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Saturday, December 22, 2007

cadeau 21: star-studded baking

if you are tired of fire-engine red and pine green every year, think about entertaining with a white christmas theme. these artisanal looking "etoile" plates, made of white-washed terracota, are the perfect thing to give a little subtle sparkle to your holiday table. 50 euros, from astier de vilatte.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

cadeau 20: the city of lights in hardcover

there is something magical in the way that paris lights up-- no matter how many times you take a late night stroll down the seine (or even a taxi ride for that matter) the luminous facades of the buildings are enough to make you pause. this gorgeous tome by assouline shows off the city of light at its best.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

cadeau 19: power bubbles

what could be chic-er than this bottle of dom perignon, designed by artist marc newton? available in paris at la grande epicerie for the small price of 550 euros.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

cadeau 18: luscious lips

this double-your-pleasure item is a sparkly necklace with hidden lipstick& gloss inside. from YSL, and available online from neiman marcus, it's like that lipgloss pendant you had as a kid, but all grown up.

Monday, December 17, 2007

cadeau 17: a little bling

there is something irresistible about these rings-- they look like something out of a candy machine, but the faceted gold rings are anything but faux. available in yellow, white, and rose gold, the ultimate selection is one of each. 250 euros each, call +33 (1) 40230330 to order.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

cadeau 16: a teatime treat

le palais des thes makes a wide range of teas and tea products tucked in lovely, bright packaging. this sampler set contains 54 muslin tea bags, of 9 different varieties (Thé des Lords, Big Ben, Thé du Hammam, etc.). so tell polly to put the kettle on, and we'll all have tea!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

cadeau 15: cash in cacherel

what could be cuter than this patent leather change purse from cacharel? a great addition to anyones oversized tote bag, this mini change purse is available online in the US from la garconne.

Friday, December 14, 2007

cadeau 14: chateau in a box

these nifty gift boxes are all over france again this year. why not offer someone the chance to choose their own gift? these gift certificates from chateaux et hotels offer a wide range of options-- from spa weekends to gourmet meals to weekends in a chateau. i've been to several of their listings over the years and have always been pleased.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

cadeau 13: a holiday gift from dominique picquier

dominique picquier designs the fresh nature-inspired textiles used on her line of fabrics, bags, pillows, and more. her gift to her clients this holiday season is a 25% discount on all online orders, such as the gorgeous clutch pictured above.

fun things to do in paris

ever wonder where you could get a list of interesting or unique things to do in paris? check out the great list on paris notes--each description is written by the business owner, so you get a real sense of what the options are like. the list includes wine tastings, gourmet classes, bike tours, and, bien sur, shopping tours from chic shopping paris.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

table for 13?

today, i walked into a cute new cooking/tableware shop, 13 a table, just down the street from bhv. the welcoming shop, which has a crate & barrel like mix of table top decor items, cooking gadgets, linens, and more, makes you want to go home and plan a dinner party. the boutique also offers cooking classes with quite reasonable rates. a fun new stop for foodies and hostesses alike.

cadeau 12: cosy cashmere

eric bompard, the king of classic french cashmere, makes basic sweaters and knits for the whole family. a new flagship shop on the champs elysees carries the collections for men, women, and children, along with home wares and coats. my faves? the striped tie-on bonnets for baby and the tunic sweater dress for mom.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

cadeau 11: frenchy fondue

who wouldn't be excited to find this under the tree? A cute little hat box filled with ready-to-eat mini fondue pots, including caramel chocolate, dark chocolate with orange, and others. available online from chocolate maker mazet.

Monday, December 10, 2007

cadeau 10: a shiny sac

inspired by seeing the nutcracker ballet tonight at the opera bastille, my number 10 gift idea is this chic and shiny gym bag from repetto. repetto is the go-to for dance pros in paris, and this great tote would brighten up any trip to the gym.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

cadeau 9: say "fromage"

looking for a gourmet gift, i stumbled upon this great site, gourmet foodstore, with tons of french products, notably cheese, and they ship to the US! the platter with five cheeses [above] would surely be bienvenue at any holiday dinner, and even appealed to my cheese-addict French husband. bon appetit!

cadeau 8: something for monsieur

he might not have an hermes chemise, but why not get him the cufflinks? these enameled ones, available in black and brown, will turn any old shirt into classic paris chic. [$285, available on hermes US website].

