An official visit from Sec. of State Colin Powell and a simultaneous summit of foreign ministers left Paris streets in a state of siege last Thursday. But it takes more than a few police blockades to stop Siki of Somalia’s friends.

The daughter of a Somalian diplomat and an Ethiopian princess, Siki, as she is universally known, welcomed Pierre Passebon, Jacques Grange, Olympia and David de Rothschild and Betty Catroux to Galignani Bookstore, where they grabbed a copy of her new book, “Baroque Elegances” (Flammarion).

This story first appeared in the May 29, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“At first, I wanted to do a book on the virtues of spices,” explained Siki, who is best known in Paris for her jewelry designs, which she sells from a plush shop in the Palais Royal. “But when the editor saw what I was doing with the decor in my homes, he suggested I do a decoration book instead.”

It took three years for Siki and photographer Marie-Pierre Morel to complete the book, which features photos of her boutique as well as of her homes in Paris and Saint-Rémy.

Still, “I do not consider myself a decorator,” said Siki, despite her signature style of mixing 18th-century French furniture with ethnic objects — and her own bijoux sprinkled here and there. “I arrange spaces for myself.”

Siki also gardens — “It’s soothing,” she said — and soothed she looked, even as her guests blew out the stops at the dinner party afterward.

“A few of them,” she reported the next day, “had a little too much to drink.”

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