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Living Like A Parisian

Don't leave your red lipstick at home! Channel Vanessa Paradis rouge attitude

Don’t leave your red lipstick at home! Channel Vanessa Paradis rouge attitude

I recently returned from a gloriously long vacation in Europe.  It was the kind of trip that continued so long, I lost track of time and dates.  Back in my university days, Paris failed to live up to the hype of its image.  But I rediscovered Paris, charmed by the grandeur of Haussman’s boulevards, twinkling lights shining brightly on the Champs Elysee and the surprising kindness and nouveau joie de vie that greeted me upon my return.  I knew I was demurely blending in as I was often stopped for directions (by the French, no less)!

Should you find yourself in need of an impromptu mini-break, Paris is always a good idea.

La Louvre is worth it – I spent 4 hours in The Louvre and I didn’t even see all of it. Go early to avoid the massive lineups.  While many of the galleries will be rammed with tourists (particularly the Italian and Renaissance), you can still take in the art in relative quiet in the lesser frequented rooms on the 2nd floor.  You can also have a dejeuner at Angelina; there is a great view of the central courtyard to people watch.

Only Beyoncé & Jay-Z can take a selfie this close to the Mona Lisa because in real life, your access to it is 12 Asian tourists deep holding up those stupid selfie rods behind a red velvet rope.  True story. Leonardo is turning in his grave.

Only Beyoncé & Jay-Z can take a selfie this close to the Mona Lisa because in real life, your access to it is 12 Asian tourists deep holding up those stupid selfie rods behind a red velvet rope. True story. Leonardo is turning in his grave.

Wear black head-to-toe – Understated cool and lots of leather.  A black wardrobe is a true French staple.  That and those Petit Bateau striped knit tops.  Parisian style is iconic – chic, cool, effortless.  You can also get a taste of that ‘je ne sais quoi’ at Sandro, Maje, Comptoir des Cotonniers or at their grands magasins (department stores) Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.

Red Lips Don’t Care – Bright red or crimson lips are also a MUST – check out my classic-LC beauty post for a tutorial on The Perfect Red Pout.  Obviously, the Parisian classic is of the Chanel variety – Try Rouge Allure Velvet in La Fascinante.  And for the Brigitte Bardot in you, black eyeliner and mascara is welcome too.

Bourjois is like the French equivalent of Maybelline.  A heavy dose of eyeliner and mascara does the trick!

Bourjois is like the French equivalent of Maybelline. A heavy dose of eyeliner and mascara does the trick!

Even though Sky Ferreira is a West Coast gal, there is something about her look that recalls French style. Here she wears American Apparel, all noir bien sur.

Even though Sky Ferreira is a West Coast gal, there is something about her look that recalls French style. Here she wears American Apparel, all noir bien sur.

Éclair is the New Macaron – Parisians are over the macaron.  I’m not over it but just to let you know, it’s so last season.  Novelty eclairs are the ‘it’ patisserie du jour.  I would have brought some home but undoubtedly they would have been squished in my suitcase seeing how I had to sit on said luggage to close it.  Even if you want an après-midi, sugar fix Laduree and Fauchon are not the only macaron games in town. You can hit up any corner boulangerie (bakery) and there will be macarons aplenty.  Just visit a busy one with lots of Frenchies and you know it’s good.  Trust.

Heads up, the trendiest spot in town to get your éclair on is in Le Marais at L'eclair de genie.

Heads up, the trendiest spot in town to get your éclair on is in Le Marais at L’eclair de genie.

Ines de la Fressange covers Paris Vogue this month. Forever stylish in her Roger Vivier flats (aka the Faberge of footwear).

Ines de la Fressange covers Paris Vogue this month. Forever stylish in her Roger Vivier flats (aka the Faberge of footwear).

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January 11, 2015   No Comments

Visions of Shoes

There's no place like Paris.  Saint Laurent Glitter pumps

There’s no place like Paris. Saint Laurent Glitter pumps

Do you ever wake up from a shopping dream?  Yeah me too.  Sucks to wake up.  To be around me on the daily, is to listen to a constant diatribe on optimism and the power of vision boards.  Fortunately, my spiritual babble is peppered with funny anecdotes and life lessons sung as hip-hop choruses.  “That sh!t cray.  Ain’t it Jay?”

