Garance Doré Café, Day One.
3pm, in my apartment.
Shit. Everyone’s coming back from summer vacation, it’s Fashion Week, it’s the first day of the pop-up café we’re hosting with Cointreau, and I have nothing to wear because I didn’t do my vacation homework (i.e. spend a week shopping / juicing / borrowing clothes / getting my whole body botoxed / re-learning how to walk in heels). It’s 39720 degrees in my new apartment, the AC is broken, and all my clothes are in boxes. Yay!!!
But I’m not stressed. The spirit of summer is still with me and it guides my hand toward a long white blouse that I happen to find sublime, but which could also be mistaken for a (white) potato sack from a distance. Oh well, I’ll wear a belt, in the spirit of Alex’s “just belt it” and I head to the café.
4pm, at the pop up café.
Aaaand here comes the stress. Good bye spirit of summer! How are we going to manage these three days? Will people even come? Why didn’t we announce it earlier? Why is it so hot? Is the AC not working? And the scones, can I taste the scones? And why are these tables set up like that? And what about the music? I don’t hear the music?
My team looks at me with an air of desperation – they’ve been working on the café for days now. Everything is perfect. And here I am dropping in and unloading all my stress on them. I decide to
order a cocktail calm down right away.
Woooooo! No, seriously, EVERYTHING IS PERFECT! The café were we chose to set up our café was remodeled from floor to ceiling by The Gathery team, who works regularly with Cointreau. We gave them our ideas and they made it all a reality, pushing them even further than we could have imagined. They created a special wallpaper for the occasion, set up a beautiful wall of plants, and created shelves just for our products and posters. It’s gorgeous! I never would have imagined they could transform the space like that.
All the tables are filled! I’m going around and saying hello to everyone, because honestly, life is pretty cool, right?
Paul Andrew, the amazing shoe designer arrives. We don’t know each other, but he’s beautiful, kind, intelligent, talented, and I’m super impressed. I have to interview him in 30 minutes. I hope I won’t do too bad of a job!
get another cocktail relax a bit.
It’s time for the interview. I’m not too stressed in public, I mean, especially in these conditions, because I feel like my readers are my friends. It’s a smiling, relaxed audience, and I’ve got a few conferences under my belt
and a few cocktails, too, I have to say.
The interview went so well! I totally fell in love with Paul. I should celebrate! I’ll get another cocktail.
It’s time to start stressing out about dinner, which is an occupation onto itself. Dinners during Fashion Week are almost always a shit show – people are busy, they arrive late, they leave early, they’ve got 126 other events to be at at the same time, and even the most beautiful dinner can quickly turn into a mess.
And all I want is for my dinner to be the coolest dinner on earth. That’s not asking too much, is it?
My guests start to arrive. I’m totally freaking out, but I try to laugh about it (That’s my secret in life: always say what’s going on inside instead of trying to hide it – it makes everyone feel more relaxed and they know why you look crazy)
Until every single guest arrives, I’m going to have a hard time breathing (it’s always like that when I organize parties or dinners. I’m terrorized that 1/ no one will come 2/ everyone will get bored 3/ the neighbors will call the cops (???)
I’ll get another cocktail . Actually, no, how about a glass of wine, instead?
Ok. Almost everyone is here, and the ones who aren’t are keeping me posted about their every move via text (At the show. Starts in 3 min / Ok, show over, have to find my driver then I’ll be on my way / Shit, traffic is terrible on 42nd…) which reassures me just about as much as it stresses me out.
But hey, I’ll keep smiling, right? I sip a cocktail relax chatting with Paul, Caroline, Erin, and Athena.
It’s SO GOOD! The food!!! The dinner my friend (as I told you it was a story about friends) Camille, the chef from Navy, came up with is delicious, and everyone seems to be having a great time. My heart stops racing for the first time since 3:30. It feels good.
I’m feeling so good, I’ll give a toast. Why not? I love toasts, even when people have nothing to say other than thank you, which is the case for me tonight.
I check my texts, and there are three more (Still stuck on 42nd, ugh I’m gonna die! I should just take the subway! / Ah, it’s finally moving again! GPS says I’ll be there in 4 minutes.)
Everyone sticks around for a bit after dessert, which makes me hysterically happy because, for me, that’s the sign of a successful dinner, especially during Fashion Week where the rule is usually to leave right after the main dish to show that you :
– have a life
– are bored to death
– think you were seated at the worst table
(That’s why I never assign seats. I let people sit wherever they’d like)
(Sometimes it’s also because people REALLY have a paper to write for the morning)
My friend who was stuck on 42nd finally arrives.
I’m totally relaxed, super cool, I say goodbye to everyone, I decide to cancel all the parties I’d promised to go to (being a hostess really takes it out of Garance!) and I go to bed.
Garance Doré Café, Day Two.
My apartment, 3pm
Shit again. What am I supposed to wear today? I spent all morning working without thinking for one second about the fact that since I did nothing about it yesterday, I still have nothing to wear today.
Text from Amanda: “I’m on my way with your clothes!”
Oh yeah!!! I totally forgot!
I’ll be interviewing Phillip Lim today, so he sent me a whole series of great looks to wear – all I’d have to do is slip right into them. The life of a fashion influencer is so great sometimes!!! ;)
Except they’re all Fall/Winter looks, made of WOOL, and it’s 20278 degrees outside (and stormy, so very humid, yay for shiny skin, yay for crazy hair, woohoo!)