Friday, December 07, 2007

cadeau 7: a scent from serge

looking for a unique french scent? check out the latest from serge lutens, sarrasins, with notes of jasmin. availble in its standard packaging, right, for 105 euros, or go all out and get the limited edition, engraved in platinum or gold, for 850 euros. [only 30 of the limited edition were made.]

Thursday, December 06, 2007

cadeau 6: sonia's stripes

what could be more fashionably french than sonia rykiel's signature stripes? this year, she is offering her scarves sur mesure-- you make your own scarf, depending on how long you want it. so chic!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

official winter sales dates

book your airline tickets! the official sale dates are out-- january sales begin on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9th, and go until february 16th. here's hoping for lots of cash in your christmas stocking.....

for hints on doing the sales right, check out my articles on les soldes and the website soldes by paris.

cadeau 5: the world of wine

if you are planning on coming to paris soon, why not indulge yourself or a loved one in learning about wine? for french speakers, check out the programs at l'ecole du vin; english speakers will be thrilled with one of the courses given by my friend Olivier at O Chateau. from bordeaux to burgandy, you'll have it sorted out after a few pleasant sips....sante!

thursday night shopping

a street in my branche [trendy] neighborhood, rue de la forge royale, is hosting a late night shopping fete this thursday, december 6th from 6pm to 10.30pm. come by to check out kiddie couture at lillibulle, unique menswear at brutals, and wall stickers at walldesign, among other happenings. the tiny, one-way street is a 10-minute walk from the bastille, and the bourgeois-bohemian neighborhood is a slice of real paris. check out the blog for more info.

chic bust: DON'T shop at BGN

Trendy boutique BGN, on rue Francs Bourgeois in the 4th, is sometimes on my circuit of shops when shopping with clients in the Marais. I recently had a terrible customer service episode with them, so want to warn my readers and clients to stay away. Bottom line is that they were very rude, including the manager, Fred. They did not offer any help for a client of mine who bought a 500 euro coat there, which started to fall apart a week after its purchase. So stay clear of the shop, and be sure to ask about any store's return policies in case of problems with big purchases!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

cadeau 4: say "fromage"

authentic retro cheese labels grace these colorful plates from genvieve lethu-- no pottery barn reproduction here, these fun fromage plates are the genuine article. 45 euros for a set of 6. Spoil your giftee with dreams of mouth-watering French cheese. (45 euros for a set of 6.)

Monday, December 03, 2007

cadeau 3: pearls of chocolate

cadeau numero trois is this gorgeous pearl ornament, entirely made of chocolate from the maison du chocolate, which sells for $138. made of dark chocolate and filled with pearlized balls of white chocolate, this one is definitely a carry on. the US website sells many of the companies other goodies, but the precious pearl ornament, for obvious reasons, cannot be shipped. come to paris and enjoy one or pack light to save space to take this home!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

sultry senderens

last night we celebrated a birthday at the bar le passage at senderens [formerly the famous lucas carton restaurant, at the place de la madeleine.] as we were going to a play at 9pm, i was thrilled to find a place to get a bite early [which in paris is anywhere before 8.30pm] -- we reserved and dined on delicious small plates and lovely wine. the entrance to the bar is in the charming covered passage next to the resto-- go up the stairs and you will be greeted by a small, warm, modern space with amazing embroidered walls and gold leafed banquettes. worth a stop if you are looking for a taste of senderens cuisine, without the time commitment for a longer meal.

cadeau 2: chic clutch

the clutch [or pochette, en francais] is the hot bag of the moment. brontibay paris has been making these great little satin numbers for years now, and they have expanded to include a line in leather and in sparkly fabric, perfect for this festive time of year. available online in their eshop-- and they ship to the US.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

cadeau 1: sublime spray

to celebrate the holiday season, i'm going to post a fabulous frenchy gift item each day. pass on the links as a helpful HINT to those in need....

the first chic cadeau is guerlain's forever gold spray terracota. i'm a sucker for anything in a vintagey atomizer bottle, and this gorgeous bottle spritzes just the right amount of shimmery bronzer on your face and decollete. available in the US at sephora for $78.

