Coco Chanel & Cremerie de Paris, a Love Story

Coco Chanel (1883 - 1971)

Coco Chanel

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Coco Chanel (1883 - 1971)
Iconic fashion designer.
Friend of Dmitri Romanov and of Aimée Lopes de Sottomajor / Aimée de Heeren.
Night visitor of Cremerie de Paris
Helped to buy Cremerie de Paris N°1

There are many articles about Gabrielle Chanel.
This one is limited to her links with Cremerie de Paris.

A Start with nothing
Childhon in poverty
1883 august 19 Gabrielle Chanel was born in Samur.
Her father Albert and her mother Jeanne Devolle worked on markets.
The famille lived in difficulties.

1895 Gabriel's mother Jehanne died from tubercolosis.
The father does not know how to handle the situation
and gives his 5 children away.

The daughters are given to an orphanage at the Abbey of Aubazine
in Corrèze, south west of France.
Gabrielle is 12 years old
She is accompanied by her sisters Julia (1882-1912)
and Antoinette (1887-1920)
The brothers Alphonse (1885 - 1953) and Lucien (1889 - 1941)
become farm workers.

Gabrielle spends 6 years in the Abbey,
a life in austerity. She learns sewing.

France - Chanel becomes a fashion icon
1910 Paris
Chanel succeds in the world of fashion

1908 Gabrielle Chanel arrives in Moulins (central France)
where she works as a singer in cafes.
She meets a wealthy young man Etienne Balsan (1878-1953).
Balsan introduces her to hi-society and to Boy Capel (1881 -1919).
With the help of Balsan and Chapel
she opens a Boutique on Boulevard Malesherbes
Chanel starts with hats she buys in departments stores
and she decorates.
1910 Chanel moves to 21 rue Cambon.
1913 Chanel opens a second Boutique in Deauville
between the Casino and the Hotel Normandy.
La Boutique Chanel de Biarritz
1915 Opening of a third Boutique à Biarritz.
Step by step Chanel becomes the most important fashion house
of it's time.

Russia - children fascinated by fairytales
around Cremerie de Paris

1910 St Petersbourg - at the same time

The Romanov children
grow up with fascinating stories
about a Cremerie de Paris located at the entrance
of the le Halles foodmarket build in 1860 - 1870
by Napoleon III under the eye of his glamorous wife
Empress Eugénie.

Alix HessenAlix Hessen
The Tsarina of Russia tells the children the stories
before they go to sleep.
The children are called Olga (1895-1918), Tatiana (1897-1918),
Maria (1899-1918),
Anastasia (1901-1918) and Alexei (1906-1918).

Dmitri Romanov in 1910
With them lives a young cousin of their father Tsar Nicolas II.
Dmitri Romanov (1891-1942)
had lost his mother when he was born
and was abandoned by his father Paul Romanov

Dmitri was very good looking,
the children admired him and considered him as their ultra cool, older brother.

Dmitri Romanov, Alexei, Ernst Ludwig Hessen, Eleonore Solms
Sometimes the children of the Tsarina's family
living near Frankfurt, Germany were also part of the group.
The Tsarina, very much criticised in Russia, prefered her own family
to the Romanovs living at the St Petersbourg court.
Her brother Ernst Ludwig Hessen (1868-1936) lived in Darmstadt, Hessen (now a state of Germany).
She also liked her sister in law Eleonore Solms (1871-1936).

The above picture taken in 1910 shows
Dmitri and Alexei Romanov with the Tsarina's brother
Ernst Ludwig Hessen, his second wife Eleonore Solms and Nicolas II
in Friedberg near Frankfurt.

Olga Romanov, Georg Donatus HessenSolms children
Usually were also around the brothers children
Georg Donatus Hessen (1906-1937), Ludwig Hessen (1908-1968).

As George Donatus and Ludwig were a little young,
Eleonore often called her nephiew Carl Solms (1903-2003)
and her niece Friederike Solms (1905-1995),
children of her brother Reinhard Ludwig living in the same town.

about 10 years later
Dmitri would leave a little jewel to Coco Chanel
financing 73 years later
the reopening
the legendary
Cremerie de Paris ....

50 years later
Carl and Friederike would be
the babysitters of their
editor of this website ...

les Halles de Paris imaginées à Biarritz par l'impératrice Eugénie, Pavillons Baltard, rue des HallesL'impératrice Eugénie jeune
The Tsarina, Alix Hessen, knew the legends about Cremerie de Paris
from the old Empress Eugénie of France.