Alternatively this post is titled, shoes to vogue in and the classic house song to play as a soundtrack is Junior Vasquez “If Madonna Calls” (I’m not Here)  Oh yes, we partied hard back in the day…(see/ Les Bains Douches, Paris) 

Quotable Carrie: "I have this little substance abuse problem...expensive footwear."

Quotable Carrie: “I have this little substance abuse problem…expensive footwear.”

I feel like since the end of SATC (not counting the movie), there has been this massive void in our lives.  When Carrie Bradshaw left our living rooms, we could no longer live vicariously through her walk-in closet or ‘ooh and ahh’ as she sashayed down the street.  In an effort to resurrect our fashion icon, we proudly take up her cause.  We share that insane love of shoes.  Those of the 4″ and higher variety.

A love collage of shoes and a toast to the Carries.  Chin-chin.

Nude attitude: Louboutin So Kate

Nude attitude: Louboutin So Kate

If you are wearing these Brian Atwood Gitte Suede and Mink shoes, it is highly appropriate to scissor kick your gams in the air for friends to admire the furry softness of your pom-poms.

If you are wearing these Brian Atwood Gitte Suede and Mink shoes, it is highly appropriate to scissor kick your gams in the air for friends to admire the furry softness of your pom-poms.

Covet like so bad because it's like perfect: YSL Paris Calfskin Pump

Covet like so bad because it’s like perfect: YSL Paris Calfskin Pum

 

More! More! More! How do you like it? Channel Studio 54 in these Brian Atwood Alis Stud Suede pumps

More! More! More! How do you like it? Channel Studio 54 in these Brian Atwood Alis Stud Suede pumps

"When I'm feeling sad and blue, I simply remember my favourite things and then I don't feel soooo blue." Sound of Music lyrics apply

“When I’m feeling sad and blue, I simply remember my favourite things and then I don’t feel soooo blue.” Sound of Music lyrics apply

 

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August 21, 2014   No Comments

So Very French

Carrie Bradshaw Paris

Remember the Paris episode where Carrie took a face plant in Dior? Then she was mortified and bought the entire store. Hrmm…unintentional poetry.

Little French cafés are so mignon (cute, dainty), non? Today, me and A went for petit déjeuner (breakfast) at the most darling patisserie housed in a Victoria row house.  The food was deliciously French and so were the waiters.  It’s the kind of place where they serve you lattes with the foam shaped in a heart.  And where you say no béchamel and you end up saying yes to brioche and crepes with nutella.  I can’t divulge its name for fear of it becoming too popular.  Sorry darlings.  Some secrets have to stay in my hair.  We had a very French afternoon punctuated by flirty girlish giggling.  Those are the days my friend!

Catherine Deneuve

The epitome of chic: the one, the only Catherine Deneuve

If you don’t know much about my French muse Catherine Deneuve, I insist you really must read on Parisian Bombshell Chic: Catherine DeneuveTrust. 

Croque Madame

Perhaps you will order yourself a Croque Madame – a grilled ham and cheese with béchamel topped with a fried or poached egg

C by Bloomingdales beret

It’s rather chilly out, non? Tilt your C by Bloomingdales beret ever so slightly. Passerbys will admire your air of “je ne sais quoi”

Eiffel Tower at Night

Bonsoir and bonne chance young lovers! The Eiffel Tower lit up at night *le sigh*

 

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November 3, 2013   No Comments

In Search of Inspiration…

A plethora of inspiration boards.

I like to think of myself as a renaissance woman.  Inspiration for me is everywhere but I do have an abundance of sources… 

On Fashion – Working in the industry, I am constantly surrounded by clothes and accessories.  Like a chocoholic in Serendipity.  I have many wonderful fashionistah friends who always have their own distinct personal style.  Brunch is never just brunch — it’s a lookbook.  Reading magazines (my faves are Harper’s Bazaar & Vogue) and fashion blogs will also keep you up to date on how to adapt a trend. 

Whoa gorgessity! Emma Stone covers July Vogue. As far as I'm concerned, it's the fashion bible.

On Beauty – The best resource for beauty is Allure.  I learned how to apply makeup from reading the tutorials, collecting books from Kevyn Aucoin and practicing on my friends.  I still beg them to let me before we go out; but they willingly oblige because I do a fierce smokey eye.  In my early 20’s I visited my first Sephora in Paris.  As you can imagine, the clouds parted, the rays of sunshine beamed down and angels sang ‘Alleluia.’  Then I entered, sprayed glitter in my friends’ hair, sampled eyeshadows and played with lipgloss for two hours.  A heavenly experience.