Friday, November 30, 2007

designer kids sale this weekend

if you are out and about this weekend, be sure to swing by the 11th arrondisement for les fourmis rouge ("red ants") sale. combining over 40 designers of hip children's clothing and accessories, ateliers for the children [stories, makeup, etc.], and a bar for the papas, this is a weekend event for the whole famille. december 1st and 2nd only.

close the door, s'il vous plait!

it happened again today-- i walked into a neighborhood boutique to be welcomed by sweltering heat [it is 50F here, so hardly sweltering!], with the doors of the boutique wide open. --so very unpleasant!

last week, i was in a chic boutique in st. germain with clients, the door again wide open and air blowing straight into the changing rooms. my client was freezing, i asked if they could close the door. the sales woman's response? they could not close it, as they were required by management to keep it open to make the shop feel more 'welcoming'. seems to me that this is:
1. a HUGE waste of electricity [which is already quite cher here in france], and
2. not very eco-friendly

there are many other ways to make customers feel welcome-- how about a sign like the above, or, gasp!, a friendly smile when you walk in the door? fermez la porte and maybe you wouldn't have to crank the heat so high.

vintage chanel on sale

most original fashion gift? one of the 100 vintage chanel items on sale on the designer jewels, clothing, coats, and accessories are going quickly, so shop now if you are interested.

4 girls in 4 cities

ever wonder what it is like to live in europe? with kids? as an expat? with european style? check out the cute new blog by my friend emilie and her gal pals. babyccino explores the day to day life of 4 friends living in europe-- they things they love, the things they hate. written with that certain je ne sais quoi, of course!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

private sales

This time of year, many brands are having private sales before the big sale period in January. Check out two this week-- bags by Karine Dupont and jewels by Delphine Nardin-- at two different locations in the 3rd arrondisement, this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Happy Shopping!

feeling lucky?

stop by the dior boutique at place vendome on the 1st of december to turn the dial on the bonbon machine pictured above. some of the magic 'bulles' contain junk, some contain treasures, such as dior's "oui" ring. [be sure to go to the website first to sign up to line up for your chance.]

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

decked out for noel: christmas lights in paris

paris gets ready for the holidays by draping lights over trees, between buildings, and in store windows. the city of light really lives up to its name at this time of year, and if you are visiting during the holiday season, here are some places to visit:

-the champs-elysees (above)- this installation (with over 1 million lights) took over 3 months of work and 850,000 euros to pull off
- the place vendome--decorated with huge chandeliers to add even more glimmer to the so-called "place des bijoux"
- the grands magasins-- check out the windows at printemps and galeries lafayette for animated fun, always a big hit with the little ones

check out the paris illume paris [paris lights up paris] brochure for details on illuminated streets in almost every quartier.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

lacroix turns 20

to celebrate the 20th birthday of his fashion house, christian lacroix is playing conservator at the musee des arts decoratifs. the histories de mode exhibition plays his couture items against others from the museuem's archives, put together by theme and by color. over 400 items on display, gloriously gathered by monsieur lacroix himself.

Friday, November 23, 2007

artic chill at printemps

printemps department store is going to extremes to make their nordic christmas theme come to life. check out the glacial labyrinth on the terrace of the printemps maison building [9th floor]-- wind through the icy maze [which took over 30 tons of ice to make!] to meet the giant polar bear and have your photo taken to prove it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

happy holidays from habitat

chic shopper insider tip-- pick up this month's french edition of elle decoration, and go to habitat on friday, november 23rd or december 7th for 20% off of all your purchases. happy shopping!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

luxe city guides

don't know what to get your jetsetting BF for the holidays? check out the luxe city guides boxed edition, which contains guides on 12 of the worlds most visited cities. the guides are chocked full of important info. on restaurants and shopping and tourist info., and the best part is that they are ultra-skinny, and slip into your tinniest handbag. the paris edition even mentions chic shopping paris. buy online at luxe city guides or in paris at the bon marche.

Friday, November 16, 2007

so NOT chic: the strikes in paris

just a little comment on the strikes, which have lasted WAY too long now.....without getting too politicial, a few observations:
--dear postman: don't you think it is just a little tacky to leave a note in my lobby, saying you'll be buy to sell me a calendar [and ask for a tip] during the same time when you are actually not working and the post office is on strike? i think "mademoiselle manners" would agree with me on this one....
--remember the campaign, "don't you wish everyone used dial [soap]"? maybe someone should use this one in france, especially in the overcrowded metros [see above photo]
--i seems somehow ironic, but the french actually seem to be MORE friendly when on strike-- those who aren't on strike, that is, seem to be chattier. i have had more conversations on the bus/metro/street today with strangers than in my 5+ years living here. more smiles too. misery loves company, eh? or maybe it is just that it is all so inconvienient, there is nothing else to do but laugh!
--and last but not least, when you've had to cross half the city by foot because all other means of transportation are overcrowded, stop and buy yourself a fresh baguette and a good bottle of wine. it does wonders for the soul and makes you remember why you love france.....

