It has been 5 years since I visited Paris. I was in Paris in January for the Paris Fashion Week for Men. I chose to mix the week with targeting Fashion catwalks, Fashion Show Rooms, Street Style, Trade Shows, Fondation Louis Vuitton and Luxury Hotels. I have never walked alone in this city, however I wanted to get a feel of the city, especially after the horrific Paris attacks, and by foot I would get it. I wanted to know, even at minus five degrees, what the mood was and what was trending on the streets of Paris.
First Stop Eiffel Tower
My first stop was The Eiffel Tower, and it is amazing, but when I turned up, there was hardly anyone around. I wondered how tourism has been affected in this city so I decided to do a live Periscope broadcasting session about the Eiffel Tower to show the world what they are missing and why they should come back to Paris, and that was a lot of fun.
Last summer I was in Bangkok and I just missed a bomb attack by 20 minutes. I noticed how that changed the mood and affected tourism. In my thinking, us tourists should still come to Paris after the horrific terrorist events to show the terrorists that we too can not be defeated and we stand united with its people. I did the same thing by visiting New York three months after the 9/11 attacks.
I had seen most tourist attractions in previous visits and stays, so this is more my take on walking around Paris between fashion shows and fashion exhibitions. Welcome to my Paris review 2016 and why you should come.
Paris Armed Forces On The Streets
Understandably security has to be at the highest level to regain confidence with the Parisian people let alone the tourists. Armed forces are everywhere. From the Metro, to outside restaurants and nearly all the tourist attractions are greeted with shotguns.
Now for those in South Africa let alone America, this may be nothing out of the ordinary. But for Europe it is, and can be very unsettling for us Europeans. It is unsettling to say the least and I would say welcome to the new Paris. Where a message is clear. Shoot to kill if needed, well maybe shoot to protect is more the message.
Even at the fashion shows our bags were checked and the atmosphere was different. My bags have never been checked at any fashion event before. However, for me, this is the perfect time to visit Paris, because security is very high. I am a firm believer in living each day as it comes, because tomorrow may never ever come. Therefore Paris is a city worth visiting and dying for at the same time.
Hotels & Restaurants Are Quiet
I reviewed four luxury hotels whilst being in Paris and I asked how business was going. They all responded that it was quiet and tourists were not flocking in. I noticed in some restaurants outside understandably, that there were policemen with guns observing every move. Even the designers explained it was a quiet time for Paris Fashion Week.
But the fact is our world has changed and our cities are going to be under attack at some point. Terrorism is our new world war, and therefore our mindset has to be reprogrammed.
For me I’d rather die being adventurous than staying home watching TV. We all understand that our life and fate is not in our control. Therefore I encourage one to take life as it comes and continue to visit this beautiful city. Over the course of the week, I walked over 70 km in minus five. But everywhere I turned in Paris is one amazing learning curve. This is one city with the most scenic and beautiful architectures in the world. Now that is worth dying for.
The Fondation Louis Vuitton
The fondation Louis Vuitton is a must visit if you are a lover of art and architecture.. I had to go here as it is one of the latest attractions to hit Paris. This art museum and cultural centre opened in 2014 and is sponsored by LVHM, the group of which Louis Vuitton is part. It is run as a non profit entity to promote art and culture. What I liked is that it has been designed by architect Frank Gehry, who is probably best known for designing the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao. When you visit Paris, this is now a must see stop on your itinerary.
Louis Vuitton Exhibition
After the Fondation Louis Vuitton, my next tourist attraction between the fashion shows was an exhibition in the Grand Palais in Paris which runs from 4 December 2015 till 21 February 2016. The exhibition is titled “Volez. Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton” and it showcases the brand’s journey from historic trunk maker in 1854, to the luxury powerhouse it has become. I recommend anyone who loves fashion to go here, but hurry as it only runs for 19 more days.
IF YOU WERE TO DIE, PARIS IS WHAT I WOULD CHOOSE
Late last year I was 20 minutes from experiencing a bomb in Bangkok. Just one different turn could have ended in me being dead. That is why I am so at peace because when your time is up, it is up. When it is not then you will be here to still write about it. I did ponder once leaving Paris if there was a city I would choose to die in.
Then I would have to say I would be very happy to die in Paris. I mean look at my grin. Does it look like I had a tough time in Paris?
What About Paris Fashion Week For Men
Between the tourist attractions and the fashion shows, this photo sums it all up.