Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hotel Ekta! Trés chic!

While in Paris, I had the pleasure of meeting with Mademoiselle Delphine and Monsieur Chedi at Hotel Ekta near the Champs-Elysées.

The name, Ekta, is an homage to the camera film, Ektachrome, which was very popular among the fashion photographers during the 1960's.

I had a wonderful tour of Hotel Ekta and learned that it was designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel and Natasha Stojkovic.  These amazing designers believe in constructing an entire cinematic universe filled with a sense of story, character, drama and mystery!  Ooh La La!

The entire Hotel Ekta channels the fabulous and futuristic designs from Courréges.
(J'adore Courreges!) 

He was  best known for his "space age collection." 
Just look at Audrey Hepburn in her Courreges!

And this is the lovely Delphine, the manager of the Hotel Ekta.  
Isn't she adorable?!  Very Courréges.  Very French!

Delphine explained to me that the hotel's designer chose Courréges and  Pop Art as the theme throughout the lobby and all the rooms.

J'adore the black and white and pops of yellow!  Trés chic!

The Hotel Ekta is filled with stylish retro photographs from the photographer, Benjamin Deroche.  
Don't you love them?!

Oh, and we both agreed, we dream of owning an orange telephone.  Doesn't every girl?

Hello?  Hello?  Oh, bonjour, monsieur!  C'est moi a la Hotel Ekta!

Courréges is credited with inventing the mini skirt, but some people say it was really the British designer, Mary Quant.  At any rate, great minds, think alike!

When I was around twelve years old, I absolutely lusted for these Courréges Go-Go Boots!

The Hotel Ekta is so stylish!  I was there to research the possibility of hosting an Ooh La La! Paris Tour there.  The rooms were so beautiful and I loved how the mirrors on the stairs to the lobby replicated the ones that Coco Chanel had installed in her famous Atelier on Rue Cambon.  Remember the scene in Avant Chanel?  
Trés jolie! 

The Hotel Ekta is definitely worth a visit, mes amies.  So convenient to shopping on the Champs-Elysées.
Merci beaucoup, Delphine!  Au revior!

Monday, May 11, 2015

How to Dress Like a Parisian

The Ooh La La! Paris Tour ladies and I had the great joy of meeting with the fabulous blogger, Alois, from Dress Like a Parisian.  If you don't know her blog, well then, you must take a look.  She's young, she's brilliant and she gives amazing advice!
 Aloise said as Americans (and one Canadian) we should avoid matching too much and add "a bit more accident to the style."  Sometimes, she said people visiting Paris look like they're going on a hike.  (But not, the Ooh La La! Ladies!)

As French women get older, they don't think oh, I'm out of the sexy game.  Rather then move it--perhaps rather than showing off their legs, they might show off a beautiful, well defined back.

If you're a bit curvy, it's a good idea to wear shoes that are the same color as your pants and create a fluid line.

However, Alois doesn't need to worry about that.  She is quite slender.  Here are her adorable shoes.  Look how they match her top.  It's very subtle, but very eye-catching.

 The key to dressing like a Parisian is figuring out what are your best assets and then accenting them.  And of course, it's important to hide any flaws.

She told us how her grandmother has beautiful hands and that for her birthday, they treated her to a manicure.  Her grandmother was hesitate at first, but she tried blue nail lacquer and you know what--she got lots of compliments.

Quality is very important, as well as creating a clean lines.  Oh, and it's a good idea to avoid supperfulous details.  If a tee shirt says "Glamorous" on it, Alois says then it is not glamorous!  

Aloise gave us a list of places to shop in the Marais.

 And so the Ooh La La! Paris Tour ladies were off and running!
 I took a group to the famous BHV.  It stands for Bazaar Hotel de Ville.
 And look what we found:  a vintage pop up store.  (J'adore vintage!)
 Pretty vintage dresses from the 70's and 80's.  Adorable!
 I bought this polka dot skirt.  I love polka dots!
Au revoir, Alois!  Merci beaucoup for helping us to dress like a Parisian!!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Paris Red

Who says Parisiennes only wear black!  I've seen lots of pops of red throughout the City this week.  Here's a femme I saw in front of the Jardin du Luxembourg.  I like the tan leather jacket combined with the red.  Trés jolie.

Further into the park, a young woman was quietly eating her lunch and feeding the pigeons little bits of bread.  She had created her own Secret Garden.  Don't you love the red stockings?

If you want to just experiment with adding a pop of red, you could just get a bag or "un sac" like this woman on Boulevard St. Germain.

Or, you could find yourself a pair of bright red stockings!
This French woman is actually quite elderly, but she was not giving up on style and originality.

Same here.  We saw this femme d'un certain age on Place Vendome.  Oh, and take a look at her leopard bag.  She has joie de vivre!

This fashonable gal was looking for books in the intellectual Latin Quarter.  J'adore the red leather with the green. 

And if you're very bold--you don't have to restrain yourself to just a pop of red.  You could go with all red and accent it with a pair of white sneaker/shoes, and walk with a purposeful stride along the Seine, like this woman.  Ooh La La!

Do you enjoy just a bit of red?  I'd love to hear about it, mes amies!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Paris Shoes

Here in Paris, the spring shoes are taking to the streets.  There are so many pretty colors and combinations.  J'adore these black and white shoes with tiny polka dots and white trim.  Oh, and the bows!  I could go on.  These shoes belong to Rosanne, one of my Ooh La La! Paris Tour Ladies.  She wore her ensemble with a tiny polka dotted slim-fit pants, an adorable vintage inspired jacket and a black and white polka scarf with a splash of red.  Trés adorable!

