|Cremerie de Paris has a long history .... époque first Cremerie
The people that work in today's Cremerie de Paris (expo center for Very Beautiful Brands)
never had the chance to meet Coco Chanel in person ....
the borders of time have seperated us.
Coco Chanel died already 40 years ago, January 1971.
But destiny has send a close friend of Coco Chanel,
Aimée de Heeren, to come to us.
During the years the Cremerie at the time it was an Internet Cafe.
Aimée de Heeren came to take internet lessons and this even though
she was already around 100 years old (at the time we did not know her real age).
Interested to stay connected in what was going on
she wanted to be able to know a little about Internet
... and of course she was amused that all her much younger
friends were impressed.
One day we showed her our courtyard
had already been there ...
about 40 years earlier.
With a friend that we never had the chance to meet
but which of course we knew about ...
still today one of the most famous French woman of the 20th century.
Late evening walks around Paris
Aimée de Heeren enjoyed to go on long evening walks
around Paris and sometimes this friend accompanied her ...
Decades later Aimée de Heeren made the same kind of long evening walks
with the editor of this website ...
and there was a lot of time to tell all these fascinating stories about the past,
increadible stories related to many famous people of the 20th century
Coco Chanel was part of them.
Very personal stories you cannot find in the official archives
of the Chanel fashion house
neither in the very well written biographies of
Justine Picardie ....
Coco Chanel and Aimée de Heeren both lived around the place Vendôme:
Coco Chanel at the Hotel Ritz,
Aimee when in Paris at the Hotel Meurice,
(Aimée de Heeren lived between New York, Palm Beach, Biarritz et Paris ...
she came to Paris for the "saison" when there were a lot of parties and receptions,
usually in June, September, October and November).
Aimée de Heeren enjoyed to walk in the evenings, for hours.
After a ball or a reception
her "haute couture" dress changed to something simple,
et hop !
...there she was for a 2 to 3 hour evening walk.
In the 1960 many people from the American high sociéty
stayed at the Meurice
and there was always someone to come along.
Very faithul in friendship and having a big heart
Aimée knew that Coco Chanel was sometimes a little lonely
so she wanted to integrate her and take her along.
Sometimes well after midnight
(Aimée had a very personal perception of time ... )
a call to the Ritz
(the concierge blocked late calls, but for a few people
there was an exception)
"Tu ne veux pas m'accompagner pour une promenade ?
Don't you want to come along for a walk ?
"I just returned to the Meurice,
I'm with - just some examples,
people were changing every time -
Doris Duke (stayed at the Meurice or in her ou plane)
and/or Peggy Bedford (stayed at the Meurice)
and/or Babe Paley (stayed at the Meurice)
and/or Grace de Monaco (when in Paris lived in the 16th)
and/or Cecile Blaffer (when in Paris lived in Neuilly next to the house of Liliane Bettencourt)
and/or Françoise Cochin de Billy
(lived between Paris and Chile)
and/or Audrey Hetburn
(stayed at the Ritz and the Hotel Raphael)
and/or Terry Pantz
(lived in Paris place des Etats-Unis)
and/or Marie Hélène de Rothschild (lived in Paris at the Hotel Lambert)
Mona Bismarck (also lived at the Hotel Lambert)
and/or the very amusing Karin von Oppenheim (stayed at the Bristol and mostly lived in Cologne)
you must meet her ... she is the most elegant woman in Germany
Wallis Simpson / the Duchess de Windsor (lived in Neuilly)
and/or Johannes von Thurn und Taxis
(stayed at the Ritz)"
(the editor of this website needs to do more research to remember all the names of
people that accompanied Aimée de Heeren on her evening walks during that time
What he remembers is that all thoses that stayed at the Meurice
tried to have their rooms next to each other, on the same floor,
as it was more fun to be close to each other.
In the 1960s, after every big reception in Paris,
people were giggeling and lauthing at the Meurice ...
It was the hot spot to be.
Aimée de Heeren on the phone with Coco Chanel:
"We are just coming back from a party,
it was a lot of fun,
we are talking about the evening
and we though about making a night walk around Paris ...
The weather is so beautiful tonight ... don't you want to come with us ?
We have been missing you at party ....
Sometimes Coco Chanel had already gone to bed,
but this didn't matter,
mostly she went up again,
dressed quickly, some lipstick
and 20 minutes later there she was in the Lobby of the Meurice.
Off they were for a long evening walk around Paris.
Coco Chanel and the Thurn & Taxis
Once in winter 1969 Chanel was depressed and she did not want to come,
Aimée had to ask her young and glamorous friend Johannes von Thurn und Taxis
to help to convince her to come for the walk ...
The 2nd Duke of Westminster (his friends called him Bendor) boyfriend of Coco Chanel
had once very much impressed the Prince Albert I von Thurn & Taxis.
He was at the same time fascinated and horrified.
In the 1930ies he enjoyed telling his young grandchildren
all kind of amusing stories about the "high society".
In the above picture you see him with Anselm (on the right)
and Johannes (the younger one on the left).
There were many many stories
... in particular related to his aunt and the sister of his mothers,
the emperess Sissi of Austria
and his uncle king Louis II of Bavaria (castle Neuschwanstein).
The young boys loved nothing more than
the stories about Coco Chanel.
Apprently when having arguments with her boyfriend Bendor
she could be very furious.
Bendor loved beautiful woman and was indeed not the most faithful boyfriend one could imagine.
In the middle of some disputes he rushed of to the Cartier Boutique in Monte Carlo
to buy a little "please forgive me" present,
not a perfume (the Cartier perfume line did not exist at that time)
amazing pearl necklaces or a beautiful diamont broach.
The Cartier parcel was handed over "at home"
Their home on the côte d'Azur was the "Flying Could",
one of the beautiful yachts of all times sailing around the Mediterranian coast.
And what do you think Coco Chanel would do when beeing furious ?
Calm done and melt away after receiving such a spectecular present ?
No, not really ...
Chanel opened the parcel, inspected the jewel 2, 3, 4 times ...
And then just threw it over the bord,
right into the ocean !!!
The boys could not stop laughting about this rather excentric behavior
and as children they were playing
"furious Coco Chanel chasing Bendor through their giant castle in Regensburg"
Johannes T&T (on the phone in 1969):
wouldn't you like to give us the honor to join us for an evening walk.
My grandfather Prince Albert von Thurn und Taxis has always been fascinated about You
and when we were children
he told us all these "fairy tale" stories about You.
We loved it when he was talking about Coco Chanel
and your friend the Duke of Westminster.
From Bavaria my grandfather was always following the news about everything
the Duke was doing.
I had hoped so much to meet you at the Bal Oriental
(the Bal Oriental was a legendary party given in the Hôtel Lambert by Alexis de Redé).
Douce François-Freitas told me that you were not so well ...
I know it is a little late now
and we are very impolite to call you up at this time,
but Aimée has given me the permission to call on her behalf."
After that phone call Coco Chanel could no longer resist,
quickly she went up again, some makeup
and there she was ...
like a group of teenagers walking through the night of Paris.
The stories about Bendor and Coco Chanel
have amused Johannes von Thurn und Taxis so much
that he repeated them 50 years later, in the late 1980ies
Aimée de Heeren (in the center of the picture)
and to the editor of this website writing this article
(on the left of the picture).
Well Aimee de Heeren also had a lot of stories to tell ...
In what concerns the stories about Coco Chanel
she also knew slightly different versions told by "Mademoiselle" in person.
Both of them, Aimée de Heeren
and Johannes Thurn & Taxis,
were at the peak of the 20th century high society.
continue the story ....