Books, Society

The Widow Clicquot and the women who drink her

April 9, 2009

When a Paris-pop blogger such as myself gets invited to cover a book launch at the luxurious Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton on the Champs Elysees hosted by Veuve Clicquot, three things run through my mind – what do I wear, please don’t let me get too drunk on their delicious champagne, and will I make any new friends?!
Charging in my high-heels through the rain, hot and breathless getting into a ‘friendly’ Parisian taxi who kindly pointed out that I look a mess, I clipped back my hair for that ‘purposefully’ out-of-bed look, slapped on some lip-gloss and motivated by my new found fashion critic (ie, the taxi driver) I arrived at the much anticipated book launch, but not just any – it was probably the most delicious and good-looking book launch I have ever attended…. Held at the very top floor of the Louis Vuitton building, one of the finest names in champagne Veuve Clicquot celebrated the launch of their book The Widow Clicquot – the Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It (by Tilar J Mazzeo). It’s a story about a fascinating young woman back in the 19th century Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, who was left a widow at the age of 27 and promptly took the reins of her family-in-law’s wine dynasty and almost single-handedly turned it into a thriving and much sought after name. This is the woman who helped turn champagne into an icon of all-things-fabulous, finesse and fashion (merci beaucoup Madame Clicquot Ponsardin!). What a better and most appropriate way to celebrate such a book by inviting 25 of Paris’s most beautiful, vibrant and glamorous women to a luncheon and a private viewing of the venue’s current magnificent exhibition Silent Writings.
The event,
organized and co-hosted by the delightful Stéphane Gerschel, Veuve Clicquot’s International Communications Director (and author of books Louis Vuitton: Icons and Putman Style) and the Gorgeous (yes, with a capital G) Rebecca Carcelle, some of the invited guests included (and those with which I had the chance to chat): woman of the hour the wonderful Tilar Mazzeo author of The Widow Clicquot, highly praised designer Ria Augousti, the charming Grace Borletti, talented photographer and absolutely stunning Melonie Hennessy, Dovie Mamikunian the president of DM Media International, actress and writer Elena Luoto-Meister, Delfina Delettrez from the Fendi family and an exquisite jewelry designer, Francisca Mattéoli the much acclaimed travel writer, former supermodel and Roger Vivier shoes mastermind Ines de La Fressange, suparlative gallerist Almine Rech Picasso and Azzaro designer Vanessa Steward…..to name but a few of the dazzling and inspiring women I met all in one afternoon! To sum up my experience of this fabulous afternoon – yes, I got a little tipsy from the endless flowing glasses of delectable Veuve Clicquot champagne, I fell in love with Melonie Hennessy’s Louis Vuiton heels, I have a new book in which to delve and devour (and which I forgot to ask Tilar Mazzeo to sign), I learned that the completely dark, fluffy and sound-insulated lift to the 7th floor of the Espace Culturel is actually not a problem with the light-bulb, but rather an original work of art by Olafur Eliasson (totally worth the ride), and lastly I learned that great champagne attracts great women!
Melonie Hennessy’s Louis Vuiton heels

Rebecca Carcelle and Stéphane Gerschel

Delfina Delettrez

Elena Luoto-Meister

Melonie Hennessy, Tilar J Mazzeo and Dovie Mamikunian

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1 Comment

  • Reply Marquis de Lannes April 15, 2009 at 4:11 pm
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