I'm having a very fashiony couple of days!
Last night I went to the Charles Nolan boutique to attend a book signing for Vicky Tiel's new book "It's All About the Dress" about her 40 years in the fashion business. She was quite a character, telling us all about her good friend Liz Taylor —Ms. Tiel and her makeup artist husband - how handy would that be? - travelled with world for 20 years with the Burton- Taylor entourage. That show-stopping red dress that Julia Roberts wore in "Pretty Woman" was Ms. Tiel's "Torrid" dress.
She is now the longest surviving female fashion designer in Paris. Quite an achievement.
The secret to her success? "Party, party, party!" She's great fun!
And tonight was just as exciting. Just two blocks away at Marc Jacob's BookMarc (a really beautifully curated collection of books on fashion, the arts, culture and style. Plus they've kept up the charming tradition of the previous owners of putting out discounted books on tables outside the store. You never know what you might find. Worth a lingering browse...), the iconic Carine Roitfeld was tucked away in a corner, signing copies of her new book "Irreverent." My dear readers may remember from a previous post that this was on my wish list for the season...
So I ignored the $37 I could have saved by ordering the book from Amazon and ponied up the full price, getting the third to the last book in the store. Once paid for, back into the line on Bleecker Street to wait my turn to get the book signed. My friend Hugo and I commented how unusual it was to see a line snaking outside the bookstore, while across the street Magnolia Bakery seemed oddly quiet -- it usually has a line half a block long of tourists clamoring for their overly sweet cupcakes.
The line was filled with Parsons and FIT students, writhing with excitement usually generated by a rock star or movie idol. Their frenzy intensified when a slender Marc Jacobs arrived, wearing a simple zippered navy hooded sweatshirt and jeans, his hair and beard neatly cropped. He looked as glowing as if he'd just stepped out of the showers, fresh from an invigorating workout. He signed autographs and posed for photos, waved to those of us waiting in line outside the windows, he was a good host.
When we finally did make it inside, to another serpentine line that wound past photography books and lush fashion tomes, DVDs of avant garde films and rubber Marc Jacobs iPhone cases. Finally we were in sight of the star of the evening -- the quietly smiling Carine -- who I noticed would stop and chat for a few moments with each person, most of whom she'd never met before. She wasn't just writing a name and an obligatory "best wishes" but really making a connection with each person before writing a private inscription for each one. What a lovely, gracious gesture. You sensed she must be weary from the travel of her international book tour, right on the heels of fashion month, yet she hid it well, not with cosmetics but with a warm smile.
When it was my turn, I told her that I had been across from her at the Chloe show last month, and that I'd been so thrilled to see one of my fashion icons, I almost forgot to look at the clothes on the runway. She laughed and asked me what I thought of the collection ("exquisite," I replied) and then we discussed the unusually hot weather in Paris during Fashion Week. She never rushed me but maintained a sincere connection.
And so my book is inscribed "To Jane, So nice to see the show in Paris with you, love, Carine."
What can I say? I'm smitten.
P.S. Interesting fashionable sidenote: While dining at the bar at Swedish restaurant Smorgasbord, who should walk in but the stunning Scandanavian model/blogger Hanneli Mustaparta! And yes, she is even more stunning in person. Simply lit up the room.