In April, Marie Claire Accessories Director Julia Gall traveled to Paris to celebrate the new Cartier Clash collection. Here, she shares a diary of her chic, whirlwind trip.
Forty-eight hours in Paris is indeed a challenge, but when Cartier throws down in their hometown, you better believe I’ll be there. Upon landing, I checked into the recently re-openedHôtel de Crillon, (you may remember it as the venue for the event that Whitney Port attends in place of Lauren Conrad after she declines the opportunity, earning her the title of “the girl who didn’t go to Paris” on MTV’s The Hills.) The hotel is fabulous: I have my own balcony that overlooks the courtyard and from across it, I wave to my colleague who is standing out on his. How chic!
From here, I set out to get lunch at Girafe, a restaurant hot-spot located in the Cité de l’Architecture museum. The seafood-forward eatery has a fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower and an even more fantastic lobster linguine. I have some time before getting ready for the evening’s festivities, so I stop by the vintage store Thanx God I am a V.I.P., whose slightly grammatically incorrect English name is as charming as the carefully curated pieces in it.
Back at the hotel, I’m ready to sip some Cartier champagne and slip into my “creative black tie,” which I topped off with a few key pieces from the new Clash de Cartier collection we are celebrating this evening. I decided to “go big and go out” in the large spiked hoops and two coordinating rings that are encouraged to be stacked. Don’t mind if I do! The archival-inspired collection is refreshingly modern and edgy and instantly feel like like a covetable classic.
The event, held at la Conciergerie (the former prison where Marie Antoinette was held!), is teeming with celebrities: I casually brush by Tilda Swinton, Rami Malek and Sofia Coppola, mere feet from the entrance. I then immediately went home because, how do you top that!? Just kidding. Instead, I rang a “cocktail on-demand bell” at my table, cracked open a Cedric Grolet insta-hyped apple and danced my face off to live performances by Christine and the Queens and the iconic Billy Idol. A very chill first night in Paris!
The next day we went to Cartier’s Place Vendôme boutique to get some one-on-one time with the full collection. For me, the high jewelry cuff with oversized studs and coral beads inspired by 1930s and 1950s high jewelry pieces from the Maison was the real showstopper.
After spending time in the boutique, we're whisked away to Bronx Brasserie, the brainchild of New York-based food collective, Ghetto Gastro who have “clashed” the traditional french dining with soul food to create this the popup restaurant. I noshed on “The Triple C’s” (cornbread topped with caviar and crab salad), as well as Jamaican patties covered in gold leaf while DJ Louise Chen got everyone dancing in their seats with classic '90s hiphop mixed with the songs that sampled them. Easily the most lit meal I have ever had in Paris, or maybe anywhere.
After lunch, I made a quick stop to the Picasso Museum before closing to check out the Calder exhibition. I travel to Paris a few times a year, but rarely have leisure time to check out art, so it was a major priority to squeeze it in this trip and it was a spectacular detour.
Our group took over 11th arrondissement go-to Clown Bar for the evening and wrapped up our night with my favorite group activity: some good, old-fashioned karaoke at Bam Karaoke Box. With an early morning flight the next day, my quick trip to Paris comes to a close.