STREETS… PFW SS17 – DAY 21
On my way to… Colette.
The day started out a bit tangled. I was to meet my friend Vanessa, who was flying into Paris, but flight delays and bad traffic kept us from meeting as planned. Frustrated, I decided to go to the Eiffel Tower and sulk. Luckily, I talk to myself habitually and quickly had a word with “Mr. Grumpy”, telling myself to stop, breath and assess the situation. I knew that there were no events planned near the Tower, so to go there would be pointless. I switched directions and headed to Place Vendome to see what I could find.
Soon, I was at famed boutique Colette, (a mecca of fashion, art, books, and collectibles) and busied myself with photographing the fashionistas in front of the store. Vanessa had finally arrived so we decided to see what all the fuss was about and went inside. That’s when my whole world exploded!
People were packed in the main floor, looking at books and collectibles and milling about fabulously. The second floor showcased samples of this seasons couture & pret-a-porter collections from every major designer you could think of. *Those images are on Instagram -@thevsr.com. The third floor was a mini loft gallery hosting a retrospective / book launch for Arthur Elgort – world renowned fashion photographer and really nice guy. In fact, he greeted me as I ascended the stairs to see what was going on. After pulling my jaw off the ground, I managed to thank him for his years of inspiration and we began chatting about fashion, super models, favorite photoshoots, and just hanging out. I took out my camera and looked at him, he smiled knowingly, so I began to shoot.
After a while, I went downstairs to confer with Vanessa, who had milled about fabulously herself. Another big event had started on the main floor. Pat Cleveland, acclaimed supermodel and muse to everyone during the 60’s and 70’s, was signing her new book. The boutique was packed with a bevy of ageless and eccentric sardines. I continued to shoot.
It got really hot, so we decided to go out for some fresh air. No sooner than I had taken a breath, Vanessa looked over my shoulder and said, “Pete! Look behind you!” Thinking it was the cops (old habits….), I hesitated and turned around slowly. It wasn’t, but I think I gasped out loud anyway. Mr. Karl Lagerfeld was standing right behind me. Actually, he was trying to get passed me and my bugged eyed expression to enter the store. So, I put my eyes back in my head, moved out of his way and followed him back into Colette. So much for a breather.
It turns out he was there to support his friend Pat and hob-knob with the rest of us for a little while. I managed to slip in a quick “It’s nice to meet you Mr. Lagerfeld. I love your work!” which he replied with a curt but genuine smile and pat on my arm. Karl Lagerfeld touched my arm. Pat greeted everyone with a hugs, kisses and friendly banter. Anna Cleveland (Pat’s daughter) was chatting with fashion critic Suzy Menkes, New York dandy Patrick McDonald made a cameo appearance and models, designers, writers, musicians and artists all hovered near, snapping away with their cell phones. The whole room was electric, Vanessa was gushing with excitement and I continued to shoot….