Those who think glamour is dead should visit Paris during fashion week, particularly during the couture shows. I happened to be there – the first week of July – to visit a friend, Baroness Jacqueline von Hammerstein-Loxten, who was helping Ethan Koh, a designer, launch a handbag collection. Another friend, Danielle Rossi Hirsch, also flew into town and joined us for some wonderful dining, shopping and viewing of gorgeous jewelry and handbags.
I was there to see the sights too, of course, but the people-watching provided perhaps the best spectacle of all – men and women dressed to the nines, in the latest cocktail attire, dripping with jewels and sporting fancy footwear. It’s rare and lovely in this age of ubiquitous athleisure wear to see people making an effort to look their best. The weather too sparkled – warm and glorious – bathing the City of Light in a bright glow.
Ethan Koh is a fourth generation scion of a Singapore family business – Heng Long – a tannery for top quality exotic animal and reptile skins. The business supplies skins to Hermès, Chanel and Prada, among other purveyors of luxury goods. Gardens continue to serve as inspiration for the London-based designer who grew up surrounded by exotic fruits and spices, a benefit of having grandparents who were fruit and spice traders.
Leaving the wonderful shopping, window shopping and dining aside, for me, no trip to Paris is complete without a museum visit. With that in mind, I headed to the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, one of Paris’ best-kept secrets. The manageable museum has a world class collection of 20th and 21st century art and holds exhibits of cutting-edge, contemporary artists.