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Paris Fashion Week 2012

I love shoes and Fashion, so of course I have an eye on fashion and Paris Fashion Week, oh and Manolo Blahnik shoes..

On and off the catwalk, Paris Fashion Week is one of the world's great spectacles. Mike Dolan discovers that the glamour, glitz and gossip often spills into the city's palace hotels and restaurants.

WHEN NINA SIMONE SANG, "I love Paris in the Springtime", it's doubtful she was referring to the seven days of Paris Fashion Week, when the usual procession of Manolo Blahnik shoes and Prada bags becomes a stampede. Yet it's a time when the City of Light dazzles the world, like no other city can. "It's as if someone flicks a switch and all the lights burn brighter," says the concierge at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, one of the city's famous palace hotels and a favourite haunt during Paris Fashion Week. "It's when the Golden Triangle becomes a magnificent catwalk, when everyone on the Champs Elysées, rue de Rivoli, Avenue George V and Place Vendôme dresses - how do you say - to impress."

Plaza Athénée - the pink palace

Long before Hollywood location scouts chose the Plaza Athénée for the film The Devil Wears Prada, this circa 1889 eight-storey building – with its scarlet awnings and window boxes of red geraniums - was a favourite of Marlene Dietrich, Jackie Onassis and Grace Kelly. Since a sensational renovation in 2000, it's become the hotel of choice for a new generation of fashion industry players. Light, airy and elegant, the decor at the Plaza Athénée has given baroque a thrilling new look.
Sensational views of the Eiffel Tower and the hotel's proximity to the couture houses and big-label boutiques on Avenue Montaigne are drawcards. Yet it's the hotel's Le Bar that effervesces with fashionistas.
A blue, backlit frosted-glass bar and clubby leather chairs serve as perfect perches for the impeccably turned out. Anyone who intends to blend in should adhere to the de facto dress code of conspicuous labels.

Plaza Athénée - the pink palace (pictured)

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