Sunday, November 29, 2015

Paris Windows

Paris windows are curated like museum displays.  Window dressers learn their craft in art and design school and it is a time honored profession.   Over the past few years I've observed the displays become less elaborate and more pared down as the French economy suffers.  These photos were taken over the month I was in Paris, shot mostly on the run.  In the photo above, the window at the Hermes store on the Left Bank features a chest of drawers faced with a silk scarf and a toy car made of crocodile.  
Gorgeous white coat in the window at the main Hermes store on rue St. Honore.
In a new and very posh shop on the Left Bank.
Ombre and black and white are trending for winter/fall. 
At Lauren Vidal, where layering is a signature.  We liked (and bought), their lace trimmed long camisole-slip thingies, designed to peek out at the neck and hem.
Thick wool fabrics everywhere and at all prices, here, wool melton with raw edges and chunky topstitching.
Ski jacket fit for an ice queen at Moncler on rue St. Honore.  Moncler=VERY expensive down jackets/coats/vests for men and women, a French status symbol.
Another trend I like is the high drama coat, and this one is such a good blend of overscaled print with the silhouette and design of the coat.
Ombre sweater and fringed bag:  2 trends  shown together.
Layering:  note the zipper at the hem of the sweater/top and lace peeking out underneath, 2 details that would be fun to incorporate into sewing.  
The Chanel jacket & dress continue to inspire other designers.  Love the little quilted dress underneath!
In the window at Carven on the Left Bank, a strange little quilted print suit.
At Agnes B, on the Left Bank,  classic leather moto jacket paired with a digitally printed photograph on a silk skirt.  In my spare time (LOL), I would like to experiment with making silk screens from my photographs. 
On rue Bonaparte, in the window of  new small shop featuring a Japanese designer, pastel sequins sewn in a grid on a gray sweater and skirt.  
At Valentino on the rue St. Honore.  Our group walked past and we all stopped to take a closer look.  
At Valentino on rue St. Honore, a beautiful juxtaposition of sumptuous fabrics.
Dressed down and dressed up, brocade skirt, turtleneck and fur trimmed padded vest. 
In the window at the Lanvin store on rue St. Honore, photographed  right after it was announced that designer Alber Albaz was leaving.  The couture workrooms are right above the store, and Albaz had a hand in designing the windows. 
At Sabbia Rosa on rue des Saint Peres on the Left Bank, the quintessential Parisian lingerie shop, uses the finest silks and laces, combining luxe and glamour, in business since 1976 with an ongoing cult following.
The Santa Fe influence on rue des Saint Peres (this a chic quiet little street on the Left Bank with the kinds of unique small shops not found in malls.
Courreges.  Yes, Courreges.  This '60's iconic line has been purchased by Hermes, and the pop-up shop is on the rue de Sevres right next to the newish and gorgeous Hermes shop, located in what was once a swimming pool. A must to visit if you love architecture or to buy one of the classic silk scarves. 
Also Courreges.
What to wear with the little Courreges dress and coat?  The (also) iconic little white patent leather boot, and mittens to go with. 
Sumptuous boots at Rick Owen in his flagship shop in the arcades of the Palais Royal.
Reverse ombre effect created by dipping the finished wet jeans in bleach or a color remover.  
Ikat silk jacket at Armani on the Left Bank.
The windows at Schatzy Chen on the rue St. Honore are always  interesting and unique, combining an elegant Chinese aesthetic with French chic.  
Beautiful white blouse also at Schatzy Chen.
I like to stop at  Verlet, just a few doors down for tea or coffee and a pastry.  
The Sonia Rykiel flagship store is on the corner of bvd. St. Germain and rue des Saint Peres, and is outfitted to look like a library.  This utterly elegant understated dress is printed silk velvet.
At Soulieado on the Left Bank, a shop known for its provincial prints, an  amazing gown. It appears to be draped, using a chunky lace for the bodice and strips of cotton tulle (hand dyed, maybe?) hang over the chiffon skirt.    
Detail shot of this marvelous dress which vanished from the window a few days later.

Enjoy, this is a love letter from my heart, from my beloved Paris.  

Monday, November 16, 2015

Paris, Je T'aime

Words fail me...
Home, safe and sound, though my thoughts keep returning to Paris.  

For the past month I carried my camera day and night in the streets of Paris, turned on and ready to go.  Not too big, but is heavy, and needs a bit of TLC, so I adapt my clothes, wear a coat and scarf that can conceal it on the metro.  When I carry the camera I see with different eyes, and the one evening I left it at the hotel, I sorely missed it.  These  photos are a visual journal, a way to see and experience this city I love.  Nearly all of the images show people going about their lives, on the street, in cafes and restaurants and capture an ephemeral everyday moment.

With appreciation to Peter Turnley and David Vanderlip who share so much about the nuts, bolts and nuances of photography, to Len Lea who encouraged me to push my upper limits, and my gratitude to Katherine for her patience and good will when I am caught up in a 'moment'.

Coming in the next blog:  Paris clothes and more......