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Friday, February 29, 2008

fashion week paris: leonard show

yesterday was the leonard show, filled with their signature flowery prints that look quite graphic and modern once again. the crowd at this show was much older-- you could see many a granny in the audience who probably wore leonard tunics and minis back in the 60s and 70s....

check out the video of the show

fashion week summary

dear csp readers,
as fashion week in paris comes to a close, i thought i'd share some of my "deep thoughts" about fashion week, jotted down while waiting for the various shows to start:

  • the hardest job in this business is had by the photographers. they get there early, lug tons of equipment, stack on top of each other to get the best angle [this is clearly not a job for those who suffer from claustrophobias], and are generally treated as dirt by the fashionistas, although it is these guys [and girls] who get the best shots for the mags.
  • does france need a model law against overly thin models, like in italy? i wonder how some of these girls can actually walk-- and they could all use a sandwich, as my friend caroline would say
  • the biggest fashion show accessory? cute kids in tow
  • international language of fashion is english, even when in paris
  • can't make it? fake it! if you can't get yourself an invite, fake it, and book lunch at a cafe where there are sure to be fashion editors and models hanging out. try the cafe marly or le saut au loup, both near the louvre [where many shows are held] or even one of the posh hotels
  • everyone has a noticeable bag...maybe it's an old chloe, a vintage birkin, a manbag [even man purses!], the coveted latest from YSL, or a simple tote from marc j., but you must have a bag. or none at all...but this still doesn't give you the right to dress like crap [see below]
  • having an It bag does not give you the right to wear tennis shoes, however, if you wear a fur, you can get away with jeans
  • in a sea of black, where brights to stand out. i spotted cherry red coats with oversized hoods, an enormous fuschia faux fur [on a man], neon pink patent platforms, and more
  • if you are thin and belle, you can wear the craziest outfits and people will think you are cool; and if you are not, attitude is everything

Thursday, February 28, 2008

rue du mail opens on rue du mail

martine sitbon just opened her first boutique for label rue du mail, on a street with the same name. [how chic!] the large, exposed-stone space is comprised of a shop, studio, and showroom, accessible only after you are buzzed in. short, flowy dresses in sheer neon colors are the hit of the moment, woo-ing clients such as sofia coppola and vanessa paradis. 5 rue du mail, 2nd, monday- friday 12-7pm, saturday by appointment only.

vintage auctions for luxury goods

i just came across some fab sites listing upcoming auctions in paris--
check out gros-delettrez for listings on upcoming louis vuitton [monday, april 7th] and hermes [may 26-27] vintage auctions, and romain rea for info. about auctions on vintage watches and others taht are sold directly through the site. a vintage birkin or used tank watch, anyone?

classical music for the kiddos

the cite de la musique now has a saturday a.m. concert series to introduce les enfants to the finer things in life, i.e., classical concerts. tickets are only 8 euros, and the mini-concerts [1 hour long] are timed just right for the short attention span of the littlest music aficandos. a nice way to sneak in a little culture, rather than saturday a.m. cartoons. tickets and more info. available here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

givenchy's new flagship

givenchy's new paris flagship opens this friday, seated in a prime location between hermes & boucheron on faubourg st. honore. the roll out of the new shop is meant to reinvigorate the brand, which has fallen behind some of paris' others more famous labels. the shop will carry women's and men's lines, along with shoes, bags, and small leather goods in a space designed by the brand's designer Riccardo Tisci and architect Jamie Fobert.

salon d'agriculture

paris is all about contrasts-- you can't get in to the fashion shows, for example, so you go to the cow show instead. pourquoi pas? the salon d'agriculture is on right now, until march 2nd, at the porte de versailles. check out all the raw materials that become our favorite french foods--over 600 cows and bulls are on display, along with wine makers, foie gras specialists, and beaucoup plus! [by the way, don't go saying "moo" to a french cow- they say "meuh" here!]

