Like many Parisians, I eagerly headed over this weekend to the Carnaval de Colette in honor of the shop’s fifteenth anniversary not quite knowing what to expect and all the while sensing it would be a day to remember. We are talking about Colette here, as in the Paris-based concept store known world-wide for its diverse and edgy selection that mixes fashion, art and culture. I do not know of one instance when they’ve put on a show that wasn’t to say the least memorable.
I’ll readily admit I feel somewhat ambivalent towards Colette. Their selection is absolutely incredible but I find some of the recent ground-floor items to be a bit more tchotchke-esque than I care for from such an avant-garde boutique. Regardless, the idea that such an elite store would choose to open the celebration to us common folk was quite refreshing and in a way, so Colette.
And so I went over to the carnival with a friend, her nine-year-old son and his best bud, as well as her parents visiting from London. I’m not going to bore you with all the details from our fun-filled afternoon. All I will say is this: I haven’t felt like such a kid since…well, since being an actual kid! The sweet smell of candy apples and cotton candy filled the air the minute we stepped into the tent. With a New York style hotdog stand and burger food truck, I felt like I was in the good ole’ US of A on a hot lazy summer afternoon enjoying lunch before heading to the beach. Vibrant colors, textures, and amazing imagery at every corner, I was in total sensory overload.
My friend and I jumped from one stand to the next, giddily laughing like ten-year-old school girls and trying everything out with the boys: polaroid pictures taken, Jeremy Scott for Adidas cardboard-clothing cut-outs tried and tested; candy bought at the all-American food stand (frootloops and pretzel M&M’s here I come!) And because this is a Colette shindig’ a slightly more glamorous activity, getting my hair styled by the David Mallett’s pop-up salon. I swear, forgetting my sartorial inadequacy, I was ready for the Oscars.
But the best part? The general ambiance. Colette wanted the celebration to be friendly and open to all. And that’s just what it was; bobos, hipsters, edgier crowds mingled naturally with rather mundane families out for a fun afternoon with the kids. Young, old, hip or not, you could hear/see/feel laughter everywhere.