Monday, February 10, 2014

Where In The World Is Annika? ~Paris, France 2011 Edition, Part 1

Though I am no renowned Carmen Sandiego with a fire engine red trench coat or tall enough to be spotted in any crowd, let alone be Waldo, I have been blessed with a fair amount of traveling in my days. This is not to say that I have sated my wanderlust, far from it, but that the countries I have been able to travel to have not only been memorable but absolutely beautiful, each in their own way.

I thought this might be a fun way to share the world with you, dear readers, and that you and I might reflect together on the experiences, swap stories, and overall enjoy traveling. I have always been grateful to travel outside the States, as I think so many people (especially when you come from and live in a small community like I do, with the likelihood of narrow views and minds) never get the chance to the view the world as a whole, to gain perspective, and realize that in the grander scheme of things you are very small in comparison to what the world offers.

In this edition, let's pack up and head to the most romantic capital of the world: Paris, France!

Paris, France. March 2011
There are two places that I have longed to travel to the most in this world: France and Japan! I consider these two places my dream destinations as they coincide with my true love: fashion. In my junior year at university in the midst of obtaining my Bachelor's degree in fashion design, I was given the opportunity to travel to Paris, France during fashion week with the person I was in a relationship with at the time. A friend of his, was a friend with Nicolas Andreas Taralis, and he had gotten tickets into a fairly exclusive fashion show for this designer~ both of them were fans of Taralis' work, collecting some of his men's wear pieces.

And so in March, just in time for my birthday, we hopped on a plane and took off to Paris!
(Embarrassingly, I must admit that I spoke only a few phrases in French as I had studied Spanish in my high school years, but would have loved to have been more fluent. )

It was by far, one of the shortest flights that I have had to be on, a little over 8 hours and with some fenagling and charm from my dear sweet father who happens to be a retired airline pilot, we got very nice seats in the front of the plane. It was a night flight so we slept most of the way, and when I awoke we were in Paris! (Well, Charles du Gaulle airport to be exact.)

Paris was as cute and quaint as I had imagined it would be! I was brimming with excitement, everywhere I looked there were shops filled with beautiful clothing and I couldn't sketch fast enough. I felt as though I couldn't possibly close my eyes or I wouldn't be able to take it all in. I was constantly stopping to stare in the windows of shops, lusting after pieces, or just taking photos like a terrible (but cute!) tourist.

We stayed in a small, cute hotel within view of the Arc de Triumph and close enough to walk to a small bakery where we ate breakfast every day we were there. These are the beautiful sights that greeted us each morning, yum!

We were able to spend a day going to the Louvre museum, which is so massive that I am sure you must need at least several days to back and forth to view everything. There are simply so many photos I'm not sure I can include them all!

I was taking a lot of art histories at the time, so I tried to snap as many photos as possible and was always delighted when I took one of a painting that I had seen in class and reveled in that feeling of staring deeply into its hues, realizing I was seeing it in person. 

 But of course, being the Rococophile that I am, insisted on seeing King Louis' apartments, which were on display at that time. I think, if I had a choice, I would have lived there and simply never left! Every single room you went to was exquisite. Everything you looked at was breath taking. It hardly felt real that all of these things could have existed in another time and people actually used them! 

To finish off this particular set of photos (let's face it, Versailles needs its own blog post...) are a few photos from the private Nicolas Andreas Taralis fashion show we were able to attend. It was a very short event, the longest part of course was waiting to get in and everyone's attitudes around us were entirely too serious for my liking. The air was thick with an almost tense anxiety, an event of who's who from the people who received invitations filled with turned up noses and long sideways glances. 

The event was held in an empty gallery, and the seating was made up of sitting on concrete stair blocks or standing against the wall. It was loud, loud enough for the pulsating music to rumble the concrete and terribly dark. Though I enjoyed looking at the clothing, and being a part of a live fashion show, the style is not one that I'm suited to, though Taralis really is a master of silhouette and fine cut tailoring. I'm afraid the venue was too dark to get any decent photographs.

And in case you wanted to know what it was like to actually be there in person, here is a short albeit poor quality, video of the event. I also apologize you either have to turn your head or computer sideways to view it...Hm.


Next chapter: Versailles, Laduree, More Food, and Baby the Stars Shine Bright!

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