Pretty pink blooms from my vacation last week, a cotton candy sky back in Paris, a very grey and gloomy Palais-Royal and a very Parisian view. A little Dior outtake, the most beautiful view in Paris x2 and a little dose of culture thanks to Musée Gustave Moreau. Frosty and cold in Paris, a little bit of sparkle, Parisian streets and more vacation blooms.
Even though I'm not a big fan of the winter season I have to admit that the light can be pretty spectacular during this time. Fortunately we're going towards even brighter times, woho! I hope that everyone is having a good start to the new year.
This year has passed by quicker than I ever could have imagined. I started this year the way I'm ending it, together with family in a sunnier place. I'm so happy, excited and encouraged by all the exciting things this year has brought (if you're looking on the positive side of things) and therefore I love looking back at a few moments that were extra special to me during this time. I hope you all have had a wonderful year and that you're ready for this new one.
For me the year of 2016 started on the other side of the world, just like 2015 started the year before. Not in Australia this time though, but in Bali. Together with my sister. After spending Christmas with my dad, my sister and I rang in the New Year while ordering room service from our beautiful balcony suite at the Mulia hotel while looking out over the never ending ocean. The week after that our mom arrived in Bali and we spent yet another week in the sun, enjoying some quality time together. It can very likely have been one of the very best New Year's evenings ever.
After one of the best vacations yet it was straight back to work once back in Paris again. That’s the thing about the fashion industry, they’ve been silly enough to plan the fashion weeks straight after people’s holidays – both in January and in August. Not very clever but hey, I love my job so it’s not too bad. And this haute couture week was definitely one of the more exciting ones yet so I was more than happy to get started again. It's funny that this period can be absolutely exhausting-wanting-to-pull-my-own-hair-out-stressful but so fulfilling and something that still gives me butterflies at the same time.
Since we didn’t get any snow in Paris this winter I decided to go chase some in Switzerland instead. Well, that’s almost true. The real reason behind this little winter wonderland getaway was work – but not work for just anyone, my very first job for a luxury watch maker (giving myself an air hi-five as I'm typing this). The job was for Jaeger-LeCoultre and made me travel into the snow covered mountains to reach their manufacture, tucked away among pine trees, snow and some more snow. It looked pretty idyllic if you ask me.
Since I'm not the biggest fan of winter (although I have to say that the snow covered mountains in Geneva was quite charming) I also opted for a little Parisian escape down to the south together with my father. We managed to squeeze in visits to Nice, Antibes and Monaco (and a few cities in between) during this time and spent a couple of days just enjoying each others company and some Côte d'Azur charm. Somewhere in between this trips I also spent Valentine's day together with Chloé, celebrating the launch of their new fragrance all over some of my favourite places in Paris.
Before you knew it, it was March again and Paris Fashion Week was already in full swing. I know I say this all the time but it's so easy to look back on it and only remember the good things and block out all of those meals that you missed, those moments when I cried in a closet so that no one could see me and all of those rude people you have to deal with along the way as well. Blocking these little moments out might be good in the end because otherwise I'm not sure I would keep doing what I'm doing. I know people say this a lot, but it's not all glam and glitter, you know? But again, I wouldn't trade it away for anything else. So I guess it has a million positive sides weighing heavier.
I also managed to shoot two project for Lanvin during this month if I don't remember correctly and escaped back to Sweden (Stockholm to be more precise) for a few days to see my family during easter. My sister and I went for long walks and I rediscovered the city I thought I knew everything about. Oh, I also shot these two projects for Cartier and their beautiful amulette – one of which made me shake and shiver from being outside in the cold, dressed in a gown made out of lace. And nothing else.
I'm so happy that I got to spend almost two weeks in April together with my sister in New York before she moved back to Sydney, Australia, again. We ate, strolled and discovered new parts of this city that I've visited quite a few times by now. When looking back through these photos I almost get the urge to just grab my bags, take her arm and go back. It was such a lovely coincidence that we happened to be there in the city just when the trees were starting to bloom and all of the cherry blossoms came out.
Countless of coffee (and wine) dates were also enjoyed (but this isn't something that just applies for the month of April of course), a shoot together with my favourite Boucheron team was done and I visited heaven, also known as the Chanel showroom.
April and May are always two months full of birthdays and exciting gatherings. This year was no different. I love these birthdays, not only because I get to celebrate my friends but also because it's a sign of spring arriving to Paris – something that always makes me very happy.