1878, when Alix Hessen was 6 years old,
she had lost her mother Alice of Great Britain
so that her grandmother Queen Victoria
took her to live under Victoria's protection in London.

Empress Eugénie, friend of Queen Victoria lived in the UK in exile.
She was very sad as she had lost her own child, Napoléon Eugène (1856 - 1879)
and became kind of a "adoptive mother" for Alix.

Eugenie knew more about the Halles area than anybody else
as she was - in her youth as Empress of France -
the creative mind behind the renovation of the foodmarket
(Pavillons Baltard,
parts of Cremerie de Paris N°1, Cremerie de Paris N°2 and N°3, rue des Halles)
accomplished between 1853 and 1870
under the reign of her husband Napoléon III.

Louix XIV, third Bourbon King of Francemap
Cremerie de Paris N°1 was linked to a multitude of legends
and fairytales, as two centures before, back in 1646
the young Sunking, Louis XIV had lived in the house.

Coco Chanel discovers the Cremerie de Paris

1917 Bolshevik Revolution change everything in Russia.
Lenin's agents kill all the Romanovs they can find.
1918 July 17 Tsar Nicolas II, the Tsarina and their 5 children are assasinated,
Olga was 22, Tatiana 21, Maria 19, Anastasia 17 and Alexei Romanov 13.
Dmitri Romanov and his older sister Marie escaped from the Bolcheviks.
The Hessen and Solms cousins were save in Germany.

Many Russians emigrated to Paris.
Marie Romanov was the first to arrive.
Dmitri escapes via Iran and comes to Paris via London.

As most exiled Russians
Marie and Dmitri have lost most, if not all of their fortunes except some jewels.
They need to find a work.
Marie Romanov (1890 - 1958) starts a small fashion firm, called Kitmir
and becomes friends with Coco Chanel.

Nicolas III de Villeroy
1920 Once arrived in Paris
Dmitri tries to find the Cremerie de Paris
décribed to him in the fairytale stories
the Tsarina was telling the children before going to bed.
All the Romnov children loved the legends around the Cremerie de Paris,
which was for Dmitri the last link to a past where
everything had disappeared.

Nicolas III de VilleroyNicolas III de Villeroy
1921 one day he shows the Cremerie to Coco Chanel,
friend of his sister Marie.
Chanel is capitvated by a mysterious number "5"
forged into the centuries old railing of a staircase in a courtyard
behind the Cremerie N°1.
Gabrielle falls in Love ...
with both
Romanov and Cremerie de Paris.

What is left from their adventure is the perfume Chanel N°5
and a small jewel Dmitri had saved from Russia.
Chanel kept the jewel until the last month of her life.

Invention of Chanel N°5
Coco Chanel always wanted to make a parfum,
but she had no know-how in this field.

Ernest Beaux  1920Rallet perfume bottle with Romanov eagle
Dmitri knew a Russian with French origins,
Ernest Beaux (1881 - 1961).
He was a perfumer for Rallet
a supplier of the Imperial family.
Dmitri had met Rallet with his cousins Olga and Tatiana.
Ernest Beaux had been able to escape from Russia.
Dmitri Romanov localised him in Grasse, Southern France.

Preparing a visit from Dmitri and Coco Chanel
Ernest Beaux brew different samples.

Arrived in Grasse Coco Chanel had no hesitation.
She picked the 5th sample,
just beacause "5" was her lucky number.

When Beaux asked her why she had picked the 5th samble
and why she wanted to call the perfume Chanel N°5
Gabrielle answered.

"I always launch my collection may 5th,
the 5th mont of the year,

leave the perfume it's number 5
this number 5 will bring luck."

Chanel N°5

premier flacon Chanel N°5
Dmitri designed the first bottle
inspired by a Russian vodka vase.

1921 the perfume is launched
Chanel associated with Pierre Wertheimer,
owner of the perfume company Bourgeois
and Theophile Bader, owner of the Galleries Lafayette
department stores.

Owning only 10% of the interests in the perfume
Gabrielle Chanel later feeled cheated.
This results in a feroce battle with Wertheimer.

Coco Chanel, Dmitri Romanov 1938
The relation between Chanel et Dmitri did not last,
but they stayed friends.
Dmitri married Audrey Emery an American heiress that lived in France.
The picture has been taken around 1938.
Dmitri whose health declined died 1942 in Davos.

Chanel meeting Aimée Lopes de Sotto Maior

1938 Coco Chanel met Aimee Lopes

World War II is on the way.
Brazil send a secret agent,
Aimée Lopes de Sotto Maior.
Already send to Berlin in 1934
she had to find out more of what was going on in Europe.
Fluent in English, French, Italian with a good level of German
she worked directly for the President of her country,
Getulio Vargas (1882 -1954).

