When I was teaching fashion at the Institut catholique de Paris, I met many talented and inspiring people. Among them : Henriette Bonde, who created a webzine about fashion. She asked me to write about my dresses, and more precisely the story behind the dress.
Here is my first story It is called : Love Letter from Paris.
I found the dress in Saint-Germain-des-Près – near my neighborhood in the heart of Paris. I found it in a beautiful shop called Axara which I particularly love, because most of the dresses look like they are from the French fairytale Peau d’Ane. A fairytale brought to life by the French movie maker Jacques Demy, who has worked a lot with the French composer Michel Legrand.
I fell in love with the dress immediately! And I decided that, this is the dress I will wear for the wedding I was going to.
Love, and a broken heart
My late Aunts beloved partner, thus my former Uncle, was getting married again, and I was so happy for him.
The love in the wedding reminded me of my dear Aunt. She passed away after a painful and difficult disease, and she was the person I knew who loved Jacques Demy’s movies and Michel Legrand’s music the most. At her funeral we even sang one of his songs. I loved her so much…
I think Michel Legrand and his muses heard us, because, when I flew to the other end of the world short after my Aunt left this world (I went to the continent she had grew up in: Oceania) and there I fell in love with… the grandson of Stan Kenton (a jazz musician who inspired the previously mentioned Michel Legrand). I think maybe the God of artists and musicians heard my broken heart and soothed it with this fortunate rendez vous, that healed me from my dreadful loss.
So, when my Uncle got married again, I thought I had to come to the wedding and wear a Peau d’Ane kind of dress. Plus, my Uncle hosted the wedding at le musée de la chasse et de la nature, so I thought it would make good sense to wear a green dress. The bracelet comes from New Caledonia (France’s largest overseas territory near New Zealand), where my Aunt grew up. The earrings are made of pearls from the sea. My dear Aunt gave them to me for my birthday. And my ring was given to me by my grandmother. The hat was made by a friend of mine, from an old hat she found on an antique market. She added the feather. The Chanel pochette is my Mum’s. The shoes were bought on one of my trips to New Zealand. I can actually walk and dance in them and never be in pain. Kiwis’ pragmatism: creating shoes you can actually walk in! I love them. A Kiwi friend of mine, Charlie Ryder, once told me:
Never let anyone stop you from wearing high heels – even on the beach!
So I didn’t.