Fashion: Tour de France
Posted on Sep 14, 2011 09:00pm

­­­By: Eva La Rue­

­ I had been to the City of Light before, but this was a side o­f Paris that aspiring fashionistas only dream about, or read about in magazines.

It started when we breezed into­ the venerable Ritz Paris hotel in January 2008. My fiancé and I were stunned when we crossed the threshold of what we would call home for the next four days—the Marie Antoinette Suite! It was as amazing as the­ title implies and then some. How could we get luckier?

No sooner had we unpacked than we ventured out, party posse in tow, to photograph and video the best spots in Paris for posterity (and for Watch!). First stop? The Eiffel Tower, of course! Then, on to the top of the tower to the impossibly delicious Jules Verne restaurant, where we circumvented the two-month wait list by squeezing in for an unforgettable kitchen tour and tasting.

The next day was a whirlwind of fashion shows. Jean Paul Gaultier and Elie Saab were my favorites, but the pièce de résistance was Valentino's final fashion show before he retired. We did an on-camera interview with the fashion icon, plus a private tour of his atelier, which was abuzz with seamstresses making final changes to the clothing for the show, supermodels and magazine editors.

Turning a corner, I came face to face with the editor queen herself—Vogue's Anna Wintour! You haven't lived until you've been on the receiving side of her appraising vertical scan. It reduces you to feeling like you're wearing the equivalent of sale remnants from a discount store.

Cut to the Valentino fashion show: Before we knew it, our group of six—not all of whom had tickets—had broken through throngs of paparazzi and ticket takers and took up seats in the third row. A stunningly brilliant trip in every way!