Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Terrible beauty, Austrian Alps

I forgot how it felt to be totally swept away by mother nature. I think the last time I felt  in awe with the outdoors was in the Provence hiking above the fog on the mountain in back of our house. Back in our cabin, it was late morning when I looked out the window and was struck by the beauty of a cloud high up in the sky...then I realized that it wasn't a cloud I was staring at but the tip of an alp!  I was speechless with it's monumental imposing beauty. This part of the trip only lasted 45 minutes but it was extremely breathtaking. It made me want to return and explore this part of the world.  The train stopped for 30 minutes in the old Olympic town of Innsbruck.  We were able to get out and stretch our legs on the platform.  When I returned to our cabin, the head waiter came by to give us our lunch ticket for 2pm. But before that, Mario came by with two cold glasses of champagne. Jp and I sipped out bubbly while taking in the outdoor paradise.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wake up, we are in Germany!!

I slept like a rock on the train.  The sheets are all 100% cotton, thank god. I did wake up in the middle of the night to walk to the toilet.  My hair was doing god knows what when a gorgeous Italian steward from the other car was walking towards me..I was half asleep and did not want to attract any unnecessary attention due to the state of my dress, hair, makeup from last night still encrusted on my eyelashes...especially in these narrow corridors.  As I made my way to the bathroom, the Italian steward suddenly was right behind me helping me with the bathroom door.  I wanted to die.  I could not even look at him in the eye .  I  wanted to be left alone in my toilet cabin!

After another few hours sleeping I awoke to the morning light coming through our window...I was hypnotized watching the country side whiz by my window...I finally was awake enough to hit the 'steward' light to summon our breakfast. Since Mario forgot to put the heater on, both Jp and I decided to stay under the covers and stay warm.  Jp went back to sleep...He deserves it since he has not stopped working due to the Chanel commercial and completing his own film.

After Jp's nap, Mario comes in with an half bottled of Champagne.  Champagne time!! I think I am going to get used to this!

Monday, April 27, 2009

No tie, No entry!

Let the adventure begin! We were finally allowed to enter our cabin on the Orient Express.   There was already a bottle of champagne on ice when we entered our sleeping quarters. Perfect, since it was already 10:30 pm.  Our steward, Mario with amazing blue eyes, told us that he would set up the beds while we were dining.
It is written in the Orient Express Guest manual that one should dress in black tie to the dinner and lunch service. I think this rule was installed to weed out the tourists who favor sport wear and tongs for evening wear.  I decided to wear my all time favorite green Chloe dress (I wore it to the 2002 Cesar Awards) and Chanel two toned stacked pumps. My husband wore his Gucci suit, black silk tee with his medal of honor ribbon. As we were walking towards the dining car we were accosted by the manager of the train who said that my husband could not eat in the dining car since he was not wearing a tie.  It was ridiculous since  we got a view of what the other guests had on.  One woman looked like she was going to the beach. Her leopard skin dress was so short I could almost see her underwear!...Finally, after enough protest , they let us in the dining car. Later Mario, our steward, said that when Mr Armani dined on the train, he did not wear a tie!!
As I was eating,  the man who resembled the pedophile in LITTLE CHILDREN walked by.  He was dressed like the boy in the film, DEATH IN VENICE. The ambiance was very strange in a Fellini kind of way. I felt like I was on the Titanic and  now it was sinking!! After dinner, when we entered our cabin, the beds had been pulled down.  We both fell to sleep pretty fast but woke up freezing since Mario forgot to put the heater on!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Departure on the Orient Express

