Behind Diners en Ville stands Juliette, aka the Queen of Planning!
She learnt precision and order, as well as a penchant for festive and cheerful receptions, from her education. She has a rather atypical personality and a similarly unusual career. She learned jewellery-making, gemmology and watchmaking; then worked in the real-estate department of Sotheby’s, ran an art gallery, and became personal assistant divided between Switzerland and Monaco. And she kept organizing events in all of these fields, sometimes just because she liked it.
She had skills, and she had a direction. Why not launch her own event company? That’s how Diners en Ville was born. Today, she relies on her experience to capture your desires, make hers your universe and designs bespoke projects to make your dreams come true.
Between perfectionism and excellence, she gives structure, energy and a bit of fantasy to her projects.
I graduated from high school when I was 17, and I have been working for 15 years now. In the meantime, I studied foreign languages with a DEUG degree at the university, attended Prépa Sciences Po, Prépa for design & architecture, which in the end gives… two years in higher education? I’ve never been good at math. What was the question, again?
Math or philosophy?
See my demonstration above :)
In 1998. I was 17 and I just graduated from high school (QED). Michel Leeb, a great fan of jazz, had the honour of becoming the director of the Nice Jazz Festival. I have always been quite fond of music. I had to find a summer job because “Ok, graduating is nice, girl, but it’s not that extraordinary. It’s just the beginning of the story. Now, you have to work and study”. And here I was, thinking that I’d finally be left alone once I’d graduated… And of course, you don’t say no to Queen Mum, so I went to the Tourist Office. I applied, went to a job interview with a full-length photo and became a hostess during the festival. I remember the African American jazz bands. We would walk all across the Baie des Anges, going from public beaches to private beaches, walking on shingles. It was hot, they drank rum, and the more they drank, the better they played, it was crazy! My first pay? A pittance! 3,000 francs! But I was so proud!
Your best professional memory?
The first wedding that I organized. I was 27. A hell of an adventure … They were from Paris, 300 carefully selected guests. The wedding and the wedding party were scheduled on Saturday the 14th of July on an island in a heavenly location, but without alternative if the weather turned foul. They turned down every plan B that we suggested. With hindsight, I think that they wanted to ward off bad luck… And then, three days before the wedding, Météo France announced torrential rains over all the South-East. They were pretty distraught when they called me and asked:
“Juliette, what's the Plan B?”… … … Crickets… … …
I had three days to plan a wedding on a 14th of July, I guess you can imagine the atmosphere… I was raised in the Disney culture, where Happy Ends are not optional but compulsory. I gave all I had, the pressure was skyrocketing. On 7:00 pm on the day of the wedding, the guests were all snug and warm while, outside, the rain was pouring down. The cocktail was served, the party started to warm up, I was keeping a close eye on things. And then the groom and the bride approached me, kissed me, hugged me warmly and begged me to join the party…
Yes, I think that this is my most beautiful memory, the first times always remain engraved in our memories, don't they ?
She doesn't know it: my mother, a hell of a woman.
The event that you would dream to organize?
The Pink Floyd concert in the Pompeï amphitheatre. I know, it's compromised. Otherwise, my friend Géraldine's wedding, this one is possible. Although… I think I'll rather bet on Pink Floyd. (Laughter)
More seriously, I would love to organize a charity gala dinner in a house in the Hamptons.
Where does “Diners en Ville” come from?
When I was a toddler, my great-grandmother used to organize dinner parties—diners en ville—every week in her house, with the friends of her bridge club, of which she was the chairwoman. They smoked Merit and Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes (do you remember these tobacco brands?) and they drank good wine that came straight from the cellar. They cooked freshly hunted pheasant in the kitchen, and there was this fantastic smell of delight, of joy, of fun, of friendship and sharing. I was there, under the table. I would listen to everything, to all their conversations. I would also finish their dishes… and their glasses too…
By the way, where's the woman in all that?
As an entrepreneur, Juliette wears two hats (event planning and administrative consulting for corporate customers); and she also defines herself as multifaceted. She’s sometimes a daydreamer, often rock 'n' roll, a hint of Brigitte Bardot. She won’t say no to “one last” chocolate bar and cannot resist a glass of white Burgundy wine (she really can’t!). Juliette is indeed an Epicurean.
Where were you born?
In Toulouse, the “Pink City”. A city that I will always love, my childhood, my Proust’s Madeleine.
Where do you live?
Life took me to Nice when I was 4. I have travelled a lot ever since, I often moved, sometimes abroad, but I always returned to the source of my balance, and even though I plan to settle down outside of Nice soon (basically, I am not a city girl), I remain very much attached to my town.
What are the occupations of your parents?
My mother was a model at Catherine Harlé's when my father met her. He was an architect. Then, I was born. They formed a 100 % artsy pair that propelled me to a career where aesthetics dictate everything.
Your main talent?
People say it is organization. Not diplomacy, in any case…
A hidden talent ?
My Ti' Punch :)
Who is your role model?
If we’re talking about a woman, it would be Simone Veil. There was Cleopatra, too… If it were a man, it would be Gandhi.
Do you have a nickname?
Countess, Duchess, Baroness, I never understood why :) Even less so because when I was a little girl, I used to finish all the dishes of the dinner parties—diners en ville—held by my family, and they ended up calling me the “trash can”. Go figure…
An addictive smell?
A legal drug?
Corton Renarde, 1999, Vosne Romanée, Madame Leroy.
A favourite style?
Yves Saint-Laurent used to say: “A happy woman is a woman in a black skirt with a black sweater, black tights, wearing costume jewellery and with a man who loves her at her side”. For me, it’s black leather pants, a black turtleneck, black rider's boots, a compression around my neck and the man who loves me at my side.
A lipstick colour?
You can’t go wrong with red.
A precious object?
An exotic seed that my father wore at his neck. Its only value is sentimental.
The music that sends you into raptures?
Can't choose ! There are so many… A vocalise by Sumi Jo, "Great gig in the sky" by Pink Floyd, "Through her eyes" Dream Theater, "Heart Baby" Devin Townsend, the entire Ennio Morricone's directory & so many others…
Your mobile phone's wallpaper?
…Is this the moment when I show you the rabbit ?
A sport that tires out?
Kite surfing; “what did you expect?” ;-)
Now, I never did any … kite surfing.
A hobby that you are ashamed of?
Singing in the shower at the top of my lungs (I have a horrible voice).
Sea or mountain?
Mountain… forever. Fortunately, I live on the seaside: in my opinion, choosing is renouncing.
A crazy thing that you did out of love?
The place where you feel the most free?
In a little paradise, on an island. I won't say its name, confidential of course.