Thursday, September 30, 2010

Town & Country Out and About

Cherie called in telling me -- not asking, she never asks -- she had luncheon, tea and cocktail invitations today and could not make her column deadline. She then told me she would write something "fantastic," her word, not mine, tomorrow.

That explains the flip in the schedule, but I know you like to see what's going on in the streets of Paris and the parking lot of the super marche where I buy my staples, not my fruits and veggies, cheese or fish. So, all is not lost. At least someone is always prepared.

A charming anecdote accompanies the first and second pictures taken in Paris. While buying my Shu Uemura eyelash curler the other day, I spied a woman in a trench coat at the Dior cosmetic counter and thought, "Ah-ha, time to whip out my card and camera." However, the more I looked at her, the more I thought she and her daughter (together in the second shot) might be Americans. 

I started circling and listening. After a moment, one of the makeup artists from Dior asked me if she could help me. "Yes," I said, "could you listen to those two women and tell me if they're American." She went to them, asked if they needed assistance and came back to tell me, "They're French."

It was time for me to move in. I spieled my spiel whereupon the adorable daughter looked at her mother and said, "See, I told you, you never listen to me."

Long story short, as much as I hate to abbreviate I realize you have other things to do today: She agreed to the photo op. And the dénouement of the tale? The stunning, fun makeup artist from Dior said to her, "Sit down, I'll do your makeup before you have your picture taken." 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mid-Week Treat On-the-Street

It occurred to me you might enjoy a "picture is a thousand words" kind of day, instead of a thousand words. 

We all need a midweek rest from my rants and raves, n'est-ce pas?

Off subject (now that's a shocker, I never digress or wander off the point. . .): I make my morning coffee so strong that some people can't drink it, which is fine with me -- just add water -- but I'm noticing today I must have had a particularly heavy hand. I seem to be floating in some other worldly aura. Not at all unpleasant.  I hope I won't have any unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Today's pix are a Paris/country mix as you can see. My confidence is ever-so-slowly returning.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

News, Views, DIY, Non-Stop Fun!

It's probably because I've never asked. Perhaps it's because I like to seek and find on my own -- a mini adventure if you will. But, at last, after years of searching, I've found it, the perfect, beyond my highest aspirations -- T-shirt(!)

Go ahead, call me superficial, shallow. I don't care. My new collection of T-shirts is exactly, precisely what I have been looking for for years. They are as light as pate feuilleté (and as translucent), and slide on the body in a whisper caress. From my point-of-view they are the best of the best for the following reasons:

  • Zero bulk, therefore they add nothing more than a tissue paper thin layer between the skin and a jacket, sweater or shirt.
  • 100 percent cotton.
  • They come in V, deep V, small scoop neck, classic crew.
  • The body and sleeves are super long. 
  • The material is so soft you want to stroke your cheek with it. (I know, it's crazy.)
  • They are available in more colors than one can imagine.
  • They are nicely finished at the neck and wrists, no ribbing.
  • I bought them in white, white, white, pale gray and steel gray.
  • Are you ready? The price is right. They cost a mere 9.90 Euros
The sole drawback is, I found them at the extraordinary Japanese emporium, Uniqlo, which is across the street from the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores in Paris. Kind of expensive when including airfare, meals and hotels I suppose. 

You know I love my GAP T-shirts, but these are an entirely different breed, pure sophistication. They'll last as long as they'll last. As you know I have taken rationalization to a high art form. They are investments in elegance not in durability. I could imagine they would ultimately make superior dust cloths. . .

Excuse Me, Are You Joking or What?

In case you haven't seen the fall H&M catalog, I had to share this with you on a need to know or believe it or not basis -- you decide. 

The headline for the small article buried on page 20 with a gorgeous picture of Catherine Deneuve in the Burberry trench coat she wore in Belle de Jour, is "DO IT YOURSELF."

The text tells us: "The clothes of fall should look comfortably well worn. Follow these simple instructions to embrace the hip vintage trend!"