I stopped a young woman on St. Germain and asked her about her shoes.  She told me that metallic is all the rage now in Paris and then she let me photograph her gold boots.  Do not believe the myth that the the Parisiennes are not friendly!  They are sooooo friendly!  
 I met two friends visiting Paris from China.  They like to coordinate their colors when the visit Paris.  
 And these shoes belong to a sales woman at BHV.  When I complimented this very French woman on her choice of stockings and shoes, she said, "yes, they're very feminine."  I love that the French embrace the idea of the feminine!
 Here are more shoes from BHV.  These are the famous ballet slippers, Repetto.  You can get them in lots of colors!  Somehow, when I see them displayed like this, I can't help but think of candy in a candy store and I want one of each!
I think the French understand the correlation between shoes and sweets, because look at this display!  Ooh La La!

Do you love shoes?  I'd love to hear all about it!  Au revoir for now!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Paris Loves Yellow!

It's been raining on and off in Paris for the past week, so everyone could you a little sunshine.  Perhaps that's why we're seeing so much yellow everywhere!
Look at the pretty summery dresses in the windows on rue de Buci.
And in Le BHV/Marais, I saw this lady wearing a bright yellow rain slicker.  It really brightened up the day.
 Paris has always loved yellow as an accent color.  J'adore these yellow awnings.
 And the French post office has always felt the mellowness of yellow.
 On rue Mazarine yesterday, I met this gorgeous femme d'un certain age.  She is rocking the yellow!  Trés chic!
Do you like yellow?  How do you wear your yellow?  I'd love to hear about it, mes amies!

Friday, May 1, 2015

May Day in Paris

Today is May Day in Paris!
Many Parisiennes have left town for the long weekend in order to visit family and friends.  May Day is also called La Fete du Muguet or La Fete du Travail and commemorates labor organizations and human rights. All over France, people are bringing bouquets of lilly of the valley to their loved ones.  Isn't that a sweet tradition?
I found these for sale on Boulevard Saint Germain.
I bought a little bouquet from this gentlemen.  Just two euros.  

Paris was left to the tourists today, since the locals left town.  Oh, and almost everything was closed!

My beloved Monoprix?  Ferme!
The chocolate shops?  Ferme!
La Piscine (one of my favorite dress shops!)  Ferme!
 Still, it's always fun to window shop.
 Or take pictures of yourself in the reflections from shop windows, and then fuss over the fact that your hair has become a rainy-day disaster!  (That would be moi with the crazy hair!)
 Probably best to slip into a cafe and think about the good people of Paris, now happily reunited with their delightful families at some chateau in Normandy or Burgundy or perhaps Toulouse or Dijon.  
Come back, dear Parisiennes!  We miss you!  
Oh, and here are my Muguets back at my hotel.
Happy May Day!
P.S.  I'd love to hear how you celebrated the first of May!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Two Days Until the Ooh La La! Paris Tour Begins!

It was a rainy day here in Paris, and even the outdoor cafes were empty. 
Nonetheless, Leslie, an Ooh La La! Paris lady and I ventured out to take a La Cuisine market/cooking class.  Leslie is the brilliant blogger from 
"Hostess of the Humble Bungalow."  Please take a look.  You'll love it!

We started our day at Maubert Mutualité Market.  Umbrellas at the ready, ten of us met our cooking teacher, Diane and began our lessons in shopping the French way.  Diane was so informative, so much fun, and so French!  
The market was filled with delicious and fresh ingredients.  Just look at these fabulous vegetables.
Oh, and white asparagus is in season!  
Diane said that they're very special and that once we get to the kitchen, we will prepare them the French way--first we peel them.  She told us that you must never peel the tops because that's the most flavorful part.  After that, you tie up the asparagus up a little strings (so they don't break when boiled--they're very delicate.)
The French eat asparagus with their fingers, dipped in Mayonnaise Mousseline (recipe at the end).   Oh, and you must only eat them on Fridays, never on Saturday.  Just kidding!  You can eat them any day of the week!
Next we went to the cheese shop where Diane explained how this particular shop won a Best Cheesemaker in France award in 2000.  It's very prestigious!
Hmmmm...I really need to get a hat like her hat.
Okay, back the cheese.  They come from all the different regions of France and they're very pretty.
Trés jolie, n'est pas?
We also visited the boulangerie and the boucherie where we bought duck breast and then it was on to the vegetable--fennel, carrots, red onions, white asparagus, little potatoes--oh and raspberries to go with our dessert of Moelleux au Chocolate and Financier.  And then it was time to go back to the kitchen and cook!  Here's what we made (times ten)!

The arrangement and presentation is very important in France, according to Diane.  Here, it's call "Mise en place."  And it's delicious too!
I would show you the dessert course, but truth is, I'm getting hungry...

Recipe for Mayonnaise Mousseline:


1 egg yoke
1 tbsp of mustard (moutard de Dijon)
salt, pepper
wine vinegar or lemon
vegetable oil (not olive oil)
2 egg whites, whipped to firm peaks


In a bowl, whisk the egg yok with the salt, pepper, mustard.
Pour the oil in a small, slow, steady stream.
Whisk continually.
Add the whipped egg whites.  Check seasoning, set aside.