Vargas hesitated whether Brazil should allie
with or againts Germany.
He wanted Aimées advise.

As her countries top secret agent
on direct mssion for the President
Aimée had "unlimited pocket money"
so she could navigate in the "Hi Society" like an icon.

Aimée arrived in Paris like a bombshell.
Everybody wanted to know this captivating woman.
Coco Chanel did everything to draw her attention.

Aimée was so amazingly beautiful people were speachless.

"drama after drama"
not only Coco Chanel
but also the Duke of Westminster fell in Love ...

Bendor, the 2nd Duke of Westminster,
the richest man in England
famous for extravagant "cadeaux"
didn't stop sending outrageous presents to Aimée.

French crown-jewels hunted by specially hired jewlery agents for Aimée
pearls from a jewellery store for Chanel.

Gabrielle was furious.

Joseph Patrick Kennedy
1939 the following summer Aimée spends some time on the côte d'Azur
At a reception in the Hotel du Cap
she runs into an Americain
that was much younger than everybody else she had met in France,
Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr (1915-1944).
She had already met him in a reception in London where his father
worked as the US ambassador.

Aimée who was not interested in Chanels boyfriend,
the old Duke of Westminster (1879 - 1953)
nor any European she had to meet for her secret agent work
she fell in Love with the young American.

From the German Agent Helmuth James von Moltke
Aimée got many confidential information about the German regime
which she passed on to Vargas.
Her mission accomplished,
Paris became to dangerous.
Aimée moved on to New York, Chanel looses contact.

years go by ....

Reconsiliation with Aimée

1953  july 19 Bendor, the 2nd Duke of Westminster dies.
Both Ladies, Gabrielle and Aimée are sad.
There is nobody as extravagant left
offering them such extraordinary presents.

1954 Coco Chanel whose role during WW II was very controversial
returned from her Swiss exile in Lausanne.
Chanel reconsiliated with her worst ennemy and perfume associate,
Pierre Wertheimer.
He financed her comeback.

71 years old Chanel reopens her fashion house.

February 5 the first post-war collection is launched.
The French press tears her apart, the Americans buy her collection.

Marie Helène Arnaud
Marie Hélène Arnaud becomes her favorite model.
Her other models are Ghislaine Arsac, Suzy Parker, Odile de Cröy, Paule Rizzo,
Mimi d’Arcangues, Gisèle Rosenthal and Paule de Mérindol.

1960 The friendship and work relation with Marie Helene Arnaud
comes to an end.

1960 Reconnecting with Aimée Lopes de Sotto Maior  / Aimée de Heeren
After the separation with her model Marie Helène Arnaud
Chanel feels even more lonely.

"Mademoiselle" had no husband, no children,
nobody to spend christmas eve
many of her friends had already died.
Most of her new friends had a work-based relation with her.

Aimée Lopez de Sottomajor / AImée de Heeren
One day she runs into the mysterious Aimée Lopes
she hasn't seen for twenty years.
Aimée Lopes de Sotto Maior now called Aimée de Heeren
is still outrageously beautiful.

Chanel is fascinated by Aimées joy of life
and her independance.
Forgotten the jealousies around Bendor's presents.

Aimée is happy to have someone with whom she can share
souvenirs about old friends that have left this world,
in particular Bendor and the glamorous
Dmitri Romanov

Also she has compassion for Chanels extreme loneliness.
Aimée feels a little responsible to have
stoped Bendor to marry Mademoiselle Chanel.

When Chanel was asked why she had not married
she used to answer "there are several Duchesses of Westminster,
but only one Coco Chanel."

The truth is that Chanel dreamed to have had some kind of a family
just it had not worked out for her.

The friendship of the two woman is back...

When Chanel cannot sleep ...
Nightwalks through Paris

escalier d'honneur de la Cremerie de Paris
Aimée lives in between New York, Palm Beach, Biarritz and Paris.
Paris is the only place where she does not have her own house,
the Hotel Meurice is her Parisian address.

When Chanel cannot sleep she calls the Meurice to find out if  Madame de Heeren
is already back. "Désole, Madame n'est pas encore rentrée"
is the usual answer of the night concierge
The "partygirl" Aimée is invited everywhere and never comes home very early
but as soon as she gets the message that Mademoiselle Chanel has called
she calls back no matter the time.

