Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pictures, Polemics & Promises

A Thursday without Babette, well it just wouldn't be a Jeudi would it?  

If I can tamp down my shy factor, I might do more posts like this one; always, or almost always with Babette, but also with others. 

I'm starting slowly, with friends and acquaintances. As I pass them out and about I'll try to persuade them to stop and smile for a few seconds.

Today is a baby step in that direction with a picture of Babette in her boutique wearing a filmy gray American Vintage -- did you know the label is French, from Marseille(?) -- T-shirt which could be dressed up or down btw and another of Stephanie in a navy shift, note embroidery around the hem. Babette and Stephanie see me so often that when I walk through the door they take their places, smile, snap and back to work they go.

Finally I located Brigitte all blonde and tanned from a long vacation. She posed with her natural self-confidence under a tree in one of the town squares. 

Immediately after I negotiated and wheedled with my friend Françoise until she relented and let me take her picture. She kept saying: "Make it quick; make it quick, I hate this." Every time she said "faster" instead of pressing the photo button I snapped the off bump. 

For those who haven't met Brigitte, I've been stalking her for years, marveling at the way she dresses. She has a long black cotton skirt I've seen her wear winter and summer for as long as I can remember, but never in the same way. Last Sunday she was wearing a black shirt with a necklace dripping branches of bright crimson coral, repeating the color you'll notice with her Bensimon sneakers.  

Françoise is in one of her many turbans, red/orange fringe peeping out; omnipresent black sunglasses and another combo from her favorite designers Marithé + Françoise Girbaud.

For me, these two women represent what fascinates me most about the way Frenchwomen dress. One remixes staples she loves, playing with details to come up with something original.   Long ago the other found her signature look, maybe even a costume, I don't know, that expresses her personality. Watching both of them has given me enormous pleasure over the years.

On To Polemics

Guess what? I think, though fragile, I have a thread connecting the first part of the post with this segment. As you know I often can't connect the dots, but this seems to work. . .

Valerie Boyer, a deputy in the French government, pictured here, has proposed a law that would require advertisers and editorialists to be up-front about re-touched photos. Obviously this applies 95 percent of the time to flawless images of women which she believes is, if not lying to the public at least grossly misleading.

She wants a simple disclaimer written on an advertisement for a beauty product that promises we'll look like the barely recognizable face of Sharon Stone for example after we've used the anti-age cream for the prescribed number of days.

As I've mentioned, snack food and that can include yogurt and other otherwise healthy foods portrayed in ads as being consumed between meals, have a "warning" either on the bottom of the television screen or in magazines about the dangers of obesity (I'm paraphrasing) similar to the labels on cigarettes and alcohol.

I'll stay on top of the progress. What do you think?


Marsi said...

Babette has such great style. I never would've thought to pair that belt and necklace with the outfit she's wearing, and yet, they make the whole look. God really is in the details, no? This photo is such an inspiration. I've got to work up the daring to wear different accessories, I think.

It's such fun to see these photos, as much for the background scenery as the subjects themselves. Fascinating stuff to study.

What? Are you suggesting that Sharon Stone doesn't look like that because of Dior Capture?!?

This is just me being mean here, but ... won't it be interesting when the scaffolding in her face begins to collapse? I should really watch it with the Schadenfreude.

Drea said...

Love those pink shoes! Might have to seek some out the next time I'm there...

Rita said...


Thanks for visiting my blog. I always enjoy connecting with new people and new blogsites, especially those that are worlds away...or at least a few countries.

I LOVE your MOB funny. Just now getting to some of your other blogs. You are such a wonderfully talented writer. I'm hooked...I'll be following you.

Deja Pseu said...

Babette's pictures make me want to shop in her store!

I so love these photos that capture the many varieties of personal style.

Anoninoz said...

Love these photos - they all look so stylish and no, did not know American Vintage is French - v. interesting also explains why it is relatively pricy here in Oz!

Bonjour Madame said...

I also want to shop in Babette's store. I love how you get to see everyone so often. You live in such a charming place. said...

I'll be back later to talk with you. We're invited to a lovely dinner party tonight and I don't know what to wear.

Did I really say that? said...

I'll tell Babette what you have said. When all of you visit Paris she is only a 30 to 45 minute drive from the big city. . .

Marsi, I am soooo sorry to disabuse you on the subject of Sharon Stone. I should be more delicate and careful when citing examples. Please forgive me.

Drea, I think the shoes are just dusty thus giving the impression of pink. said...

Dear Rita,

Thank you so much.

I haven't had time to get back to the MOB, which I loved writing, and people keep asking me when I'm going to debut "My French Friends' Houses" -- that one I should do because I'm lucky to have friends with superb and diverse decorating tastes.

We shall see what the future holds.

Warm regards and merci encore.

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