The main part of the month of May was not spent in Paris, it was spent in Cannes. Cannes film festival has become an event I've gotten used to now (if that's something you can say about a week like this) and something I enjoy (when I know it's a limited amount of time). This time I spent my time in Cannes working for, and enjoying myself together with Chopard. I got the opportunity to walk my first Montée des Marches (but Nicole and I had to sneak out of the actual movie since it was quite visual and completely impossible to understand – thank god we were there together), spend time with dear friends and also mingle among starts I've never before seen in real life. I got a last minute request once my time in Cannes was over with Chopard, to stay a couple of days together with Instagram and attend the amfAR gala as their guest. A pretty pinch-worthy moment, no?! I couldn't believe my eyes when I stepped into Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, a place I've dreamt about visit for ages, and into their backyard overlooking the sea and a million super models and Hollywood celebrities. I also can't believe that I didn't end up going to this event completely naked since I had some last minute issues with my second Carolina Herrera gown and didn't have anything to wear the day before. All the stress and frantic hair pulling paid off and I couldn't help smiling when Leonardo DiCaprio took the stage or when I ran into Heidi Klum in the bathroom line. Gosh, this all seems like forever ago when I'm looking back on this.
In late May and early June I travelled together with Dior to London for their very exciting cruise show. This trip didn't exactly go as planned (rain ruining all the attendee's fancy footwear and the venue being super dark for photos) but it didn't make it any less enjoyable. Dior always manage to blow my mind and their old-school train, transporting all the guest from the city of London out to the English countryside while enjoying their lunch is not something I'll forget anytime soon. It kind of reminded me of Harry Potter! Or Downton Abbey, I can't really decide. They went all out for this and treated us to traditional English cabs, personalised just for Dior as well as taking over an entire British pub and Dior-fying the whole thing. Pretty. Freaking. Incredible.
After these intense weeks of work I booked a little last minute getaway together with my friend Maria, to one of my favourite cities on earth. Rome of course. I felt like I needed a few days just to myself and to stroll aimlessly and to bury my face in an obscene amount of gelato and pasta before Men's fashion Week and Haute Couture Week came around once again.
I still don't know how I managed to stand up straight on my now to legs once the month of July came to an end. I think my body put its foot down somewhere halfway and I got violently ill but fortunately that passed to and I could recover on vacation together with my mother at the end of the month. Why was it so overwhelming? Well, first it was Men's Fashion Week, than Haute Couture Week (where I did my very first job for Chanel, which you can see here, here and here – gosh, soo much pressure!) then straight onto a plane to Grasse where I shot a job over the day, back to Paris, then to Morocco together with Cartier the next day where we spent three days shooting non stop, on the plane back to Paris and then straight to Barcelona where I had two shoots for Carolina Herrera before flying back to Paris again. It all sounds pretty ok when I repeat it like this but add on deadlines, hours and hours of editing, meetings, posting live on Instagram and Snapchat while trying to remember to eat and take it all in. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining whatsoever but sometimes I think it's hard to understand what goes on behind the scenes and behind all of those "dreamy" Instagram photos we put out these. My body was absolutely finished once this was all over (and my mind filled with wonderful and fantastic new memories and experiences) and therefore the vacation with my mother couldn't have come at a better time.
I spent the beginning of August on a beach south of Rome. Doing nothing but eating, sleeping and swimming in the sea. It was the perfect recovery-vacation after an intense spring and summer of work and lots of fun. I decided to stay on a little bit longer and spend a day in Rome together with my dear friend Annie before I left back to Paris again. It's funny how I never can seem to stay away from this city. There's just a little something.
The rest of August I spent with my friends back in Paris. I always say that I will plan to go away during the month of August since this is a month that is completely dead in the city but I always manage to be too late with making plans for this. I don't mind being in the city during this month if you're fortunate enough to have good weather. Then it's all picnics, sunny strolls wedding anniversaries and wine by the Seine! It's different if the month is nothing but rain, since all the cafés and coffeeshops take vacation during this time as well. I gave myself a little staycation in my own city during this time and checked into Le Royal Monceau just to spend a whole day in a bathrobe and dining at one of my favourite restaurants in Paris.
It's funny, I would be able to know when the month of September arrives without even checking the calendar. My emails start beeping and singing on the first of September, just as everyone settles back into their work. I hopped on a plane to Venice to shoot another job for Chopard and attend their special dinner – something I had no problems with whatsoever. I mean, look at the dinner setup above?! Pretty spectacular.
Besides that I also flew down to the south of France to spend a couple of nights at Four Seasons Cap-Ferrat, shooting pretty ERES swimsuits and to enjoy some sun before going into darker times. I think this gave me the idea of a new tradition: the south of France in September. It's emptier, absolutely lovely and not too cold or warm. I also started a job for Roger Vivier that I had a blast shooting, started working with my new personal assistant after holding interviews for this during the month of August and gearing up for Paris Fashion Week to start again.
