Wednesday, December 02, 2009
RYKIEL-IN-WONDERLAND : H&M THROWS AMAZING PARTY AT LE GRAND PALAIS
So last night, I danced under the sparkling Eiffel Tower, saw the Arc de Triomphe break in half, watched Lily Cole ride a massive horse and buggy as geese and baton twirlers passed by and models in lingerie danced on top of chandeliers and swung on tall swings as the soundtrack of Mamma Mia played in the background. I walked through a field of mushrooms, ate cotton candy, was arrested by the police, and went home with multicolored panties and a stuffed flamingo. True story. I am not exaggerating at all (nor did I engage in any illegal substance abuse, mind you). It was Rebecca in Wonderland – Alice would have been so jealous.
The worlds of fashion, film and Parisian hipsters collided as Kate Bosworth, Eva Herzigova, Jean Paul Gaultier, Emmanuelle Béart, Melvil Poupaud, Zoe Cassavetes, Marina Hands, Aure Atika, Ora Ito, Julie Gayet and Elsa Zylberstein worked the room - and, by “room,” I of course mean the massive palace known as le Grand Palais.
Le Grand Palais was transformed into what I can only imagine heaven looks like – an enchanted forest with giant mushrooms led the path inside where the more than 2,000 guests were greeted with amusement park rides and games (see: the stuffed flamingo I won playing the duck pond game), numerous bars with clever names like la “Bise-trop” (sounds like bistro but means “kisses too much” in French), the Brasserie Lipps, the Patis’cheri or le Café de Flirt, all plays on words from famous places in St Germain-des-pres (Brasserie Lipp, Café de Flore, etc), Sonia Rykiel’s stomping ground. It was a surreal theme park for adults. Champagne flowed like water and Le Notre offered treats for the taste buds – everything from fancy finger food like foie gras and langoustines to sushi (at the bar called Su-Chic), cotton candy, crepes and gateaux aplenty. Rumors are swirling that the event cost somewhere between 2 and 4 million euros – the cost of the lavish invitations alone could have likely put me through college, not to mention the more than 300 technicians and waiters – and fake policemen! – on hand to make sure everything ran smoothly, and it did, right down to the convenient G7 taxi station outside as the party ended.
An enormous reconstruction of the Eiffel Tower hovered above the center of the building, sparkled as soon as night fell then became the site of a massive dance party after the parade ended. “What parade?” you ask ?
This definitely put Macy’s Thanksgiving version to shame. First, a loud crashing sound as the fake Arc de Triomphe broke in half, making way for a marching band, baton twirlers, geese (yes, actual large geese), Lily Cole on a giant horse and buggy wearing the new lingerie collection, followed by models in lingerie hanging from swings and chandeliers or sipping champagne in bed. Then, some fully clothed girls wearing the new Rykiel for H&M knitwear collection featuring some fabulous sweaters than I cannot wait to buy when the collection hits select stores all over the world on February 20th. (The lingerie line will be in stores everywhere as of this Saturday, December 5th by the way.) And, may I add, all of this to the tune of songs from the MAMMA MIA soundtrack – it was pure bliss. (Had there been half-naked MEN in their underpants I may have enjoyed it even more, but it was still a thrill.) There was a great energy in the room, everyone was cheering, dancing and smiling – even the models ! And, to say merci for coming, our friends at H&M and Rykiel left us with parting gift bags – a velvet pillow reading “Belle en Rykiel”* (*pretty in Rykiel – yes, it sounds much more melodious in French doesn’t it?), multicolored underwear from the new collection plus a look book of the collection.
It was a memorable evening – it’s been the talk of the town (my town, that is – Paris, France) all day and I fear will ruin all other parties we attend here for the near future. I woke up this morning with a flamingo, multicolored underpants and confetti – if that’s not the sign of a good night, then I don’t know what is. Merci to H&M and to Rykiel – hey, Sonia, we’re ready for the next party ! Until then, I will head over to the Café de Flirt – I mean, Flore – for “un club Rykiel” sandwich !