My husband and I arrived at Gare l'Est for our departure on the Orient Express. When we checked in , we were then shuttled to  VIP cafe with coffee toned walls.  Here was the chance to check out the other voyagers.  I heard mostly English accents floating around the room plus a very rich and young  Russian couple who seemed to  both favor very colorful jeans. Over to my right was a very strange couple where the man looked like the pedophile from the movie, LITTLE CHILDREN.
We were then ushered to the train. The hostess took this opportunity to tell us the bad news.  The Austrian Tunnel will be closed due to renovation. This meant that instead of waking up the next morning to the breathtaking Austrian alps, we would be chugging along the foggy German suburbs! Just our luck!!! Boy, I would be really disappointed if we  had paid the 2,500 euros per person ticket to get a view of Germany's residential area! They said we would see some alps...but not the kind that conjures up images of Julie Andrew's running through the fields singing,THE SOUND OF MUSIC. I think I need a drink. ( PS. I tried to get the red eye out of my husband's eyes and somehow I erased his face...It was not done intentionally, sorry JP)

All Aboard! The Orient Express

My husband received a pair of one way tickets  from Paris to Venice on the Orient Express. The mysterious train is featured in the next CHANEL #5 commercial starring French actress Audrey Tautou. Just mentioning the opportunity to ride the Orient Express gathered 'ahhs' and 'wow's from my friends and neighbors. At first, the idea of eating rich food and drinking hearty Italian wine nonstop for 24 hours without really moving the body  is not my idea of fun. Ok, I admit I am a tiny , tiny bit claustrophobic. I decided to enjoy the unique experience while giving me some quality time with my man plus witness first hand how people ( wealthy) traveled before google and  iphones.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Italian Class: Giovanna Battaglia

The first time I saw a photo of Giovanna Battaglia , I realized that there are some women that have it all...Superficially speaking that is!  Giovanna happens to be one of those extra terrestrial fashion insiders who roams about the capitals during fashion week only to be photographed and admired by  secret fans like myself.  I love her Italian sensitivity when choosing her attire which is always balanced by  a 'je ne sais quoi' attitude. OK, she was a model( big surprise) works at  Vogue Italia, Calls Dolce Gabbana her friends...As another female blogger put it, " I've got a girl crush on Giovanna'. Moi, aussi!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What is up with Carla Bruni?

Is it just me or does anyone wonder what has happened to Carla Bruni?  Why does she think she has to dress like my grandmother? It is a shame because Carla is a beautiful woman in her prime...I understand that one must dress more conservatively due to the political arena...but that does not necessarily mean become bland and boring?

Someone needs to help Mrs Sarkozy with her wardrobe. I do not think DIOR is the answer! ( Marion Cotillard please take note!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


During the French Cesar Awards a few years ago, I sat next to Sofia Coppola. Her film was nominated for "Best Foreign Film' and my husband's film was nominated for 'Best Film, Best Director and  Best Cinematography'.  Sofia and I cracked up when Will Smith was awarded a 'Life Achievement Award' .  Will Smith???!  I mentioned to Sophia that I loved the French Vogue that she had recently contributated as 'Guest Editor'.  "Yeah, I got really into it", Sophia said.

So, it is no surprise to me that Sofia has ventured into shoe and purse design.  She seems to do all her artistic endeavors with sincerity and passion. I read on other fashion blogs critics of Miss Coppola's talent.  Yes, you may be born with a golden spoon in your mouth, but it matters what one does with such opportunity. So when Louis Vuitton called me the other day to say, 'the Sophia Coppola shoes have arrived' I hopped on the metro tout suite!  I bought the red suede wedged heels with gold pipping.  The sales women wooed when I walked around the shoe section..The first distinct detail that I noticed was that the heel was not super high.  Ahhhh, I can actually walk in them and be comfortable. I was told that I was the first customer to buy the Sophia shoes! During Fashion Week, I bumped into Sophia's good friend, Zoe Cassevetes. We talked about the Sophia shoe and Zoe said, " Aren't we sick of the transvestite shoes this past season? ' As for myself, I am waiting for warmer Parisian days to don my new red shoes.  My husband came home empty handed the night of the Cesar Wards. Sofia won Best Foreign Film  for LOST IN TRANSLATION.