The Colette Carnaval

03/14/2012 at 10:46 am

All photos by Meg Gagnard  

For the finale of Paris Fashion Week, the Colette Carnaval was held to mark the 15th anniversary of the French concept store. Open to the public, the fete took place in the Jardins des Tuileries. The occasion was lavish, planned in anticipation of 20,000 guests. Designers brushed shoulders with people of all ages, while free giveaways, concerts and activities took place throughout the day.

Balloons tied to Tuilerie Gates welcome visitors to the Colette Carnaval  

After waiting in a queue which looped around the entrance and along the side of the tent, I finally gained admittance inside. Outside, in the Tuileries it was orderly and systematic. Inside Colette was chaotic and busy–every free space occupied with kids, teenagers, couples and grownups. Men with Colette shirts greeted visitors, while an itinerary on the wall listed RZA, former Wu-Tang Clan member and producer, as an afternoon performer. Walls for coloring attracted all sorts of people eager to channel the creative and lively vibe in the tent.

The two sides of the tent space were reserved for designers and fashion brands to showcase new products. Lined one after another, each space was representative of the designer. Swatch, for instance, had an all white display, each fluorescently colored watch arrayed in a pin wheel shape on a chest high table. On the other side of the tent, girls lined up to get their hair cut by David Mallet, in his pop-up hair salon. Petit Bateau, Clarins, Lacoste and Olympia Le-Tan were among the other design brands with dedicated spaces.

The middle aisle was reserved for games and crafts. A Nike basketball court, a section for road bike testing, bowling and gigantic screen with dancers blasting hip-hop music were among the most notable. A whip cream throwing contest and cooking classes were offered to anyone interested. Food was also a large theme. Burgers from Le Camion Qui Fume, Paris’ first food truck, Ladurée macarons, famous French chocolaiter Jean-Paul Hevin and Manhattan’s Hot Dog truck added to the carnival theme, making the two-day event something to remember!

And if you are in Paris, take the time to visit Colette at 213 rue Saint-Honoré 1er Arrondissement [Map].

Follow Untapped Cities on Twitter and Facebook. Get in touch with the photographer @marhabameg  and on her  blog.

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