I happen to live around the corner from the hugely talented – and successful – handbag designer, Emily Cheetham. She has very kindly agreed to do A Day in the Life for Changmoh but rather than write up a typical day here in Singapore, I asked her if she’d share a day from her recent trip to Paris Fashion Week, where she was showcasing her very identifiable, beautifully made bags. She packed a lot into her trip to the fashion capital, from a King Karl (and yes, I do mean Lagerfeld) spotting to macaroons by Le Meurice. Here’s a snapshot of just one day:
Emily, over to you.
Paris Fashion Week – Sunday 28th September
7.00 am The alarm goes but it’s fairly pointless as I’ve been awake for too long due to jet lag. The only upside to not really getting onto a European time schedule is that it makes the transition back to Asian time so much easier. Anyhow, tiredness is much more do-able when your children are out of your charge and there is plenty of black coffee to keep your eyes propped open!
After what has become a daily morning routine of indecision when it comes to what-to-wear, I settle on a pink leopard print pencil skirt, black top and black heels (with flats for walking). Paris is unseasonably warm at the moment and under the tents of the Tuileries Gardens, the days are nearly as humid as Singapore…and I had longed for – and packed for – cold!
Breakfast is wonderfully continental at Hotel Caumartin, where I am staying. Hams, fruits, yoghurt, mini croissant, compotes, eggs – it’s a great start to the morning. Plus, of course, coffee. I breakfast this morning with my sister, who hopped over to Paris from London along with my best friend, for the preceding evening. We dissect the evening (a typically Parisian dinner at a restaurant called Au Petit Riche followed by a cavernous bar in Montmartre where an old school friend was singing) and part ways.
8.30am I am now walking down Rue Cambon (past Chanel’s home at number 31). It’s a crisp, blue skied morning and a blast of fresh air is just what I need to awaken my spirit. I do a little wiggle so that my route leads me past the iconic Hotel Meurice…
…and a delicious macaroon shop:
The shop windows in Paris are always so exciting; in the windows of Galeries Lafayette Haussmann there are the most incredible Diane Von Furstenberg dresses with wild backdrops in the same prints as the dresses:
I cross over the Rue Rivoli and head into the famous Tuileries garden tents:
I am exhibiting at Premiere Classe which is celebrating its 25th year.There is a buzz in the air, coupled with plenty of 1989 memorabilia: neon flashes, smiley faces, roller-girls and soundtracks I can still remember well. All that’s missing is for someone to leap out at me and ask me to take the Pepsi Challenge.
My collection for SS15 isn’t rooted in anything remotely 80’s; in fact it has more of a late seventies vibe to it. My favourite bag is the Edie which has this crazy kind of intertwined colourful pattern on the flap – it was inspired by a chair I saw.
Everyone still homes in on our signature knotted clutches, the Nell & Suki bags, which look spectacular in the latest colours – bubble gum, black + white snakeskin, navy and electric blue.
I meet Stina, a French student who is helping out at the show, and together we rearrange the bags, dust off the stand and prepare for today’s buyers.
Stina models a few different bags throughout the morning and I’m envious of her youthful, slender French frame!
2:00 pm It has been a busy morning but we need to re-fuel and have been making do with the tent’s finest salad selection each and every lunchtime. Rather amusingly, they come in a paper bag emblazoned with Conquita, the female Eurovision singer with a beard’s silhouette.
Its heating up in the tent and so I head for a breath of fresh air outside. It is typical Paris and everyone is taking a break for lunch (good) and smoking (not so good). What I hadn’t realised was that the Tuileries is much like any other public garden anywhere in the world, whether London or Singapore, and is absolutely heaving on a Sunday with families, kids playing, joggers.
Directly outside there is an enormous playground and I have a pang of sadness that I am apart from my two small children. A quick call to the husband and he reassures me that they are as happy as clams and conked out asleep in bed. Husband is also happy as the Ryder cup is on and he has a beer in one hand and a curry in the other.
3.00 pm My sister and my friend, Bridgette, pop by to say farewell as they dash to get the Eurostar back to London. I miss them both but am so thrilled to see them in here in the world’s fashion capital; something that is fast becoming a ritual. When I come to Paris – solo – for work, they slip away to hang out – leaving any kids and partners at home. It’s wonderful.
Another coffee and lots of water later and we’re having a great day writing orders for new and old customers in Switzerland, Italy, Japan, France and the US. As well as talking to plenty of other stores all over the world and making some new press contacts to boot.
It’s getting hot inside the tents now but we are boosted by the thought that it is the show party later tonight. I must say, they do lay on exceptionally good entertainment for exhibitors…which could be a reason that I’m not fairing so well on the jet lag front – I’m going to bed too late!
On the first evening we had a champagne reception/roller disco and tonight is the big ‘mystery’ boat trip to a secret destination and subsequent party. Like all secrets, someone seems to have let the cat out of the bag and we have an inkling where we might be headed…
4.30 pm – Stina grabs some fresh air and has not one, but two, glorious Fashion Week moments when she walks past Cara Delevigne getting out of the car on Rue Cambon and also sees Susie Bubble in the street too. Sadly, on each occasion, her camera/phone is nowhere near her. However, later on, we hear that another friend has managed to walk past the distinctive, god-like Karl Lagerfeld and somehow managed to take a snap! Here is it below:
7.00 pm – The show is over – for today, anyway – and we pack up and follow the silver invitation map and head towards the ‘mystery’ dock to catch the boat to the party. To cut a long story short, there are too few boats for all of us and so we end up waiting on the docks for what seems like an eternity. Eventually we do jump on to a boat, grab some champagne and enjoy Paris by night.
It’s a stunning city and, once again, I have a pang to be a bit nearer Europe again. After about an hour we arrive at a dock boat where the party is in full swing. We find a bunch of friends and enjoy the balmy evening at the top of the Bois de Bologne party boat, sipping champagne and dancing.
1.00 am That’s it…I’m bushed…and a bunch of us finally get a taxi back to the hotel. One thing’s for sure, I know I’ll awake annoyingly early but with just one more day left of the show, the adrenalin will keep me fully alert for the rest of the day.
Elyse and i by Cheet London is available for sale, globally, through her website: cheetlondon.com.
If you are Singapore-based, Emily’s bags are going to be sold at Chillax Market (in revamped Turf City) in couple of week’s time.
Image of Chanel shop on Rue Cambon courtesy of Paris Attitude
Tuileries pic via Daily Mail