Sunday, May 17, 2015

Paris in the Pink

Balmy & Blooming in Paris

Cruising all over town with our fabulous group of women.  Took a boat ride on the Seine, had a fashion lecture on the little black dress, fended off pickpockets in the metro.  Averaged walking 4 miles a day.  Scoured the flea market, spent an afternoon at Giverny, shopped for fabric and buttons, window shop, get lost, find the hotel, meet in the bar at the end of the day for a glass of wine and sharing the day's adventures.  There are 3 museum shows in Paris right now that are not to be missed.
Waiting for the bus.
If you visit Paris, use the RATP website to plan your route by bus or by metro.  Metro tends to be quicker, while the bus gives views of the city.
Walking to the button exhibition past one of the prettiest metro stations, on the left, looks like a giant piece of jewelry. 
After visiting Giverny, we went to the Orangerie to see Monet's Waterlillies.
Breathtaking.  Go early, the museum opens at 9.
Resting and chatting in the Tuleries Gardens.
Color Trend: La Vie en Rose
(Think ALL shades of Pink) 
Paled version of what the French call 'prune'.
Pale pink in the trees at Giverny.  
The same shade of pale pink is in shop windows too.
Peony Pink
Abundant bouquets of peonies in the market.
Simple shift with asymmetrical fabric flowers at the neckline.
Tulips in the garden at Giverny
Digitally printed linen 
I like the way the large scale print is pieced to break up the pattern.
Girl's dresses in a posh shop on rue Madame
Touches of Lace

Lace overlayer.  This shop had lots of little lace tops and slip/camisoles to layer over and under.  I bought a couple and am going home to bring out my lace and sew some.
Eyelet is a strong fabric and fashion trend to dress up  or down.
Eyelet shorts.
Little Flat Shoes
Just the thing to wear with the soft colors and fabrics of spring & summer....

Paris Travel Tips
Tank top/cami with secret pocket.  Found at  Clever Travel Companion. Holds credit cards and cash flat, safe and easy to access.  Dries overnight.  Fits smoothly without adding bulk.
$30. Five stars, love it!
Willi's Wine Bar is one of my favorite places to eat in Paris.  The original wine bar, owned by an Englishman, the food and wine is superb and the staff speak English.  Always a winner.
The Palais Royal
Take a video stroll through my favorite space in Paris, the Palais Royal

This week I'm taking a photography workshop here in Paris, more to come.....

Monday, May 4, 2015

Paris: Trends & Sources

Trends & Colors
Marcy's Paris Sources

I get requests from friends, colleagues and total strangers that are like this one:
Marci (sic)  
Hope all is well with you. I'm planning my week in Paris July 10-17 and wanted some recomendations of places I must go. I rented a small apartment near the Champs Elysee. I will go to the museumes and want to go to a flea market on the weekend for sure. Also I will take a day tour to Monets Garden. I would really appreciate any special suggestions you can make. Look forward to hearing from you.

As I blog from Paris I'll make hot links to some of my favorite places and will list a few favorites, tips and discoveries at in each blog post. Please understand that the sources and itinerary we use for our tours is stock in trade, have spent years developing relationships and sources for the ParisTilton trips and I only share these lists with our clients.

First thing Saturday morning, a hair cut at Toni & Guy on rue St Honore, a haircut and sometimes a color are Paris ritual.  Then a walk  up the rue St Honore, window shopping all the way.  Past Janssens & Janssens posh fabric store (closed because of the holiday weekend).  Following my new passion for photography, I was in search of the Leica store.  Found it, and had a great conversation with one of the rare women sales people...this is mostly a man's world.  Then walked back down the  street, a restorative cup of tea at Cafe Verlet.  From there it is a short hop over to the Palais Royale, one of my favorite spaces in the world with a beautiful garden, and very interesting shops in the arcades.  You could easily spend an afternoon exploring here.

About 5 miles in all, dodging the rain.
New camera.
Manual focus.
Big learning curve.
Learning new editing software, another big learning curve.
At home, I take photographs almost every day of fabrics for the website, a process I enjoy almost as much as sewing.  Katherine and I refer to the camera as 'the baby'.  The baby goes with use everywhere, I am getting used to the weight around my neck and to the process of using it.   For fun and a creative challenge, I'll be taking a photography workshop here in Paris later this month....stay tuned.
Trends in Paris Windows 
The rue St Honore is one of the premier shopping streets in the world.  It gets more and more posh, with more and more upscale stores, which means the smaller more individual shops are being pushed out.  Not really a place to buy, but definitely a place to look, and the people watching is world class too.
Platform shoes at John Galliano.  Metallic shoes a major spring/summer trend.
Gold oxford sandals at Chanel.
Chili pepper/paprika/coral color is another trend.
In the window at Camieu, an inexpensive chain of shops, we liked the elastic in the collar on the baseball type jacket.
Pink is another color trend.

