Michelle Westgeest | Benjamin Karanek | Harper's Bazaar en Español

There is no doubt that Anglo Canadian photographer, living in Paris, Benjamin Kanarek and I enjoy a ‘connection’, or serendipity as Ben calls it. We experienced it again yesterday, when I returned from a business lunch to enjoy Kanarek’s photos of Michelle Westgeest for Harper’s BAZAAR Spain, shot at Maison BACCARAT in Paris.

It’s possible that I haven’t spoken or written about Maison BACCARAT since it opened, and I wandered through its French magnificence on a cold January afternoon in 2004. The treasures of the Maison are too many to illuminate, but I simply couldn’t stop talking about the mirrored powder room.

Yesterday at lunch I encountered another powder room in Philadelphia, a plain American Jane compared to the grande Maison BACCARAT, but one that electrified my senses with its colorful Zen-Hippie simplicity. Unable to contain my emotional enthusiasm, I chatted up another woman, who agreed that it was impossible to be anything less than joyful in this restaurant powder room. Even the orchids smiled in total agreement.

“I haven’t been this excited about a ladies bathroom since I visited the Maison BACCARAT in Paris.”

Returning to my table, I shared my powder-room high with colleagues, inquiring if the men’s room in our restaurant was equally memorable.

End of Philadelphia story, except that when I next logged into my email, Benjamin Karanek’s elegant, sophisticated grande dame photos of a young Michelle Westgeest lensed at the Maison BACCARAT were staring at me. Amazing!

By now I shouldn’t be surprised that my encounters with Ben are never superficial.

To be honest, I’m as rationally scientific as emotionally spiritual. It makes for a good balance in a woman. I don’t read Tarot cards or tea leaves, but it’s pretty strange meeting up with Maison BACCARAT twice in one afternoon, when I haven’t talked of her in six years. Go figure.

Behind the Scenes with Michelle Westgeest by Benjamin Kanarek for Harper’s Bazaar en Español

Enjoy Benjamin’s Parisian photoshoot video of exquisite style, a mid-century elegance gone from today’s lifestyles, yet one I personally adore. Read Benjamin Kanarek Blog for many more details about the clothes and decor behind the fashion editorial, and all the credits behind this gorgeous photo shoot.

Ben shares one very directorial tip about looking great in front of the camera in the video. I recall that young women used to walk around with books on their heads in an effort to follow his advice. In my case, I hoped that wisdom and a scholarship to Columbia would permeate my brain. Instead, I am a mere scarecrow. Anne

More Benjamin Kanarek (and why our relationship has evolved):

Benjamin Kanarek | Luana Tiefke | Symphony on Ice | Vogue Brazil Sept 2010

Benjamin Kanarek | “Fly Me to the Moon” | Bloggers & Artistic Freedom