Archives for category: Style
 From one of my favorite blogs…Mrs. Blandings…

 

I do not have a back yard swing, but rather one on my front porch.  As the days are getting warmer, I find myself there creating the most relaxing rhythm with only the slight push of my toe.  As a friend mentioned the other day, “The soothing contemplation done from a porch swing compares to nothing else in the world.”  I’m finding this is true.

A reoccurring springtime rumination is where to find good skirts.  I like skirts.  In fact, I like skirts best.  Perhaps the years of wearing uniform skirts, picked up from the floor of my bedroom and pulled on for the second or third day, left an impression of ease and reliability.  One day in high school, walking down a long breezeway, a particularly sour sort of girl said from behind me, “I wish I had a swing like that in my backyard.” It had embarrassed me at the time, but now I think she would have been a lot more fun if she had.

Skirts then appeared by magic (otherwise known as “Mother”) and hung, briefly, three in a row on the low bar in my closet.  Now I must find them myself. So many are either too expensive or two short.  But today, this gem landed in my e:mailbox and a quick click turned up several attractive cousins as well.  Ann Mashburn, no surprise.  Here.

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Looks like this will be a winner, especially with the Nordstrom collaboration!

 Hot off the press from Dirk Standen at Style.com:

Why the New Dover Street Market Is a Wake-up Call for the Retail Industry

January 6, 2014 11:09am

Dover Street Market NYIs this the end of shopping as we know it? That thought kept insinuating itself in my head in December as I navigated the busiest spending time of the year. The revolution has been brewing for a while, of course, but this was the holiday season when I reached a personal tipping point in terms of favoring e-commerce over bricks-and-mortar. The physical act of visiting a store has finally become too depressing: You have to deal with the crowds, there’s rarely a sense of intimacy or discovery, there’s never anything in the size you want, the shop assistants in even supposedly upscale stores manage to be pushy and ill-informed at the same time (why is the line “Can I help you?” always delivered with a vague sense of threat?), and just try finding a taxi afterward. Better to stay home and log on. Ironically, one of the reasons the best online retailers win out is that they deliver a level of good old-fashioned service that their real-world counterparts have lost: Delivery to your front door (just hours after you’ve ordered if you live in New York), the ability to try things on in the comfort and privacy of home, and the option to return what you don’t like, no questions asked. Hell, if I’m logged in, one of my favorite e-tailers will even change the logo at the top of their site to Mr. Standen. It’s the little things in life.

No, I decided I was done with shopping the traditional way. And then along came Dover Street Market. I went to the press opening of the new multi-retailer space owned and curated by Rei Kawakubo and her Comme des Garçons team on the Friday before Christmas. Then I went back again a week later just to make sure my original opinion hadn’t been skewed by the energy of opening night. On both occasions, I came away with the same impression: Dover Street Market has made shopping enjoyable, even enlightening again. How? I think there are a few key lessons that other retailers could study.

1. Shopping should be a social experience first, a transactional one second.
The decision to put Rose Bakery on the ground floor immediately to the right as you enter was probably dictated by the contingencies of the physical space, but it’s a fortuitous placement. There’s nothing new about having a café in a store, of course, but what’s key here is that it doesn’t feel like a separate entity but a seamless part of the experience. The array of baked goods and the communal dining tables spilling into the shopping area immediately create a sense of well-being and bonhomie. That continues throughout the market with its seven floors and Aladdin’s Cave-like warren of individual boutiques. You feel like you are having a good day out even before you think about buying anything. That sentiment is probably helped by the slightly out-of-the-way Murray Hill location.

2. Shop assistants are the new rock stars.
First of all, they look the part here. But even if they’re dressed cooler than you, they don’t have that cooler-than-thou attitude. They won’t force themselves on a customer, but if you ask for assistance, you’ll find they are not only helpful but passionate and knowledgeable about the stock. None of this happened by accident. The assistants at Dover Street Market were cherry-picked from other independent shops around New York, then put through a rigorous set of interviews. I used to give other retailers the benefit of the doubt and assume that it was simply impossible to find great store assistants. DSM has proved it can be done.

