The Secret Life of Coco Chanel
This Storytelling Evening features Edith de Belleville, a true Parisienne, with an affinity and passion for inspiring French female icons, in particular the quintessential Coco Chanel.
Chanel’s personal life — including rumors and speculations about her love affairs — have grown almost as timeless as her fashion designs. Even today, a fair bit of mystery lingers on when biographers discuss her personal relationships. The stories about her more famous friends and lovers have kept the imagination going for decades. With her trademark suits and little black dresses, Coco Chanel created timeless designs that are still popular today. She redefined the modern woman by ignoring traditional boundaries. Elegance and the avant-garde took the place of convention and conformity. It was in 1910 when Coco opened her first boutique on rue Cambron, next door to the Place Vendome in Paris. Today this is the mythical address where the celebrated couture house still carries her name.
Edith will be delighted to answer these and other questions you might have about the private and public life of Coco Chanel.
What is the link between the glamorous Coco Chanel and the Nazis?
Why did Coco choose a black and white logo?
Why did Chanel create the famous little black dress?
Why do many French women wear the striped shirt created by Chanel?
Why did England and Russia have such a strong influence on her designs?
On a side note…..Edith is not only an enchanting guide of her beloved and magical “city of light”, she also pens articles and blogs in English and French about love in Paris in “Romantic Paris Magazine”. In her former life she studied law at the university of Sorbonne with further studies in linguistics.
Storytelling Evening with Owen Lean
Magician, Street Performer Stand-up Comedian
British born Owen Lean is a Street Performer, Magician, Stand-up Comedian, Writer, Director Journalist, Editor, Documentary Filmmaker, Actor, and Producer. He can in fact pull quite a few titles “out of his hat” but all with real (not imaginary) experience across Europe the US and Canada. Add to his experience, a credential that backs up his claims. Studying Drama and Theatre Studies at Trinity College in Ireland he convinced the Academic Board to create a specialized (and first ever in the world) Bachelors Degree in Street Magic. Yes….it’s on his diploma!!!! This means that in addition to his ability to quote Shakespierre, Brecht and Aristotle he is a master at card tricks, sleuth of hand, telling jokes and making all kinds of things disappear.
As the featured Storyteller, Owen will not only amuse us by “pulling a few rabbits out of a hat” (he can’t resist entertaining an audience), but will also delight us with extraordinary stories and insights from his colorful career weaving in answers to these questions.
- What sparked your interest in magic and street performance?
- What are the challenges of managing a crowd?
- What is your favourite place in Paris to “busk” as a street performer?
- What is the competition?
- What does it mean to be a professional street performer?
- What do you need to be a street performer…. qualities, tools, props?Owen Lean
RENAISSANCE OF THE HEART
This Storytelling Evening features Dana Micucci, a longtime journalist, award-winning author, and speaker based in Taos, New Mexico. Dana will be discussing her latest book, The Third Muse—a metaphysical mystery celebrating Mary Magdalene and the healing power of love—and the magical story behind its creation.The Third Muse takes you on a thrilling journey into the seamy underside of the international art world, the seductive beauty of Paris, the explosive power struggles of Renaissance Florence, and a shattering spiritual awakening. The main character is New York journalist Lena Leone, beautiful and successful she has a devoted boyfriend. Yet something is missing. When her editor sends her to Paris to investigate and write about a stolen Renaissance masterpiece, the Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni, she becomes immersed in a dangerous art scandal that tests her to the core and jeopardizes her life. Lena’s haunting visions of Giovanna in Renaissance Florence turn up the heat. The Third Muse combines mystery, suspense, history, and spirituality with radiant eloquence.
