The dream that is La Nouvelle Republique
We have a busy week ahead as we land in Paris to shoot cover star, Naomi Schiff. As we arrive at Charles de Gaulle following a relatively early flight that morning, we catch our train to Gare du Nord before jumping in a taxi to our base for the week, La Nouvelle Republique Hotel – Spa and Hammam. Arriving in Paris, we are met by miserable weather, typical following weeks of beautiful weather in the city. With the hopes of the sun making a rare appearance for our shoot the next day, we arrive slightly exhausted from a long morning. La Nouvelle Republique boasting six floors of Parisian architecture, feels like a home away from home with a relaxed yet chic aesthetic throughout the hotel and restaurant. Easy to find, we are greeted by staff immediately, keen to show us around before we retire to our rooms to freshen up. With the usual check-in time of 3 pm, La Nouvelle Republique kindly takes the time to be flexible, securing our rooms for a much earlier midday arrival. With our jam-packed schedule, we use the hotel’s lift to cart up bags of luggage filled to the brim with looks for Naomi’s shoot. With our rooms found, we unpack and prepare to do a run-through of tomorrow’s outfits. With the shoot’s creative theme focused on the unapologetic woman, the looks are beautiful yet demand the attention and respect of those around them. From detailed sequined jumpsuits and a feathered two-piece to delicate golden jewelry, Naomi is set to command Paris.
For the remainder of the day, we make ourselves at home in the hotel’s eatery space to finish some work. Thankfully the hotel has a range of snacks and drinks ready to help us recharge. Following the shoot, we will record a podcast episode with Naomi. Luckily, there’s no better place to record the episode than La Nouvelle Republique’s Vinyl room, a nested space within the hotel with comfy seating, muted lighting, a vinyl player, and dozens of records. As I go through the area with a cup of tea (thanks to their coffee and tea machine at your disposal), I get a little more work done before we head out for a Vietnamese dinner, with the 11th District being known for its Vietnamese food.
Following a feast, we stroll back to the hotel for an early night before tomorrow’s antics. The bedrooms in La Nouvelle Republique are surprisingly large, alongside respectably sized bathrooms. As we head down to breakfast, the team gathers and reviews the day’s plan before finishing some last bits of work. Breakfast is lengthily running from 7:30-10:30am am with a continental breakfast boasting croissants, fruit, yogurt, bread, and more. As someone who only drinks decaf coffee, I was pleasantly surprised with the wide choice of teas. Paris is not known like many European cities for its decaffeinated drinks. I take a little more breakfast to go as our stylist finishes the final touches upstairs. Naomi arrives, and the day officially begins. When I said that Nouvelle Republique’s bedrooms were surprisingly large, I meant it with a team of 6 easily fitting with enough room to move around, fit clothes and apply makeup. We run through several looks before Naomi takes a seat for our MUA to work her magic. As we hold our breath for the weather to let up from torrential rain, we gather a change of looks and jump into a cab. If the weather wasn’t enough, Paris is on strike—nothing quite like chaos to play with the organisation of a shoot.
As we get close to our original location minutes later, we decide to jump out and begin shooting on a typical Parisian mall parade. With Naomi in place, the shoot starts with all eyes on her. Thankfully, the weather decides to take a moment allowing us to move into Carrousel Garden to take full advantage of the beautiful Grand Bassin Ronda and the Louvre. Being a big fan of Naomi, I was determined to counter some of the stereotypical assumptions in a male-dominated sport. I wanted all eyes to be on Naomi as an unapologetic woman taking the world by storm. No reservations, just strength, and beauty. It’s a creative direction I had no doubt Naomi could pull off. It came naturally, with shot after shot being enough to command your attention and take your breath away. After a quick change and a look later, the heavens opened. You’ve got to take what you can get. We all file into taxis and head back to the Nouvelle Republique, thankfully in half the time it took us to reach this afternoon’s locations. Once inside, Naomi returns to the room to change into something comfier. We head down La Nouvelle Republiques spiraling Parisian stairs and take our place in their Vinyl Room. As Naomi sips on a tea, I set up the podcast equipment before we get comfortable, and the interview commences. No matter where or when, I always feel a sense of pride and gratitude being able to share people’s thoughts, narratives, and opinions. So being In Paris and sitting with someone so inspiring is not lost on me. It’s a sense of excitement that will be hard to unwind from after. As Naomi bids farewell to the team and the podcast recorded ready for editing, I have one last night in Paris and one I’m prepared to spend in La Nouvelle Republiques Spa and Hammam.
For those who don’t know, Hammams or Turkish Baths, as they are also known, are often known as spaces where people can come and relax, prominent in the Muslim culture. As you enter the Hammam, its muted yet warm design balances tradition and modernity, with relaxation at the forefront. Ran by 100% renewable energy, something La Nouvelle Republique is known for, the Hammam is located in the basement of the hotel, designed traditionally with La Savonnerie Du Pilon Du Roy, made with traditional ingredients designed to help you unwind. For me, it’s the perfect place to relax and care for my body and mind in the steam bath or under the hands of the hotel’s masseur. For a timeless break, the spa combines water treatments and wellness rituals to help you relax while absorbing tradition. After an hour of relaxing in the steam room, shower, and relaxing spaces, I wash down, collect a towel and head back upstairs. With a busy day to come, I order from a local Parisian restaurant before settling in for the night. I wake early and grab a quick breakfast before starting a day’s work. A couple of hours before I’m due at Charles du Gaulle, I take the time to work before packing up my room for checkout at Midday. Throughout the morning, I snack on the treats set out by the hotel’s staff as I work from the main space downstairs. As I pack up, I feel relaxed, most likely from the Hammam the night before. Unsure how long that relaxation will last, as we all know, flying takes it out of whether you enjoy it or not. I bid farewell to the hotel, the staff warmly offering to call a taxi. I decided to take a stroll, and it would be criminal if I didn’t get out of Paris, even if it was on the way back to the airport. When shooting abroad, there’s often a moment where you hold your breathing, praying all goes to plan, but with the hotel being spacious and the staff being so helpful, I head to the metro safely, knowing I hope to return to La Nouvelle Republique hopefully in the not-so-distant future.
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