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As a nearly 20 year Fashion Industry Vet, I've made TheFE my place to cover and discuss everything fashionable from books, to designer ready-to-wear to couture. All aspects of a fashionable lifestyle are included. BIG NEWS: I'VE MOVED TheFE TO WORDPRESS to take advantage of their superior publishing platform. See you there!!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Text & Images, Special Correspondent, Claudine Gumbel of Caravan
Edited by Vivian G. Kelly

March 5- 8, 2009


Visiting Paris during their fashion week is so exciting because you have the opportunity to see some fashion shows, go to great parties and see beautiful people. Paris is such a sexy city and believe it or not, it gets even sexier during Fashion Week. Models are running around, music is hopping and people from all over the world are in Town.

MY GOAL - to highlight a few of my Paris adventures and hopefully inspire you to check out some of the places I visited during my journey.

I was very lucky to travel with the two of the nicest boys that are super inspiring and talented. My friend MATT LEVINE, is the owner of THE ELDRIDGE in the Lower East Side. He went to Paris because he was throwing a big party during PFW at LA MAISON BLANCHE. My friend, JOSH MADDEN is an amazing dj ( he got me listening to my now favorite band, THE KOOKS) and he is also my fashion buddy. Josh is also an enormously talented stylist, he just styled the KANGOL campaign and works a lot with his friend, Peter at House of Cassette (an LA-based collection).

So back to Paris….

During the day on Thursday we checked out the concept store, COLETTE. I am psyched because they have an exhibition on colorsplash cameras and other trick cameras. I run into the New York Times' iconic photographer, BILL CUNNINGHAM. He is taking some photos and looking around the store. I purchase some cool gum by this company Blue Q. They have one that is the “ze art of Frenching” Chewing Gum – Fun for ze Tongue. Menage a Mint Flavor.

We head out and walk to the Hotel Costes, the ultimate in chic, and a must see when visiting Paris.

We go shopping around. Matt and I discover this collection we love called LOFT DESIGN. The aesthetic is simple but is really comfortable and a lot of the pieces are organic.

We venture out to see designer, IVANA HELSINKI. She decided to have her beautifully executed presentation in a gallery. We then head over to a new restaurant that is now on my “favorites” list. I loved their vibe. It is called MAMA SHELTER. There were so many cool things to look at from these screens on which you can capture your photo. Your photo is then displayed throughout the restaurant on plasma screens. There was also beautiful beaded Masai chairs and the ceilings were chalkboard and had wonderful drawings… including a little Los Angeles in the house shout out. I captured this great photo of Matt, which for some reason reminded me of gangs of New York.

Next was JADE JAGGER’S party for her fashion and jewelry collection, JEZEBEL. Jade is truly “a cool cat” and she makes some really great jewelry that is inspired by her love for music. The vibe at VIP room was electric with tons of lights and a huge video presentation of Jezebel’s campaign. To top it off the screens around the venue rolled the words JEZEBEL (with her logo which is a kiss) Jade’s jewelry was displayed on turntables and in turntable boxes. I was invited because I met her in Ibiza at a cool restaurant there – I found out that she has a love for hip hop too!

The next day, Josh and I attended the Issey Miyake show that featured some great karate moves. They had a few presentations of karate moves and the invite had little photos of people doing karate. The collection had pops of color from RED to YELLOW to PINK. We loved the hats and there were some great layered pieces. We saw Beth Ditto (who is now on the cover of LOVE magazine), Dr. Valerie Steele, Bill Cunningham and the incomparable Suzy Menkes, the writer for the International Herald Tribune. From the show we went to check out a new place called MERCI, that just opened during fashion week. It's my new favorite store. There were so many beautiful details from the red car outside stuffed with exciting colors to a license plate that had the word, MERCI engraved on it. There was beautiful artwork on the walls –a lot said MERCI in a subtle manner. They sell children’s clothes, home items, gift items, books, stationary and vintage pieces from YSL and Thierry Mugler and much more. My friend noticed that the staff all wear chucks and their shoe laces are all red. I highly recommend this store as a MUST SEE when in Paris. The other interestingl aspect was the glow of light the atrium has when you walk in because of the beautiful sky light.

Next was the PALAIS DE JAPAN. We never went in to see the exhibitions but we went to bookstore and checked out some books and we tagged their sticker wall with a cassette sticker. This place is also a MUST SEE if you are looking for inspiration.

That night we went to several places. The first was NEO, where we danced and just had fun. From there we went to LE CLUB LE BARON that is like our Beatrice Inn. It had a great vibe and great music and I am so glad I was able to check it out.

The next day we checked out one of new favorite designers, TSUMORI CHISATO. I wanted to cry during this show because I need every piece from their collection. I am starting to save my money now so I can buy it all. . There were beautiful dresses with stars and embellishment on them and little coats that were “robe” inspired which I love to striped little capes. This collection is a GEM that needs to be rocked by every fashionable person in Hollywood, it’s THAT good.
Next up, the flea markets! You can’t go to Paris without hitting up some flea markets. I found the most exciting little faux fur but furry cape in blush pink. I also found some great dresses and a YSL jacket. My friend found the PEACOAT!! It was a French army jacket with anchor patches and gold buttons in navy with red detail. He totally can rock it. It is amazing. Tsumori Chisato brought tears to my eyes, as did this peacoat.


So that night was the night for THE ELDRIDGE. It was going to be a very important night for my friend, Matthew Levine. He booked la maison blanche which is the hottest spot in Paris on Saturdays. It was quite the production, they asked us to check the venue out and have dinner and we ate beautiful food and enjoyed “model” company and then after we were done, the space transformed into a nightclub right before our eyes. They bring in couches and low tables and dj equipment and the space changes from being a fine dining establishment to a rockin’ night club. Matt did such a great job finding a cool spot and my friend Josh deejayed along with DJ M.O.S. Everyone was going crazy, they loved the music. I met a new friend who I hear I might be working with called CK., who was also a dancing buddy that night. Matt’s event was a great success.

I wish I got to spend even more time in Paris but I had to come home and get back to reality.

Please visit www.shopcaravan.comif have To read more of Claudine’s adventures, have a look on twitter – claudine gumbel

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