I decide to go with a beautiful sheer jacket – it’s warm, but beautiful, but warm. Yeah, but beautiful. But…Ok, you get the point. And to go with it, after four hours of debating with Chris (he’s playing tonight, so he gets to help pick my outfit – it’s rare)(mostly cause he doesn’t care) I go with a GOLD super mini mini skirt that even Nicki Minaj wouldn’t dare wear.
I don’t know guys, I’m feeling good today.
And not so smart, either. When I stand up, my outfit isn’t bad, but…
Sitting down, I’m half naked.
And there I am sitting on a high stool with Phillip Lim, fashion god, at my right, and me on the left, or rather, Garance Minaj.
The café is absolutely overflowing. It’s a really great audience, full of girls, but some guys too, lots of super looks, and everyone is really excited to see Phillip.
I make a joke about my skirt being too short. EVERYONE LAUGHS, which proves that my fashion faux pas is REAL.
But Phillip Lim is so great, I forget about my mini-skirt-gate as soon as he starts speaking. I tell myself this kind of mistake is totally me, which makes me human, be who you are, blah blah blah, Instagram quote, and also, I order a cocktail.
5:20pm (let’s rewind a little)
“I don’t know how to make clothes for a life I don’t live.”
“You can’t hate your hustle because someone else will.”
“Start with 1 oz or 10 oz of questions, add a tablespoon of self doubt, mix together with noise–all types of noise. Then stir or shake with emotions, pour hopeful results into a chilled frigid glass. And a brutally strong drink perfect for the brave.” Phillip Lim
I sit down in the cafe, I
order another cocktail relax and chat with lots of great people. I hang out, exactly like I wanted. Everyone is happy, some of the girls who were there yesterday came back, which makes me incredibly happy because it means they enjoyed it (or that the cocktails are really irresistible, which is true). Chris does his sound check, and I can’t wait to hear him play tonight.
The cafe is filling up at an alarming pace, but I’m totally happy inside. Sharing this with as many people as possible is exactly what we wanted, and what my team’s been working on day and night for days and nights.
Now I’m super happy. My best friends are here, mixed with my readers, my team, and their friends, and it’s kind of like a big family, kind of amazing, I have to say. Chris and his band start to play.
Ok, now there’s a line outside in the pouring rain. It’s kinda cool, but kinda not cool. We squeeze in to make room, and manage to get everyone in. Phew!!!
I’m dancing by myself.
I’m dancing with lots of people!!
People are clapping, yelling, cheering, this is a party !
Chris is great, I’m super proud of him, and he looks thrilled. I mean, if you can measure satisfaction by how much he’s sweating, well, he’s very, very happy.
Sebastien Perrin, a DJ I love, starts playing. And it’s really good. We dance, we hang out, we’re all having a great time.
The cafe team and I became best friends, so now it’s time for mega super hugs. I cancel all the other parties I’d promised to go to, I grab Chris, and we go home to watch Narcos because we’re DEAD tired. It’s exhausting entertaining people!
Garance Doré Café, Day Three
3pm, my apartment.
Last day. Time goes by so fast!!!
You know what I’m going to say, right? I still have nothing to…BUT ACTUALLY NO! I know exactly what I’m going to wear, and it’s this white romper I just received from AYR. I love it.
(I love rompers, they fix all the problems of finding an outfit in one fell swoop) (a romper and a pair of heels, and you’re all good)
I’m sitting with Aurélie on the cafe terrace, chatting. French style!
Aurelie is my third interviewee, and she’s terribly shy. But we’re great friends, so she
gets a cocktail decides to relax.
The talk goes well, since I’m not naked, and since Aurelie is a treasure full of charm.
“At the beginning it was very organic, and it’s still very organic, because I didn’t have a plan.”
“Opening a store changed everything. I could finally do my own merchandising, have my own creative vision with my jewelry.” Aurelie
I’m starting to really get the hang of this! I go around saying hi to everyone, I chat with readers, grab a cocktail along the way…I’m turning into a golden hostess!
I chat with a group of girls who were there yesterday (yayy) who met at the cafe (double yay!!) and came back (triple yayyy!!!) together (quadruple yaayyy!!!) because yesterday was so good (orgasm).
Tonight it’s comedy club at the cafe, four amazing girls are going to give us a stand up show… And it looks like social media did its job: the café is bursting at the seams.
There’s a line outside.
I try to manage as best I can, I go say hi to the people waiting patiently outside with smiles on their faces. Ahhh, they’re sweethearts.
The girls start. Alex and Danielle from Srsly, then Michelle Buteau, then Carmen Lynch. Three totally different comedy styles, but super complementary. I hear people laugh and applaud, and nothing could make me happier.
I’ve been dreaming of doing a comedy club for a long time – humor has always been an integral part of this blog and nothing makes me happier than discovering new talents.
It’s kind of symbolic for me – to start Fashion Week with a big laugh, feeling relaxed, with people from all different backgrounds. I kiss, I hug, I chat, I have so much fun. My team and I are so happy.
I sit down on the terrace, I stretch out my legs, and I relax while sipping on, yes, I promise, a cup of TEA. Earl Grey. With a square of chocolate.
I tell myself it’s a great opportunity and an incredible joy to be able to host people like that, to make people happy. To be with them (you!) without necessarily being the main attraction, but just available and present, like a friend.
I owe it all to Cointreau and to the amazing teams who helped us create this café, but I also owe it to all of you who have always been so adorable and respectful that I always jump on any occasion to meet you.
On that note, I have to go. I’m on my way to Milan. Nothing to do with Fashion Week. I’m going to meet Nicole Kidman! Sending kisses, and thanks again!!!
Translated by Andrea Perdue