PARIS--I’ll be honest with you, I was just happy to be inside. Not because of the cold (and Paris WAS cold this week), and not because of the free vodka, supplied by our hosts the Burkman Bros., Billy Reid, and their rep, Megan Maguire Steele, (along with GrandLifeNYC), as well as Florsheim by Duckie Brown, but because I’d never been to Le Baron before, and, like many of us who exist inside and outside of fashion’s peripheries, I’d heard stories. (I’d written one, as well, which made me doubly excited.)
Since 2004, Le Baron has been the unofficial party destination for all that is fabulous during Fashion season (which, for some in Paris, as well as New York, is really all year long). ack during Bush’s first term, graffiti artist (he was a legend in Paris, with his Mr. Baron tag) and impresario André Saraiva took an abandoned brothel, partnered with its jailed owner, and made a nightclub for himself and his friends. It was a smash and reinvigorated Paris nightlife. Since then, he’s gone on to open several hotels and more clubs—like The Beatrice, in New York (RIP)—restaurants, and has teamed up with everyone from Louis Vuitton to Belvedere to The Rolling Stones.
But the sexy—fine, slutty—sweaty, druggy paradise that is Le Baron remains the soul of operation André, and even if he wasn’t there, his spirit of revelry matched those of us on the dance floor and in the booths, as people shook off the exhausting week that was men’s fashion.
It was kind of like old times, or the old times that have been described to me. Olivier Zahm—looking like he remembered the times when it was he and only he who was allowed to snap photos at Le Baron—arrived en plein coeur, with models abounding: Leigh Lezark, of the Misshapes, did her cheekbones-and-glare thing, and then actually played some music; models danced; fashion heavies--domestic and foreign--like the Burkman Brothers (Canadians, in Paris, via New York; I can relate) told stories from the shows; the bathrooms remained packed, and the furthest thing from private.
It was the right way to say goodbye to Men’s F/W 2011. Goodnight, Misshapes. Goodnight, 12 Euro whiskey drinks. Goodnight, pushing and shoving, everywhere. Goodnight, complaining about the easiest job on the planet. Goodnight, Le Baron.
Goodnight moon, which, by the time I left the club on Monday morning, had said goodnight itself.