Monday, May 31, 2010

A Night of Vanity and Art in Paris

Photo Essay: The Perfect Soirée for the Artsy, Poor Student

(Photo Credit: Felicia Moursalien)
In your mind, imagine the small punch buggie where two clowns jump out of it but to your surprise there is actually an endless stream of them popping out of this one car. Well, that's how I feel about Paris and its nightlife. I thought I had a pretty, pretty good idea about what one can experience in Paris, and then it completely surpassed my expectations. A couple nights ago I was invited to a fashion show at the Espace Culturel of the Ukrainian Embassy and it turned out to be one of the coolest and beautiful nights I've had in Paris. The craziest thing about this dazzling soiree was that it was all for free! Wicked right? It's counter-intuitive but some of the classiest and trendiest events usually are free, unlike Barcelona where the best things to do by night were 15 Euros and higher. The catch is that finding the awesomeness is hard and once you do, getting past the door is all dependent on how you look. This city breeds vanity but whateva, I prefer taking my odds when batting my lashes than the certainty of knowing I can't afford something.

Luckily for us, this night, consisting of a whole slew of artsy indulgences went by without a glitch. Here is a photo representation showing you what the heck Paris has hiding up her sleeve and my two cents on the whole sha-bang. 

Part ONE: The Embassy Fashion Show

Finding the right outfit. Canadian friend is in town and she came to Paris without heals or any nice clothing!! NEVER TRAVEL WITHOUT HEELS, GIRLS. After a mission of finding two outfits from my poor wardrobe for the both of us we decide on a black Axara dress, spiced up with my fricking beautiful Topshop tights and topped off with some bad ass heals she found for 24 euros! On my side, I recycled the dress (which is actually a skirt that my friend Jo lent me!) from the Sciences Po Gala and dressed it down a bit with boots and an American Apparel Belt. As usual we're late for the event..

Somebody say free cocktail? We meet up with the others and find out that we're not late for the fashion show, in fact we're two hours early and currently it was the cocktail part. With nothing to do but drink free, amazing Georgian wine that was being served, we fill our hands and head outdoors.

Photo Exhibit. Inside we amused ourselves with the interesting photos. The theme was Lieu, Temps, Evenement," meaning Places, Times, Events and consisted of French, Ukrainian and Georgian artists.

(Photo Credit: Felicia Moursalien) 
Eastern Euro fashion show begins. Finally after being prepped to like anything Georgian after copious amounts of the country's wine, designer Lolita Meski displays her very Eastern style. Note: I did not want to display the photos with fur (way too many) because I pretty much want to cough hairballs on anyone who wears real fur, so I decided to limit those photos and show mostly the ones without.

It was a great experience with cultural eastern music playing while these beautiful women show what makes their side of the world want to consume. 

Cultural Diplomacy. Um.. why can't the Canadian embassy have events with Niagara Ice wine and Canuck designers? Maybe I just don't know about it, either way it really is disappointing how little my country pays to promote its image and art abroad. I just had a chuckle with how badly Margaret Atwood (famous author) insults our Prime Minister, here. "..he told us that some group called “ordinary people” didn't care about something called “the arts.” Baha she is my hero and I admire her sarcasm.

 Not going to lie though, as liquored up as I was I wasn't personally enticed by the collection based mostly on fur and low-cut numbers. I wonder how useful it was to show this collection in Paris- the capital of prude Euro dressing.

 However, the numerous nipple slips and the anticipation of them were amusing to the classy crowd.

Deilaaaaa, you've got me on my knees! Deila Vogur, the actress that plays Felicia in Decide-Toi Clement and our friend who invited us to the event.

Lolita Meski, congratulations on a great show.

Ya know..kickin' it with models after the show, no biggie.

Lil'Fel. Although I'm wearing heals, I still barely pass my boyfriend's belly button :(

The light is a pinkish orange as the sun sets in the 8th arrondisement. I know I've said it before, but spring in Paris feels like pixie dust and enchanted castles..

Inspired, we try out our own model walk down the foyer.

My lack of coordination and height issues kill my young modeling career.  Eat it, 1.48 m!

Wes Anderson inspired..  Can I just take a second to point out that pink thing on the sink (holy assonance). I had just bought it that day for, guess, 5 euros and I'm still deciding whether I love it. I have such a poor eye for accessories..

It's not the size of your bow-tie that counts..After the free Georgian wine clears out we start to do the same and contemplate our next adventure, but we can't find Paul. 

We look up and see him gloriously finishing the last of the alcohol. 22 Rue Messine, you've been wonderful. After rejoining him we hear about THE BEST PARTY EVER and quickly make our way over there.

PART TWO: The Best Party Eva

Hotel Particulier. Let me tell you about these hotel particuliers. They are ginormous apartments in Paris, consisting of many floors and owned by extremely wealthy people. In A Day in Paris, I showed you a bunch of hippies who were squatting in these buildings because they are sometimes empty for long periods of time and they throw parties there.

But somehow we found this one, filled with art on every floor, outrageously gorgeous decor,  long winding staircases and THIS CHAIR. Reminds me of something out of Space Odyssey and that makes me a happy pants.

Each floor had a different theme, I wish I knew who the artists were. There were also these large books made of fabrics and were filled with pages of texture. This mystery club/gallery/home delighted every sense.

The best part about this place was that it wasn't only an art exhibit, it had a DJ, dancing and an open bar. We entered without paying any cover or having bouncers judge our attire. Straight up yo, it was everything a poor, hip student could have asked for in a night in Paris.

This night was just incredibly lucky and wonderful.  It ended with us being absolutely torché by 1 am, having started the back-to-back open bars at 5. Most of us called it a night (except Paul who hit up a house party). I'm not saying it is easy to find but when you dig past the tourist junk on the Champs Elysée, Paris can give you everything you dream about and more, making it your own 'moveable feast' as some dude Hemingway talked about. 

The End. Check out exclusive photos from backstage of the fashion show, more shenanigans and vanity on the Facebook fanpage, HERE.

Wanna see more of what  a tourist will never see?

Part One: How I Hated Paris

A Day in the Life..

A Night in Paris

Indie Guide to Paris: Cheap and Cool Eats


Is this just glow-in-the-dark porn or is it art? Controversial video in France by Ed Banger's Mr. Flash, appropriately titled 'Flesh.'

1 comment:

  1. Hey lil Fel, I'm in Paris for 5 weeks and am looking for the hook-up! If you have any friends who want to party with a down, hip Californian that would be mmmazing. E-mail me at