Sunday, September 30, 2012 in Socks

My lavender socks make me smile. Yes, this is just a day after I said I adore wearing black. Pay no attention to me, when it comes to fashion I change my mind all the time. Mind you, these lavender socks that I bought in Paris are going to look fabulous with my black oxfords too, maybe even better than they do with the chocolate browns ones. I also bought a coral pair of socks, can you imagine how much fun that will be peeking out from a pair of black oxfords and black pants this winter? I have been telling my husband for months that he needs more fun colour in the sock department. So far, he hasn't never mind, he will see these and watch how fast he buys them now. I know it.

iphone photo by Sande Chase

Friday, September 28, 2012

Perfect Black Colette

Just seconds after I innocently snapped this iphone photo at Colette, the trendy Parisian concept store known for it's well-heeled customers and well-stocked water bar, a most serious and beefy security guy came up to my shopping partner Vicki and sternly said " no photos".   Though she clicks away at a pretty fast and furious pace, Vicki actually hadn't clicked yet which is precisely what she told him. The discussion even got to the point where she offered to remove the offending camera from around her neck, let him take a look and prove there wasn't any "Colette" images. So I guess that technically means I am not supposed to have this image of my perfect black dress. Oops. Actually, two black dresses if I care to be precise but it is the plunging one on the left which will serve as my post-Paris reminder........... 

........that there is nothing wrong with wearing too much black. When I was packing to leave for Paris I lamented that "I have too much black" followed by "I am so boring" followed by "I need to wear more colour". That little black dress reminds me that I actually love wearing black. It's divine. That's it. I am wearing black. 

I love to wear black but that doesn't mean I trust it unconditionally. Black can be forgiving but it can also delude me into thinking I am more svelte than I am so I wear it cautiously. Try not to be fooled by it's tomfoolery effect at the end of the day. Especially after all those delicious Paris lunches......look at this smoked salmon presentation with the plate of huge blinis (no wimpy little ones for me) and the huge plate of frites that magically appeared with every meal! Who ordered those?

I am not a lady who lunches on a regular basis. Like never. But sitting sideline at Hotel Costes observing the beautiful people in the sunlit courtyard at lunch is an event to add to your Paris must-do list. You will see shiny hair swinging, serious shopping bags, and runway-style wait staff........might as well enjoy the parade and order a Moelleux Au Chocolat which is why we are talking about the perfect black dress. Note that I do not call it the little black dress. Just the "perfect black dress" whatever size that may be.

Right now I need this photo of my perfect black dress by Azzedine Alaia to keep me in line..............and no more frites on the side even though I have been craving them all week long. Though if you do happen to be in Paris today, you can visit Colette after 5 pm and have Scott Schuman aka The Sartorialist sign a copy of his new book Closer. Sounds like the perfectly chic occasion to wear black to me.

And did you know that this studded Milwauke boot by Etoile Isabel Marant was the "most loved boot"  at Barney"s yesterday? Which is the only place you can buy that Azzedine Alaia dress in North America........ just in case you were hunting one down. 

                                 See my Love Wearing Black board on Pinterest here.

iphone photos by Sande Chase

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Have a Paris

The best part of any return trip is looking at all your photos. I actually saw all that? So much is happening visually when walking the immense trade-only hallways of the Parisian design show Maison & Objet, it's hard to focus. I rely on my photos to remind me of what caught my eye, what caught my fancy. Without those, it can become overwhelming to remember. I am not the spring chicken I was back in the beginnings of my trade-show days. I have been busy editing and organizing my 2,000 photos, most of which I took with my iphone. Lucky for me that I diligently transferred my daily photos each night...........but that is another post about Paris. 

Displays were full of playful colour, reminding us to have a bit more interior fun. Need some bistro chairs or stools? Then mix them up, why stick to one colour? Or one style? I noticed this stylish mix at a few restaurants in the south of France and I am all for capturing that vibe.

I loved these playful chair covers to style up rental or folding chairs. They could be used for indoor or outdoor parties, even to dress up a home office. Choose one style or go crazy and mix them up by style and colour. Things were a bit more fun this show.

Playful transportation. Random entry. 