3. It’s all in the mix.
Dover Street Market has the best variety of merchandise that I’ve seen in a long time. It adheres to the same formula that Kawakubo and Co. use in their other outlets in London and Tokyo, but perhaps because of the conservatism of most New York stores, it stands out in greater contrast here. DSM stocks a rigorously edited selection from—to name just a few—high-end designers like Prada and Saint Laurent, street/sportswear labels like Supreme and Nike, and up-and-comers like Shaun Samson and Gosha Rubchinskiy, not to mention a handful of items from an old-school French naval outfitter. Instead of feeling like you’re seeing the same things you’ve been looking at for months online or in glossy ads, there’s a sense of surprise here. Other retailers might argue that this approach wouldn’t be commercial enough for them. All I can reply is that nearly the entire stock of Supreme had turned over in the few days between my first and second visits. And it raises a larger point. Perhaps as traditional retailers do more and more of their business via their digital platforms, physical stores should become showcases for their more experimental ranges and most exciting goods, places where you enchant and engage your potential customers while the hard selling gets done online.

4. And finally…
Judging by DSM’s concrete facade, the shopwindow as we know it is dead.

 

From the wonderful Hip Paris blog…

The Other Side of Montmartre: Coffee, Food and Shopping Off the Beaten Path

HiP Paris Blog, Café Lomi, Montmartre Round Up

Café Lomi

Paris’ 18th arrondissement, to the north of the city, is a vast and varied area, encompassing some of the most affluent enclaves (right up at the top of the hill) and some of the shadiest (La Goutte d’Or), as well as one of the city’s most frequented tourist spots — Le Sacre Coeur and the surrounding streets and squares in Montmartre.

HiP Paris Blog, www.larallonge.fr, La Rallonge, Montmartre Round Up

La Rallonge

But slightly off the beaten track is the more unassuming part of this neighborhood: the residential area in the foothills of Montmartre, extending from the arrondissement’s town hall – where I happen to have lived for the best part of a decade – which is well worth the detour to discover the lesser known shops, restaurants and more that the guide-book clutching hoards are yet to discover.

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up 8

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round UpManufacture Parisienne (Kim Laidlaw)

Here is a selection of my favorite new and newish places that look set to make this part of the 18th a destination on any discerning visitor or local’s itinerary. Food in the area ranges from a quick bite and coffee right up to fine French dining.

HiP Paris Blog, Café Lomi, photo by Keith Isaacs of Forms+Colors, Montmartre Round Up

Café Lomi (Keith Isaacs)

The recent arrival of Café Lomi (3 ter Rue Marcadet, 75018 Paris), a serious coffee joint that roasts its own beans and hosts tasting sessions, brought much joy to local laptop-wielding freelancers who now regularly set up shop at one of the wooden tables in the cosy yet spacious café to enjoy superlative coffee, delicious scones and a selection of light lunch and brunch options (such as quiche and salad) whilst taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi access and laidback welcome.

HiP Paris Blog, Café Lomi, Montmartre Round Up

HiP Paris Blog, Bululu, Montmartre Round Up

Café Lomi (above)/ Bululu

Another relaxed – and cheap – place to grab a bite in the area is Bululu (20 Rue de la Fontaine du But, 75018), serving freshly made arepas, a Venezuelan sandwich made from gluten-free flatbread and filled with yummy delights such as avocado, beans and cheese, served with ice cold beer and banana chips.

HiP Paris Blog, Table d Eugene, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

HiP Paris Blog, Table d Eugene, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up 2

Table d Eugene (Kim Laidlaw)

On the other end of the scale is Table d’Eugène (18 Rue Eugène Sue, 75018), the freshly revamped gastronomic restaurant where you can eat a three-course fixed-price menu of French haute cuisine for the incredibly reasonable price of just €52.

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

Manufacture Parisienne (Kim Laidlaw)

Chef Geoffroy Maillard, formerly of Le Bristol, creates inspired seasonal dishes such as lobster with vanilla, chestnuts and mushrooms, matched with carefully sourced, independently-produced wines, all savored in this intimate restaurant tastefully decorated in soothing tones of chocolate and white.

HiP Paris Blog, La Rallonge, Montmartre Round Up

La Rallonge

From the same team comes the recently opened wine and tapas bar La Rallonge (16 Rue Eugène Sue, 75018), just a few doors up from Table d’Eugène, serving the same excellent wines as well as a selection of small plates to share, all anchored around the high quality of individual ingredients, including Serrano ham croquettes with onions and béchamel, or truffle risotto, as well as cheese and charcuterie platters showcasing delicacies such as bellota, coppa and manchego.

HiP Paris Blog, La Rallonge, Montmartre Round Up 2

HiP Paris Blog, La Rallonge, Montmartre Round Up

La Rallonge

This part of town is also a real gold mine for independent boutiques, including the charming Manufacture Parisienne (93 rue Marcadet, 75018) that seems to have jumped out of the pages of a fairy tale.

