This is probably one of my biggest and longest trips to date. We couldn’t resist adding Fêtes Galantes to the start of our journey over to Germany for Träumerei. Big ball-gowns, big wigs, and partying it up in Versailles? Definitely something not to miss!
I also had the pleasure to travel with Slav for part of the trip. We met for the first time in October of last year. I was going to San Francisco to attend a Baby, the Stars Shine Bright party with the plan to see Mel after it was over. For the party, I did a boy style get-up, but I didn’t bring a change of clothes. We were doing a bit of bar hopping to find a place that would have music to enjoy.
For Fêtes Galantes I decided on commissioning a gown and a matching pannier from Antico Atelier. I had a hard time deciding on what color to get; I did end up going for my usual black but grey and purple were super close! I chose on doing a layaway plan since I had asked for a commission really early on. Francesca, the shop owner, was an easy person to communicate with, and I didn’t have any issues regarding my order. She kept me updated and would answer any questions I had. She also sent out my completed order at end of April/beginning of May so it arrived with ample time to spare.
I did do some adjustments to this dress before the trip. I added a waist stay to keep the bodice from sliding up and to make it easier for me to lace myself up. I also made this last minute belt as an accent to break up the shapes of this dress a bit.
I also ended up commissioning a wig last minute from MyWitchery, after seeing her work floating around on Instagram. I initially wanted a black wig but since time was of the essence she thought that the white blonde wig would work with my complexion and I went with it. In the end I’m really happy I took that chance! I have plenty of black wigs already, and having something like this will create more variety in my wardrobe!
If commissioning isn’t your jam, one can also rent costumes for Fêtes Galantes! A couple of us did that and it worked out wonderfully!
ON MY WAY! TRÄUMEREI AND FÊTES GALANTES!
Everything all packed
This is almost always one of my most difficult days when I am traveling. My stress, worries, and anxieties slowly creep up until the day of, and it makes it really hard for me to concentrate on anything. I kept a real low profile the month leading up to this day, to focus on doing things to help with my anxiety. I focused on my work, stayed home and close to my family to spend ample time with them; I signed up for a 30 class challenge with my local yoga studio, anything to help keep me grounded. I wanted things to go off without a hitch.
Due to my position at work I opted to take some of my projects with me while I was out of office. I figured with the amount of traveling we would be doing I could use some of that time to get some work done. Thanks, past-me, for doing this! When I got back to the office I didn’t have a mountain of things to do!
made it! so tired
Made it to Paris! At this point I was kind of over the whole airport and air travel thing. My flight was super delayed; it was supposed to leave around noon and it was pushed back to ~7:00pm, which would make me lose my connecting flight from Calgary to Paris, or I would have to end up spending the night in Calgary and lose a day, which would cut it real close to Fêtes Galantes. Even despite my best efforts in minimizing stress, this was something I had no control over and it seemed like a real bad start to my trip. Luckily my flight was changed to another airline, which left later that afternoon but was a nonstop flight, so I actually ended up landing earlier in Paris!
During the flight I did a bunch of work; with +9 hours of sitting down there wasn’t much else to really do.
The rest of the group was out checking out Musée des Arts Forains, and since I had arrived earlier than anticipated I had some time to kill so I took a much needed nap. I hadn’t slept much on the plane and I was exhausted.
First whole day in Paris! The plan was to visit the Catacombs, and then go to check out L’Atelier des Lumières later on in the evening.
Josephine Jacket Skirtジョセフィーヌジャケットスカート
I decided on wearing this Atelier Boz outfit for the day. It seemed like it kind of matched the Catacombs theme, and it felt subtle enough to be out and about.
When I packed for this trip I didn’t pack any of the easy, comfy wear stuff; only dresses and the like. I knew that if I did, I would just wear that the entire time.
I brought two pair of shoes for this trip, my usual go-to Fluevog Cubist Cupcakes, and a pair of my fancy Gucci Queercore brogue pumps. I felt like my Fluevogs would work with most, if not all, of my outfits, and the Gucci ones were my planned footwear for Fêtes Galantes.
When I packed for this trip I didn’t pack any of the easy, comfy wear stuff; only dresses and the like. I knew that if I did, I would just wear that the entire time. I brought two pair of shoes for this trip, my usual go-to Fluevog Cubist Cupcakes, and a pair of my fancy Gucci Queercore brogue pumps. I felt like my Fluevogs would work with most, if not all, of my outfits, and the Gucci ones were my planned footwear for Fêtes Galantes.
