a giant "jew" with multiple hands. And lots of smoking and sex. I didn't really know much about his life, but I walked out so confused! My friend Dave who loves him and knows everything about him didn't like the movie either so that reassured me of my opinion. It should have been called "Gainsbourg: his life on acid." But, the theater was filled with 20 something french hipsters and art students so it was great people watching. And a ton of previews were for American movies! I'm excited to see "in the air" here which is "up in the air" in America. Why leave out the up??? They didn't even translate it into french, it's the exact American title minus the up.

I walked by one of the butcher shops around the corner from me and for the first time I looked at the sign. It's called "the white rose." Since I live in a Jewish neighborhood I'm assuming that it's named after the non-violent student resistance group from Nazi Germany. How cool! Not only was that group amazing, but the fact that it's remembered here (and what better a place than a butcher shop) I thought was so clever and... sweet? sad? I'm not sure, but I liked it. I should go buy something from that butcher.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Crazies Love Me

Today I went Chez Jean to do my usual studying. I love it there because the coffee is cheap, they have free wifi, they are super nice, and it's not usually busy. I go, get my little window spot and this lady starts yelling at me. At first I didn't get she was yelling at me, but then I turned around and she's swearing and saying she hates people like me. I gave her a glare and then went on with my work. Turns out, she's crazy! She had three plate settings, but it was only her. She was having a conversation with three other people...that were all her. Then she spent 30 minutes moving the table and chairs. Drove me crazy/thought she was going to yell at me again so I left.

Later, I was taking the metro home and going through Chatlet (or shitlet as we fondly call it) and I ask this man if I can walk by him on the moving walkway. He turns around and makes a surprised face and starts running full speed ahead. I thought he was being funny, playing a little joke on me, but then he gets off the escalator and starts yelling at me too! Yelling obscenities as I walked away...great times.

Alright, let's talk about laundry. I HATE doing laundry here. 3.70-6 (!) euro depending on the size of the machine plus 1 euro for NINE minutes of the dryer. I'm sorry, but what the hell dries in 9 minutes? That's right, nothing! Everytime I go to the laundromat I put in an ample amount of soap but it never gets all nice and sudsy! I feel like everyone is judging me on my lack of suds. So, I always look crazy and add more soap, but no suds. It gets clean though! mystery. I also can't keep my eyes of the machine when I'm doing the laundry. Partly because I want to see if suds will appear, but also that circular motion sucks me in. I'm like a cat or a baby...not sure which one is better.

Finally, Christmas trees. The tallest Christmas tree I've seen here was up to my shoulder. So sad. I don't even think that qualifies as a Christmas tree. Anyway, it's what they have. Since I've been back I've seen all of these wimpy little trees on the streets, waiting to get picked up by the garbage men. It looks as if someone beat them to a pulp. Hardly any branches left, slumped on the side of the street. For some reason I find it so depressing. Teeny tiny trees all beaten up and left out to die.

I got to see so much family this weekend! Cousins, great aunts, aunts, more cousins. I love old family stories. Makes me miss St. Paul and my grandparents' old house.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I'm going to try and embrace Cole Porter's lyric from "I love Paris" the rest of the winter: "I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles."

It drizzles 24/7! and SO GREY. I'm very envious of people who get to see sun. I might write a haiku on the weather soon. Ha, I should really focus my energy on studying for my immigration final instead of writing haikus on rain.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Paris 2010

So much for blogging while I was home! Oh well. I think what I was going to write about were my trips to Brussels and Barcelona. Barcelona was way cooler. Would not mind at all having my own vicky cristina Barcelona story there. Brussels was interesting, but everything was built by Leopold and if you've ever read King Leopold's ghost you'll get why that was creepy.

I rang in 2010 with all my Chicago lovers. We freaked out and realized that in ten years we will be 31 (gasp!) and decided to predict each other's lives then. I will be married but with no kids.

I'm back in my little studio. I sort of missed it, actually. I have a final on the 5th republic for one of my classes in French on Wednesday so until then it will be mostly studying.

I can't believe this is my second semester here! I'm going to try to do more in Paris. Don't get me wrong, I definitely feel I took advantage of living here, but sometimes I would get lazy. So, i'm hoping to do some sort of excursion every week, museum, new area, etc. Also, i am going to attempt to work out like the Parisians. By this I mean run in a park, not on the streets, it must be in one of the big parks. I may not be running in vintage lacoste tees like the rest of them, but I'm going to try to fit it. Anyway, they will totally be jealous of my Chi Omega and GW t-shirts. Finally, i'm going to try not to use my computer as much. What is this nonsense I talk of? As much as I love this little box, it is so easy to look at the clock and realize I've been wasting my time for hours. I love gchat, facebook, stupid websites, and netflix watch instantly as much as the next college student, but I'm going to try to distance myself and read more, especially in cafes.

I can't believe I get another semester here! I found myself missing Paris (don't worry Chicago, you're still number one.) Just silly things like waiting 15 minutes in 10 degree weather for the awful CTA, seeing a French movie trailer, or not being able to go out with all your friends to a bar because America has ridiculous drinking laws, made me miss this place.