This is the beginning of their "Paris Night Walks".
20 min later they meet.
The Meurice and the Ritz are very close
Aimée can wait to share her impressions of the last party
and Gabrielle who does not go out any more
is dying to her all what has happened.

Sometimes Salvador Dali,also living at the Meurice,
wanted to join them,
but he was too excentric for Aimée
and anyways the Ladys wanted to be on their own
just sharing each others company.

The usual destination of their walks went along rue Saint Honoré
in the direction of the Les Halles foodmarket open all night.
After a drink at the Maison Rouge
they went to Cremerie de Paris
waiting a moment for the old old door of 9 rue des Déchargeurs to open
(due to the busy activity of the foodmarket there is always someone going in and out).

Walking into the long long private courtyard
to see the magic N°5 staircase Chanel had discovered in her youth with Dmitri Romanov
Sitting at the top of the staircase old souvenirs came back to memory....

A little jewel

Coco Chanel old
1970 Décember Gabrielle Chanel et Aimée de Heeren
are on their usual nightwalk.
Spirit of Christmas is in the air of Paris.
Chanel is a sad that Aimée is about to leave
to spend Christmas in the US.
She knows that on Christmas Eve she might be all alone.
Sitting on the top of the magical staircase
Gabrielle takes from her coat a little poche
and slides it over to Aimée.

"This is my Christmas present for you,
Dmitri gave it to me a long time ago,
keep it as a souvenir of your old friend Coco Chanel
and as a little luck bringer.

It's thanks to Dmitri
I created N°5.
You have also helped me
bringing my name
to the ears of the Kennedys.
You are my wonderful friend."

Coco Chanel december 1970

a little jewel left by Coco Chanel

Inside the poche the little jewel Dmitri Romanov
had brought from Russia when escaping the Revolution.
The next day Aimée takes a plane to Miami
where her husband is waiting for her in Palm Beach.

1971 January 10, a sunday evening
Chanel dies at the Hôtel Ritz.
Friday January 15 after a mess at the Madeleine church,
Gabrielle Chanel is buried in Lausanne in the cimetary du Bois de Vaux.

She had designed her grave herself:
5 lions (her astrological sign)
decorated a white marble
in which is engraved
a cross,
the name Gabrielle Chanel
and the dates 1883 - 1971.

There is no gravestone so that
"she can go up to heaven to dress the angels".
On the left side Gabrielle designed a bank
so that her visitors would remain for a while
to have a conversation with her.

Aimée gets the message to late to come to the funeral.
Decades later she always wanted to make a trip to Lausanne.
The editor of this article was supposed to drive her,
but unfortunately the trip to the lake of Geneva never became reality.

Baby Sitting
at the same time - 1970 Germany

Carl Solms
From time to time the mother of the young boy in the picture
asked her husband's uncle, the older man in the picture,
to come as a "baby sitter".
The old man Carl Solms (1903-2003) has a wonderful attitude with children.
He tells them captivating, never ending stories.

Many of the stories take place in Russia where also lived a strange munk called Rasputin.
Some in Germany
but the most magical ones in Paris in the Les Halles foodmarket
at a place called "Cremerie de Paris".
Cremerie de Paris was place where another child,
young Louis XIV,
also called the Sun King
had lived a long long time ago.

Carl Solms and Alexei Romanov
The great-uncle of the young boy had spend his childhood with a lot of children.
This picture taken 60 years before shows the great-uncle as a young boy
with his cousin Alexei Romanov
They had almost the same age.
Alexei who had a very bad health and was impressed by his Carl who loved sports.

The older sisters of Alexei,
Anastasia Romanov was the "copines" of the great uncles
younger sister Friederike, (1905 - 1993)
also "baby sitting" from time to time.

Alexei et Dmitri Romanov, photo 1909Alexei and Dmitri Romanov  Crimea
All the children had an idole,
it was the "grand" cousin Dmitri Romanov (1891 - 1942)
who had lost his own parents

Dmitri was ultra glamorous
and did everything the young children dreamed about.
Dmitri was 12 years older than Carl.

Dmitri Romanov in 1910
Dmitri had a toubled childhood.
His mother died when Dmitri was born, his father just left.
Dmitri first grew up with his oncle Sergei Romanov (brother of Alexander III)
who was married to Carl's aount Elisabeth Hessen.

1905 Sergei was killed and instead of taking care of the child
Elisabeth decided to become a nun and found a convent,
Again a new home needed to be found for 14 year old Dmitri.

Sergei's nephew Nicolas II decided to take care of the young man.
He was married to Alix Hessen (young sister of Elisabeth Hessen, also aunt of Carl Solms).

