Category Archives: Music Paris

Rococo Rendevous

Rococo in the park

French Big Wigs

If there is one hairstyle I could choose to define Frenchness, it would be the Rococo baroque wigs and elaborate hair-do’s that radiate Versailles in all it’s hedonistic, aristocratic and slightly-mad glory.  The majestic coiffures of tragic Queen Marie Antoinette, or the lovely Madame de Pompadour, display the definitive Rococo style, towering above a lovely face, bedecked with ribbons, butterflies and any folly or fancy that comes to mind.

Exquises Marquises

Such is the over-the-top elegance and savoir-faire that the style engenders, that it has made a comeback, if not in everyday life then in the world of high fashion and fancy dress.  I had always been attracted to this style however as a woman of colour I did wonder if I could pull it off, (no pun intended). Unfortunately for me, at the time of this historical era, the majority of black women were generally in the dreadful bondage of Slavery. Nevertheless fashion is and always has been fashion and I dont think it would be a historically inaccurate faux pas.

Rococo Noir

Higher and Higher

I had the unexpected opportunity of indulging in my ‘Dangerous Liasons’ style fantasies when approached to play and sing for an event in a beautiful world famous deluxe Parisian hotel.  Styled, dressed and coiffured by professionals, my hair was teased up into a candy-floss peak of rococo joy.  It certainly made me feel pre-revolutionary. Of course this was my real hair not a powdered dome with mice running through it, but still.  IMG_20170704_024554.jpgRococo bouffant

Although the hairdresser was rightly pleased with his efforts, my only regret was that he had not gone far enough.  I was all for adding little sailing ships, buttons and bows.  Playing dress-up in concerts is theatrical and adds to the performance deepening the experience for the audience. Rococo hair at home

Its hard to define precisely what our fascination is with the look of the 18th century.  Is it the elegance, the mystery of a decadent world that is close and alien at the same time, or perhaps the freedom of expression and fantasy.  The rococo age brought a kicking over of the stagnation and restrictions as the world tipped over into the Age of the Enlightenment.  The sheer peacock flamboyance of the dress of both the male and female compared to a modern world of frankly boring dull suits in funereal colours complete with utilitarian hairstyles is striking.Modern rococo
For those who want to try this look for themselves there are many ‘how to’ videos on YouTube and I provide some links below that I found.

Aileen Estrada’s Marie Antoinette Rococo Make-Up Tutorial


Yuseff Smith’s Marie Antoinette Make-Up and Hair

https://youtu.be/msZ6V0Ee5Gs



Miss C @ Le Monteverdi, Paris.

Monday 10th July 2017bst - ciarri winter

AN ARTISTIC HISTORY

My usual residency at Le Monteverdi, 5-7 Rue Guisard, St. Germain Des Pres has rolled around again.  Playing a selection of french chansons (with a strong english accent),  jazz ballads, blues and my beloved obscure torch songs is alwalys a pleasure.  Rue Guisard is a picturesque street in the heart of St. Germain.

Photo - Ciarri Winter
Rue Guisard
Rue Guisard, St. Germain des Pres

This intimate and charming restaurant, was begun by Claudio, the grandson of the famed Italian Operatic composer.  A portrait of the great man takes pride of place in the centre of the main room. Nestling in the beautiful setting of intricate streets, Le Monteverdi has a fascinating history.  

THE CELEBRITY CLIENTELE

Marcello Mastrioanni was a regular client, and today many artists still come to dine and enjoy the ambiance.  Film makers, actors, musicians, writers and tourists all are welcome.

BD-©brunoclergue_BC02054a
The Piano Bar & Main Salon

The owner and chatelaine of Le Monteverdi is now Madame Valerie Balard who provides a convivial and relaxing atmosphere.  Every week usually provides surprise events or artists.  Last week I was joined by the powerful Gospel singer and longtime Paris performer Lynda Lee Hopkins, who sang a variety of soul and jazz numbers.

le-monteverdi-00
The Piano Bar

Personally as a pianist/singer it is truly a joy to play in settings that are beautiful and elegant in such a city as Paris.  I remember playing the main theme from ‘Les Parapluies des Cherbourg’, a particularly romantic melody.  At the front of the restuarant the doors were open to the terrasse and the rain was pouring down.  As I played, (the piano can be heard clearly in the street, a passer-by pulled his girlfriend into his arms and kissed her passionately).  It was a testament to the excellent taste and romance of the moment.  Yes, when couples begin to kiss, my work is done.

For those in the quartier do come in and enjoy some music and perhaps a glass of Champagne…

http://www.lemonteverdi.com/