Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Politics & Le Blazer Bleu Marine

Isabel Marant likes the extremely flattering one-button blazer.
          Right, left, extremely right, "green"-- it doesn't matter one's politics. If these women agree on one subject it's that they all love their navy blazers.

          Please understand, I have no political agenda in this space --ever. We're talking fashion, nothing more.

          Here then are the French politicians who constantly turn to their blazers.

Anne Hildalgo, mayor of Paris, walking with her predecessor, Bernard Delanoë.
Cécile Duflot, the very active member of the green party and a former minister of the government.
The verrrry right (as in her politics), Marine Le Pen.
Aurélie Filipetti, France's former culture minister.
         No one seems to love hers more than France's new education minister, 36-year-old Nadia Vallaud Belkacem. She is the first woman to hold the position.

Nadia Vallaud Belkacem.

Vallaud Belkacem with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.

Elle wrote a little piece about how much they loved her derbies. 
          Et voila, tomorrow I'll wrap up the series with women in a variety of professions.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Le Blazer Bleu Marine Part I

This is not what we tend to think of as your every day blazer.  Note how the Balenciaga version curves sensuously in to mark a woman's waist.  
          Ministers in the French government, political candidates, the mayor of Paris, bankers, models, actresses, executives. . . they all love their blazers.

Audrey Tautou without a blouse. That's always an option.
          It's their go-to solution for pulling their looks together.  Sometimes they're polishing off a pair of jeans and a white T-shirt with the rigour of this famously well-tailored jacket. In other instances, their blazer signals "I'm serious" and it's teamed with a skirt or tailored trousers. And, not surprisingly, Frenchwomen being Frenchwomen, occasionally their skirts are quite short and their heels vertiginously high.
Fleur Pellerin, France's new culture minister (as of one week in a government shake-up). Look at those gorgeous legs!
Juliette Binoche makes her blazer less strict with a  "lavelier" blouse.
          I don't think we're quite as attached to our blazers or maybe some of us don't even own one, but I think we should. Then we should do as they do: After purchase, take it directly to a tailor and have the straight up masculine shape nipped in to a feminine curve.  Shoulders should be natural and all the better if it's beautifully lined.

Singer, actress, the sublime Françoise Hardy.
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF),  demonstrates how a blazer can be lady-like.
         I thought perhaps you would enjoy seeing how a few of these stylish women wear their blazers -- some nonchalant, others more buttoned-up.  Their blazers were calling out for a little series. Here's hoping you agree.

***Thank you for staying with me. It's wonderful to be back. I felt as if I was getting a little disappointingly stale and needed to regroup. Now I'm feeling great again. My project has been submitted and now I'm waiting -- fingers crossed -- for a response. In the world of publishing responses can take for-ev-er. When I have news I'll share it with you.      

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Brief Pause


         Working on a project. Please forgive me for being absent this week.

          I'll be back in just a few days.

          Thank you for being here; thank you for bringing so much joy into my life.

Monday, August 11, 2014

There Are Two In My Closet!

Kimons are the new jacket/cardigan/go-to trend.  We must act now. The movement may not last.
          Don't you just love it when you discover in a fashion magazine -- particularly a French fashion magazine in this case -- that you actually already own something that is the latest and the greatest fashion statement of the moment?  Not only that, we've been promised we're looking at an extended moment as in the trend will continue through fall and winter.

          What more could a girl ask?

This one is from Zara and, you will note, it echoes another hot trend: lacy, eyelet-like cutouts.  Nothing like getting several  of-the-moment movements in one purchase. Ne c'est pas?
           As you can see, I'm talking about kimonos in all their myriad patterns, fabrics, lengths and volume. I have a black one (quelle surprise!) in a light gabardine and a silk, black background with a sober beige print. It goes with all my black. . .

          The beauty of these "jackets" is that they are normally light, floaty, comfortable and can be worn with anything from jeans to little black dresses to beach cover-ups to well, almost anything including a light, packable robe. If floaty is not your thing, they look stunning belted.

          I love wearing my silk one over a satin camisole with matching satin evening trousers, you know, keeping a long vertical line.  Years ago I wore these to my niece's wedding, but as with all trends if you're too early no one notices and if you're too late everyone notices, in a bad way.

         (No, of course, I'm not exaggerating. . .)

