PARIS — Singer, actress and new Parisienne Christina Milian turned on the holiday lights on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré to ring in the Christmas season.
The stage was set for the grand ceremony just in front of the Miu Miu, Prada and Gucci boutiques. The street is home to several luxury stores — and turns out it’s close to Milian’s home as well.
She recently moved from Los Angeles to Paris over the summer with her new husband, French pop singer Matt Pokora, and three children.
The move to the world’s fashion capital has changed her style.
“It’s way different than it is in the U.S.,” she said, noting that Los Angeles style offers up a lot of workout gear. “I look forward to taking the kids to school. Everyone dresses up no matter what age, and it’s very inspiring. It makes me want to actually want to dress up.”
She was wearing a festive green tweed suit and camel coat with a faux-fur trim for the event. It was from French brand Maje, which has been her favorite local style discovery, she said.
Earlier this year, Milian shot the Netflix Christmas movie “Meet Me Next Christmas,” but due to delays from the Hollywood strikes it won’t hit screens until next holiday season.
She also produced the film, which was a new experience for her.
“I could easily be the rom-com girl forever. I know that comes easy for me,” she said. “But there’s something that feels really good to not only be the person in front of the camera, but to get behind the scenes and have people actually interested in knowing your opinion, and building the character [and] developing the script from the ground up. It makes a world of difference.”
The experience of producing “Meet Me Next Christmas” along with the indie film “Body Language,” which she also worked on pre-strike, has shifted her perspective on the industry.
“It got me excited for the future, not only producing but now I’d love to direct as well. I’ve started thinking about my next goals,” she said. She plans to enroll in directing courses while she is living in France, as well as try her hand at script writing.
“If I can write songs, I think I can write a good script,” she said.
She’s eager to get back to work now that the simultaneous actors’ and writers’ strikes are over. In the interim, she’s been enjoying the downtime. “It’s been nice to be able to focus on what life would be like this way, especially with getting them [her children] off to school” and settling in to life in France, she said.
With her busy shooting schedules and his musical tours, they had been bopping between Paris and L.A. for a few years. “It was really so that our family can be together,” she said of settling down. “We’re an adventurous family so we don’t mind changing things up and trying new things.”
Part of that is working on her language skills. “I’m kind of over the sporadic learning and decided to really focus on it. Mentally, it’s just like a diet,” she joked. Duolingo is part of her day-to-day, plus lessons with a teacher.
As for being the first celebrity guest to turn on the lights on on behalf of the Comité du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, it was a milestone welcome for Milian.
“I feel like I’m planting my seeds here,” she said. Milian was accompanied by her daughter, who gave her styling tips on the way to the stage. She sang snippets of her favorite Christmas song, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas.”
Is there a holiday album in her future? “I would love to. I think that could be one of my next moves,” she said. “I was the girl that at 13 still wanted to believe that Santa was real.”
This year is full of firsts for the organizing Comité du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. It’s the first time the committee has had a celebrity representative, as well as the first time raffle tickets will be available online.
There are 40 luxury lots up for grabs, including items from Chanel, Chopard, Dior, and Roger Vivier, products from beauty brand Carita, as well as experiences from La Reserve and the Mandarin Oriental hotels.
All proceeds go to Les Rois du Monde charity, which supports children in hospitals and orphanages by providing entertainment, games, taking them to events or sporting games with cultural and fun days.