Le Tour de France Chez Louis Vuitton

Having read online that you should be on the Avenue Champs Elysee by 10:00am to get a good view of the Tour de France, I arrived to meet my friend at 11:00am – 10:00am French time. We figured the cyclists would probably be around any minute but in the meantime, “Why not amuse ourselves in Louis Vuitton?” This is THE Louis Vuitton, you get me – the mother ship – THE flagship LV store for the whole world sitting here on the famed Avenue Champs Elysee in glamorous Pariiii. Ok – sorry. So I attempted to take some pics to show you guys what “SPLENDOR” looks like in person but one of the –hundreds, i’m sure – of beautiful, perfect security guard clones informed me that I may absolutely NOT take photos in the store – “C’est interdit!” I’m not kidding – there were definitely more of them than us…. which that was probably the point. And they traveled in two’s, which would have been creepy if they all weren’t so beautiful. I didn’t see an ugly one in the bunch – oh – I just lied. There was that Arab guy (as in Maghreb/North African Arab -aka- former French colonies – not Middle-East Arab) who bore a curiously distressed look on his face the whole time but we suspected he was probably just constipated. Then there was us – tourists mostly – a hodgepodge of Asians, Italians, Americans, Africans and those really pale Europeans – Swedish maybe – in their perfect little store touching things and making loud gumbo of our languages. The Frenchies just kept their smiles on. I was actually quite proud of them, I didn’t hear or see one snooty outburst the whole time!

After finding out from a perky, little Brunette working one of the “Officiel Tour de France” JUNK vendor vans that we were only FIVE hours early (lesson: always verify you’re on an OFFICIAL event site when surfing for information) for the first lap, we decided to go back into LV and continue terrorizing the perfectly coiffed staff. Lucky for us – and the poor staff – they were hosting an exhibition. A series of short films on the theme of traveling was being shown on the top floor. That level is also home to a terrace that goes almost 360 degrees around the top of the building. From up there you are looking out directly down over the very impressive, tree lined, Avenue Champs Elysee. We got out there and the sun was high in the sky, happily reflecting off of all of the yellow “Tour de France” billboards, t-shirts, and hats on the ground far below.

As for the exhibition films in the exhibit…you know the kind – a bit bizarre with the obligatory piece completely void of story line, words, plot and proper lighting. The sort that Frenchies like to label “artistic” to make everyone else wonder why THEY didn’t “get it”. Well let me blow the lid off of that kind of crap……THERE IS NOTHING TO GET! I’m a somewhat studied girl who has lived in and/or visited several countries and cultures through Asia and Europe who happens LOVE independant films and appreciate real artistic endeavour. I’ve had long, intense discussions with students and teachers alike and continue to do so wherever I go, so understand where I’m coming from when I tell you that my little nieces and nephews could have done a better job with this exhibit. Nonsense is nonsense in any language and regardless of the milieu in which it is presented. And yes, even if that milieu is the Flagship Louis Vuitton store on the Grand Avenue Champs Elysee in fabulous Pariiii, France!
Oh- i got so carried away i forgot to tell you about the “artistic” elevator to get to the exhibition floor. First of all there is an elevator operator (actually there were two) to let you up. The tiny elevator itself is completely padded and covered in black velvet or I guessed it was velvet, anyway. Second, the elevator is totally dark – I’m talking about darkness you can touch and maybe even knead….so damned dark you can’t stop yourself from giggling. You’re nose to nose with a complete stranger in a tiny padded room in the most intense of darkness for about 30 seconds. It’s an intense experience. Let’s not forget that the elevator itself was a work of art…stifled giggle…by a Danish fellow. He called it “Loss of Senses”…..YEA, someone has.

I know it’s tricky but the ACTUAL point to this story, and – yes – there is one, is that we ended up on the terrace of the LV store at 5:00pm when the cyclist made their first trip down the Champs. You probably saw that on TV. There were only about twelve of us up there – including three employees of the store. It was so ACCIDENTAL VIP! Once again proving my firm belief that you never know where a day will take you if you just let it…..yes, that’s the Frenchie philosopher in me.


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I've got a smart mouth and a big heart - it's a FACT.

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