Sunday, 27 December 2009


New Chanel Coco Mademoiselle scented candle, Kings of Leon on repeat and wardrobe editing...perfect Sundayness.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Paris under a layer of powdery snow (December 17th 2009).

All areas around Champs Elysees/Esplanade des Invalides.
Source: my camera!

Art Nouveau Revival

At the Musee d'Orsay, really inspiring and interesting. Looks at Art Nouveau and how it has slipped into modern culture from the 1950s onwards.

Pyschedilia, Naturalism etc.

To be continued...

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Paris publicity

Yet another H&M collaboration, this time it's Parisian designer Sonia Rykiel (see Paris Fashion week some posts below). And to present the collection, a Moulin Rouge-worthy spectacle of moving, female-covered float.

The entirety of the Grand Palais was decked out to look like the city of Paris on 1st December 2009. Boasting a glittering Eiffel Tower and frivolous fun fair, the lingerie show was suitably festive for the coming Christmas season.

A good read.

December's Vogue is like an unexpected set of treats wrapped up in beautiful icy tulle. The fashion features focus on showstoppers, gift ideas are present in abundance, the beauty pages are littered with glitter and there is a feature on an exhibition that sheds light on climate change and the melting ice caps.

Suitably wintry in subject matter and art direction. Also, December's Vogue chose Lara Stone to star on the cover of the last issue of 2009 - "her" year.

Not to be missed.

Channel Parisian Chic.

If you want to Channel Chanel's Paris style, these platform wedges by Topshop Boutique are perfect.


Wear-able factor is debatable, but they are impossibly cute to look at.

FAST forward.

Spidery and skimpy - " as strong as a pair of Spandex" (Vogue December 2009) - the dress of the moment according to Vogue is a Mark Fast frock. Modeled by the perfect Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in the magazine and frequenting the wardrobes of Kate Moss, Kylie Minogue, Rihanna, Alice Dellal (the celebrity request list goes on), his collection is impossibly in demand.


Paired with Louboutin shoe boots, Fast presented a fashion forward collection of futuristic make-up and bandage body-con. Yet, he took one daring move which set him apart from the other designers - the decision to put three "normal" size models (size 12-14) in his Spring-Summer 2010 collection.


One small step for these new models, one huge step for fashion. While the models looked beautiful and proved the point that "bigger" women can wear Fast's clothes; it was somewhat a shame that Fast's creative director caused such a fuss by walking out due to the decision made. Proving only that fashion still has impossible ideals of beauty or appropriateness on the catwalk and that people rarely dare to put a controversial foot forward in order to push boundaries.

So, a big round of applause to Mark Fast, who not only makes impossibly beautiful dresses, but who makes them for all women of all sizes.

Friday, 27 November 2009

The Time Traveler comes to an end.

Wow. This book was knock out. I'm itching to watch the film.

Philip French discusses the film for the Observer:
"This sci-fi romance, based on a bestselling novel, is the tedious tale of handsome Henry (Eric Bana) who suffers from "a rare genetic anomaly" known as "a cromo-impediment" which causes him suddenly to disappear and turn up at a different time in the life of Clare (Rachel McAdams), the love of his life. Henry routinely leaves his clothes behind, arriving naked at his next stop, though invariably with his back towards the camera. He always returns to Chicago, but doesn't always know where he's been or who Clare is, and while he's not allowed to change anyone's life, his stylish life is financed by lottery winnings. It's even more inane and sitting up begging to be loved than Benjamin Button and, indeed, it was once to be a vehicle for Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston before time caught up with them and they travelled in different directions." Sunday 16 August 2009 

Thursday, 26 November 2009

End Credits.

This song is revolving around in my brain like a record stuck on repeat. I used to love Plan B years ago and think his voice works perfectly with this song and the thudding beat. Going on a hunt for remixes...

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Dizzee heights.

It was Sunday night, post a weekend trip to 'Bouzy' in the Champagne region, (yes it is called Bouzy and yes  they do make champagne...), that we went to see Dizzee Rascal at the Bataclan. A small and impossibly spacious venue, this was something not to be missed and has whet our appetite for more auditory Parisian adventures.

