The enduring charm of the Catherinettes

A celebration from the past

It’s a tradition that lives on: no small feat in our frenetic modern world where everything new is in demand. The celebration of les Catherinettes , traditionally held in the past in many Parisian neighborhoods, paid homage to young ladies still single at the age of 25, and with irreproachable reputations. Are there less of them in our permissive society? Or is it simply that traditional celebrations in public places with costumed participants have lost their appeal in favor of more conventional events. In any case, these young ladies under the protection of Saint Catherine of Alexandrie – whose horrible destiny, as we know, was under the wheels of her torturer – are still welcomed without fail yearly in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées on Avenue Montaigne.

 

November 25, a date not to be missed

It is, in fact, thanks to the couture houses that this date, November 25th, remains firmly fixed in the city’s agendas. While the approach of winter incites Parisians to bundle up, the young female employees of the Avenue flock to the brightly illuminated theatre designed by Auguste Perret, each participant coiffed with the most artistic creation. The primary prerequisite of this fête is for each participant to sport a sophisticated hat in tones of yellow and green. Yellow symbolizes faith and green represents knowledge. These constraints give birth to a remarkable array of creativity, often expressed in different shapes and volumes of surrealistic dimensions – watch out for that door, and the chandelier! The 2009 edition was no exception to the rule, which recompensed, as in years past, new models never before seen and which will never be reproduced. A taste for uniqueness, isn’t this, in a way, the definition of true luxury?

 

 

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