Monday, February 25, 2008

gaspard yurkievich

today at high noon was the gaspard yurkievich show in the carrousel du louvre. the show's theme, the beautiful fall, was taken from a book by the same name by alicia drake, about the fame and fashion in 1970s paris. the look? flowy dresses, printed tights, big exposed zippers, ladylike blouses, and short skirts with big pockets, all in tones of royal purple, black, and gold. the setting? a glittery gold runway, with sam sparro belting out his new single, "black and gold"

doggie couture

yes, the french are obsessed with their pampered pups-- i just saw a woman on the metro pull down a seat for her pooch when other people were standing due to lack of seats! want to spoil your canine a la francaise? check out the precious-stone encrusted collars by les parichiennes. made with pearls, amethysts, etc., and fine leather, you can have a bracelet made to match your chien's collar- oh la la!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

af vandevorst show

my first show of the season was that of af vandevorst, which took place at the maison des metallos in the 11th. the champagne flute invite said 8pm, we were seated by 8.30, and by 8.50 the photographers [pictured above] were hooting and hollering 'let's go'-- i was in total agreement, as it was tres chaud in there!
here are a few shots from the show, which featured lots of men's wear inspired layered suits, quilted jackets and skirts, and some cozy wrapped knits, paired with silver platform heels and studded platform boots.

at 9.15pm, the show ended with waiters bringing champagne around
[normale, as the event was undersigned by piper heidsieck]-- enfin!

a short video of the show in action

and our take home treat-- a 'delicious' box of chocolates with af's logo on them. if the duo doesn't woo the fashion scene with its fall-winter collection, maybe the champagne and chocolates will do the trick?

Paris fashion week

Paris fashion week starts today, and my mail box is busy receiving all sorts of interesting invites-- each trying to out-chic the other houses. the most interesting so far was the champagne glass in a tube from af vandevorst, whose show is tonight. stay tuned for photos and updates from the shows....and to check out the full schedule of fashion week in paris, check out the wwd site or the federation francaise de la couture.

Friday, February 22, 2008

new hair from nouvelle athenes

la nouvelle athenes is one of those place i kept hearing about-- i had articles about this hot salon in my files, then a french friend told me she went and loved it, and to top it off, my hairdresser of five years retired, so it was time for a change.

the salon is set in a large, light-filled apartment behind the gare st lazare, and decorated with chic flea market furniture. no chop shop here, you really feel as if you are in someone's home. the owner, sylvie coudray, believes in looking at your face shape, hair texture, complexion, etc, before determining the best cut for you. i went in with a short cut that had gotten way overgrown, and was told that i needed a bit of hair on my forehead, less on the sides, that my color was wrong, etc. this, of course, was said in that oh-so french frank but convincing style, peppered with her saying ma belle and cherie repeatedly. who could resist? i was out of there two hours later with a new chic 'do, scared to death at first that i had bangs [but she was right, they do make my eyes pop!], and a shiny new vegetable-based color. the hair cuts [note that hair is cut dry to better see how it moves] run 65 euros and color is from 50 euros and up.

the petit plus? sylvie speaks english, having spent a year in florida. she also has great tips on products for the hair-- she recommended a great hand cream (yes, hand cream!) as a styling tool for my hair. trop genial!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

mix and match fragrance

It seems that the French are always on the lookout for ways to be more and more creative, n'est-ce pas? And what could be better than an uber-unique perfume? Parfums 137 is the brainchild of nez (perfumer) Isabelle Maillebiau, inspired by French writer Marivaux's character's gift to a geisha. Three small vials of perfume are concealed in a lovely little box, to be worn together or separately: 1 story, 3 essences, 7 perfumes. the coffret nara 1869 [pictured above] is available for 60 euros through the website and at le bon marche.

