fashion night out 2013.

Ladies and gents, it's that time of year again, Paris Fashion Week will be sweeping through the city in a week or so! There is no better way to kick off a week of chaos and couture than with a little (okay, a lot) of bubbles and giggles with a few lovely ladies at Vogue's Fashion Night Out!

This was my second invitation to Vogue's ode to mode, this year including Francophile author extraordinaire Juliette Sobanet.

Last year's Fashion Night Out, felt like a true end-of-summer celebration, whereas this year's with what I believe to be now permanent cold gloomy days, washed down with the constant stream of rain we've been having for weeks straight, it felt more like evening in late-November. I said it on Istagram and I'll say it here: it was technically still summer on Tuesday! Why are we already pulling out the wool and rubber rain boots? We have an entire six months ahead of us for shitty weather. Give us September back!

The evening started off at the iconic Roger Vivier who in my opinion puts on the best party on the block; the entertainment is always well, entertaining; none of this cacophonous DJ propped behind a Mac bobbing his head to noise (I sound like my grandmother) and the bubbly is always a-flowin'. A perfect party in my opinion!

This season, Vivier delighted us with the Canadian, glitter jumpsuit-sporting Jef Barbara. For those of you like me a few days ago aren't familiar with him, I urge you to check him out here or here. In short, he's pretty amazing. Like next level.

Signature Roger Vivier buckle.
So mod.

Days leading up to the event, I had sent a text to a friend who was also attending playfully asking her if she thought my boyfriend Bertrand Burgulat was going to be at the party. If you remember, I was introduced to his genius when he performed last year (check out our photo op) at the same fête. Since my exposure to the king of French kitch, he has made several appearances on my blog as well as our wedding when Aurel and I selected his song "La Rose de Sang" to be our first shimmy (no slow dancing for us) as newlyweds. I'm a pretty big fan. A side note, I always feel cheesy when I say that I'm a big fan of something. There has to be a chicer way of saying that you totally nerd out to something, right?

Walking in, familiar with the grand rounded staircase, we confidently made our way up to the main boutique where we were immediately greeted with a tray of champagne flutes, savory snacks, breezy swaying cocktail party music in a room full of fun fashion folk, you know, the ones that don't try so hard and make it look fun.

My friend then whipped around toward me to announce that "my guy" was there. As it turned out, "my boyfriend" was there. She approached him and made introductions because she knew I wouldn't have done it myself.

And...I totally embarrassed myself. 

Suddenly I couldn't speak French, was stumbling over my words and he had to switch to English because has figured I was a tourist  in town trying to speak my high school French. It. was. awful.

I'm still pretty mortified. With that, remind me never to meet Louis Garrel.

Wanting to see what the other boutiques were doing on the strip (something tells me that French fashionistas wouldn't exactly love to hear me call their precious Rue St. Honoré "the strip"), we decided to leave Vivier and boutique hop like we had done last year. Walking into Prada, although the collection was exquisite and the handbags were totally what my Jackie O. dreams are made of, for a party, it was a little snoozy (read: no champagne and snacks), so we left.

Hey, what else was there to do? Shop? As if. My 5-year-old employers are total cheapskates when it comes to my salary.

Wool swing skirt at Prada.
So fall!

We then walked past a brand that I had freelanced at on-and-off in both New York and Paris over the course of six years, and through the window saw one of my former co-workers who runs the Paris showroom leaned up against the wall looking totally bored. The party itself was pretty sparse, with wide, blank patches of space barely filled in with party-goers decked out in the brand's signature uptight black, and servers holding full trays of champagne waiting for someone, anyone to take a glass. To paint the picture for you, there were more men protecting the precious front door than there were guests inside. Asking the girls to wait outside for a second while I tried to get us in, I made the ultimate mistake of thinking we would be doing them a favor by wanting to attend, relieving the poor servers of their strenuous champagne duty.

Not thinking it would cause much of a commotion, I slipped in between the velvet rope to approach the wall of door men, but before I could get even a bonsoir out, my arm had been yanked and within seconds was back on the other side of the velvet rope.


The dramatic door guard would not even speak to me on the right hand side of the door, but made me walk five feet to my left where I suppose he would acknowledge my presence. The last I checked this was a boutique party not Anna Wintour's Met Gala, but I digress.

I explained that I wanted to say hello to my former co-worker, using his full name, and pointed to where he was at the back of the store. He said that he would allow me to stand in the doorway and yell for him to get his attention, similar to a desperate puppy trying to get its owner's attention in a hot car. Before I could negotiate a less demeaning offer, our conversation was interrupted by a girl who definitely fit more of the fashion profile than my frizzy hair and chubby cheeks have ever allowed me to. Tall, extremely slim in her black leather leggings, with platinum pin-straight choppy styled hair, she knew how to play up the part. She stepped in front of me holding goodie bags from the other boutiques, which included a gold metallic balloon, and finagled with the bouncers, just as I had been doing, although rather unsuccessfully. As she was working her magic, paying no mind to the me, the person who was mere inches away from her, she let her little gold balloon bob and bounce against my face. 

Not wanting to make a scene, I tried to wiggle myself back to get the damn balloon out of my face but by then there were more people behind me and was stuck between her stupid balloon, someone wearing a mask to my left, and a guy with his huge camera pocking the small of my back. No, camera is not code for something else.