1918 17 juillet the five children of the Tsar
Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexei were killed by the Bolchéviks,
Lenin was scared the glamorous children could one day become
competitors to his regime of terror.

Dmitri had the chance be in Iran the moment the revolution broke out
so he could escape to Paris.

The stories of great-uncle Carl were captivating for children..

1971 janvier 12 great-uncle Carl red in the
newspaper that Gabrielle Chanel had died.
He shows the paper to the little boy,
today editor of this article.

"Yesterday died in Paris a Lady
that was in fashion.
She was the girlfriend of
your great-uncle Dmitri Romanov.

You never met him,
he died many many years ago.

When we were children
we were all impressed by him.
Your grandfather you have never met
admired him.
Your great aunt Anastasia
always joked with him.
I was captivated by him because of his glamour.
He secretly allowed me to smoke cigarets with him
(not a good idea for you to do) .
He was a little older than all of us.

He had no parents,
this is why he lived with
Anastasia's and Alexei's family.

I always wanted to contact this Lady,
Gabrielle Chanel
so she would talk to me
about Dmitri.

But unfortunatly I was a little shy.
You see fashion is another world.
It's not my world.
Now it's too late.

Carl Solms, january 1971

Carl was excessively shy.
He did not speak with adults, only with children.
Some say this behavior was due to a horse riding accident he had as a child,
Others that it might be a result of WW II.

Carl had very little money,
he never took a cab.
Always a bus or a train.

Until 2003 you might have met him
in the public transport system of the Frankfurt region.
You would not have imagined that the old man who stood up
to leave his chair to any woman
was probably the very last of the interior cercle around
the Tsar of Russia ...

A reception was given for his 100th birthday,
he died a few weeks later.

translation in process ...
Meeting Aimée
Continuing night walks through Paris

Years go by ... 1982 / 1986 Paris
Fascinated by the crazy and funny stories from Russia
the little boy wanted to know if the Cremeries de Paris still existed.

Age 15 he was invited to Paris,
his aunt Dorothea (niece de Carl) worked in St Germain en Laye
as a journalist for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
She had the mission to help him find the Cremeries.

Two years later, now 17, he had the chance
to return to France with a school exchange program.

Instead of leaving the exchange colledge,
the school called Franklin kept him to run for the Bac.
Next to his studies the student worked for Madame Florence Doré
who send students to help in fashion events.

1986 january fashion week
The student meets someone that had a historic link with the main Cremerie de Paris
during the times it was a Postal company
Johannes Thurn & Taxis invites him to his birthday party in Bavaria, 1986 june 6.

Ben Solms et Aimée Lopez de Sottomajor / Aimée de Heeren
1986 At the party Thurn & Taxis presents the student to a friend.
"I want you to leave a good impression on my friend,
she would be fabolous for you to know.

The student knew nothing about her
exept that she was from Brazil:
Aimée de Heeren,
the same Aimée Lopes Sotto Maior that Chanel had met
half a century earlier
back in 1938.

When he asked her "Where do you life ?"
The answer was "Oh my dear it depends on the season".
Juin 1 to Juily 15, Septembre 15 to Octobre 31 her home was Paris,
most of the times at the Hotel Meurice.
Aimée liked to walk through Paris at night
and a few weeks after the bavarian birthday party
she asked him if he would not like to be part of the walk.

Walking through Paris
the young student hears
that 20 years earlier
another person was used to accompany Aimée
through sleeping Paris.

This person had been much, much older than Aimée ....
she was a fashion designer
her name was Gabrielle Chanel.

The nightwalks started at the Hotel Meurice
and they went in the direction of Chatelet les Halles
where was located the legendary Cremerie de Paris
the place desicrpibed in the Russian farytales
from the greatuncle and the greataunt
that had been part of the inner circle of the Romanov children.

L'étudiant avait ouvert une Boutique de téléphones Sony à proximité de la grande Cremerie de Paris.

Quand Aimée lui montra pour la première fois la cours magique
derrière la grande Cremerie de Paris N°1 elle fut toute étonnée que le garçon la connaissait déjà.

Romanov children
La photo montre les enfants Romanov en 1910
en haut à gauche leur mère Alix Hessen / la dernière Tsarine
et leur tante Eleonore Solms / Eleonore Hessen.
Dans les petits cercles sont les autres enfants, dont Dmitri Romanov
et les Babysitters de l'éditeur de cet article Carl er Friederike Solms.
Carl y réapparait avec l'éditeur de cet article en 1970
Coco Chanel en 1920 et en 1938,
Aimée Lopes en 1938 et en 2005

Aussi bien l'éditeur de cet article qu'Aimée
connaissaient des histoires sur la Cremerie de Paris,
l'un par le grand-oncle Carl et sa soeur Friederike,
l'autre par Gabrielle Chanel / Dmitri Romanov.

