We get a road trip report from one of our ambassadors as they head towards Poland and the Open'er music festival. Next stop, Berlin
Last week, a van full of Dazed and AnOther Magazine ambassadors left London and set out on an epic journey heading for the Open'er festival in Gdansk, Poland. On their way, the crew will be meeting and partying with local creatives and sending us real time photo updates over Twitter using the IXUS 510 HS, making sure you can keep track of their crazy road trip adventures. Having stopped by in Paris before heading to Antwerp, Berlin and, finally, Poland, Stuart Hammond sent us this digital postcard from the French capital...
Paris was as beautiful as ever when we arrived on Thursday night; it shimmered in the gloaming and we were all abuzz with excitement. We basically just threw our bags in the direction of the hotel and hot-footed it to the Louis Vuitton party at Carmen. It was Men's Fashion Week, and the LV show had gone off with the customary bang earlier that day. Since our old chum Kim Jones took over the menswear there, he just keeps completely killing it. It was a bummer that we missed the show, but inside the party it went round and round on video screens in all its hypnotic glory. Oh man, those wetsuit things! Everybody in there coveted that look, as far as I could tell. The place was heaving: I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many beautiful boys in one room. Nice to see some friendly faces from back in Blighty: The Big Pink’s Robbie Furze, Andrew Daffy, the beautiful Mary Charteris, the also beautiful Carri Mundane and Grace Ladoja and, of course, homme of the hour, the beautiful (EVERYBODY was beautiful, OK?) Kim Jones. He was tired and happy and seemed pleased with how it had all gone. I asked him if he was going to celebrate like crazy or get an early night. "Oh early night, definitely," he said. "No later than about four tomorrow afternoon." He was joking, but I was getting a sense of how easy it would be to lose sleep in this town. There’s too much to do. Afterwards we swapped the decadent and fittingly Vuitton-ish luxury of Carmen for the dark and sweaty and entirely thrilling mileu of the Social Club, where the English invasion continued apace as Disclosure played a blinder. They really did completely blow the roof off the place with their set: everybody was going gorillas. We were there till pretty late, sweating it out and getting suffocated in the tiny tunnel of a smoking room. To be honest, it kind of felt like it was about four tomorrow afternoon when we finally got to bed.
The next day me and Edson lit out in the morning and took in the city as they say one really ought to: on foot, flâneur-style. Only we did it mainly on skateboard. We had a ton of fun just larking about in the street, bombing hills and taking pictures. Then we met the AnOther girls in Oberkampf and hit Cafe Charbon for lunch. It was truly magnifique: all worn-around-the-edges old-time charm, and food that puts the English to shame. The Charbon is one of those perfectly charming, time-warpy places where you half-expect Hemingway to stroll in at any moment. He never did though.
We broke off again and made our way to the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature: a headspinningly weird and beautiful and at times slightly unsettling museum of art, weaponry and taxidermy. It’s got a vast collection of guns from the days when guns were actually nice to look at: all gorgeously sculpted wood and ornately carved metal. There’s also a dizzying amount of the long-dead stuffed game that the guns were used to shoot. It’s a bit sad to see the shooters and the shootees proudly displayed together like that, but you can’t deny the beauty of it all. Plus there’s a wild boar’s head mounted on the wall and its mouth moves and makes these queer-sounding noises like Jabba the Hutt. So that was pretty funny.
We kicked back in local bar La Perle for a bit and people-watched (merci, Men’s Fashion Week!), then wandered back hotel-wards, calling in at some bookshops on the way. After dinner with the gang in a little pizza-place round the corner, we hit the Paris night for the final time. Wanderlust is an enormous outdoor club with a huge wooden deck that overlooks the Seine. It was a bit like being on a cruise liner, only with much better music. We talked and drank and danced under the balmy star-spangled night and had a gay old time until way too late. Comme j’adore Paris.
I’m in Antwerp as I type this. It’s really sunny. Gotta go: need to start drinking this place in.
Miss you all horribly, may never come home,
Love from Stuart
Follow our road trip to the Open'er music festival through photo and twitter updates in real time HERE. Next stop is Berlin, but what should the AnOther Magazine crew do out there? Let us know your favourite bars, restaurants and exhibitions. Tweet your suggestions to @AnOthermagazine and you can win a Canon IXUS 510 HS camera.
Photos by Stephanie Sian Smith