Dana’s story………after graduating with a BA and MA in English from Northwestern University, Dana moved to Paris and worked for the People magazine bureau while publishing articles in U.S. newspapers. Upon returning from Paris she landed in New York City, where she worked briefly as a senior publicist at Christie’s, the international art auction house, before becoming an independent journalist. Over the past 25 years, her articles and essays on culture, travel, and spiritual and social issues have appeared in newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Chicago Tribune, Architectural Digest, Town & Country, Spirituality & Health, and many others. Dana’s other books include Sojourns of the Soul: One Woman’s Journey around the World and into Her Truth, a gold winner in the 2013 Nautilus Book Awards, and Artists in Residence: A Guide to the Homes and Studios of Eight 19th-Century Artists in and around Paris. She also has a private healing practice and conducts transformational events worldwide. www.danamicucci.com
Twitter: Dana Micucci@danamicucci
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dana-micucci/6/a46/359
Videos: and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OqZ_CUYBDk
This Storytelling Evening featured Diane Anthonissen, Chef and Co-Founder of Château Ladausse. A native of Chicago with family roots in Wisconsin, Diane initially embarked on a 15-year career in the Petrochemicals industry having a background in biology, chemistry and an MBA. However, following her true passion for cooking and pastry, she moved to Paris in 2005 and enrolled in the intensive and formal culinary arts training at the Ecole Supérieure de Cuisine Française (Ecole Gregoire Ferrandi). This led to positions at Hélène Darroze, L’Atelier de Robuchon and Stohrer in Paris, and Au Fin Gourmet in Pau, plus many other smaller restaurants in Paris. In 2009, Diane launched the Paris Cooking Company where, as a freelance private chef and caterer, she impressed many with her culinary delights.
In 2014, Diane traded city living for the countryside of southwest France and opened the doors to the Château Ladausse. Situated on 12 acres of woods, prairies and fruit orchards, she offers lodging, dining and cooking classes. Diane is accompanied on this venture by her husband Eric, a Belgian national and engineer by trade (also formerly in the Petrochemicals industry), who eventually followed his own passion by earning a degree in oenology from the University of Bordeaux. Complementing each other, these co-founders of Chateau Ladausse offer Eric’s love of the countryside, wine, history and gardening (his tomatoes, zucchini, radishes and potatoes find their way into Diane’s meals) with Dianes’ love affair for creating spectacular menus.
Speaking of which…. the menu designed by Diane, featured wonderful French foods from her newly adopted region such as pâté de campagne, skewers of duck magret, fingerling potatoes “sarladaises”, Rocamadour goat cheese and endive salad, and Cannelés for dessert.
This storytelling evening featured Johannes-Maria Lansche – Dancer, Choreographer and Bikram Yoga Instructor. Born in 1961 in the small town of Hockenheim, Germany, a sign of his fascination with ballet was noticed by his mother seeing the young Johannes spellbound by a ballet performance on the television. By chance a ballet studio opened in his village and, unbeknownst to his chums who thought he was studying karate, he joined a class full of pink tutus and followed his dream. Briefly considering a career in architecture, this was abandoned when, after a grueling audition, he was accepted into the company of Maurice Béjart, the French choreographer and founder of one of the most famous dance companies in the world. This launched an international career with solo performances and “en couple” roles with premier ballerinas. Eventually settling in Paris he performed at the Opera Garnier, Opera Bastille and numerous cabarets and music halls.
This chapter ended however in 1991. Breaking his Achilles tendon while performing at the Opera of Paris, this prevented him from ever again standing on tiptoe. Undaunted he went on and discovered another passion …acting… with now a long list of credits and roles in theater, cinema, television and radio. Yet another turn of events, an illness in 2004, set him back but upon recovery another passion emerged…oil painting. The most recent chapter of his story is Bikram Yoga. Nagged by a good friend for years to try this “hot yoga” of 26 postures practiced in a room 40 °C (104 °F). he resisted abhorring the heat. One day, more to stop the constant haggling, he took a class and has been hooked ever since going on to win the 2007 French Championship and competed in the 2008 World Championship. He now teaches with passion in Paris at Yoga Bikram Paris and occasionally all over the world. He claims Bikram Yoga is “a beautiful way to discover yourself …physically, mentally and spiritually”.
My connection with Johannes is that I am one of his yoga students. As well I have spent many a day in ballet studios, not as a dancer, but as an accompanist for a professional ballet company in California.
The dinner menu started with Thai Coconut Fresh Ginger soup… followed by various specialties in between… and ended with wicked deliciously decadent Brownie Tiramisu. As usual a selection of wine, beverages, juice and coffee served.