Friday, February 15, 2008

the paint-by-numbers fendi baguette

to fete its 10 year anniversary, the newest fendi baguette bag comes in its birthday suit-- "nude" with 10 bright pantone markers, so that you can customize it all on your own. retailing for 850 euros, its a pretty penny to pay for a paint-by-numbers doodlefest, but sure to be a collector's item. on sale at the new fendi store at 22, avenue montaigne, 8th arr.

put a little spring in your step

repetto has just put out it's famous BB [for brigitte bardot] ballerina flat, with new neon edging for spring-- so fun and springy, non? available exclusively at colette until the end of march, 140 euros.

antiques diva divulges hermes secrets

thought you hermes fans out there might read this-- a friend's blog post about hermes tips and more., including some of my own advice. check out the antiques diva's hermes primer!

ps- i was just at the le monde du voyage shop at the puces de st. ouen on sunday, feb. 17th-- they have several models of birkins and kellys in stock starting at about 4500 euros and going up. [some are in pristine condition-- meaning that you get a birkin without the year plus wait that you would have at the shop!] plus, the shop will accept payment by wire transfer and will fedex the merch....

pps--another top tip? it is easy to get confused by the two most popular styles, the kelly and the birkin. the kelly has one handle and is usually smaller, and the birkin has two handles plus a 'guide' for the belt/strap that goes around it [pictured above.]

Thursday, February 14, 2008

new tea palace in paris

damman freres started their tea business way back in 1692 under the reign of Louis XIV, becoming the exclusive distributors of tea in france at the time. their firstboutique for us mere mortals [before, the products were only sold in gourmet epiceries] has just opened at the lovely place des vosges , selling classic and flavored teas in gorgeous tins. [side note: the boutique is open right now, but will close at the end of march for an go now!] 15, place des vosges, 4th arr.

Monday, February 11, 2008

more treats for your sweet

it seems like valentine's day is in full force this year-- every brand is sprouting up ideas for gifts for your amour. see below for some un-traditional cadeaux....kumsi sweet love tea, a black china tea with ginsing and pink pepper, sure to spice up your morning cuppa. 12 euros, from or from their boutique in st. germain.
ysl's "biarrtiz" thongs, from the yves saint laurent cruise line. 150 euros, also available in pink.

and for the littlest valentine? how about this chic coloring book, playtime: cahier de coloriage. some of paris' biggest kids designers [antik batik, wowo, balouga] drew a page for this special coloring book, whose sales benefits an association to make sure all children receive an eduction. 5 euros, available at habitat.

Friday, February 08, 2008

poiret's glam gowns on auction

a collection of over 30 pieces owned by denise poiret, wife of designer paul poiret, will be up for auction at hotel drouot on february 14th. the collection includes dresses, coats, scarves, and necklaces are museum worthy pieces, and are estimated to sell from between 200 and 2500 euros a piece. on your marks, get set, bid!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

valentine's day hints

oh, wouldn't it be nice if all men just spontaneously got great gift ideas for valentine's day? well, in case you aren't living that dream either, why not forward this blog post to the homme in your life? and monsieurs, here are a few hints....petals of love ring in white and yellow gold, with petals that turn. 1900 euros from tess v.
cartier's love bracelet (3200 e), which was made famous in the 1970s. you have to screw it on, with a mini screwdriver, so your love reminder never leaves your wrist. also available as a ring, a pendant, a huge cuff, etc.

this last little number is a mother of pearl charm on a bracelet, from petits tresors, starting 39 euros. sweet and dainty, and the price is so reasonably, you wouldn't feel guilty going to that three star michelin resto...

colette dance class

colette, the chic boutique that defines "cool" in paris, offers dance classes to help you move as hip as you look. offered the first monday of every month at le paris paris club, the free classes start at 10pm, last an hour, then the dj takes over and the fete continues. a guest choreographer shows the moves to a different dance style each week-- allez, dansez!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

sonia rykiel reopens in the 6th

after a long closing for renovations, the sonia rykiel boutique on blvd st. germain in the 6th reopened on february 1st. for the occasion, sonia re-launched old faves such as her "poor boy sweater" (175 euros) and a special bird broach set with 175 jewels. what's with the 175? that's the address of the now mythic flagship shop, 175 blvd. st. germain.