Les histoires avaitent la même source,
la Tsarine qui les racontait aux enfants dans les années 1910.

Pour Gabrielle Chanel c'était un endroit magique où elle aimait se receuillir
pour être inspirée par les Rois de France. Elle aimait le fait que le petit Louis XIV
avait déjà vu son chiffre "5".

1992 la grande Cremerie de Paris qui fut longtemps fermée par des planches en bois
était à louer. La petite Boutique de Téléphones Sony marchait bien
et Aimée voulait absolument que l'éditeur de cet article la loue.
Mais le propriétaire du local avait peur de louer un si grand espace
à un jeune qui n'avait peu de capital.
Le projet tomba à l'eau.

The power of Chanels little jewel
Reopening the legendary Cremerie de Paris

1993 Paris
Le projet de la grande Cremerie de Paris revient à l'actualité.
Une Boutique de meubles robotiques ne marchait pas,
en plus c'est la crise immobilière
mais le propriétaire
a toujours peur de la louer.

Aimée: "tu devrais proposer au propriétaire d'acheter la Boutique,
il n'aura plus de risque de loyers impayés, essaye ..."
Le propriétaire n'est pas contre cette idée,
mais comment trouver le financement dans un pays comme la France
qui aide si peu les jeunes, encore moins s'ils sont étrangers.

Rien à faire, il manque de fonds propre.
Helas des fortunes des Romanovs rien n'était restées.
Sauf un peu de magie.

La magie s'appellait Aimée Sottomayor et Gabrielle Chanel.

Cremerie de Paris en 1993
Gabrielle Chanel avait laissé à Aimée un petit bijoux
qui devrait porter chance.
Après avoir tout essayé
Aimee décide de se séparer du petit bijoux,
comme si Gabrielle lui avait dit "you need to continue the story".
Grâce au fruit de la vente l'apport augmente
et une Banque accèpte d'accorder un crédit immobilier.
La Cremerie de Paris N°1 peut réouvrir ...

Les bonnes ondes de la Cremerie attirent une nouvelle idée,
ouvrir un Cybercafe ce est une toute autre histoire en pleine naissance de l'Internet.
Nous y avions inventées
le Phone Book of the World (Annuaire du )
Aimée vient pour prendre des cours d'internet,
mais nous sommes toujours toujours loin d'imaginer
qu'elle était en réalité bien plus âgée que nous pensions.

2006 New York
2006 septembre 16 c'est le tour d'Aimée de quitter ce monde,
35 après Gabrielle Chanel.
Son vrai âge était resté un secrêt?
C 'est seulement au Lennox Hill Hospital de New York
qu'elle nous confie son sécrêt: 103 ans.

Oups cette Aimée n'avait pas 50 ou 40 ans de moins que Chanel,
seulement 20 !
cela voulait dire qu'elle fut en réalité beaucoup plus âgée
qu'il pensait,
elle avait déja plus de 100 ans
quand elle nageait dans l'Atlantique à Biarritz
prenait de cours d'internet,
faisait son dernier grand voyage en Yougoslavie.

pas 30
mais 62 ans de plus que lui-même
comme toutes ces promenades nocturnes à travers Paris
lui avaient permis de traverser les frontières du temps.

Missing Aimee de Heeren
When you havehad the chance
to make night walks through Paris
with a friend of Chanel
that was at the same time the epitom of glamour and style
and Brzail's ultimate secret agent,
you miss her ...

Suddenly you realize that all these increadible stories
you had the chance to hear
were like travelling through history.

Too bas not to have taken notes,
recorded videos
but at the time
the editor of this website was not interested in Chanel.
His universe was Sony and the Phone Book of the World.

Who was Gabrielle Chanel ?

2012 Paris
A book of Chanel's life
another one
again another one

The editor of this article
realises so many interconnection
between Aimée's and Chanel's life.

He had run into a douzands of people
that Chanels knew.

He hat met them mostly in Paris, Biarritz, Palm Beach
just not realising at the time
who they were
and now they are all gone.

But the one he regrets most in Gabrielle Chanel herself.
She would be able to tell him more about the young Aimée.

Coco Chanel helping to
Become a Meeting place
for the World's most famous brands

Le temps du Cybercafe était limité,
le wifi et l'accès internet sur les portables rendait le café obsolète.
Il fallait trouver quelque chose de nouveau.