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

Manufacture Parisienne (Kim Laidlaw)

The almost entirely white space sells an array of artisan-made wares and gifts for children, adults and the home, sourced from family-run businesses and companies clinging to their savoir-faire, and often produced in limited editions especially for the shop. Every six weeks there is a new theme (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween…) and the stock and the décor change, and a new little box of goodies (including, for example, stationary, a book, sweets) in keeping with the theme goes on sale.

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

Manufacture Parisienne (Kim Laidlaw)

Another new boutique is Maison Nordik (159 Rue Marcadet, 75018), set up by a young French-Danish couple, selling vintage mid-century modern Scandinavian furniture in excellent condition sourced directly from Denmark in a spacious 100m2 two-level shop. Just up the hill, eccentric French brand Atypyk (17 rue Lambert, 75018) sells quirky and humorous knick knacks ranging from a cheese-shaped dish sponge to an “R.Mutt” sticker to turn your loo into a Duchamp-inspired work of art.

HiP Paris Blog, Maison Nordik, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

HiP Paris Blog, Maison Nordik, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up 4

Maison Nordik & Manufacture Parisienne (above) / Maison Nordik (Kim Laidlaw)

Les Mauvaises Graines (25 Rue Custine, 75018) is an incredibly stylish plant shop – or indeed “urban gardening concept store”, as it calls itself – selling framed butterflies, vases and candles alongside ready made potted gardens to take away, and beautiful plants grown in the Paris region without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

HiP Paris Blog, Les Mauvaises Graines, Montmartre Round Up

HiP Paris Blog, Les Mauvaises Graines, Montmartre Round Up

Les Mauvaises Graines

 

Another recent addition to this side of Montmartre is the completely renovated 1920s building that is the Louxor cinema (170 Boulevard de Magenta, 75010), complete with its impressive mosaicked neo-Egyptian architecture, which reopened in April 2013 after 20 years of closure. The vast movie theatre houses three screens, one of which has a ceiling painted with a night-sky mural in the style of an Egyptian tomb, and specializes in art house films.

HiP Paris Blog, La Rallonge, Montmartre Round Up

La Rallonge

These new and/or revamped delights, together with an authentic, neighborhood charm and so many other wonderful fixtures that I don’t have the space to mention, make this part of the 18th arrondissement a worthwhile, up-and-coming (and yet to be overrun) destination in Paris for shoppers, foodies, coffee addicts and culture lovers alike. I look forward to bumping in to you there, sometime.

HiP Paris Blog, Maison Nordik, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

Maison Nordik (Kim Laidlaw)

Related links:

  • Ylenia takes us on a stroll around Montmartre, which just happens to be one of her favorite neighborhoods
  • Want to see more of the cozy Café Lomi? Paris Select has also payed a visit to the coffee gem
  • Don’t miss Thomas article for the HiP Paris blog about Centre Commercial, another great shopping spot in Paris

Volkswagen Microbus 2014 Price and Release Date | LATESCAR.

From the inimitable Hip Paris blog…

Bio Chic: Our Favorite Organic Beauty Boutiques in Paris

Posted: 19 Dec 2013 07:19 AM PST

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Senteurs de Fée, Bio Beauty

Senteurs de Fée

It’s no secret that French girls love their products. Here in Paris, you can find a cream, serum or supplement for just about anything that ails – from cellulite to les cernes to an old fashioned case of the blues.

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Mademoiselle Bio, Bio Beauty

Mademoiselle Bio

Traditionally, most of these (often fabulous) remedies have been found at the parfumerie or pharmacie. (Remember Tory’s post on French pharmacy favorites?) But a fresh breed of organic, natural and holistic goodies is making its mark on the Parisian beauty scene and finding a niche at the intersection of bio and la beauté.

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Senteurs de Fée, Bio Beauty

Senteurs de Fée

As for me, I’ve long been a skeptic when it comes to natural beauty goods, wary of pasty products and cardboard packaging filled with good intentions but questionable effectiveness. But the more I read about carcinogenic cosmetics bearing unpronounceable ingredients, I’ve started to wonder: Could these Parisian bio boutiques change the mind (and even the skin) of a conventional beauty brand devotee? I decided to investigate.

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Florame, Bio Beauty

Florame

Here’s a roundup of favorites that sell gorgeous, natural remedies, scents and treatments perfect for any aspiring Parisian bobo beauty.

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Florame, Bio Beauty

Florame

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Mademoiselle Bio, Bio Beauty

Mademoiselle Bio

Mademoiselle Bio
The largest retailer I visited, Mademoiselle Bio is a small French chain – the organic answer to beauty emporiums like Sephora and Marionnaud (minus the olfactory assault.) In a clean, crisp setting that feels more pharmacy than perfumerie, the shop carries beloved, mostly European brands like Melita, Weleda, Phyt’s and of course, Dr. Hausckhka. There are also a number of niche lines as well as cult organic perfumers Les Fleurs de Bach and Honoré des Pres.

