Heloise embodies French style and class as she takes on the role of Coco Chanel for Set In Paris Movie Tours. Heloise is one of many exceptional Coco Chanel guides for Set In Paris Movie Tours, this is her story. Home to a host of tours dedicated to your film favorites such as Sex And The City, Midnight In Paris and Amelie, the Coco Chanel tour is one of many but certainly not one to be missed. Dressing up and playing the part of Coco, Heloise spins you around the city, showing you Paris through the eyes of Coco Chanel herself. For more information about the Set In Paris Movie Tours feel free to check out their website at www.setinparis.com
How did you fall into the role of Coco Chanel? Have you always had a passion for her or has it grown overtime?
I’ve always been interested in history and vintage fashion, and I especially love the 30s, which was the moment when Chanel’s star started to rise. But it was really when starting to work on this tour, and discovering so much about Chanel’s personal life beyond her great contribution to fashion design, that really got me hooked. She was a fascinating character, absolutely larger than life, a savvy businesswoman, and something of a proto-feminist (even if she didn’t think of herself in this way at all), as well as a friend, rival, or lover of so many of the most important and brilliant people of her time.
Can you tell us a little bit about the tour?
The tour lasts about two hours. It starts at the salon de thé Angelina, with a cup of their famous hot or cold chocolate, and a little introduction to Chanel’s life before she arrived in Paris and launched her fashion business. The walking tour then takes us to her very first shop then her flagship store following on to the place where she used to live and the Chanel Joaillerie store. From her very humble beginnings to the creation of the little black dress, to the launch of Chanel n°5, her feuds with other designers and even her darker side, the idea is to give a taste of what her life was like.
Image Courtesy of Set In Paris Movie Tours
Coco Chanel is synonymous with Parisian Fashion. What do you think her opinion of the Chanel brand would be today?
I think that Coco Chanel would have mixed feelings about the brand today. On one hand, I’m sure she would have been extremely pleased at the success Chanel has achieved under Lagerfeld’s guidance. She liked being the best, and she also liked making a lot of money. On the other hand, would she have liked the mythical status that Lagerfeld has given her? She always insisted that she was a craftswoman, not an artist, and I feel like this is not at all the image of the brand today. Ultimately, even if Lagerfeld has been taking inspiration from Coco Chanel from the beginning, the Chanel brand today is very much his, and not so much hers anymore.
What advice would you give an aspiring tour guide in Paris?
Be passionate about your subject. Anything can be made interesting if you talk about it with knowledge and enthusiasm – and the most fascinating topic can become boring if you, the tour guide, are bored by it. Let people feel your passion, and they will enjoy doing touring with you.
Where’s your favorite place in Paris and why?
Some people might find it a little weird, but my favorite place in Paris would probably be the Père Lachaise cemetery. I just love exploring the beautiful alleys and the unusual tombs, enjoying the history and quietness of the place. I’m also a big fan of the Seine banks in the summer. I love buying a bottle of rosé and having an evening picnic by the river with my boyfriend always feels very romantic to me, in a simple and laid back way.
Image Courtesy of Set In Paris Movie Tours
Can you tell us your favorite and least favorite part of being a tour guide?
Getting to share my knowledge of Coco Chanel and love of vintage fashion is wonderful, and without a doubt the best part of being a tour guide. I also love a little bit of a challenge. Sometimes I get men on the tour who are just there because of their wife or girlfriend: nothing makes me happier than succeeding in making them really interested in Chanel’s life too, when they didn’t think that could be the case. Also, getting to wear some of my own vintage clothing collection on each tour!
However, there can be downsides too. One time a couple requested a tour very last minute, then forgot to call to say they wouldn’t be able to make it! Getting all dressed up and waiting outside of Angelina’s for nothing was definitely my least favorite moment. It only ever happened once, fortunately.
Finally, has Set In Paris Movie Tours got any exciting plans in the works? What’s next for them?
We are introducing a French Fashion style talk. Perfect for a party or get together among friends, you will have your own stylist walk you through the development of fashion in Paris, how it has developed and key pieces from each time period you can introduce to your closet. This will be available at our boutique or at a venue of your choice, even your home. We are also launching an e-commerce site to complement our boutique in central Paris, carrying vintage one-off pieces which will be available alongside our existing range of unique and high-end Paris souvenirs.
“Heloise is an absolutely incredible guide for our brand new Coco Chanel’s Paris tour. She is the embodiment of French style and class.” – Set In Paris