Les Catacombs de Paris
It was a little disconcerting to see so many skulls either missing or broken in comparison from the last time we were there. Jo noticed that on this trip we were entering the Catacombs from the other end, and it felt a little bit different than from the first time we went. I remember we had an actual guide talk to us a bit while we were down there, in comparison to now where they hand out a little device that you can listen to. It also felt like there was a lot more people, but maybe it was because last time we were there way earlier during the day.
After the Catacombs our group split up. Slav and I went to get coffee (I needed one so bad!), and to do a bit of walking around while the girls went to a lunch meet-up. It was nice to take a break and do something that wasn’t planned. Well, it started off well but during the course of the day I was feeling steadily more and more off.
With the major time difference between here and home I had to skip a dose of my medication the night before, which made me feel kind of sick on this day. I wasn’t feeling my best during our little stroll around Paris. I wish I had been in a better state of mind when we were over at Parc de Belleville. When I went back to edit these vlogs I couldn’t remember a lot of these areas.
L’Atelier des Lumières was alright. I liked that it was a space where we could relax and do something a bit more passive, but I feel like I’ve been spoiled by the works of teamLab.
Eventually my illness gets the best of me and I take an early night. Kind of a bummer but at least I was able to use that night to get myself back on track!
Party at the Palace! Fêtes Galantes in Versailles
Looking back I am glad I took the previous night to relax, since we would be out late for Fêtes Galantes. I was able to sleep in a bit, and we were also able to find a place for coffee and croissants.
The plan was to do a bit of shopping and stay near our AirBnB. We wanted to have plenty of time to get ready and to catch our ride over to Versailles.
Bise Dress by I Do Declare
I opted to wear one of the two I Do Declare dresses I own. I love her work, but I am terrible at keeping up with her releases! The length of her dresses I feel are perfect for me, and I like to wear them on their own or a petti or two for fullness. For this outing I did go for volume.
We did a bunch of shopping for pretty lingerie and other wonderful accoutrements.
Jo bought a couple of fancy hats, and I picked up a cute matching bra and panty set from Aubade. I also went and splurged on a new fragrance for myself when we went to Le Bon Marché.
I definitely like the shopping experience here in Paris. The people who helped me were great and knew their stuff. We went to quite a few lingerie places and the women were very professional. They could give a pretty good guesstimate on your size and I didn’t feel like they were pushy or anything. I didn’t get the feeling of being followed inside the shops or anything.
When I was deciding on buying the perfume for myself, the shop lady spritzed the scent on me and told me to try it out and see if I still liked it. I liked that she didn’t try to do a quick sell. We wandered around a bit more before I came back to buy a bottle.
After that we headed back to get ready. Since I had done my makeup earlier in the day I just added a bit for more of an evening look. I didn’t want to do any super crazy makeup so I stuck to what I know best. I was having a bit of a moment with my wig; and I was leaning heavily towards the one I had worn earlier in the day. I dunno, a bit of cold feet I guess. I have gotten so used to my natural hair color that now I get doubts when I am trying something new.
In the end I opted for the blonde wig! But I did like the styling I did on the right that I redid it for Träumerei.
My current favorite for makeup: Pat McGrath Labs Eyeshadow Palettes. I own a few and they have been my go-tos for eye makeup. I am not a palette person, since I like to come up with my own color combos but these are amazing!
Fêtes Galantes is amazing and one should experience it once in their lifetime! It was so wonderful to see the Hall of Mirrors without a river of tourists! I felt like I was transported back in time while walking past groups of people all dressed up. It took a bit of practice and getting used to to not step on people’s hems and to give each other extra space with all the pannier poofs.
We actually had to put our panniers on when we got to Versailles, since we all couldn’t fit if we had them on.
I loved seeing all the different outfits! Everyone had their own style and look that they brought. And I was certainly in awe of all the people who made their outfits.
