The woman in the blue dress

Paris is something else entirely. It has its own light. The Saint James Paris is in the middle of it all, but just left of center enough to feel like an oasis—like your own chateaux in the city.

The woman in the blue dress

Paris is something else entirely. It has its own light. The Saint James Paris is in the middle of it all, but just left of center enough to feel like an oasis—like your own chateaux in the city.

Paris. Even the word has a certain sensual power, like it should be whispered at corner café tables—not yelled from a taxi at a stop sign like “New York,” or clicked off the tongue like “London" at a local Public House. No, Paris is something else entirely. It has its own light. 

Paint on the wall of the Saint James hotel in Paris

The Saint James Paris is in the middle of it all, but just left of center enough to feel like an oasis—like your own chateaux in the city. Its interior—dark red and boudoir-inspired, all velvet, crystal chandeliers and lacquered black accents—offers just the kind of romance you want from Paris. 

©Diego Zuko

I was lucky enough to stay there during Fashion Week—a 7-day blur of salon-style shows, music-blasting productions from big Parisian fashion houses, winding dinners, cappuccino breaks, long car rides through traffic and flashing cameras. The energy is commendable, the pace, exhausting. 

I stayed in room 310, my very own pied a terre—complete with a living area with a deep aubergine couch, two bathrooms, one that holds the marble bath of my dreams and an opulent yet cozy light blue and white bedroom with a king sized bed, floor to ceiling windows and a wall of mirrored closets.

On either side of the bed are oil paintings of women—both full-faced and ebullient—but it’s the one to the right, my chosen side of the bed, that catches my eye. She seemed to follow me, a twinkle in her eye, a crop of short dark hair, a wry smirk. Her cornflower blue dress is reminiscent of an Oscar de la Renta gown that garnered attention during the spring shows—complete with ruffles and black neck-tie.

Who was she? She isn’t beautiful in the way models on the runway or in our glossy magazines are—but someone liked her face enough to immortalize it in oil paint. I can see her (and maybe she can see me?) when I walk in the room, when I exit the bathroom, when I choose outfits for another rainy night in Paris, when I lie in bed stringing words together that recap the day in style—what everyone wore to the shows, what they’ll be wearing next season. Why her and not her friend across the bed?

Who knows why one woman makes an impact while another seems to drift by unnoticed? The same can go for runway collections, I suppose—they can burrow into your psyche, stay with you for a bit. Until next season, that is…

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