01. 2009

Where did the Chanel wigs go? Why does an apartment owner in Paris want to see a tenant’s income declaration? What was my closet-sized attic apartment like? Where are the prestigious places to live in Paris? How are models chosen for a show? What is the real Parisienne like? What are the most interesting restaurants in Paris like? How much time does a Frenchman spend vacationing?

In this book you will find the answers to these questions and many more. This book is a fun anthropological study, with absurd situations as well as practical tips for survival, where I also share my observations on France, the French people, on Paris and Parisians. I provide a small inside look at the everyday life of Frenchmen, their particularities, habits and traditions. But this is also my personal story – about how I happened to arrive in this new environment and what I had to do to adapt here.

Urmas Väljaots


Naomi Campbell was being photographed for a fashion shoot for the next issue and its cover, for which she was flown in first class from Brazil to Paris. This ticket apparently cost around 8,000 euros. In addition, Naomi needed drivers, a luxury hotel, et cetera.

“Wow! She seems to be costing you quite a bit,” I told the project manager of the shoot.

“Well, besides the first class ticket, the driver, champagne and the hotel, there aren’t really any special expenses. For the cover and the shoot she should get about 150 euros of royalties.”

That’s how it goes for an aging model. About twenty years of work and you still have to stay at the top somehow, to get exposure and be fresh. In any case, there were tons and tons of haute couture that were brought in for the photo shoot – extremely expensive dresses by Valentino, Dior and Chanel. One “invention” by John Galliano was so big (and ugly in real life) that it had to be carried by several people and it wouldn’t fit anywhere. Close up, this dress was reminiscent of a children’s trampoline, with a surface area of two to three square meters.

Four wigs that were shown at a Chanel haute couture show were also brought in. These ones, first seen at the February 2006 show, were white and made of feathers. Every wig was made up of seven parts that had to be fitted together to form the complete wig.

The shoot ended at three in the morning. The next day, when everything was being sent back, the wigs were nowhere to be found.

Product details

  • ISBN 978-9985-9931-4-9