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Friday, March 30, 2012

markets & parks

dear loyal followers- sorry for the lapse in blogging this week...the weather has been too incroyable to stay inside- much more suited to fun days shopping and enjoying cafes.  to this end, i'm offering you a mini post on markets & parks.  pick two:  go to the market first, get some picnic fixin's, and off to the park.  parks are listed here and markets here.  enjoy your pique nique!

Friday, March 23, 2012

spring sales all around town

In Paris right now, or coming before the month's end? Take advantage of the great spring sales all over town.  Since the government "loosened" regulations on sales periods that stores are allowed to have, many now have great sales all throughout the year.  [Although the big two sales periods- in summer and winter- still have amazing storewide discounts that you don't have at any other time during the year.]  All the big department stores are having soldes at the moment- Le Bon Marche, Printemps, Galeries Lafayette, even BHV.  Bon shopping!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

creative Paris

Been here, done that?  Check out, a new website that aims to help you visit Paris, well, more creatively.  Check out listings on everything from cooking classes to wine making to singing lessons, all with a French touche.  The site is in English and French, so put in your vacation dates and have a look.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

les suites parisiennes

More private than a hotel, more services than an apartment rental, Les Suites Parisiennes gives you the best of both.  Full-service suites [wifi, kitchen, safe, etc.], located in lovely, typically- French apartment buildings.  A la carte options include a gourmet breakfast, delivery from a nearby French bistro, massages, and more.  A dream maison away from home.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

kilometre t-shirt/guides at colette

A fun new t-shirt option for the global traveler in your life: kilometre t-shirts are printed with GPS coordinates to help you find the best secret locales in your chosen destination.  The t's are also sold with a baggage tag and a mini guide, which gives you tips on the best park benches for sharing a smooch, the coolest bars, the best souvenirs.  Check out the 22 world destinations offered at Colette.  

Friday, March 16, 2012

French kiss

As a self-professed lip balm addict, I'm always on the lookout for new formats to try....and just spotted this trio of newbies on Elle.   I'm especially intrigued by the top on by diptyque, the company that makes divine candles.  Their balm has cotton oil, mango butter, and a floral fragrance.  The bottom two- by Absolution and Kenzoki are great runners up.  [The Kenzo one is called Baume Levres a Embrasser- so cute!]  What a chic way to pucker up this spring.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

spring style tip: the lace dress

The sweet lace dress is back [again?] this year, and its already filling the spring fashion pages.  It would be easy to pair it with some nude heels and a sweet little clutch, but the Parisienne knows how to mix up her styles.  Mix it up with some rock touches for a rock-romantic look: some great, over-sized sunglasses, a fitted black leather jacket, and black studded sandals.   Et voila- the sweet day dress goes out for the night.
[Top:  Pablo by Gerard Darel and bottom: Sinequanone]

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

special sale at Geraldine Valluet's Atelier this week

Do you remember Geraldine Valluet from the Chic Shopping Paris book?  She has closed up her original boutique and now sells her jolie jewels from her atelier [which is Marchel Duchamp's former workshop!]  during special sales and by appointment only.  If you are in Paris, don't miss this opportunity to stock up for all the spring holidays- Mother's Day, spring birthdays, etc!  Thursday- Saturday, March 16-18, 12-7pm

code 28A45

Friday, March 09, 2012

sweet bijoux at delphine pariente

I finally got the chance to pop into Delphine Pariente's new Marais boutique this week and it instantly brought a smile to my face.  Such a cute mix of retro/ vintage furnishing and home goods [much of which is for sale], along with her sweet/ Frenchie jewelry.  Cute pendant necklaces with mini cameos or French sayings, like one that simply says "Oui."  She also has a cool collection of jewelry that is created from vintage pieces, changed up and made more modern.  Chic? Yes.  Cher?  Not really!

spring style tip: the sweatshirt

I thought it would be fun to do a mini-series on French style tips- all the cute new stuff that is cropping up in boutiques around Paris, plus a mini-note on how to wear them.  First up- the sleek sweatshirt.

How to wear it-
By day:  over a shirt with a color, with a black motorcycle jacket and a skinny cropped pant
By night:  tucked in loosely with a full skirt and a oversized clutch; bright socks and platform booties

Top:  APC leopard sweatshirt, Bottom:  Monoprix striped sweatshirt

[Style tips taken from mode story:  le sweat-shirt]

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Louboutin at the cabaret

To celebrate his 20th anniversary as a shoemaker, Christian Louboutin goes back to his roots.  He started his career with an internship at  Folies Bergeres, a famed dancehall.  Now his work is back on stage at the Crazy Horse cabaret, where he is the guest creator.   Louboutin created four different tableaux for the show, consulting on choreography, lighting, and bien sur, the shoes.  The show, called Feu ["fire"], is on stage until May 31st.

PS- If you'd rather buy some Louboutin's than see them on stage- check out the 20th anniversary capsule collection, only available in his 3 Parisian boutiques.

French beauty secrets at the Pharmacie

Who can resist a new face cream or great new conditioner?  Many of the top French brands [Nuxe, Caudalie, La Roche Posay] have mainstreamed into stateside drugstores or departments stores, but in France, you can get these brands- and many more- and your corner para-pharmacie or pharmacie.  [Note:  A pharmacie can fill prescriptions and dispense medications, and sells some beauty products as well.  A parapharmacie sells only beauty and skin care products- no medications.]  You can also enjoy some great soins [treatments] at these brands spas- the Nuxe spa in Paris is a hidden gem, and the Caudalie spa (outside Paris, near Versailles) is mini-escape in a gorgeous setting.  [Addresses listed below]

What to buy at the French pharmacy?  Gwyneth Paltrow's now famous list of fave French products appeared last year in her newsletter Goop.  This list is a great starting point for many cult products- feel free to ask advice of your pharmacist as well- they are pretty knowledgeable about most of their products.  [Be sure to ask politely if they speak English first, or you won't get any help at all!]  

City Pharma [pictured] is the hot pharmacy at the moment- the multi-lingual signage and lines out the door will let you know that you've found it. They've recently doubled their space, due to popularity.  This place stocks complete selections of tons of great brands, and the discounted prices have many a fashionista trekking across town to stock up.

My other new find is the brand Etat Pur, which offers reasonably priced serums ["actifs purs"] plus treatments to create a truly individualized skin care regime.  At the moment, their website is only available in French, but their concept store in the St. Germain area should be able to help you out in person.  [Address below]

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

matisse at the centre pompidou

The big spring line-up at the museums is starting up once again for tourist season in Paris.  Starting tomorrow, Matisse will be up at the Centre Pompidou with a retrospective called "Matisse, Pairs and Series", until June 18th.  Click here to buy your tickets online (Billet Musee et Expositions is what you want to buy) and avoid the lines, and check out the cool iPad app that goes along with the expo [French only].  And don't forget to go up top to the roof top deck at Le Georges for a drink and great city views!

Monday, March 05, 2012

chic souvenirs- French tea towels

One of my favorite souvenirs to recommend to clients is French linens.  Tea towels are especially nice, as you don't necessarily have to match someone's kitchen exactly, and they are light and easy to pack!  They can also be used as hand towels in a bathroom- and I've always thought that a few together would be an adorable kitchen curtain.  Each season, many of the big brands come out with new designs and colors, like Monsieur Rabbit, above.  Classic neutrals are always a good bet as well, or why not go more touristy with an Eiffel Tower version?  The classic Le Jacquard Francais models can be found in all big department stores, and Sylvine at La Maison Ivre has an amazing collection of French linens in all colors and sizes.