Le hasard de la vie nous a amené vers une nouvelle aventure.
Transformer notre Cremerie historique
en un petite musée
où des marques magiques peuvent exposer au monde leur savoir-faire.

Le projet démarre en flèche avec Nike comme premier client
et y installe un Barbershop accompagné d'un TV Commercial avec des footballers.
L'évènement est suivi d'une "scandaleuse" Boutique Adopte Un Mec
et d'une expo UGG.

Le seul problème ....
fin 2012 s'installe face à la Cremerie
un chantier titanesque pour construire
une des plus importantes sorties de Métro du Monde,
la sortie principale du pôle Chatelet-Les Halles.

Soudainement plus personne ne veut venir ...

Comment attirer des marques
alors que dans la rue des Halles on ne voit plus que des scies de béton et des camions.

Mission impossible ?
Fallait-il mettre la clé sous la porte ?
Peut-être .... sauf qu'il y avait à nouveau la magie de Mademoiselle Chanel.

Les visites de la Cremerie sont décalés vers la soirée où le chantier est au repos
et pendant les visites l'éditeur raconte quelques anecdotes sur les passages
de Mademoiselle Chanel.

2013 Tokyo
Exposition des Pokemon
Lors de cette expo nous avons la chance de parler l'inventeur des "poket monsters".
Dans un mix entre l'anglais et le japonais Monsieur Masuka nous demande
"can you tell me a little more about Gabrielle Chanel ?"
Nous lui montrons l'escalier et il nous explique
qu'il avait depuis longtemps le projet d'organiser une exposition en Europe.

Un jour il était tombé sur
les histoires un peu "crazy & funny" d'une Gabrielle Chanel qui
venait voir la Cremerie au milieu de la nuit quand elle n'arrivait pas à dormir.

Et tout de suite l'inventeur des Pokemon
savait que c'était là où devait se trouver son Pokemon Center.
Les travaux du métro n'avaient aucune importance
face à la magie de toutes ces personnes dans l'histoire de la Cremerie de Paris.

2017 Paris
Les travaux étaient presque éternels,
retard après retard, aucune aide de la mairie
pour les commerces qui étaient souvent condamnés à fermer
et enfin avril 2017 la nouvelle sortie devait ouvrir.

La date annoncée était le 28 avril 2017,
mais le 28 avril les barricades bloquent toujours l'accès.
Idem le lendemain, le sur-lendemain.
Un jeudi soir, juste avant le deuxième tour des élections d'Emmanuel Macron
un des ouvriers nous dit, ca devrait ouvrir demain matin.

Projet se lever de bonheur pour être là pour l'ouverture.
Mais est-ce que le réveil allait être au RdV ?
Non, il fallait dormir à la Cremerie pour ne pas rater ce moment tant attendu.

A 2h du matin impossible de dormir,
l'idée de faire une promenade - hélas sans la compagnie d'Aimée de Heeren.
Une porte d'ascenseur du Forum des Halles était ouverte
et soudainement à 3 h du matin en plein dans la salle d'échange (fréquentée par 800.000 personnes par jour)
complètement désserte.
Une promenade dans la station Châtelet les Halles.

Sortie N°1 Chatelet les HallesSortie N°1 du metro Chatelet les Halles
Au lever du jour les barricades tombent,
l'éditeur de cet article a le privilège d'être le premier voyageur à emprunter cet escalier.
La date n'ayant pas été communiquée aucun journaliste est sur place.

En travaillant les images en regardant la date,
le moment où il a fait ce voyage d'inauguration de la plus importante sortie de métro de Paris
etait le 5 mai 2017 à 5h50
comme si Mademoiselle Chanel avait encore une fois
été présente dans le déstin de la Cremerie de Paris.

L'année 2017 était encore une année de travaux.
Du retard après retard.
Des emprises de la SemParis Seine qui ne voulaient jamais partir
car ils permettait aux cadres de la société
d'avoir des places de stationnement gratuits
au detriment des Commerces.

Visiting Coco Chanel
2018 New Years Lausanne

From time to time people working around the editor of this article
with our Cremerie de Paris expos
hear the crazy and funny Coco Chanel stories.

Most of the times they are 20 years younger,
so Chanel has left this world
before they were born ...

Sometimes they ask the question.
Can you tell me a little more about Gabrielle Chanel.
You are so lucky to have shared a friend with her.

Beaurivage PalaceDavis Aron Benali
For new years eve 2017 / 2018
the plan was made to follow Chanel's footsteps in Lausanne
where she had lived at the Beaurivage Palace.

