Looking back on this week it’s hard to believe that so many things can be squished into only 7 days. Work has been a brilliant haze of stylists, magazines and the whirlwind that is unearthing all of the old archived pieces from all of the collections within our agency. Our normally tidy showroom is now a delicious spread of archived collections from incredibles like Raf Simons, Alexis Reyna, and Bruno Pieters (to name only a few). Naturally, when enlisting the fashion enthusiast girls that we are, to spend time sifting through this gold mine of avant-garde awesomness… it’s to be expected that we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
My colleague and I also prepared a large shipment of exceptionally chic haute couture pieces for the Lady herself, Lady Gaga! Cool?! Absolutely. Pressure?! Ummmm YEA! Between co-ordinating with her stylists, press agents, the designer, and the courier, there was more than plenty of room for error! Luckily, through days of hard-work and obsessive diligence, the pieces made their way from Paris to sunny LA. *PHEW!* Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to keep you posted on when and where you’ll be able to find the finished product 😉
Work is work, and it’s all well and good, but what about FUN?! What about Paris and this incredible city, and (if you’ve been following my last postings) my new apartment?! Well let me just say that every morning I wake up in my extraordinarily comfortable mezzanine, or look out onto my little terrace, or step out of my door into the narrow busy street filled with restaurants, cafes and creperies, I have to pinch myself and catch my breath all at once. I am so blissfully content in my new home that I am so excited to wake up every morning, and so thrilled to return home every night.
It has been my incredible good fortune that I found myself all those many weeks ago, sitting in the little airport in my hometown, that I made a wonderful new friend. Now, when I say my town is small, it’s so small that our airport is one room, the lady at the counter always knows who you are, and so when another person arrives in the airport with your same connecting flights and same destination, she’ll point you out to the other passenger! It was this small town friendliness that allowed me to met the sweet-hearted ‘Baby Nish’. Her father and my father have the same occupation, and so naturally, they know each other quite well. Having never personally met ‘Baby Nish’ before, I did however know her older sister whom I attended high school with and even worked with her one summer. Meeting the Baby was a wonderful surprise and I was more than happy to have some company on our long voyage to France. She was heading over to work as a nanny for a French family with two boys and was feeling extremely nervous when we first sat down together in the waiting room. We kept each other company, sharing meals at our stop over in Toronto, and then meeting up again to collect our bags once we’d finally landed in Paris. Having our small town-ness in common we promised we’d get together as soon as the opportunity presented itself. I could think of no better way to spend my first night in my new home, than to celebrate it with someone from my old home, and that’s exactly what we did!
After a night filled with beautiful wanderings, great talks, and delicious food, I snuggled into my first night in my new apartment. It felt great to fall asleep feeling full of good food, great company, in a city full of potential.
The next day, was a beautiful sunny day in Paris, but a dark day in New York as the incredibly talented actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his apartment from a drug overdose. Now, normally I wouldn’t really mention these things because, although they’re sad, most of us have zero connection to these celebrities who die in these dark and sudden ways. However, I make a mention of this incredibly talented artist because he has been an powerful and immeasurable source of inspiration for one of my dearest friends who is himself, an incredibly gifted actor. My friend constructs incredible characters within his roles and in this way mirrors so much of the talent and potential of Mr. Hoffman. For my dear friend, he has lost a hero and a source of inspiration for his craft and it is out of respect and love for my beloved ‘Birdy’, that I make a special mention to honour the incredibly talented Philip Seymour Hoffman, and his astounding contribution to the arts.
Now enough of that dark and broody stuff!! There can be no darkness without the light, so let’s return to bright side of life! Wandering around in this city when you live alone is an incredibly liberating experience. It’s true, that old saying that warns us that sometimes a city can be the loneliest of places – you can be surrounded by people but never feel more alone. I have experienced the heart wrenching lonliness that new city life can bring. You’re constantly lost, you don’t know anyone yet, you haven’t had time to build up your own local haunts, you haven’t found your favourite restaurants, cafes, or know the quickest routes to the grocery store. In other cities I’ve been absolutely tormented at times by these new moments, this new, and sometimes painful process of making new discoveries… but not here. Not in Paris.
I have never felt more at home in my solitude, more free in my ignorance, more joyful in being lost in the labyrinth of cobblestone streets, old buildings, and exquisite architecture. The smells, the sounds, the pace and the style of the city seem to beat in time with me – with my own rhythm, my own heartbeat. Being lost in this city is one of my favourite things, and they are moments that I relish. I know there will come a day, all too soon, where more things will seem familiar than new and mysterious. More corners will have been discovered, more shops, more cafes, more winding narrow streets will have been explored. I am blissfully at peace and enjoying every moment of being new to this city, and delighting in the possibility of discovering something new around every corner.
I have spent these last few days exploring on my own, walking quietly in the sunshine, meandering through the book stalls, having conversations with vendors about the collective works of Voltaire, and pouring over old covers of Vogue. I love the smell of crepes freshly cooking as I walk by. I love the slow pace of a tourist, the rushed pace of a Parisienne, and me – somewhere in between – trying to soak up everything from both angles.