Can’t say enough about how cool of an experience #fetesgalantes was! The organizers of the event really went all in to make the palace come alive; starting with mandatory period dress. They welcome you in by announcing your arrival, with a champagne glass at the door, and hors d’oeuvres served as you stroll through the halls. Each room was beautifully brought to life with live musicians, fencers, choral groups, baroque games, and dancing. They even took the time to teach us popular dances of the time from various region before going full ball mode in the hall of mirrors. 🤩 Finally concluding the event with a fireworks show. 🎆Slav
This is not the first or second time I’ve been to Versailles, but this experience is beyond impressive. I came here with my sister during a time when I had a couple of my pieces on display at an art show. The other time was with Irene and Mandy during the La Vie en Rose event back in 2015. Both of these visits were enjoyable, but for Fêtes Galantes, it was a great way to get a good look and feel of Versailles without the crowds. Due to all the costumes, everyone also becomes part of the experience.
There were plenty of things to see and do, including drinks and food, Baroque dance lessons in the Hall of Mirrors, private visits in the royal apartments, and a cheeky cardinal you could confess your sins to. Other things included fortune-telling, a concert in the Royal Chapel, and closing fireworks at the end of the evening.
Before and after!
tea and shopping
The day after! I believe everyone pretty much slept in. The plan for today was to return any costumes, go do a bit of shopping, and then have tea.
Haenuli Royal Label Little Women Bonnet
I felt like doing something a bit more with my outfit, so I wore Haenuli’s Little Women OP (the million pintucks dress), and the matching bonnet. I very rarely wear bonnets; I’m mostly indifferent, but Josh doesn’t like them and most of them are the floppy half bonnets (this was one of them). But I decided, why not?
Haenuli Royal Label Little Women OP
The floral headband is from Doramarra. I have a few headdresses from this store and I like the quality and the price point. Great for layering and adding to your outfits. I also find them pretty durable; I wasn’t the kindest with this rose headband and it survived this trip pretty much intact.
We visited the Angelic Pretty Paris store and I ended up purchasing a dress. I’m always positive that I won’t end up buying something, but all that goes out the window when I’m in the store! There are just far too many cute things, and being surrounded by them is my weakness.
Angelic Pretty Fancy Candy OPワンピース
The dress I purchased! I love the black colorway on most prints, and this was no exception. I really like the cut and how comfortable it is to wear.
As far as these dresses go, this one is more on the simpler side. Not too many frills, but just enough coquettish details to give it character. Great for a casual look, but can be easily done up as well.
Later on this trip I wore it on a really hot day, and I was glad for the minimal layering.
Next up was afternoon tea at Restaurant Le Dalí, located inside the hotel, Le Meurice. I almost feel that going at least one tea is a requirement in this fashion niche. It was delightful and enjoyable, especially when there is champagne.
I had plans to meet up with Slav afterward at a local bar nearby. He picked out Andy Wahloo. I enjoyed the ambiance of the place and the cool disco floor.
Looking back now it’s interesting to note that both Le Dalí and Andy Wahloo are references to famous artists.
Cimetière du Père Lachaise – Round 2
Cimetière du Père Lachaise, I am back! This time we weren’t kicked out for having a dSLR. Actually, it felt like the place was more lax than the first time we went. There were certainly a lot more people milling around and taking a bunch of photos. We didn’t run into any security guards or have them ask us questions as to why we were there. In comparison to the first visit back in 2015.
I wore my other dress from I Do Declare (I don’t have a stock photo of this sadly).
This day was a little stressful; we wanted to mail our giant dresses back home so we wouldn’t have to carry them with us to Germany. There were also plans of doing a bit more sight-seeing but it was kind of left to whatever we could squeeze in. I think a bunch of us were also really tired at this point (I know I certainly was!). Visiting the cemetary was nice; to be away from people and the crowd was refreshing.
Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle
But once we got to the museum, I was just so tired at this point. I wanted to see all the things, but my body was getting so sore. I didn’t wander very much at the museum; I spent most of it sitting down.
If I ever visit Paris again, this will definitely be on my agenda.
This was our last day here; we would be traveling next to Germany. Slav and I were going to go our separate ways after this point, so we decided to have our last dinner together. We ended up at Verjus; a restaurant tucked away in a little alley. I liked the small portions and the ‘simple’ dishes they served; something I was grateful for after all the rich fare during this part of our trip.
Traveling with others can be a tricky situation. There are a handful of people I love to travel with; it’s not too stressful, our energies match, and we have certain things in common. Slav is definitely one of the good ones 😀
This ends this leg of this trip, and it’s nowhere near the end! Next up is our time in Germany, and with the length of only the Paris part alone, it would probably be best to separate this journey into two posts.