The Hotel has a very charming Chef Concierge
Sylvie Gonin, a beautiful young womand with red hair.
Taken by the charme of David Aron Benali
who came along for the trip
she found a moment - during the buisy new years season -
to show us a book.

Hotel guest registry
The book recorded the arrivals of Hotels guests
and who is there ....
1953, monday 27
Chanel, Melle Gabrielle arriving from Paris France
living in room N° 460.

David Aron BenaliCoco Chanel's dog
According to legends Chanel's dog is burried in the parc of the Hotel.
Unfortunately Sylvie did knot know the name of the dog ?
(In case you do please send an email to b "at"

And then there was another Book
bescribing the Hotel
in the same year 1953,
this was the year before Chanel reopend her fashion house in Paris.

"Mademoiselle Chanel provided a sharp
contrast to the general ambience
with her vim and vigour.

She always made a grand theatrical entrance
at mealtimes,
following lengthy preparations.

Although she had been forgotten by the masses,
her "look" and style rekindled fond memoires
in the clientele of the Beau-Rivage:
the rich old ladies in black lace dresses
and stiff velvet collars
to hide their turkey necks had worn her clothes,
her signature knee-length skirts,
thirty years earlier.

And the old gentlemen
leaning on their ebony sticks
had opened accounts at Chanel for their girlfriends,
or escorted her models out in the evenings
after fashion shows.

Whenever she crossed the hall
to the restaurant terrace,
a murmur would ripple through the hotel.
A fairy was passing and they would be transported
back in time
from the late 1930s
to their youth in Deauville in 1910."

Michel Gonin, book Bagages pour Vancouver
page 17-21
published in 1985

One of Sylvies concierge assistants
watching the sceene
right next to the giant Christmas tree
full of red bulbs
decoration the lobby
can't hide a smile on his face ....

What is so funny ?

"Sorry there are som any stories
about Chanel living in our Hotel.
Just imagined Coco Chanel coming back
and walking through the lobby tonight
for the New Years Diner
all dressed up
with young David Aron Benali.
There would be more than a murmur."

Sylvie suggests,
"You should go the the cimitère du Bois de Vaux
and visit her.
If I would not be so busy rigt now I would go there with you.
It's a beautifull one hour walk from the Beaurivage along
the Lake of Geneva."

la tombe de Coco Chanel à Lausannevisiter Coco Chanel à Lausanne
Hasn't Coco Chanel designed a bank inviting her visitors
to stay a little and talk to her ?
Aimée de Heeren had discussed this idea while walking through Paris.

The picture shows the editor of this article sitting on the bank.
The second show David Aron who shoots most of our Videos
you can see on
We have met him thanks to an article
about Chanel visiting our Pokemon expo.

It was the time to visit her and to say
for the little jewel.
Without her jewel there would be no Cremerie de Paris today ...

So many quastions to ask
about great-uncle Dmitri
and even more about young Aimée
Chanel has know when Aimée was 50 years younger.

Suddenly the editor of the article has the impression
to hear the voice of a woman:

"Thank you for coming all the way from Paris
to visit me here in Lausanne.

I'm glad you are sitting on the little bank
I have imagined for my visitors
so that they stay a little longer
and talk to me.

I'm so glad my little jewel has helped you in life.
When you have no money behind you
everything is so much more difficult.
I'm so glad the jewel has brought you luck.

You were very lucky to be able to meet
Aimée de Heeren.

She was so beautiful people were speachless.
Can't beleive she lived so long.
The age difference you had is just unbeleivable ...

She has connected you with people
the barriers of time made impossible to meet
and through her
we have become friends
even though I'm 83 older than you.

And now your stories
make me become friends
with people that are over a century younger.

Your uncle Dmitri Romanov would be glad as well.
He died over 20 years before you were born.
He was so glamorous
and it was so difficult for him
to have lost everything in Russia.

One day you need to buy the jewel back.
This jewel was very special.
It survived the Revolution
and accompanied me for so many years.

But the most important is ...

Never forget to give a little help
to young people that cross your path.

With the Cremeries you will run
into many exceptional fashion designers.

When they are at their start
and they have nothing
like the young Coco Chanel
you need to help them a little.

And you know from the skies
I see a lot of things.
Every time there is a cocktail party
at the Cremerie de Paris
I'm am there.

Everything always needs to be
very beautiful"

I'm so glad my beloved Cremerie de Paris
has come back to life ...

Coco Chanel, imaginary conversation in Lausanne
2018 jan 1