Friday, August 8, 2014

For The Love of Dogs

Edward and Pamela, someone should paint this picture. Edward is in a contest and I KNOW we all want  him to win.*
         Dogs. It is impossible for me to imagine my life without one or more dogs. From the time I was born we had dogs and the parade never stopped.

          I know I've told you this story before, but today it bears repeating. When Andrea and I arrived in France more than 25 years ago, we were also accompanied by three very large dogs from the SPCA in Bedford, N.Y.

          When we went to the shelter, three years before we decided to move to France, it was most definitely not our intention to leave with three dogs. We wanted one perfect dog.

          That's the thing with dogs though, they can see you coming and know they can melt your heart with just the right moves. First there was Chip. (We didn't name any of the dogs, but we kept their "given" names because we decided they were confused enough by being dumped at the SPCA.)

          Chip was some sort of German shepherd mix, a gorgeous dog. When he saw little Andrea walk up to his cage he reached his paw out and put it on her hand. As you can imagine, that was a done deal.

          Then I saw a beautiful sort of sheepdog, all white and fluffy, and I wanted her. Her name was Trouble, but I didn't believe it. Then, one of the workers pointed to another dog who resembled Trouble, "that's her sister, Precious," he said. How could we separate sisters?

         That day we left with three dogs. And, Trouble was no trouble. She was adorable. All three of them attended our wedding in our garden along with My-Reason-For-Living-In-France's grouchy old cocker spaniel, Vanka, and Andrea's French cat, Mimi.

         The reprise of our story is to tell you, and I'm certain many of you know and agree, there is something truly magical about finding a wonderful dog inside a cage, eyes filled with hope.

         *This brings me to the point of today's visit down memory lane: Edward, Pamela Terry's strikingly handsome rescue dog. (He looks like he could have been related to Precious and Trouble.)  

              Edward needs our votes.

             Here then is my dear friend Pamela's words of explanation:

Garden and Gun magazine is having a dog photo contest, 
and Edward has entered!
Help him show the world that a rescue dog can be a winner!
Vote for him HERE and tell your friends!
(PS.... you can vote once every 24 hours!)

Edward thanks you so much!

          I plan on clicking every 24 hours until the contest is closed. Please join me.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Il Pleut (almost) Non-Stop

Don't forget your parapluie.
         If you're coming to Paris, you will need two essential accessories: an umbrella and perhaps a pair of rain boots.

          It rained off-and-on throughout the month of July and the weather people are predicting this week will continue the trend. Yesterday the downpour came in torrents. So far today we have a timid appearance from the sun with a promise of rain later in the day.

The equestrian vibe on these boots gives them a great fashion edge although I would imagine they would take up waaaay too much room in a suitcase. Maybe they could be worn on the plane. . .
          Many of the TV news stations sent their reporters out to hit the rainy streets of Paris to interview tourists. Some were miserable and frankly disappointed in their vacation as they sloshed through the city.  Instead of shopping, one family decided to take refuge in the Louvre. Many others headed to cafes where they participated in one of the most famous Parisian rituals, drinking coffee or wine and people watching.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Made In France

Lacet Parisien in leather and silver with the message: "Love U."
          As you no doubt know, women and men are wearing ribbon, beaded, crocheted, leather and combinations thereof around their wrists this summer. They're bright, ageless, mostly inexpensive accessories that give a touch of gaiety to whatever we're wearing.

         They tend to be even more fun when wrapped 'round and 'round or worn in multiples, maybe on the same wrist as a watch.
A pretty pink Vichy cotton ribbon with a stainless steel plate on which you may write anything. Perhaps it would be more fun for us to choose something in French.
         Recently I discovered a collection from the French company, Ursul, dubbed Le Lacet Parisien. On offer are bracelets in ribbons of cotton, satin or the famous checked Vichy print with a stainless steel "plate" on which you can engrave a message. (Lacet means "lace" as in shoelace.)

Perhaps a prune satine ribbon bracelet?
         The more robust, longer lasting version comes in a variety of leather colors with a sterling silver message like: Love U and Miss U. Yes, even though the company touts its Made in France image the words are in English. Pourquoi pas?  No doubt the company would consider monograming whatever you wanted to say since they promise to do so on the stainless steel.

         The leather and silver versions are 49 Euros: the leather and stainless steel, 39 Euros;
and the ribbon with stainless steel, 35 Euros.
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