Karl Lagerfeld and Vanessa Paradis unveil Chanel Christmas windows at Printemps

Security guards holding back the crowd and keeping the entrance clear for Karl Lagerfeld and Vanessa Paradis,
who arrived about 45 minutes late, while an employee of Printemps tries to get information
about their whereabouts on her cell phone. 

The excitement in the air was palpable last night as a crowd of several hundred people waited for Karl Lagerfeld, fashion designer and creative director for the fashion house Chanel, and Vanessa Paradis, the French singer, actress, and long-time companion of American movie star Johnny Depp, to unveil the Chanel-themed Christmas windows at Printemps. Throngs of excited people overflowed into the street, while the notoriously impatient French drivers tried to solve the traffic jam by toot-tooting their horns on Boulevard Hausmann.

Lagerfeld and Paradis are in that throng of people somewhere! 
The fleeting glimpse of Lagerfeld's distinctive white ponytail in the photo above was 
about as close as I thought that I would get to the stars of the evening...

...until they passed in front of me to admire the Chanel window displays. Swept inside with the flow of people,  I was able to get this parting shot of Vanessa when she graciously turned around and 
smiled at the crowd as she rode the escalator to the cocktail party upstairs. All of the French 
people around me kept saying, "Elle est si mignonne!" (She's so cute!).

But even if I wouldn't have had the opportunity to see Karl Lagerfeld in person, one of the windows features Lagerfeld puppets scaling the Eiffel Tower, photographing flowers, and playfully 
prancing in front of the Vendome Column.

As the Chanel-themed windows at Printemps are resplendent with Christmas wonders, I'll post more pictures on Saturday when we go window shopping together. In the meantime, here's a little something you may want to include in your letter to Santa!

Chanel - 2009 collection Metiers d'Art Paris-Shanghai


  1. That's a lot of Chanel for the windows, poor YSL, Givenchy, Jean Paul and the rest shut out.

    Does Paradis make movies anymore? It's been a long while since I've seen one, I think the last one was Girl on a Bridge, which was so adorably fun. I like your shot of her going away, a turn of the head to have a final look, and poof, disappear into the night.

  2. When I showed Stephane my photos, he misunderstood and thought that they were of the windows at the Chanel boutique. I had to explain a couple of times that these were the Chanel windows at Printemps. It was announced in the summer that the windows would be "Chanel inspired", so perhaps Printemps features a different fashion house/designer every year.

    Paradis was the voice in a recent animated film, "A Monster in Paris" and just completed filming "Cafe de Flore". I'm not sure if I've seen her in a film, but her song "Joe le Taxi" gets stuck in my head for days whenever I hear it. I liked the shot of her, too and was happy that she turned around. I cropped the photo so you don't see all of the security guards and photographers surrounding Lagerfeld and Paradis. It was funny to see them all going up the escalators backwards.

  3. I saw Vanessa Paradis in concert this past Feb in New York. She was so fantastic and enchanting to listen to and watch perform (ok...I admit it: major girl crush!) Very similar to her character in Monster in Paris (yes, I saw it... it helps my French!) I love her music - especially Joe le Taxi!
    So fun that you experienced the holiday cheer at Printemps!

  4. Oh! I need to see "Monster in Paris". I couldn't figure out if it had already been released in France yet or not. I'm not quite sure how I missed it.

    Even though everyone was really nice, the crowd wasn't exactly radiating "holiday cheer". It was all about seeing Vanessa (and maybe Johnny Depp) and Karl Lagerfeld. One poor policeman standing next to me even had his foot run over when an impatient driver tried to push his way through the crowd of people. The policeman let out a shout that was terrifying to hear. Not at all like Christmas carols and peace on earth...

  5. That's a nice shot of Vanessa, elle est mignonne! But not as cute as the Lagerfeld puppet display.

  6. Fabulous photos - and oh, those boots in the last pic! To die for!

  7. Sara Louise, Even the jaded Parisians were standing around and smiling (ok, maybe they weren't Parisian) while watching the little Lagerfelds' antics.

    Steph, I'm glad that those red boots caught someone else's eye! Even my husband, a sensible Swiss, let out an "Oh, Wow!" when he saw them.

  8. ...you always seem to get close enough for the photo ops....lucky you. (I can only assume that JD was not there. He would have surely been the lead photo.) As for those awesome boots, wowza, but not approp for my daily scrubs!

  9. Much to the disappointment of many women, Johnny Depp wasn't there. It was funny to hear the babel of different languages swirling around me and then to all of a sudden recognize two words "Johnny Depp". Supposedly he's leaving France and moving back to the States because of taxes.

    "Wowza" is the right word for those boots! But seriously, you don't think that they would work with your scrubs in Florida?

  10. He's got the right idea seeing as folks with millions pay far fewer taxes proportionally than anyone else here....but that's another blog spot! No boots for me, but they would leap off the shelves on Worth Ave.

  11. Hahaha you're too funny! They are lovely however a little out of my price range!
    Thanks for thinking of me!


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