Thursday, June 30, 2011

Long, Hot Summer

To be perfectly honest, it hasn't been that hot with the exception of two days. The temperatures are sublime at the moment.

As promised, a few long dresses on the streets of Paris and our country village.


OK. Yes, it's true, once again some photos are new, some you may have seen. I thought, however, the subject,"longue," held together better. In the fashion biz, when we have almost nothing to say we try to "hang" a story on an invented "peg" . . .

You see the strategy/approach in magazines every month. It's sort of fun, non? Non?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Remarkable Femme d'Un Certain Age

Christine Lagarde

Meet the perfect conjuncture of femininity and feminism, Christine Lagarde.

As of yesterday she is the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, the first woman to head the institution since its founding in 1944. Today she leaves her post as France's Finance Minister as rumors swirl about who could possibly replace the remarkable Madame Lagarde.

As I've mentioned before, I have been a Christine Lagarde groupie ever since she arrived back in France from the United States where her last job was president of the Chicago-based law firm, Baker & McKenzie.

I think women of every age can learn a great deal from her. She is confident, brilliant, straight-talking and glamorous. She dares to wear pink! She loves Chanel, her Birken bag, her jewelry and her scarves. She wears skirts, high boots, and dresses. She sees absolutely no conflict between her femininity and her principles as a feminist.

When asked last night on French television if she thought being a woman brought more to the table, she didn't hesitate for a moment. "Absolutely," she said.

In an October interview with Christiane Amanpour on ABC's This Week she said: "I think we inject less libido. . . And less testosterone into the equation. . . It helps in the sense that we don't necessarily project our egos into cutting a deal."

Edwin Truman, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, who has met Madame Lagarde on several occasions says her style is "both politically forceful, but personally charming and likable."

As you are no doubt aware, she replaces Dominque Strauss-Kahn who is awaiting his trial in New York City for allegedly attempting to rape a chamber maid.

A few Christine Lagarde facts and figures:

Age: 55

Education: Attended the private Holton-Arms prep school near Washington, D.C. and has law and political science degrees from prestigious French universities.

Forbes: In 2010 the 43rd most powerful woman in the world. (That's about to change.)

Mother: Two sons in their 20s.

Marital situation: Divorced.

Romantic situation: With a handsome man since 2006.

TV appearances: Daily Show with Jon Stewart. (She gave him a beret.)

Firsts: The first female Finance Minister in the G8.

Exercise: Yoga every morning, swimming. (She was a champion swimmer in her teens.)

Miscellaneous: No alcohol, no red meat.

And: She Tweets!

Oh, Yes: Her English is as proficient as her French.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

News & Views, This & That

Cherries from our garden, circa 2010.
Yes, it's true. . . Running late again. Lazy days of été perhaps? I was obliged to make what may be the last run of the season to the market for a supply of cherries. I love, love, love cherries, but the season is pretty much over I'm afraid. Our three cherry trees gave us exactly one cheery this year and I can't blame the birds this time. We had leaves, flowers, hope and nothing.

Never mind, today's musings:

Explain Me These

Yves Saint Laurent.
Yves Saint Laurent. What can I say?
YSL back view so you have a true picture of the danger involved.
For those of you who don't know the way My-Reason-For-Living-In-France sometimes speaks, one of his favorite expressions is, "Explain me this [or that]."

As I was saying, explain me these shoes. Who wears them except on the runways and in magazines? (Does that make me sound old and fuddy-duddy?)

They ring in at what I would think a visit to the emergency room, an operation, pain killers and a cast would cost. Then you would have to add on post op physical therapy. A verrrry expensive foray into the realm of fun, fad, fashion.

Les Whoopies

Les Whoopies -- that's what they're called here.
They've arrived and can be found at La Grand Epicerie in Paris. Confession: I don't think I've ever heard of them or maybe I have and they were called something else. Because, I am quite sure meeting a Whoopie Pie would be unforgettable.

It's probably a good thing I've never come across one. If you are interested in the history of the confection, click here .

Bless You Christian

Christian Louboutin has kindly given us an alternative to above mentioned killer wedgies, kitten heels. They're sort of cute don't you think? When looking for a little lift to the calf without breaking it, they might be just the thing.

Send It Directly Chez Moi
Let's not be coy. I love this belt from Paul & Joe. Imagine it with khaki or white this summer. Changes everything, non?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Too, Too Cute

If -- lucky you -- you're searching for the perfect -- absolutely beyond perfect -- gift for a baby girl, I've got you covered.

Meet Suzanne. She is the latest creation from Baby Dior. And, not surprisingly, you know, Dior/clothes/fashion/trends/etc. Suzanne has not one, but four dresses for the various invitations that would most certainly present themselves in her chic life. (She is 100 percent cotton in case you were wondering.)
Suzanne might also be THE gift for the woman who has everything -- a sort of arch wink,wink entre nous isn't la mode amusante joke. I'm not a doll person at-all, but I would perch Suzanne on my desk and change her wardrobe according to my mood. On special occasions I might let her wear one of my bracelets as a dress-up necklace.

We all know how accessories change everything.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Next Week or La Semaine Prochaine

Non-stop surprises! Lots of News & Views. And, where there's life there's hope -- on-the-street pictures.

Just a quick note to wish you a beautiful what's-left-of-the-weekend Sunday.