October and Paris Fashion Week started before the last one ended (at least that's what it felt like) and the days quickly filled up with shows, events, parties and shoots. It's funny (no, not really) that I each time before Fashion Week starts, try to stay really calm and healthy to avoid getting sick during this period, since this just makes everything so much harder, and each time I manage to catch a cold on the first day of the week. Score! Anyway, I made it through this week despite the cold (although I had to stay home in bed and miss out on a few pretty awesome evenings) and had another exciting Fashion Week by the end of it.
As soon as the week ended I found myself on yet another plane to go see my father and a few relatives in Rome, only to celebrate his 60th birthday. I couldn't think of a better reason to postpone a few deadlines and enjoy a few glasses of wine and some more pasta together in one of our favourite cities. You ask where my love for Rome comes? Start looking at my dad. As a true lover for anything Italian I think he managed to transfer his love for this country onto me.
Then it was time for November, also known as my birthday month! And a month that turned out to be pretty unforgettable. Why? Not only because I had the loveliest birthday in a long time (including breakfast at Ladurée, lunch at Four Seasons George V, dinner among friends at Alcazar, three beeeeautiful birthday cakes and cocktails at a great little cocktail bar I came across) but also because of a pretty jaw dropping trip.
Two days after my birthday I left cold and chilly Paris behind to spend a week in paradise. And when I say paradise this time, I really mean it. I'm sure you've seen enough pictures from the Maldives by now but this is truly a place I'll have in my heart forever. It's one of the most gorgeous places I've been able ti witness in my life so far and a place I hope I'll be able to return to one day. Even though I always had the camera in one hand I managed to get a few hours on the beach, taking it all in or snorkelling together with Nemo in that crystal clear water. The Four Seasons resorts were out-of-this-world-incredible and still something I'm trying to understand that I got to experience. I. Want. To. Go. Back.
And now December, the last month of the year (and also one of the darkest ones). I honestly can't believe how quickly this month have flown by. Almost like this entire year. I'm so happy that I managed to squeeze in a very special shoot for Dior and for Omega before wrapping up this last month and before flying off to spend a few days of vacation together with my mom and sister.
I can't believe all the things I've had the opportunity and privilege to experience this year. I can't believe it. That's why I love looking back at the whole year like this, remembering highlights and lows. Remembering things and events that made me laugh and cry. And laugh so hard I ended up crying. I consider myself lucky for being able to live the life of my dreams, and for sharing it all with so many brilliant people. Even though 2016 has been more challenging (on many different levels) than years before I'm thankful for every single thing it taught me and I can only hope that 2017 will be just as good. But please can we have it better for some parts of the world? As a little Christmas gift I decided to donate to a few different organisations this December. And I encourage you to do the same if you have the chance to. Here are a few suggestions if you're looking to make a small difference: White Helmets, UNICEF, Doctors without boarders, Charity Water and different animal rescue organisations.
Happy New Year everyone! Let's spread even more love, laughter and kindness during this next year.
All clothing: Dior
Here's a little outtake (which also happens to be one of my favourite shots) from when shooting this little project for Dior and their special edition of the iconic Lady Dior bag. You might already have seen the final photograph on their Instagram but I'd like to share a few more with you if you don't mind. One of the toughest jobs as a photographer (or for anyone creative I can probably imagine) is going through work that you're really happy with, only to select once final product (image in this case) to be shared with the public. So here you go, here's one that wasn't supposed to be share but that I can't help sharing. Don't hate me if you happen to see a few more in the next couple of days...
Photo by: Hana Le Vân (edited by me)
Wishing you all happy holidays, lots of love and light wherever you are in the world.
I'm pretty sure that I've said this before but anyone who knows me I'm sure understand how excited I was about shooting this Omega Seamaster the other week. As a huge fan of watches (it's one of those nerdy interests that I came across one day thanks to a wonderful boyfriend but ended up sticking around longer than he did) this kind of project makes my stomach flutter just a little bit extra. Pastel pinks, my darling Paris and an awesome watch – three of my favourite things. Ever.
Getting in the holiday spirit thanks to these sparkly beauties from Roger Vivier. Speaking of the holiday season, I'm still not entirely sure where in the world I will be celebrating next week but I'm trying not to stress out too much about that just yet. If there's anything I've learned by now it's: anything I plan just goes out the window so let's embrace the spontaneity!
And with that I want to wish you Happy Holidays wherever you are in the world as well. I can't wait to see what the new year has in store...