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Mademoiselle Bio, Bio Beauty 6

Mademoiselle Bio

Unable to resist the promise of a sparkling complexion (hope springs eternal!), the knowledgeable saleswoman convinced me to try an apple-based cleanser à l’huile. Oil cleanser for my skin? Surely she was joking. But after a few days of use, my interest is piqued. I wouldn’t say radiant but perhaps I’m showing a bit of improved clarity and evened tone? There might be something to this bio-beauty thing after all…

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Mademoiselle Bio, Bio Beauty

Mademoiselle Bio

(8 boutiques in Paris)
28 Rue des Archives, Paris 75003
Tel: 01 42 78 30 86
Metro: Hotel de Ville

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Mademoiselle Bio, Bio Beauty

Mademoiselle Bio

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Florame, Bio Beauty

Florame

Florame
I visited the Florame boutique on the rue Dupuytren in the 6th determined not to buy but simply to savor the experience of the high-quality essential oils for which the brand is known.

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Florame, Bio Beauty

Florame

Deeply devoted to sustainability and fair trade, Florame prides itself on its dedication to the farmers (in France, Madagascar and beyond) who produce the plants from which they draw their oils and to the integrity of their brand that bears the Cosmebio, AB and Ecocert imprimaturs. Highlights include their 100% pure essential oil home scent diffusers, aromatherapy oils and organic skincare for men, including cedar and argan oils. A Christmas gift for the eco-conscious hubby? I’ll be back…

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Florame, Bio Beauty

Florame

8 Rue Dupuytren, Paris 75006
Tel: 01 44 07 34 53
Metro: Odeon

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Florame, Bio Beauty

Senteurs de Fée

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Senteurs de Fée, Bio Beauty

Senteurs de Fée

Senteurs de Fée
This gem of a boutique on the rue Sevigne in the Marais bears witness to the passion and knowledge of its Parisian owner, Katia Bielli, a self-proclaimed artist and florist. Visiting her gorgeous boutique is to enter her world devoted to natural, organic goodness as embodied in beautiful massage oils, skin and hair care products and a seductive world of scent.

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Senteurs de Fée, Bio Beauty

Senteurs de Fée

It was impossible to resist the lovely packaging and pure promise of her l’Huile Vraie body oil (light, non-greasy, gorgeous) combining rose, neroli, jasmine, ylang ylang…you get the idea. Softer skin that leaves a trace of delicate scent, this one had me convinced. I was also tempted by her “regenerating” cleanser, Nectar de Rose. (I made a mental note to return when I exhaust my tube of apple/oil cleanser).

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Senteurs de Fée, Bio Beauty

Senteurs de Fée

For those seeking a complete bio experience, Mademoiselle Bio also offers a range of on-site treatments like massages, facials (you choose from their product line), manicures and organic waxing. In the end, when it comes to natural skin and body care, my investigation has made me a convert. After all, shouldn’t we care as much about what we put on our bodies as what we put in them?

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Mademoiselle Bio, Bio Beauty

Mademoiselle Bio

10 Rue de Sévigné, 75004 Paris
Tel: 01 44 54 97 27
Metro: St Paul

HiP Paris Blog, Didier Gauducheau, Florame, Bio Beauty 5

Florame

Related links:

Written by Paige Bradley Frost for the HiP Paris Blog. All photos by Didier Gauducheau. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

 

You know how much I love scarves, and this season is no exception.

mcqueenscarf

 

This WWW(that’s who, what, wear daily) article has some great ideas for how to show fashion cred with a scarf this season. Check it out here.  I am loving the McQueen leopard pashmina, but also love this Rag and Bone black and white below, which would go with virtually anything…

ragandbonescarf

 

And can be found here, if you’re so inclined (I am not a paid spokesperson, just an FYI).  Other brands that consistently warrant a look are Kenzo (although I’m not loving the ‘eye’ theme this fall), Missoni (this one from their men’s collection on the web site),

missoniscarf

 

and surprisingly, Nordstrom private label, that offers beautiful cashmere wraps every season at a reasonable price for the high level of quality and size of their scarf here.

Of course, I’m still loving on my scarf from Elizabeth Gillett, and wear it every chance I get.

IMG_1409

If you’re not a scarf lover, give it a try.  It helps elevate just about any outfit to new heights, not to mention the fact that it keeps you a few degrees toastier than everyone else.  And they make excellent gifts too…