Alrighty then, here's what we're supposed to do to get that "vintage trend" we should apparently be coveting:
  1. Machine wash at low temperatures our new leather jacket. I can well imagine it will appear distressed after that. I'm distressed at the mere idea.

     2. To "vintagize" a T-shirt we are to wash it at a too high temperature this time and let it "lie around wet" so the wrinkles are fixed in place.

    3. And my favorite: Take your Burberry trench coat for which you paid heaven knows what and you considered one of your great lifetime investments and CUT OFF THE SLEEVES!!!!

Are you kidding me? Are you people out of your minds? Oh, almost forgot in my frenzy, that's not all. After you've cut off the sleeves, machine wash, let the fringe come out ("fringe?" you're talking about ragged threads, you fools!) and obviously leave the "fringe" in place. 

I would think the next step would be, sit down and cry.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Here Comes A Rant. . .

Brace yourself, I'm about to have "a moment."

I don't know, maybe it's me, but before I reconcile myself to that dreary possibility, let me pose these questions:   Have I lost my legendary sense of humor? Have I misplaced my cool factor? Have I fallen off the cutting edge? Is this offensive? For whom is this ad conceived? And why?

Translation: "Don't age too fast." (I ask you, who in the world wants to "age too fast?")

Huge posters of this prefabricated woman -- 18-year-old body, 80+year-old face -- are all over Paris. Does this make customers of any age wish to rush into the Virgin mega-store to buy the latest DVDs, CDs, etc.? 

Let's put it this way, I'm taking my business to the FNAC which sells exactly the same products.

Did You Know This?

The other day, while in Printemps I decided to replace my Shu Uemura eyelash curler -- as I've mentioned on many occasions, the best of its kind in the whole, wide world. My opinion, but I'm not alone.

The saleswomen, convinced as always that I am an American tourist because of my accent, asked me how many I wanted. I said one would be perfect. 

"We always ask," one of them said, "because they are no longer sold in the United States and we thought maybe you would like to stock-up." (That's a loose translation, but accurate.)

"Are you sure?" I challenged. "Absolument," they chimed. 

I have no way of proving this, but I find this bizarre.

Ed. Note: Just back from the airport. The time passes so fast. Feeling a little blue.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Next Week or La Semaine Prochaine

On The Calendar For The Week Ahead

Lundi: News & Views

Mardi: Ummm, News & Views!!!

Mercredi: Surprise!

Jeudi: Dear Cherie. . .

Vendredi: Town & Country On-the-Street

Samedi: A Weekend In the Country

Dimanche: Next Week's Line-Up

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Weekend In The Country

The latest and not quite last crop (still lots of green tomatoes clinging to life and hope) from the now freshly weeded, thanks to The Little One, potager.

As we speak, the wooden cageot (crate?) of tomatoes, picked this morning, is being turned into sauce for the winter. Andrea and I just returned from the market with carrots, garlic and onions, which we did not plant chez nous. We have celery in the garden, which will also be added to the sauce, at least I think it will be. Let's be honest, I'm not the one making it. I'm the one watching it being made.

Remember I appreciate the domestic arts, and occasionally try my hand, but this skill, I believe, "depasses," as the French say my competence. 

Or, as one of my best French friends cautions, "If you don't want to do something; don't tell anyone you know how to do it."

Et voila!

A demain for the weekly calendar.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Out and About In The Country

Yes, yes, I know, it's true -- still in my comfort zone. But aren't these pictures marvelous? 

The stunning couple, absolutely Town & Country chic with their Lab puppy, I consider one of my great triumphs. In a perfect world, no one could have styled them better. 

Et en plus, are you ready for this? Their dog's name is Dior, and Dior gave me a huge kiss on the cheek. 

While in Monoprix, shopping with my "baby" the woman in the gray sweater and I began talking, whereupon I of course asked her if I could take her picture. She said she loved fashion, but didn't agree with my assessment of her chic appearance at that moment, "Because I just finished working on the tomatoes in my garden and I'm not 'dressed' -- I ran out of the house. You don't want to take my picture today."