The glorious Sephora on Les Champs Elysees, Paris.

To Live Well – As a bohogi, it sounds cliche but I value every experience from having sangria with friends to afternoon walks in the park.  I love to travel and experience different cultures, so I constantly look at Conde Nast Traveller and dream of an exotic adventure.  I never know how or when I will get there, but I put it out there and make a plan to go.  The universe always delivers!   

Read more about finding inspiration on living well on BlogHer and don’t forget to enter the Life Well Lived Sweepstakes.

My absolutely favourite museum Caixa Forum in Madrid, Spain. They have installations, documentaries, live performances and an amazing gift shop.

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June 24, 2012   No Comments

Gimme More Rachel Bilson

Ubiquitous.  Definition:  Existing or being everywhere at the same time;  constantly encountered; widespread. 

Ubiquitous, this is how I feel about Rachel Bilson of late.  Soon she will be reuniting with that loveable emo Josh Schwartz, creator of Gossip Girl and The O.C. on her own tv show, about a girl who communicates with dead people.  The premise sounds kind of like Ghost Whisperer or Sixth Sense, but I am sure Mr. Schwartzie will put a special spin on it;  like, every week she gets into some zany romantic comedy, has gorgeous bachelors lined up and traipses around LA dripping in Lanvin and Louboutin’s.  Did you catch her on How I Met Your Mother?  (On an unrelated sidenote, I think in real life it wouldn’t take Ted Mosby that long to find a serious girlfriend. He’s a great catch, except on days when his hair does a weird thing.)   

In the meantime, Miss Bilson has been doing the fashion week rounds in every city (New York, Milan, Paris), giving us a plethora of looks to which we can aspire.  But remember, she has a stylist and she probably has the clothes on loan so don’t feel bad about yourself.

Rachel celebrating Cavalli in the trademark leopard print. I am obsessed with this mermaid tail, sweetheart neckline and off the shoulder action.

At the Chanel SOHO opening, working a high ponytail and fringed mini dress.

Personal Umbrella Holder & Hottt Pink ruffles at Dior SS 2011. Photos courtesy Huffington Post

I'm sneaking in an oldie but a goodie at Marc Jacobs. Couples that colour co-ordinate should never break up. Photo courtesy Style.com

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October 3, 2010   1 Comment

Gossip Girl: When in Paris, Do As The French

Mademoiselle Leighton and Mademoiselle Blake have landed in gay Paris to begin filming Season 4 of our guilty pleasure, Gossip Girl.  The first stills preview amazing fashions from Monsieur Eric Daman, who kicks it up 10 notches every season.  And now it’s off the radar.  Let’s dissect shall we?  Apres-vous…

Besties B & S taking a stroll on a cobblestone street in designer duds. Ooh lala! C'est la vie.

Fashion Ratatouille – I am loving how Blair mixes two oversize prints of cherries in a halter and a parachute bubble skirt.  How do they achieve this hemline magic?  Small strings are affixed to the hem and a corresponding one midway up the skirt folds to tie.  It’s a variation on the bubble (which is highly underrated as far as I’m concerned).  Serena matches her sequin birdcage mini dress with a boyfriend blazer.  Girly + Menswear.  Well played ladies.

Munching on Macarons – These delectable treats are a french confection, a tiny puff cookie made from whipped meringue and filled with decadent cream.  Kind of like an Oreo, but waaaay better.  They come in a variety of flavours from raspberry and chocolat to green tea or rose; such yummy and beautiful fare be found in fancy patisseries such as Fauchon.

Known for their fashionistah packaging, Fauchon serves baked goods a la chi-chi. If you happen to be in Paris, can you grab me a box?

I’m on Vacay, Can’t You Tell? – Nothing says vacation like palazzo pants.  This outfit combination is killing me (in a good way).  I am adoring the unpredictable colour combination of peach high-waisted floods with a nude silk tank top and emerald green stone necklace.   A tan braided belt (a serious necessity in a wardrobe) and lady-like shoes finishes the look. 

Serena stops traffic in her peach palazzo. Have you ever noticed? European men are so forward. It's like they haven't seen a woman before.

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July 5, 2010   2 Comments