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Paris A La Mode

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As much as I would have loved to stop and enjoy Hong Kong's idyllic winter days, almost as soon as the shoot with Herbert Ypma was finished I had to dash onto a plane for Paris for the famous "salons" that take place around the city twice a year. From Villepinte to Porte de Versailles and to more glamorous places such as Le Grand Palais, these trade shows showcase the latest visions and creations in fashion, art, interior design and much, much more. For one week fashion editors, buyers and vendors all dash from one place to the other in the hope of gaining inspiration, information, or the must-have pieces for the season. Sadly, I jetted in too late to catch the Chanel Haute Couture show, as it was taking place on the same day of the shoot, but the next night I had dinner with my girlfriends from Chanel Haute Couture and Chanel Haute Joallerie, who said this show was exceptional and very emotional. I was sad to have missed it but I had my fair share of the Fashion Famous in the following days. Of course, when in Paris it is always wonderful to eat. Some places are perennial favourites of mine, like old friends that I call upon whenever I am in the city. Dinner at Bistrot Volnay, for example, is consistently enjoyable. Nestled just behind the Park Hyatt it serves classic French cuisine. Another eaterie not to be missed is Coste - a wonderful place to lunch, to see and be seen. The menu has long remained the same - but this is part of the charm - you know the food will always be good. A bonus of work trips around the globe is also the chance to experiment with the new. This time I tried my first Korean meal at Woojung in the chic 16th arrondissement. It is funny to have lived more than 30 years in the Orient and to have never experienced Korean cuisine, only to try it in Europe. It was really good and I would definitely recommend it, but I must confess I still love Chinese food best. Dining in Paris is a highlight of any trip there but there are some things that top the experience… I sacrificed one lunch for an hour with the renowned hair colourist to the stars Christophe Robin. He has worked his magic on Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Adjani, and thanks to him, my hair is now a perfect honey blonde. Merci Christophe! Another highlight was a visit to my friend Myriam gorgeous showroom Maison Ullens  on Rue St Honore. Her collection of soft luxurious cashmeres, pants, sweaters and dresses, are truly beautiful. If your budget allows, head to her new store on Rue de Matignan, just in front of Alaia, and indulge! For those who love homeware, Maison et Objets is the "Mecca " for just about everything one can dream of for the home. This trade show is a veritable Aladdin's cave of wonder with everything from exquisite porcelains and fine carpets to enchanting candles and luxurious fur throws. My wonderful friend Elad Yifrach had the most amazing booth, with wares even more beautiful than anything the big names such as Missoni, Ralph Lauren, and others had to offer. The only trouble with his brand "L'Objet" ? With his discerning eye and commitment to quality - you are going to want to buy everything he has. Paris, as ever, was a whirlwind but I did manage a few days respite over Chinese New Year. I retreated to my haven - our boat - and enjoyed sometime around Thailand's wonderful Similan Islands. It was just a brief sojourn however as New York Fashion Week beckons.

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