TTW update.

Nearly finished the Time Traveller's Wife. It's completely gripping and has passed through the hands of all but one of my housemates here in Paris. I guarantee we'll all have read it before Christmas - a MUST read.

COCO AVANT CHANEL (un peu APRES la sortie...)

I've just watched, a bit behind the times, Coco Avant Chanel which illustrates the early life of the legendary Gabrielle Bonheur and her humble beginnings before the realisation of her iconic fashion house, Chanel. 

As a film, it both delights and disappoints. The cleavage between her former life and that in the fashion world is striking, in both an aesthetic and a psychological sense. The difference is shown largely through the styling of her originally 'bland' and jeune homme dress sense and the impossibly neat and quintessentially French way she is dressed in the latter parts of the film.

However, for me, it lacked excitement as her talents come to fruition, a mere 10 minutes is spent on displaying the 'modern' (1920s) couture that comes out of the Chanel fashion house.
A shame, in my opinion.

Yet, the casting is perfection, the setting is charming and the storyline is enchanting. A neat little plot that is not difficult to follow, but keeps one interested.

After all, in the words of Coco herself,

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Grey wool tights and walking boot-ies.

Perfection. be young again.

As a former Gapper I am justifiably excited by the new Stella for GapKids range that hit stores this November...I know it's a bit pathetic but it's one of the most exciting things to happen at GAP since I started worked for them (5 years ago...)!! Plus I'm a big fan of Stella McCartney - full stop. Feast your eyes on these mini treats...

 If only I could force my 5ft9"-ness into some of these like they did at Grazia magazine, see below...

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Museums to go to...

Musee Edith Piaf
Musee de la mode et du coutume
Espace Landowski

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

New place.

Our favourite new place to go out is Social Club, Rue Montmartre, 750002 in Paris. Electro club.

Good beats, a small but cool interior and no dress code. Plus the night we stumbled (literally) across it, there was a British DJ set. What more could you ask for à Paris? Plus their agenda for Wednesday 25th November is "electro and vin chaud", nice.

Cymbals in the Tuileries.

Lafayette's new Christmas decorations.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

A black lace moment.

 Source: We Heart It, Google, Stella Mccartney Fall 2009

Madonna style Gothic lace. But has to be delicate, the kind that you daren't touch because it's spidery delicate. Must be the Halloween goth in me...

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Adolphe Willette

Today we stopped by the Musee de Montmartre, what a find that was. It was a treasure chest of bohemian, Belle Epoque and peasantry paintings, posters and artefacts. Among the well-known images of the Moulin Rouge, Toulouse Lautrec posters and archaic documents I stumbled upon a new artist, Adolphe Willette; and fell in love with a painting, Parce Domine.

It is a whirlwind of Belle Epoque spirit as the dreamy festivity of the music hall and cabaret fades into the angst and suffering that was the reality of the time, with Cheret-like dancers floating in mid-air like fairies. The pastel tones of the painting are blissful and soothing, but there is an evident undertone of the harsh reality of the day that, after the dream has ended, cannot be removed by intoxication. I particularly like the characteristic Montmartre windmill made up of music scores.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

"When a woman smiles...her dress should too..."

Today I got inspired. I stumbled par hasard  upon an exhibition in the Musee des Arts Decoratifs on Rue de Rivoli; it was about a French couturieuse called Madeleine Vionnet. She was also known as "queen of the bias cut" and "the architect among dressmakers".

Born in 1876 her creative life spanned the two World wars and she was an important contributor to the Modern movement. With the notion of looking back to look forward, Vionnet drew on Greek art, especially the form of the vase as an example of the female form, in order to create groundbreaking couture for the newly independent women in the period that followed the Great War.

Despite her humble background in Chilleurs-aux-Boix, Vionnet went from strength to strength as she moved from her home to London, and eventually to Paris; opening her own fashion house in 1922 after having worked alongside the Callot Soeurs.

