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Upon my return to LA, I decided to take the time to reflect and share about my trip to Paris (as if my 40+ pictures on Instagram didn’t count). I am now knee-deep in what Hannah describes as “post-Paris depression”, trust us, it doesn’t go away. I spent 18 days exploring the city and its wonders with 15 other fashion students as part of a study program through FIDM. Before leaving, multiple people told me I’d be over the city by the end of the trip, but after returning and waking up to sirens out my window to another bustling day in the city of noise, I’m thinking otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, I love LA but at the same time, there will always be a part of everyone that desires a place other than home. Wanderlust.
Welcome to my trip in pictures! And some words.

The streets of Paris are actually as dreamy as people describe them. Seriously, first week and I was already in heaven.

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Also, the doors—don’t get me started on the doors. They’re incredible. For some reason the doors in Paris had to be one of my favorite parts.

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And of course that big, beautiful metal object (more pictures later in the post). But also, peep the man in the right corner—that’s Xavier—our tour guide/best friend/teacher at Mod’Art. Seriously, he was amazing. I can’t even pull off the chic sneaker look, while he on the other hand, rocked it.

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Look familiar? If you’re a Monet enthusiast like me, it should! The gardens at Giverny along with his home were spectacular. I would’ve snuck pictures of his house for you lovelies but the French are really scary when they’re angry so I decided against it. But anyways—look how incredible this place was. A must see if any of you ever visit Paris for your first time!

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More doors! And probably one of the greatest parts of the trip—getting lost in the rain. There is no place I would rather be lost in the rain than in Paris, as clique as that sounds. There’s just something magical about the city especially when it rains.

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Also an incredible experience—meeting Bruno at Legeron Atelier. The company has been in his family for years and the entire time they’ve created incredible hand-made flowers, feathers and other pieces used specifically for couture shows and other designers. Peep the pictures about for examples of his work. It’s amazing how much work goes into all of his creations, and how much skill is actually needed to create such pieces.

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I think the picture says it all. Seen at a costumers warehouse/home full of vintage pieces used for movies, theater, etc.

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Fast forward to this adorable little store the les Marais district—damn me for forgetting the name—but I absolutely fell in love with this idea for little hangers. I also bought an adorable jacket at this store (it has stripes so obviously I bought it). While in this district as well, the group met with up and coming designer Valentine Gauthier; ladies, look out for her and her designs. Her aesthetic screams LA and I’ve extended my help to her when she’s ready to branch out to America. But anyways, look for her name, she’s amazing!

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 12.15.00 PMAlso in les Marais district (by far one of my favorite districts), the cutest little store called Merci. Seriously if you’re ever in Paris, you must go visit this store. You’ll know you’re there by the little red car in front. It’s almost like a classier version of Urban Outfitters, i.e. women’s, men’s, housewares, etc.

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And then of course, I thought I’d throw in my touristy picture at the Louvre.

Then came the Fourth of July, spent at the Galleries Lafayette where we toured the department store but also got an exclusive opportunity to visit the VIP area used for personal shopping, pictures below.

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This specific layout was for a client who only wanted Stella McCartney pieces. Dying, right? I died too.

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Then there was the view from the VIP suite, and honestly my favorite view of the city. The entire experience was absolutely breath-taking. I think this was the point when I decided I was going to move to France. I mean after that view…duh.

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More touristy pictures outside the Palais Royal. Stripes. Enough said.

During the second week, we visited Lesage. Another atelier for couture pieces, but this one specializing in embroidery. First visiting the school, then visiting their headquarters where the work is actually done. Plus their archives were endless. Boxes full of samples used for Chanel, YSL, Dior, the list goes on. Just being in the presence of these samples was unbelievable. Peep the pictures below.

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Then came the best part—we watched the employees in their own work stations in an extremely private way. We were required to keep our phones and purses downstairs to ensure we didn’t photograph anything. A few days later, 11 of us skimmed through the couture shows and to our surprise, we saw the pieces we’d witnessed being embroidered in the Chanel couture show. Pinch me right?

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Finally, our week ended with personal invites to the Georges Chakra couture show during PFW. Another pinch me moment.

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Every trip must come to an end, and after three weeks abroad in a city full of breath-taking beauty, it still didn’t feel real. And leaving wasn’t the first thing I’d had in mind. But sadly, it was time to return to the real world in LA. So I returned with my eyes full of beauty and my heart full of wanderlust.

As cheesy and clique as it sounds: Paris, je t’aime.

With Love, Zoe.

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