Oh, yes I do.

Now you see what I mean about French women. I mean really, I just ran out of the house? 

Off to Paris and more shopping. Will keep you au courant.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dear Cherie. . .


Already, you may suspect by Cherie's chirpy intro that this will not be a day like any other. 

On her agenda Cherie has questions to answer about shoes, shoes, shoes; alternatives for those who don't like, or "can't wear" camel; and those who claim not to wear gray because it makes them look gray. May Cherie simply say this about gray: You're dealing with a color that has infinite hues, tones, nuances -- get out there and look.

Now, no questions today, and here's why: Cherie is taking "The Little One" shopping. Her mother, You-Know-Who, is who knows where so we're off. The car is idling, the driver is waiting, the credit cards are in their Hermes envelopes, and as Cherie likes to say, coupe in hand, "Let the good times roll!"

Before heading out the door, a peek at what might be examined and caressed up close and personal, the above delights from Eric Bompard. (Just like the Printemps catalog this season, Bompard did its catalog photo shoot in New York City.)

The most amusing part of the Bompard catalog is the pictured here, samples in "real life" of true thread color swatches used in the designs. Such fun.

Finally, we'll be picking up the pre-ordered Repetto "taxi" ballerines

Until next week then. And in the meantime, remember camel and gray look wonderful together. Keep the one that looks best next to your face -- next to your face. (Go ahead, re-read the sentence. It makes sense and is exceedingly clever. . .)

Cherie can't help it, she was born with style.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Part II: Gray Matters

Sometimes best laid plans and all that. . . 

I had intended to get back to gray later, but I found so many things I like and since I'm an excessive monkey brain, I thought, "Let's get right to it so everyone has time to think and shop."

A word of fashion advice from French Elle on the subject of wearing and finding the ultimate gray flannel trousers without looking too, heaven forbid, BCBG (preppy). The formula: choose a high waistband for more femininity; go for a heathered gray (this fashion editor says, "whatever"); opt for wide bottoms -- not bell, but wide boot cut -- with the polish of a cuff (I so agree); wear pants long, almost touching the ground (that means you can only wear them with one pair of shoes or one collection of shoes with the exact same heel so decide early on).  

And finally, Elle suggests, team up your pants with gold boots and a snug leather blouson in the "fauve" family -- camel-ish -- so we can have the two hot seasonal color trends under control, gray and camel. I suspect the "gold" reference was not the metal family, but rather in the vast tobacco-ish colors of leather, at least I hope so.

Gray from the top:
  • Eileen Fisher
  • Talbots -- twice
  • Repetto ballerines
  • Loro Piana (the most expensive item on this post)
  • Talbot gray flannel trousers (I've found it's difficult to find them this year. I have four pairs so I'm literally covered. I didn't want you to worry on my account.)
  • Landsend cashmere shawl
  • American vintage tunics, both in gray even though one looks black (or dresses for those who dare)
  • Lands' End cashmere V-neck and T-shirt
  • J.Jill

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Look, Book, Buy

You can see that hedline is sort of like the book "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" -- it all depends upon your punctuation. (Eats shoots and leaves. . .) Subtitle of the stunning, worth owning, and giving as gifts book, is "The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation."

Don't you just love my digressions?

My point (you're probably asking with the slightest hint of annoyance) is: We have here our fall/winter look book of gray ideas to use when shopping. Many of you, like moi meme, probably have many grays ready and waiting in the closet -- very exciting -- a new something-or-other will make our old grays sing.

From the top:
  • Stella McCartney showing us how it's worn and right below her one of her perfect products.
  • Louis Vuitton -- twice
  • Cher Michel Klein
  • Marc Jacobs -- twice
  • Hermes -- twice
  • Emporio Armani
Chloe (Yes, it's true, this is probably the third time I've showed you this, but I do love it so.)

I suspect we shall re-visit this subject. I have a thing for gray, mainly because it can be soooo close to almost being black. It makes dressing so simple, so classic, so pure, so elegant. What more can one say? Surely I'll think of something.
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