A couple of weeks ago I took a quick break from my holiday in the South of France to catch the train back to Paris for an exciting summer project. I was asked to be a part of Galeries Lafayette’s digital campaign to showcase their priority brands for summer (found in the ‘Dans L’Oeil’ sections of the store) and their new ephemeral rooftop restaurant, Créatures. Helmed by chef, Julien Sebbag, Créatures specialises in brightly coloured vegetarian dishes, surrounded by one of the best views of the city.
The cosy, bohemian outdoor space adorned with accents of yellows and reds, and punctuated with plants and vegetables growing up trellises, is an oasis (in collaboration with urban farm Sous les Fraises) and offers a stark contrast to the homogenous, yet undeniably beautiful Haussmann buildings and Palais Garnier beyond. And its decor - Hessian canopies, rattan chairs, colourful Moroccan rugs and kilim cushions, gives the impression that you’ve walked off the streets of Paris and into someone’s living room.
Treating food like fashion, Sebbag champions nature’s bounty: just as trends change from summer to autumn, Sebbag spotlights seasonal fruit and vegetables, placing them centre stage to act as a starting point for each dish. He conjures up a mixture of French and Mediterranean dishes that look more like edible works of art that as a self-confessed carnivore (although I’m trying to eat less meat) makes you excited to eat 100% vegetarian food. Good vegetarian restaurants are still few and far between in Paris, so one surrounded by a panoramic view of Paris is a must-visit!
And I’ve been thinking more and more about my lifestyle, how I live, what I wear, what I eat and how I consume. It’s been a while coming, as I’m sure many of you are contemplating this with the current state of the world. It also helps that my best friend is vegan and I’ve been dating a vegetarian for a few months now, so I’ve been, not necessarily through choice, but rather convenience, eating less meat. But admittedly it’s begun to leave a mark on my conscience and even when cooking for myself, I’ve been eating predominantly vegetarian food. I actually can’t remember the last time I ate beef for example, which is one of the planet’s biggest polluters. This is also why I like and relate to Sebbag’s cooking ethos: “It is not an ethical approach in itself, it is the mission of my life. The reason I do this job. I am not against eating meat or fish occasionally, quite the contrary, but as long as the cycle of life and nature is respected.”
I’m already a big consumer when it comes to fashion and part of my job is to promote it. But even in this area I’ve been choosing to talk about and promote predominantly investment pieces; timeless items that can be worn again and again. I love trends - but tend towards those that I know will have a shelf life longer than a couple of seasons. Which is incidentally how Parisians dress. They veer towards clothes that are more wearable, comfortable, suit their body type and that have longevity, over trend-lead pieces that are likely to date after a couple of months.
The brands I’m wearing in the campaign (as are the others in the ‘Dans L’Oeil’ sections that have been picked not only for their ‘newness’, but also for wearability and durability) are all favourites and ones that I would place firmly in the ‘timeless camp’: JW Anderson (dress), Rejina Pyo (bag), ByFar (sandals), Miu Miu (sunglasses) and Charlotte Chesnais (earrings) - namely for their design, which are on-trend, but not so ‘of the moment’ that they will rapidly date.