It's hot, hot, hot in these parts. Clear skies, slight breeze -- paradise.

A demain.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Here's The Good News. . .

Yves Saint Laurent "Effet Givré"
When you apply these lip gloss "musts" of été, you will be pleased to know -- I certainly was -- they do not make lips any hue of blue.
L'Oreal Glam Sine Fresh #601

Emilio Pucci limited edition for Guerlain, "Sparkling Sea"

Benefit California Kissin'

Dior Kiss "Mint Lemonade" #208

This is what they do:

1.) Make teeth appear whiter.

2.) Look sheerer than sheer when transferred onto the lips.

3.) Give the impression of some plumping action.

4.) The slightest, slightest imperceptible bluishness of them makes the natural color of the lips or, combined with lipstick, seem more -- I don't know? -- exciting?!

They are pretty in the tubes, I'll give them that. Maybe I'll test the least expensive one from L'Oreal and get back to you on the premises and promises.

The beach-y, by-the-ocean, vacation spirit of them is fun, non? Yes, I know, what-ev-er. . .

Not exactly good news, more in what I would call the bizarre category. But, once again, verrrry trendy (do we care?), Chanel's Mimosa nail polish.

I have yet to see it on the street, but, rest assured, if and when I do, you'll see it first here. I'm wondering, dark or tanned skin? Toes?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dresses of Eté In Paris & Beyond

On the streets of Paris and on the country lanes in the town near our village. Note the ballerina penchant. They are everywhere.

I have lots more where these came from.

How refreshing to see dresses out and about,  n'est-ce pas?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

On-the-Street, On-Their-Feet + Water

My can't live without spritz.
Yes, yes, I know. I had higher hopes for today as well, but I'm working on two projects -- which I'll tell you about in the future -- and I have to get cracking.

Let's start with something refreshing shall we?

Value added beauty tip of the day: After cleansing your face, spritz with a mineral water, i.e. Avene, La Roche-Posay, Evian. . . A can lasts for months and if you put it in the refrigerator in the summer it really gets you moving in the morning.

Lots of feet. What can I say?

Oh, I know. Have a lovely day.

A demain with full-length pictures on the street. Can you still your beating heart?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quote of The Day

Alrighty then.

No, I refuse to be upset -- OK, I am mildly perturbed -- but I shall not ratchet up the emotions beyond major disappointment.  My picture whatchamacallit thingie won't put pictures on today's post.

What me worry? No, not until much later today -- or even tomorrow. For the moment I'm deep-breathing. In 24 hours if the whatsit doesn't perform, I'll be in full throttle hysteria. But not now. No, not at all.

I shall leave you with this quote, which would have included a portrait of Jonathan Swift, but he wasn't as good looking as I imagined him to be so it's no great loss. Love the quote though.

It is a favorite of a dear friend, and his ultimate explanation for why, in most situations, particularly politics for example, one cannot change another's opinion with argument.

"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into," Jonathan Swift.

That's as close as we come to politics in these parts and, you know we never, ever go near religion, money (except how much something costs as opposed to how much one has), and s*x.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Re-Discovering Paris

Last weekend I re-read Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast" for perhaps the fourth time, always with several years intervals between each foray. The last reading was in September 1985, when a dear friend gave me the copy of the book he was reading. A few months prior to his gift, I had decided to live in France. It was timely.

Shakespeare & Co., the famous English language bookstore, where my friend Bob Butler did a reading of one of his books earlier this month.
The first time I read "A Moveable Feast" I was 17. Certainly I must have enjoyed it then, but I don't recall it made me dream about Paris as the most wonderful city in the world; that came a few years later. This reading -- taken as a romanticized travel guide -- made me love Paris even more. I didn't think that was possible.

Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald
Gertrude Stein with John "Mr. Bumby" Hemingway.
James Joyce
Sylvia Beach, owner of Shakespeare & Co.
Sylvia Beach and Hemingway
I thought for those of you who feel the same way about "our" city, you might like to pick it up again. It's a quick, fulfilling, dream-crafting adventure. I don't care if it has flaws. I don't care if it was cobbled together and was not originally all of a piece, I don't care about any of that. I'm not a literary critic. I'm a reader -- and a dreamer.

It took me back into Paris by another route, and it was magical. Imagine walking les rues de Paris with Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Scott Fitzgerald -- and then, stopping to pick up a book at Shakespeare & Co., having a café creme at Les Closerie des Lilas, a glass of wine at Les Deux Magots. . . Imagine.

That's what I did over the weekend.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Walking In Straw

Tory Burch

Long time planned, held in reserve, cancelled for Caillebotte and other passing fancies that took precedence last week: Walking In Straw.

Summer ballerines.

Sweet, not serious, pretty and perhaps, if we're lucky, about to be on markdown.

Tory Burch

Jack Rogers

Jack Rogers



On another subject: Eye creams. I know you're concerned about the info from my dermatologist and her assistant. Neither uses them as you may recall. Their reason? "They're not necessary." Both say they take their night creams up and around their eyes, but not too close.

Remember: tap, tap, tap. . .
No one wants to wake in the morning looking worse than she did when she went to bed. Never put eye cream too close to the eye because it will melt and seep into the eyes which equals, puffy eyes. Not the look you were dreaming about.

If, however, and Dr. Gallais emphasized the point, a woman has found an eye cream she believes works for her, she should continue using it.
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