Irritated by everything as it started to rain on me, I took out my rage on the balloon. 

I punched it. Hard. 

You guys, I punched her balloon. What is wrong with me? I apologize in advance for admitting this, but I was disappointed that it didn't pop. I hated that fucker. She then moved the balloon to reveal her face just to shoot me a disapproving look before being granted admission to the party that at this point didn't know why I was trying to so hard to get into.

The bouncer was back again to deal with me, and clearly wanting me out of his face let me go in for five minutes. How generous, sir. 

I walked in with my little purple plaid dress, sticking out like Eliza Doolittle in a sea of clean-tailored black, and ran to my former co-worker who received me with a big hug and bises. It turned out that he had what most of end up getting after many years in the business: FF, fashion fatigue, and was over pretending that a 700 euro black sweater is what life is all about.

Giving up where even my friend agreed that door guys were acting like the party was the grand poobah of parties, I headed to the door. Before making it out, I had crossed paths with one of the men in black who couldn't resist making me feel worse when he volunteered, "You had your little chat, now it's time for you to go, there isn't enough room, and frankly you and your friends aren't important enough."

I was stunned. First off, I was leaving. Second, not important enough? Who even says that? Doesn't he know that everyone is important? What a small petty world he must live in! Unfortunately, I was too stunned to come up with a witty retort (surtout en français!) and sheepishly saw myself out. Fashion is so dumb sometimes.

Heading back to Roger Vivier, the only place that seemed to appreciate us, we continued and finished off our soirée there. Good thing they were such jerks at "No names mentioned iconic French fashion house", otherwise we would have missed out on this.... 

Glitter jumpsuit ass.

And this...

Crabby door dudes, cringe-worthy moments and crappy weather aside, 
it was yet another successful Fashion Night Out; a lovely revisit to my former life that I don't really miss.
But with the right company, and the perfect blend of bubbles and good humor who says you need to be fancy?
Even in Paris, the fashion capital of the world. 


  1. LOL... I love this line:
    "what else was there to do? Shop? As if. My 5-year-old employers are total cheapskates when it comes to my salary"

    I know the struggle...

    I'm happy you punched the balloon, i think that was the easiest target to launch your acquired frustration.

    That bouncer was soooo rude, "you and your friends aren't important enough"



    At the end of the day your Fashion night out was fun :) :)

    1. Hahaha, my 5 year olds are total cheapos! They need to loosen their wallets if they want to keep this gem of an Anglo-phone nanny! The struggle will soon be over for be continued. ; )

      I'm glad you liked my balloon reaction. I did too. It felt awesome.

      We had a blast and having done things like this for years, it's going to take more than one grouchy bouncer to ruin my good time....especially when there's champagne involved!

  2. I suspect that's that arse's 1 important week of the year, and he was milking it for all he could get! Must be a sad life without anyone else to appreciate him... ;o)

    1. Yes, his one important night of the year. Good for him. He blocked the door of a "raging" party that no one was in. Logic. I thought me and my band of gals would have been a colorful addition to the drab scene...he didn't see it my way! Ha!

  3. Hey, so much to catch up on! Loved your cutie re-enactment of that San Francisco photo. It's my 4 year anniversary sometime very soon too! I think maybe the 27th but I'm not sure. Arrived in Europe on the 12th September I think and then spent a couple of weeks in Italy before France. Something must have been calling you, me and Sara to our destinies at the same time!

    Are you pleased not to be working FW this year? (Assume you're not?) xx

    1. Hey Gwan!!! Long time! I hope you're enjoying your rentrée! Mine was a bit rocky but am finally in the groove of it! I'm glad you liked the re-enactment photo. I wasn't sure how I was going to like putting the same photo but 15 years apart side-by-side, but you know what, I think I look better than when I did as a teen. I'm growing into my lady face. : )

      September is an anniversary for so many of us because it is the real "new year", unlike depressing January so I'm not surprised that you were also a September arrival! Happy Francoversary!!!

      I would have worked FW this year but was deep in honeymoon planning and then on my honeymoon during the time I usually sort it out. And since I resigned from the showroom I had been at for many seasons, I would have had to make an extra effort with cold emails or reaching out to contacts. I didn't have the time this summer to do that. Perhaps next season, because the cash is always nice. : )

  4. wow..."no I guess I'm not important like".....

    good grief...sometimes it's illuminating to re visit our old lives just to find out what exactly we don't miss....

    rock on..chubby cheeks.

    1. Exactly, Deb! I love fashion and had an amazing night because I was in good company, but missing to have to work with people who thought all this hullabaloo was life or death, nah, I'm good.

      - Chubby Cheeksta Forever

  5. 1. I would have kicked that balloons ass.
    2. The guy that told you that you and your friends aren't important enough... well he's obviously a loser because he doesn't know who Ella Coquine is. D*ck. x.

    1. That balloon sucked. It felt great punching it too. : )

      The door man was so lame. He really felt like he was getting to me by telling me I wasn't important. Living in LA for five years will really thicken the skin. I haven't been important since 2000! I just wanted the booze.

  6. That guy sounds like such a douche-bag but then again I haven't come across many bouncers in Paris who don't seem to have a chip on their shoulder! Sounds like a fabulous evening in the end though :)