As my close friends know every time I end up at a Louis Vuitton store, it means my husband has made me mad or done something horribly wrong to warrant a new accessory. Unfortunately, much of the excitement was lost after I was diagnosed and finished Cancer treatment, I think only because, at the end of the day, material possessions don’t travel very well to the other side! And besides, I usually go shopping with a sister or two, it’s much more fun with them!
I have to admit it was a glum day when I wasn’t inspired to go into a Louis Vuitton store anymore. I mean even my twin sister thought it was a real tragedy! We’d get a kick out of it especially when she’d ask me where I was. “I’m at Louie!” I’d say and instead of asking what was wrong she’d ask “Which one are you getting?”. We’d cackle and laugh at the same time, snicker snicker, good times!
So, I am in Paris, hubby has been very good to me especially with the choice of hotels and I find myself shopping at Gallerie Lafayette. If you haven’t been there yet – GO! Although it may not be considered a Wonder Of The World, it’s worth the trip. The ceiling is spectacular and worth seeing just on its own. And by my own admission, in my 43 years, I have never been here – what a shame too as I have been to Paris hundreds of times from having lived in London for 8 years!
The atmosphere is insane, through out the store there are till points every 20 yards and 4-5 sales people manning small retail spaces per designer – they mean business and don’t want to miss a sale. The French are so creative when it comes to design and organising their retail floors, everything is glamorous and beautiful. There are small boutiques on the main floor like Chanel, Cartier, Gucci, Prada, you name it, they’re there, and of course, I stumble into Louis Vuitton.
At first, I hesitated to go in. Actually I didnt know if there was enough room for me. It was jammed with tourists from all over the world. And they were not browsing – they were BUYING! I see brown paper LV bags packed with goods, sometimes 5 pieces at a time, and the counters were at least 4 people thick! You wouldn’t think there was a recession going on, especially in Europe!
Maybe the word got out about the LV Fall 2012 Show during Paris Fashion Week – I heard it was insane! Apparently a real old fashioned steam train pulled out onto the Catwalk, models floating by in thick textured brocades, tweeds, velvets, feathers, exaggerated accessories, and Camouflage was heavy in varying shades in navies, greys, yellows and red. Just stunning! And in typical allegiance, Marc Jacobs has carried the collection to its highest level, remaining true to LV’s core of classic yet cutting edge style. C’est magnifique!
The air is electrifying, it was like if you weren’t in this store, YOU were the big fat loser! So what do I do? I jumped in line and waited for a Sales person, of course. This lovely young lady came up to me and asked me if I needed an English, French or Chinese speaker – good Lord, how times have changed!
All of a sudden, my mood changes and I am excited about LV again – I am at the counter, I point to a bag, it’s their latest model of small Taches (bag in French). “May I have 2, please?” I ask. Okay, okay, okay, back up for a second. I am not so rich I can just ask for whatever I want. I was buying my twin sister a birthday present…just early. “No one is aloud two of the same bag.” she says. Huh?!!! “Why?” I ask. She explains something about the Black market, or at least that’s what I thought she was saying. Her English was worse than her French!
I turn beet-red and am so embarrassed, I had the gaul to ask for two of the same bag – Mon Dieu! So how do I get out of this embarrassing situation, you ask? Well, I pick my very own bag and started to laugh again! What joy I was having! I am back at Louie, baby, Oh Yeah!