I was so happy to be invited by Le Meurice for a tea time tasting of their pastries, which are renowned, and rightly so given the dedication to French excellence in pastry arts and cuisine that is promoted by this Dorchester Collection hotel.
But an article about tea time at Le Meurice will no doubt spark a conversation about the recent media frenzy over the boycott against hotels owned by the sultan of Brunei, a small sovereign nation that is pocketed on a Malaysian coastline. Anna Wintour and all the celebrities have a very valid point in boycotting hotels owned by this sultan who is integrating sharia law into his country’s customs. I IN NO WAY SUPPORT SHARIA LAW IN ANY WAY. These laws are intrinsically homophobic, misogynist and inhumane. I think radical leaders like Hassanal Bolkiah should be given a taste of their very own oppression and discrimination. I support Anna Wintour and the fashion industry boycotting the Dorchester Collection hotels. But… I also support the dedicated and open minded professionals that work in and for these hotels. These people have nothing to do with the garish laws implemented in Brunei, nor its sultan’s opinions or religious inclination. These people who work in hotels such as Le Meurice, uphold the standards of luxury and tolerance of people from all walks of life. The wonderful people who work for Le Meurice support French standards of business, liberté, égalité, fraternité. I find it sad that these people are the ones being in essence hurt by this sultan’s decisions, and it isn’t fair for them at all. They do an amazing job of running a hotel with high French standards. I do hope the public opinion can put enough pressure on the sultan for him to retract his decision for sharia law without putting in danger the jobs of those who work in his hotels.
Now… can we talk about pastries!?! Read more →
I get asked often by fans or readers how they should pack in order to fit in with the Parisians. So I thought an « essentials » post would be in order. Contrary to what many people tend to think, the Parisian way of dressing, although sophisticated in a way, is not sophisticated as in complicated. It’s rather simple. And a Parisian at an event would prefer to be under dressed rather than over dressed. Understated outfits offer the opportunity to have one small element that stands out, and gives that one element all the visibility it needs to « shine ». Whether it be a fabulous pair of shoes, intricate Calais lace on a blouse, a funky cocktail ring or or amazing handbag.
A basic outfit would consist of a well-fit pair of slacks, a blouse or top, a well-cut jacket and a pair of ballerina flats. (The Parisians are not the spike heel type generally speaking. Cobblestones are just death to heels). Accessories add a little pizazz, but should not be too matchy-matchy.
And voilà! It’s really that simple.
*Bisous de Paris!*
Parisians may grumble about them, but then tourists grumble about Parisians, so it’s only fair! But I’ll let you in on a little secret… Paris loves its tourists! Really??? you ask? Well, it’s only because they bring an enourmous amount of business to a country that is leaning more and more towards a services industry. Besides luxury, tourism is one of France’s big resources. +70% of the active populatin works in the service industry, which includes everything related to tourism. And Paris, being the most visited city in the world, really needs to open up its heart to tourists. We need them.
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There are certain sunsets that happen over the city of Paris where I wish I could have a view over the rooftops…
Well, I do. I have a seat, and so do you! On top of Le Printemps Haussman, on a café terrace with a beverage in hand, to enjoy the incredible panoramic view. Read more →
Spring keeps teasing us here in Paris. We’ll get a really brilliant sunny day in between several cold and gray ones. It’s almost like you can hear a communal « Aaaaaaah! » throughout Pairs when the random gorgeous day glitters down upon us. and then a disappointed chorus of « Boooooo. » when we wake up the next day and see the drizzle or feel the chill. It was a couple Sundays ago, I think we all returned to work on Monday with a light pinkish hue on our fresh faces. Just about all of Paris was out lounging along the river banks of the Seine. I even ran into Sylvia of Finding Noon.
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Paris Fashion Week AW14
Post by Paul Waters
It’s a Monday evening and I am standing in line at the Icram center a space more commonly used for music and performing arts, it also forms part of the Centre Pompidou complex. For those of you who don’t know the Centre Pompidou is a very controversial building in Paris that houses and hosts modern art and exhibitions on a yearly basis. It seems a very unlikely venue for a fashion show with its cold white walls, concrete floors and industrial feel. But there I stand clutching my ticket to Luis Buchinho’s show being slowly led by the crowds into the foyer of just such a building. The room is buzzing with excitement fashion lovers appear to be adorned with their most, craziest yet stylish of outfits. Jewels and sequins, textures and colors seem to set the cold room on fire when a set of doors swing open and we are led down into the depths of Paris. Read more →
Post By Charles Gillman.
It was a Wednesday afternoon under yet an additional grey Paris day. There I was on the Faubourg Saint Honoré collecting my ticket from Melissa for the Fatima Lopez show, I was also in the middle of having a casual nervous breakdown with regards to what to wear, Spanish designer, on the Champs Elysées… At the Lido! “JUST wear something sexy, her styles are always very WOW and sexy!” Melissa said interrupting my anxiety attack that I was oh so enjoying. ‘Sexy… Me? Are you joking?’ I thought to myself. It seemed as if the enormous glasses and the scarf that concealed Charlie’s chicken neck would have to stay home in the thirteenth district for the morning.
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I have been in Paris for over 11 years now. Wow. It seems so long to me.
And no matter how many times I go to see the Eiffel Tower, I always always take a picture of her. She is beautiful. Weather it is against a grey cloud-cast sky, or dazzling beneath a vibrant evening blue hue, she is the star of this city, and everyone who comes her heads to her feet to pay hommage in the best way we modern humans know how : by taking her picture.
One day in February, as I was treating myself to a stroll around her gardens, I though how interesting it was to see the intense concentration on people’s faces as they captured her image. They were trance-like almost. Read more →
Expo : Les Parisiens de Daumier.
Until March 4th… HURRY!
Galerie du Crédit Municipal de Paris
55, rue des Francs-Bourgeois – 75004 Paris.
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm – Closed Sundays
I first heard about this expo via the blog Paris, Maman et Moi. Being a 19th century French literature fan (I have the entire collection of Balzac – and FYI, some editions of Balzac’s works were illustrated by Daumier) I knew this was right up my alley. So instead of waiting in line for the Brassaï expo (just like in Sheily’s post linked above), I headed over to see these wonderful drawings of what Parisian life was like in the 1800′s.
You could say that Daumier, who’s work is the entirety of the exposition, was what we would consider a lifestyle/humorist blogger today. Each drawing (there were dozens and dozens of them) mocked, exaggerated or poked fun at a certain « type » of Parisian, in different situations of social life back 150-200 years ago. Read more →
Oscar Carvallo SS14 « Voyage Cinétique II » image from official Oscar Carvallo site.
Color and movement dominated the Oscar Carvallo SS14 collection, shown on January 21st at the Paris haute couture fashion week. The collection is an inspiration and collaboration of two artists, Oscar Carvallo the designer and Carlos Cruz-Diez, the painter. Cruz-Diez create six tableaux (see here and here) for the collection and Carvallo’s creations were all directly inspired from them using fabrics and textiles, prints and construction of the different pieces to illustrate the works of art and bring them to life via the moment of the female body. Read more →