MANTEAU DE FLÂNEUR

 

Although Paris was an old city and I loved it more from a far away, I loved the idea of Paris more than Paris itself. There was still a lot to observe and take in… So, after my vacation in the homeland forests I had to come back.

 

Paris had slowly become a part of my global familia. Paris was like an old uncle to me now. An uncle who knew everything and everybody noble, yet spoke to a few and almost never smiled or laughed when sober. I had to return to my uncle to learn more about how to speak unfrankly politely, how to cope with solitude, dress in style, roll your eyes, eat and drink with world’s highest class, and how to protest and argue with class. Reading Hemingway’s “The Movable Feast” helped for some time while living in my opinionated uncle’s world.

Paris was testing my sense of discipline and nerves. And all after all I reminded myself that I came here because of perfumery and everything scented and unscented, yet. Although the perfumery field was also blooming on the other side of the ocean in New York City, and there were things to do in London and Amsterdam too, I stayed here. And Paris remained the heart of perfumery, and I wanted to stay near the heart. To feel its rhythm, its heartbeat, its control over blood circulation, scented blood circulation around the global body of perfume industry.

Even if the country wasn’t the same anymore, even it the protests and attacks had become even more common, still unexpected, even if the people remained closed and snobbish. I still wanted to stay near the heart, this vulnerable but strong heart. ‘To listen to your Heart or your Brain?’ the question that is haunting the mankind… I stayed in the Paris city for more, because my brain and cold logic told me so, although my heart… My heart craved for the sea and the forest, and my good and smiling people!

And I hoped, I really hoped that this time, after moving from super-touristy area near Notre Dame, I will find my peace, and I may feel more at home in this city. I hoped that discipline and my strictly calculated plan of the growth of my life plant will bring better fruits on the table for the next seasons. I breathed in and collected all the fear inside me, and I breathed out, I let it go, I let it all go, and stepped bravely onto the plane. Paris, dear uncle Paris, stop being a hustler and a cultured bastard, let’s collaborate… Life is easy for nobody these days.

 

It was end of August when I came back to Paris, wearing my all-time favourite trench coat. And I stopped and looked at myself. I looked okay, although I gained a lot of weight, I still looked fine. And I still loved watching, inspecting my surroundings, exploring, and discovering new scenes. I still had it…

 

Every time she moves to a big city she puts her flâneur coat on. This coat transforms well her character, besides the fact that a classic trench coat has been always in style. But what is it all about – her flâneurism?

A flâneur is a passionate wanderer, a stroller, a culture detective by nature, a people watcher. She removes herself from the city life while standing astride its heart and playing with the ideas of modern urbanism. She is thrilled by the French literature, but she never had a patience to learn the language to read the originals. Even though she can handle the Parisian laptop-free café society and mandatory consumption of wine during each lunchtime, she still fights against it. She fights against the modern horror of the thought of doing absolutely nothing.

Traditionally a trench coat was a garment made out of waterproof heavy-duty cotton gabardine drill, poplin or leather. It’s double-breasted with wide lapels, a storm flap and pockets that button-close. The coat is belted and the color is black, to blend in with other nomads. It is her personal windbreaker, that keeps all the bullshit drops away, it’s her cover, her protection, her protest.

Her flâneur coat is a protest, protest against the mass, the Spotify sounds, Instagram sights, Facebook statuses, WhatsApps and Snapchat reports. All so accessible yet set at unreachable distance, discomfort and unreal. Online technology is good depending on how you use it. How you use it, not how it uses you.

The idea of her flâneurism here was to dissociate from online surroundings, it’s about taking a step back. This step was important to her. A step into the woods, back to the roots. This step encouraged her to pursue the full swag of flânerie – wearing basics, walking more, wearing running shoes on a daily basis, laughing more, buying fresh food at the market, mixing the secondhand store fashions with high fashions, paying more attention to her surroundings and to the people, and creating. Creating an antidote to artificial busyness of a big city and its stress, creating something real and valuable.

 

To create is to show. Flashers and streakers wear trench coats since they conceal the wearer’s lack of undergarments and can be opened quickly when there’s an intention to show. So, she keeps on walking, people watching, recording and creating. And wearing her manteau de flâneur. She is preparing for an exhibition. An exhibition of a human breaking the system. School is also a system. Many public schools in the States forbade students from wearing trench coats, on the grounds that they could be used to conceal weapons. “But that would be least concern, if Trump will become a president,” she thought.

She could go on a war in this coat, on a war with third world.

So, beware of her gun, son.

Son Of A Gun.