Sunday, October 16, 2016

Paris Vintage

J'adore vintage!
And so do the Parisians.
Yesterday, I visited the Salon du Vintage in the Marais.
It's an annual event and very popular among the Parisians
 
There were so many different vendors!  I found beautiful silk kimonos, dresses from the 1930's up to the the 1980's.  (I think perhaps I saw some of my old big-shouldered dresses from 1986 for sale--just kidding!)  
Everyone at the the Salon du Vintage got into the mood and dressed in style.
Fun, non?
 
You could even get made-up in vintage style!
 Ooooh...and look how much our American Converse sneakers sell for!  Yes, 70 euros!  My goodness.

 Even Marilyn made an appearance at the Salon du Vintage.  I remember a girl during my first year at Bard College in 1973 wearing one of those sweaters.  She had just spent her summer in South America and I thought she was the coolest gal in the universe.  She was so exotic and fabulous.  I really longed for one of those sweaters, but then a few years later I tried one on and you know, I didn't look good in it at all.  Sometimes, I think it's best to admire beauty and style from afar, and just appreciate the woman and her sense of chic.

Oh, and there was a tango dancing demonstration at the Salon du Vintage.  I adored this!!!!  I am going to try to convince Dr. Thompson to take tango lessons with me when I return home.  Wouldn't that be fun!?
 Do you like vintage?  How do you wear it?  Oh, and I'm curious--is there a style that you admire on other women, but know it doesn't suit you, yet it still sparks your imagination?  And finally, do you think partner dancing leads to romance?

That's all for now, mes amies!  xoxo






Friday, October 14, 2016

Christian Louboutin at Le Rive Gauche Bon Marché!

Bonjour, Paris!
It's a rainy day in Paris yesterday, but this didn't stop me from venturing out.  I actually love rainy, gray days--as long as it's not too cold, bien sur.  

Anyway, I was on a mission to find Duvelleroy fans at Bon Marché.  There was a special exhibition, but I was so sad when I found out that I had missed it while I was in the south of France at my artists residency.  (I am going to return to their attelier on rue Amelie--more on that in a few days).

Still, Bon Marché was very festive!  

 I found all these adorable cardboard cutouts floating about the main level, dancing and twirling by invisible strings.
I soon found out that all this frivolity was to celebrate Christian Louboutin!
The famous French shoe designer has collaborated with Bon Marché to create a fabulous pop-up store/exhibit, including special shoes designed just for the occasion.  Louboutin is a Paris native, so he loves to play with iconic images from the City of Light.  J'adore these boots!
If you look closer, you can see that the print is a map of Paris.

Oh, and of course, Louboutin included is iconic red souled pumps!


I loved how the pop-up was about so much more than just promoting shoes, but rather it was a bit of a museum exhibition--giving you some history on Louboutin's designs and how he approaches his work.  Louboutin is a true artiste!


If you'd like like to learn more about the exhibit at Bon Marché, just click here.

Signing off, for now, mes amies!

 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

See you in Paris!

Bonjour, mes amies!
Yes, I'm returning to Paris on Sunday, September 25th. 

I will also be traveling throughout France for almost a month to research my super-secret new book project.  


More to be revealed in the coming days....
And, in the meantime, look here for updates on all things French, feminine, charming and ooh la la!
Merci beaucoup.
xo
Jamie

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Fine Society: Interview

Bonjour, mes amies--
I hope you enjoy my interview in this wonderful blog,
Fine Society!  

Merci beaucoup,
Jamie

Thursday, May 26, 2016

French Women Love Fans

French Women Secret #9
                                                                                              (photo by Richard Avedon)

Last week, I was so thrilled to attend a presentation on the history of decorative hand fans at the Kinderhook Memorial Library.  Fan expert , Dr. Abbey Block Cash showed us a small selection of her many beautiful fans.  She actually has thousands of fans and explained that she's been collecting them for many years--beginning when when she was three years old, and her mother bought her a little twenty-five cent paper fan.  (Mothers, take note--when you give your daughter a gift, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant, it can lead to a life-long passion!)



After the talk, all the ladies where invited to browse the library and look at the beautiful fans.  And since they are quite old (beginning in the 1700's) and therefore quite fragile, there was no touching allowed!

This pink fan is from 1910, made from silk gauze with heavy gold threading, and carved amber sticks.  It's Art Nouveau and it's French!  Ooh La La!

I fell in love with this black silk spangled fan from the 1920's.  It's also French, but I think it spoke to be on a deep level because it reminds me of my French grandmother who was a dancer in Vaudeville.  


My grandmere never made it to the Ziegfield Folies, but she certainly had the talent and the beauty!

Don't you agree--she's spectacular?!  

This brings me back to my first thought about mothers and daughters, and grandmothers and granddaughters.  Little gifts--a paper fan or a story about the "olden days" can make quite an impression.  We inspire our children every day--by little things and big things.  I guess I am so very aware of this now that I am a new grandmother, and it's my turn to create memories!

I wonder if you ever think about these things, mes amis.  And if you have a decorative hand fan that you love?  Do you bring it out during the warm weather?  I hope so!  I think we should create a new movement and return to the beauty and elegance of hand fans!  (Oh, and just think--they're also very environmentally savvy!)  No a/c required!

Please tell me about your your hand fans!  I'd love to see photos too!

Merci beaucoup!


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

French Women Adore Fresh Flowers

French Women's Secret #8
French Women Love Beautiful Flowers.
It's true, French Women always make sure they have a vase of pretty flowers on their table.  French Women know that this simple gesture truly brightens up the day!

My French teacher Madame M. filled her outdoor deck with clay pots of pretty flowers--bright red geraniums, luscious pink hibiscus and classic white roses.  During the winter, Madame M. would pick up a bouquet from the local  supermarket.  The colorful flowers arranged in a vase on the table would always make our lessons so cheerful!

I am a big fan of wild flowers, especially Black Eyed Susans and Sweet Peas.  This is because my mother loved them and now that it is almost Mother's Day, I am thinking about her a lot!  

Today I read a beautiful post from the blog Hostess of the Humble Bungalow.  Leslie writes a lot about the flowers in her garden and how these are connected to her life and family and how they can offer solace in times of sadness.

It's so true!  Flowers carry history and memory.

For example, I can't look at a Lilly of the Valley without remembering May 1st, 2015, when I was in Paris for the Ooh La La! Paris Tour and everyone was carrying around a little bouquet to celebrate Le Fete du Muget.  
 What a wonderful time and now, what a lovely memory!  Just yesterday, I  asked my husband to help plant lots of Lily of the Valley around La Belle Farm.  This way, I will have my own Parisian Garden and keep my memories going!

Do certain flowers remind you of a particular person or event?  Do associate one type of flower with your mother or sister or dear friend?  I wonder what flowers bring you back to a time long ago?  I'd love to hear your story, mes amies! 

And Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

French Women develop their unique talents.

French Women's Secret #7:

 
French women believe in life-long learning. 
They might take community classes in dance or photography or watercolors.

Or, a French woman might join a choral group or a gardening club.  
Then again, a French woman might take up the French horn!  

It's never too late to challenge yourself to do something new and unexpected and just a little bit thrilling.

I began concertina lessons a few years ago.  I haven't played a musical instrument since I studied the violin in elementary school.  Everyone was surprised that I was now playing my little concertina and that was half the fun.  It didn't matter that I wasn't very good; it was the delight of doing something a little challenging and very new.

Have you developed a new talent, mes amies?  And has it changed your life in small or big ways?  I'd love to hear about it!

Merci beaucoup!