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

ummmm ummmm good

one of my fave neighborhood places for a quick bite when its chilly outside-- le bar a soupes. located near some fab shopping on the rue de charonne in the 11th, this yummy spot offers 6 homemade soups every day, along with great little sides like a cheese plate or charcuterie platter. check out the website before you go to find out the days specials-- and go either early [12pm] or late [after 1.30] to avoid enormous lines.

wine tasting made easy

trying to find a few bouteilles de vin to take back is always a challenge- with so many choices, it is hard to know where to start! check out the new card system at lavinia. prepay for a wine card, then taste some of the 24 wines on display at your leisure. the choices change monthly, and you can load your card with 10 to 50 euros worth of tastings. 3, bd de la madeleine, 1st.

black masterpiece

grandson of the hennessy liquor family, kilian hennessy has launched his own perfume line, by kilian. the all black packaging is gothic-chic and the scents range from "beyond love" to "cruel intentions." in all, there are 6 scents which make up 3 pairs, to be worn simultaneously or alone. hennessy credits vast influences (from 50 cent to rimbaud) for his first line, called the black masterpiece. the unisex scents are available in paris at printemps and in the us at bergdorf goodman.

hardy + gap = the perfect fall sandale

designer pierre hardy, who creates his own line of shoes along with shoes at hermes and bags at sequoia, has just created a line for the gap. the stunning sandale above ratails for 99 euros.

the smallest hotel in paris

making the rounds in all the mags in paris right now-- the everland hotel. this art installation/hotel is only in paris until the end of 2008. the pod-like structure, pearched ontop of the palais de tokyo contemporary art musuem, is a one-room-only hotel, rented by the night. it sleeps two, and provides a stunning view of paris. the everland was created by a pair of swiss artists, and has already made a few other stops in europe. the rates for this once in a lifetime experience are 333 euros for a sunday, tuesday or wednesday, and 444 euros for thursday, friday, and saturday.

and a quick side note-- if you just want to visit the hotel and are here on november 15th-- the palais de tokyo is offering guided visits of the hotel for one day only.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

for cozy cocktails....

the fashionistas are flocking here-- wini june, a charmant little bar in the haute marais neighborhood. vintage tables, a candle-lit atmosphere and crystal glases make this the perfect place for your next aperatif. 16 rue DuPetit Thouars, 3rd.

Monday, November 12, 2007

CSP in the guardian

chic shopping paris was also featured in the guardian this past weekend-- twice! one article discusses the chic shopping paris blog in a blog by blog guide to festive shopping, and a second piece discusses a few of my shopping faves, perfect for those who are hoping over to paris on the eurostar.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

shopping as a special event

chic shopping paris was featured today in eventline, a newletter from special events magazine. scroll down the page under "product line" to check out the details. merci to special events mag!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

bon anniversaire dior!

famous french fashion house dior, started by christian dior in 1947, blows out 60 candles this year. to celebrate, the house's most famous address in paris, 30 avenue montaigne, has had a makeover. peter marino, a US designer, was behind the new look. marino used over 50 shades of grey to achieve a new look in the boutique, along with updating the house's classic themes of louis xvi medallion chairs mixed with jungle prints.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

taxi bike

i've seen these mini-taxis around town for a while, but in very limited numbers. just found out that the company is called cyclobulle, and these electric bike/taxis are becoming very much the rage in several cities in europe. in paris, the offering is still a bit limited, as the 'taxis' only go in certain areas [between concorde and gare st. lazare and from chateau d'eau and hotel de ville]. they hold 2 people, plus packages [phew!] call to book one up for a quick and eco-friendly ride though town, or check out their site-seeing tour on ile st. louis [1/2 tour for 19 euros].

on your lips, not on your hips

laduree fans can now take part in a delicious beauty ritual as well-- starting in december, the famous patisserie will debut a line of beauty care products inspired by its famous pastries. some are offered exclusively at the le bon marche, such as the almond-based line [pictured, top]. others [such as the lip gloss, bottom photo], will be sold at sephora and at laduree's champs-elysees address, starting november 15th.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

collection of style: coming soon

h&m's pricier line, COS (collection of style) is set to open its first paris boutique on rue de rosiers in the marais in march 2008. if the number of h&m stores in paris is any indication, the new boutique is sure to be a hot new stop for seekers of fashionable frocks.