Invention: the bias cut

Vionnet's work is characteristically subtle, elegant and fluid, drawing on a base of flesh tones, shades of stone and well-defined colours. Also, she frequently uses scatters of bugle beads, impossibly beautiful crepe and silk fabrics and forward-thinking cuts. After all, she was the inventor of the bias cut; which was revolutionary for women at the time. Quite literally the corset of the years that preceded the war gave way to the loose, independent and subtle second skin of Vionnet's elegant bias cut.

Quite aptly, thus, is Madeleine Chapsal's book about her named La Chair de la Robe (The Flesh of the Dress). Madeleine Vionnet's aim was to give women in the intermittent years of the two wars a seductive freedom. The seduction embodied in these dresses was that of subtlety: a draped neckline, a gaping back or shimmering swathes of fabric.

Her use of Greek art as an influence is apparent in the majority of her dresses as the woman appear like goddesses.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The Time Traveller's Wife.

Also need to quickly say how quickly I've got hooked on this amazing novel. It makes my commute much more pleasant at 8.00a.m. on a weekday's fascinating and I can't wait to see how the author deals with the logistics of time-travelling...will update later...

Victor Hugo's house....

The Marais is my new favourite spot. I adore Place des Vosges, we ambled through the streets at the weekend and ended up in Victor Hugo's apartment. It was surprisingly dark and gloomy, but incredibly spacious for a Parisian flat. The view of the perfectly symmetrical, carré, aesthetically London-esque Place des Vosges seemed like the most apt setting for the family home of this French poet, writer and playwright, probably best known for Les Misérables.

This is my favourite Victor Hugo poem:

Demain, dès l'aube...

Demain, dès l'aube, à l'heure où blanchit la campagne,
Je partirai. Vois-tu, je sais que tu m'attends.
J'irai par la forêt, j'irai par la montagne.
Je ne puis demeurer loin de toi plus longtemps.

Je marcherai les yeux fixés sur mes pensées,
Sans rien voir au dehors, sans entendre aucun bruit,
Seul, inconnu, le dos courbé, les mains croisées,
Triste, et le jour pour moi sera comme la nuit.

Je ne regarderai ni l'or du soir qui tombe,
Ni les voiles au loin descendant vers Harfleur,
Et quand j'arriverai, je mettrai sur ta tombe
Un bouquet de houx vert et de bruyère en fleur.

Tomorrow at Dawn
Tomorrow, at dawn, in the hour when the countryside becomes white,
I will leave. You see, I know that you are waiting for me.
I will go by the forest, I will go by the mountain.
I cannot stay far from you any longer.

I will walk with my eyes fixed on my thoughts,
Without seeing anything outside, nor hearing any noise,
Alone, unknown, my back curved, my hands crossed,
Sad, and the day for me will be like the night.

I will not look at the gold of the evening which falls,
Nor the faraway sails descending towards Harfleur.
And when I arrive, I will put on your tomb
A green bouquet of holly and flowering heather.


Thursday, 15 October 2009


The top photo below just made me think of Renoir's Umbrellas...

and also Caillebotte's A Rainy Day...

Two characteristically Parisian images by two brilliant Belle Epoque painters. Reminds me I need to go to the Renoir exhibition in Paris before it ends.

As the cold creeps in...

There's something so therapeutic about wrapping up in woollies to go outside in the cold...(maybe I'm just saying that as it's all I've brought to Paris with me...!) But the thought of cozying up with a French style mug of hot chocolate which, as I found out in Cafe Charlot in the Marais, equals your body weight of it served in a bowl...! We have said 'bowl mugs' in the flat and I can't wait to indulge...I can slowly feel Paris turn colder which makes me think forward to Christmas time here and how beautiful it would be if it snowed...

Source: We Heart It


Being in a foreign country makes you reflect on your home country. While I love Paris, I miss things about English Breakfast Tea, tomato ketchup, Boots, Radio 1, Elle magazine, Marks and Spencer, newspaper supplements on a Sunday morning, cold frosty walks in the wintry countryside...

Source: We Heart It