At Leonard, known for their gorgeous fabrics, digital print pants...and more pink.
At Nathalie Garcon in the Passage Vivienne, a simple little pink dress, perfect for the guest at a spring wedding.
Preppy pale pink in a sweater, shirt and pleated skirt.....the skirt has black zig-zag topstitching along the release pleats.  
Lots of embroidered and textured fabrics and mixing different prints in the same outfit.  In the center, an interpretation of the caftan, another back to the '70's fashion trend.
At Prada, a perfectly executed wrong side out sleeve, raw edged and stitched in a heavy contrast thread.
In the window at Didier Ludot, the premier vintage couture shops in the world, more pink, more 70's retro from Pucci in silk jersey.
At Manoush, a shop known for over the top excess in design, embroidery and eyelet.  These are rather substantial fabrics with loft and texture.  On the left, a jumpsuit, a major trend right now, on the right, white eyelet top edged with coarse lace.  Necklines on shells and tops are cut high, another trend.
Black and white silk print, simple  lines and the higher neckline...reminds me of the shell tops worn by Jackie Kennedy.
Yellow on yellow mixed silk prints.
Oddball shades of green are showing up too,  here, thick textured fabrics for a jacket and pant, the shades of green deliberately un matched.
Bright printed raincoat in the window at Chanel
Chldrens' clothes reflect the fashion trends too.
Standing in line is a part of daily life in Paris, I found 2 on the rue St. Honore
At Colette, a concept store not to be missed if you are a fashionista, a line around the corner.
All waiting to buy an Apple watch, going in one by one.
At the Christian Laboutin  shoe store, (this, the original location, there are 4 shops in town), a long line of people waiting to get into the shop.  Each customer must be accompanied by a salesperson for the duration of the shopping experience.  There were two lines, a longer now for regular people and a shorter one for their good customers.

Marcy's Paris Bests
Hands down, The Paris Mapguide is the best map.  Buy a spare in case you loose it.  Fits in a bag, easy to use,  goes with me every day.


Le Sâotico

Our favorite, we return again and again!

If you are in Paris between now and August, not to be missed is the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the Grand Palais.  Marcy's tip:  buy your ticket online before you come.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Paris Wardrobe + Bias Stripe Paris T-Shirt

4 Magic Words:  I am in Paris
Part of my own creative process in getting ready for Paris is to play around with the clothes and see what will finally go in the suitcase, a process that changes until I'm out the door.  In spite of the fact that I always seem to arrive with too I unpacked this morning, had that aha moment once again!  At home, I set up a rack and add and subtract until the final day when Katherine and I have a morning where we try things on and edit, going back and forth, sometimes swapping pieces with each other, with a lot of laughing.  This happened very close to departure date, and we took photos on our phones to remember what worked with what.

There always are many more sewing/design ideas than I can execute, and this spring has been a busy one, seems like most of my sewing is involving projects for Vogue patterns....these have to be thought out and precisely made, so there was only time to whip up a couple of t-shirts and one linen shirt jacket.  In fact, I ended up buying 3 pair of pants on the internet, then altering them, cropping, eliminating zippers and adding drop-in pockets.  The linen shirt jacket shown below is a variation on an upcoming Vogue pattern, so I'm only showing bits of it here.  More on the t-shirts follow
Paris Mood Board
I fell in love with a new no-color color, a green/blue touched with gray that is paled out yet works with and lightens up all the basic black.  Walking around Paris for one day, I saw clothes in this same color which is heartening.  It all started out with a jacket I bought, fell in love with the color and that lead into a search in the ArtBarn and in my stash for other fabrics that would work with it.  Top to bottom in this photo, a scarf that is simply a length of silk georgette that had been on the website for months, and has the blue/gray/green mixed with black and ties together everything....I took the last length, tore the edges, then tore in half lengthwise to make a long, but light weight scarf.  Next is the shirt jacket in a cross weave linen, and finally the bias stripe t-shirt, see below for a little video with some how to details.
Bias Stripe T-shirt:  Vogue 9057
Inspired by the French mariner striped t-shirt, and by the fact that this stripe is the perfect color.  I cut it on the bias.  Used my favorite go-to tunic/t-shirt:  Vogue 9057.  Working with a knit on the bias is super easy to do and I found it was no different to sew than cutting a knit on the straight of grain.  My fabric is a cotton/rayon/lycra blend with 2 way stretch and is pretty stable, a good thing.   One sleeve is cut on the cross grain, the other uses a contrast knit in a digital print.  Check out the video below on how I cut the knit stripe on the bias.
How To Cut Knit Fabric on the Bias 

The neck band uses the selvedge as a knits with a good selvedge!

Layering Tunic
I case it warms up, Vogue 9057 again, in a thin tissue knit from my stash which had the perfect blend of that blue/green/gray mixed with black.  To be worn under the linen shirt jacket, detail shown below.
Shirt Jacket
Detail of the shirt jacket which uses the collar from an OOP Marcy pattern.  When plugging in a collar from another pattern, or a self drafted collar, the measurement of the collar and the garment along the seam line should be the same.  
T-Shirt #2
The style is a prototype for a future pattern, so can't show the entire garment.  I used a knit from my stash...again, the right color, but it seemed too flat, so I added dots after cutting out the pattern pieces, using a Tea Juice Pen, available through Diane Ericson.

The Trench Coat:  Vogue 9070
Made in a black water repellant nylon and fits all my criteria for a travel coat:  folds up flat, can be stuffed in my backpack without wrinkling, and has deep pockets that can hold a small umbrella.  
Packing Tips for Paris Video

Everything from the rack fits into the Eagle Creek packing units

More blog posts from Paris to come.
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