The Blog

Watching the Kopeks in Paris

After the trauma of missing Couture Week, I stayed on for a few days in Paris to browse the cruise collections with my friends Svetlana and Masha.

After the trauma of missing Couture Week, I stayed on for a few days in Paris to browse the cruise collections with my friends Svetlana and Masha.

We stayed, as we always do, at the Plaza Athenee on Avenue Montaigne, which is conveniently situated right in the middle of the finest concentration of world-class fashion boutiques and jewellers in the world. To give you an idea, it is opposite Louis Vuitton and next to Valentino: heaven!

In the end I didn't buy much - just a few pairs of shoes and a jacket in the Chanel sale. You might ask, why buy last season? Well, Chanel, as anyone will tell you, is a classic, which never really goes out of fashion. Also, I like to tell Arkady that I buy stuff in the sales - it makes him think that I am watching the kopeks!

Another classic is the Birkin bag. I love them - because they also don't go out of fashion like other bags, which barely last a season, and that's if you can get one. Unfortunately, everybody else loves Birkins too.

Svetlana has thirty in leather (different colours) and twenty seven in crocodile. She says she keeps them all in her walk-in closet, but even hers couldn't be that big, whatever she says. (Svetlana exaggerates.)

Anyway, we went in to Hermes to see if they had any new colours. I have been on the waiting list for years for some of them, but the one I really want is the emerald green in crocodile - at €27,900 I would consider it a bargain. Well they didn't have one - or said they didn't (you never know whether to believe Parisian shop assistants). I then made the mistake of saying I would take any colour, and of course they said they didn't have 'any colour' either.

Later, I was so zloy (1) at myself for allowing myself to be humiliated in Hermes, and still upset about missing the shows, I did what any woman does in that situation and sought comfort food. There are about six restaurants in Paris which for us Ruskiyistas have the right mix of fashion, chic and good food. These are L'Avenue, La Villa, Matisse, Costes, L'Ami Louis and Alain Ducasse at the Plaza, and in those few days, I think we visited all of them!

Lucky for them, Svetlana and Masha have more self-control than I who, like some throwback to my Kozac (2) matriarchal forebears, is drawn to food like a Tatar to a vodka bottle. My binge finally ended when I joined Arkady in Vienna for the weekend. Fortunately I am not a fan of Austrian food - all that macca (3) reminds me of pre-Soviet era cooking - so Arkady and I took the Japanese option (about the only edible food in Vienna).

On my return to UK, London Fashion Week was in full swing. I managed to get back home just in time to change for Vivienne Westwood's after-show dinner at fashion favourite, Kitchen Joel Antunes. I wore a McQueen ostrich feather skirt twinned with a Dennis Basso crocodile jacket, which turned out to be a wise choice, as it was filled with fashion royal family.

The next day I attended the Antonio Berardi show which was fabulous - he is one of my favourite designers. Then I went to your Kremlin for a British Fashion Council meeting at No.11 Downing Street, followed immediately afterwards by an evening reception at No.10 hosted by Samantha Cameron.Download filestyle="float: left; margin:10px"

Dorogaya (4) this really was something else. The whole fashion house was there from Sir Philip Green to Antonio Berardi, Matthew Williamson, John Rocha and Anna Wintour. Even your Prime Minister David Ianovich was there.

Next time you will be learning how I get my payback for overeating in Paris. Also about the new charity I am supporting - the International Institute for Peace. It was founded jointly by Forest Whitaker and UNESCO last year, and will be holding its first fundraising event in September, hosted by Forest, and with Mary J Blige playing the rok musika!

Do svidaniya! (5)


(1) Angry

(2) Cossack

(3) Stodge

(4) Darlings

(5) Bye for now!