Everyday Life in Paris: A Fashion Show in the Palais-Royale

Jun 27, 2018

Exploring Paris by foot is inexpensive and a fête for the senses.

My first full day in Paris was last Friday, and since it was all downhill from Montmartre to the first arrondisement where one of my favorite destinations was located, I thought pourquoi pas (why not)?

The Palais-Royale offers art, a garden to mosey around in, a fountain of water to soothe the mind, shops offering designer wares – both new and vintage, historic restaurants, and on Thursday (the day before) Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2019 menswear collection. Tout à fait normal. C’est Paris!

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As you will see in the signs posted on the balstrades, part of the garden was closed temporarily as they picked up the structures from the fashion show. No big deal, just an iconic French designer’s collection had been presented to the world at this very spot fewer than 24 hours ago.

While the signs do not signify whose fashion show it was, it was upon popping into Gabrielle Geppard’s vintage clothing store (which I was introduced to by Aisling of Tresor Parisienne during my last trip, having the opportunity to meet THE Gabrielle) and asking her that I found out. She stated the words “Louis Vuitton” as though it was her neighbor or friend (the latter is probably true – friend of the design house).  None-the-less, it all made me smile. I most definitely was in Paris. That was for certain, and so I took a Parisian metal lounge chair, pulled out a book and situated myself next to the large fountain.

~the entrance to Gabrielle Geppert’s vintage clothing boutique~

The sky was  blue, the locals were mixed amongst the tourists, and the Parisian pups relaxed as well. Closing my eyes for a moment was an immense delight. And when my neighbor to my right asked for a light for his cigarette, I looked at him, stumbled in my French and finally resorted to waving my hands as to attempt to indicate I did not have a match (it looked more like a failed attempt at sign language). Aucun problème (no problem). We both went back to basking in the sun and listening to the music of the water mixed with the breeze. Somewhere he found a light because he was smoking within minutes of our failed conversation. Qui sait.

Then I gathered myself for the uphill walk, but it was an uphill walk in Paris. It isn’t very often I have such an opportunity.

~Le Nemours cafe just outside the Palais-Royale~



12 thoughts on “Everyday Life in Paris: A Fashion Show in the Palais-Royale

  1. Enjoyed reading this! The fountain reminded me of the scene in Under the Tuscan Sun where the beautiful woman danced in the fountain….you chose a chair, maybe a bit safer!

    Some day I will walk the streets of Paris. Unnerving is that signs aren’t in English…what do tourists do?

      1. I began going to Paris at least 2X year (alone) since my divorce was final in 2012 and I walked into my 56th year. I do not speak french and it has never been a problem (unless I head to the countryside without a french-speaking companion). Go. Don’t let the language barrier stop you- most everyone speaks some English. A positive attitude, a willingness to be vulnerable to asking questions, and an American smile can all work. Paris not only healed me but also helped me to love the woman I am- all parts, including the lovely and not so lovely. Be brave. Book the flight.

    1. Hi Sherry – Even if you don’t know a bit of French, go anyhow! The best word to know is “bonjour,” which you’ll say when you enter shops, restaurants, and encounter French-speakers. It’s a mark of politeness and most people (unless you venture to the countryside) speak passable English and will work with you.

      We didn’t know any French when we visited Paris a few years back, and managed our way through a delicious meal where the wait staff didn’t know any English, and through trying our hand at finding a laundromat. The one our hotel staff sent us to was closed, so we lugged our suitcase across the street to a dry cleaner. He didn’t know any English, and ended up leaving his post to walk us through the winding back streets of Paris to another laundromat.

      Don’t let the language stop you. We decided it was all part of our “great adventure” and we’d gladly hop on a plane for Paris again tomorrow if we had the chance! You won’t regret it. 🙂

  2. I have nice suggestion for you, catch the train from Gare de Lyon to visit Neuchatel Switzerland. A four hour train ride from Paris. A quaint little town right on Lac Neuchatel. Once you arrive walk down the hill to town 5 minutes and:

    Visit “Walder Confiseur Chocolatier” for delicious local chocolates (miam miam!)

    http://walder-confiserie.ch/

    Pop in the local fromagerie “La maison du fromage – Sterchi” and hopefully Cedric will be working, a lovely, friendly helpful young man for the gruyere cheese!

    https://sterchi-fromages.ch/

    Neuchatel is an easy little town to walk around and enjoy. Have a nice lunch by the lake at the Beau Rivage Hotel. They have a lovely outdoor dining area with great views of the lake.

    https://www.beau-rivage-hotel.ch/en/

    Bon voyage!!!

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