Tag Archives: travel

Paris Time

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For the past 4 years we’ve have the greatest pleasure of enjoying Paris in the fall. First with Esteé Lauder, then for MAC Cosmetics, following with Ralph Lauren and this past trip with CHANEL. I feel so fortunate to be able to shoot for clients who see the magic in this city of lights as much as we do. After work we always stay as long as possible to eat, drink, shop, get inspired and take epic long walks in the enjoyment of life. I’m happy to have french friends and favorite restaurants. I adore how things never seem to change here- the same woman sells me my favorite chocolates, the same waitress serves us that day’s seasonal dish, though this year her english is much better… which kind of makes me sad. Then there is always the thrill of discovering something new. The rooftop of the Raphael Hotel was enchanting. Dinner on the terrace of Monsieur Bleu with this sparkling view was so elegant. And the home stores where on. point. this time.

Standing under the watchful eye of time I looked out over Paris thought about the years that have passed and how one day I’ll look back on this time in my life and say… “now wasn’t that just magical.”

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Paris Mornings

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I know what it feels like to be up early in the morning, the way the buildings are colder and stronger, the way the steam dances out of the street and off the chimneys of roofs so pure and innocent, untouched by the pollution of the day’s bullshit and congestion. I love that peaceful handoff, the glowing clock of night dimmed and sleepy passing on time to the sunrise of day. The bar flies finishing the last swig of beer, drunkenly caught between yesterday and today, already smelling of tomorrow’s disasters, hazily lost in this seamless transition that has been happening for an eternity. How small we are. How worried we get around the details of our seconds and the price of the ground we stand on. Just look at the sunrise and you will feel like one lucky soul in a moment that is already gone, floating on a place we call earth, that little blue dot among a whole universe of wonder…

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Les Costans Hotel

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I am expanding my reach in France beyond my beloved Paris these days, first with Cannes then to Normandy. When we signed up for the Origins project that sent us around the world, I was thrilled to learn we would be going to the Côtes d’Armor region of France to a charming little town called Perros-Guirec, where we would find the natural origin of the Origins ingredient Crithmum. In between shooting on the Brittany coast and culture about town, we laid our heads down in this perfect little luxury boutique hotel with its rich history of being a school, a hospital, occupied by the Germans in WWII and back to being a hotel again, where the most important thing to do is sip your wine as  you watch the sunset over the bay. Les Costans will forever remain as beautiful a memory as the roses in the garden…

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Chapter 3: GHANA

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What an experience Ghana was. Waiting for the clouds to part outside the airplane window for my first look at this new land, I was filled with so much anticipation and, to be honest, a bit of anxiety for the unknown. Though I have been to North Africa and South Africa, they are quite Westernized, so I didn’t know what to expect from the Gold Coast.

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What we found was a truly eye opening experience: a different way of life, a different-looking way of life. The locals were quite beautiful. Void of many Western fashions, it was so refreshing and inspiring to see many of the men,  women and children wearing homemade African garb in bright colors and beautiful silhouettes. In the city of Accra where we landed, many of the day-to-day items were sold via an army of human concession stands walking up and down the lanes of traffic: water, socks, fruit, gum, bleach, nuts, towels – you name it, they sold it. The women would carry these large metal bowls on their head with the supplies stacked in giant pyramids, it was truly an amazing sight. Beautiful.

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DAY 1: We drove out of Accra along the coast to discover this region of Ghana and take in some of the cultural history that has affected humanity so greatly at such sites as Elimna Castle. I felt very fortunate as I hunched through the “door of no return” looking out on the aggressive ocean waves and the horrific fate of that horizon line for so many. To be able to tie together the motherland to the ancestors that I met only a few months earlier in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, the largest import city of slaves in the West, was very humbling and culturally fascinating.

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