I always called these buduoir chairs, the sloped arms were originally designed to give more room to volumnious gowns. A gown skirt that can spread remains wrinkle-free and presents a more beautiful pose. Today, the principle remains the same, a lower chair allows for more graceful movement when dressed to the nines. It also can be easier to play the shoe game, these. Those fashionistas from a few centuries back had it all figured out. I wonder if they had all these colours?

Look at the size and scale of this petite chair. 
Some serious chair style for the young, wouldn't you say?


Subscribers may have missed all the wonderful "girlfriend" blog buzz last week. A beautiful post on friendship written by Vicki Archer reminded many of us how important our female friendships are in our lives. Click here to read Vicki's post and reader comments, even better, share it with your most wonderful friends.

iphone photos by Sande Chase

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

All the Girls are crazy.......for Paris

I already miss this lovely view. I arrived home last night from my 18 days in France, went directly to bed and I will just give over to whatever my body tells me today. I am hoping it tells me to ignore those 3 unpacked suitcases and just lay about and blog, hopefully staying awake. As many of you already know, it was a three-part trip this go around. A 2 week Paris apartment rental with my husband and some family the first week, Vicki Archer of French Essence joining me the second week, and then I was whisked away by Vicki to her home and haven in Provence where we settled in to a relaxed and restful mood. After the wonderful crazy of Paris, it was a most magical ending.

Parisian blogger Garance Dore Idiom bangle for Kate Spade
Toutes les filles sont folles  (All the girls are crazy)

I got to thinking about how women are so crazy for Paris on the flight home. I know men seem to enjoy it too but to the same degree as women do? I wonder because it appears that women just adore it............and I think this is what really makes men enjoy it for the most part. That women just respond in a more feminine way to the charm of visiting Paris. We add another bracelet, a brighter shade of lipstick, suddenly start adding a dab of gloss, fuss a bit more with our hair, wear something with more sparkle or softness, shoes with more height, we are feeling the Paris effect and truthfully I think men will travel anywhere to see it.

Besides, or in addition to the fact we seem to gain confidence to turn on our own charm in Paris, it becomes crazy fun to meet up with other women in Paris (I will tell you about some of these most creative women over the next few weeks). The drinks, the dinners, the chats, yes, even the walking introduces a healthy dose of girl time to balance my male-dominated home. But what really made us girl-silly is our shopping, the finds we find together that I bring home, the chic styling that reminds me of Paris. Above, our best shopping find, the stylish man's Oxford. I bought brown, Vicki the black, then she talked me into going back and buying the black as well. Both will go with the brown leather jacket from a few year's past.

My fantastic Zara buy, the most lovely ivory silk blouse to wear over skinny black pants. If I follow the stylist advice of the fabulously chic Vicki Archer (and who wouldn't?) the pants will be just short enough to show a bit of ankle and then a beautiful pair of solid black booties that I already have in my closet. I am still working out how to tie the long tails but you get the idea and that will be the fun of changing it's look. One pair of fabulous, sparkly big earrings and I am go to go anywhere.

While I played around one afternoon in the apartment setting with my Paris buys, I added my favorite faux-fur shrug which never seemed to fit with anything else even though I was dying to wear it............and it finally works because I just needed the correct silhouette. Vicki and I talked quite a bit about one's ability to mix high-low fashion so easily in today's market. My Zara blouse which cost 39 Euros will be perfect for adding easy style to many idle things already in my closet.

We also found a few simple ways to alter or enhance this year's stylish Oxford. We noticed that those crazy, young Parisian girls remove the laces altogether but we have a more mature, but chic way of having stylish fun with this masculine trend. I have to find them in those ridiculously over-packed suitcases of mine and will post soon.

Crazy is good...........sometimes.

iphone photos by Sande Chase

Saturday, September 8, 2012

bonjour..........and merci

Well hello old friends..........or I should say Bonjour as I am sitting in a lovely Marais apartment in Paris, France and I should also say Merci for waiting as I have been gone from this blog for far too long. Not because I didn't care to blog but because I couldn't. The explanation is long, just one of those painful medical experiences where everyone was looking in all the wrong places (including me) and then everything goes wrong before it goes right again and it took the summer for me to repair, recover, and restore.  And I did restore, feeling better than I have for some time and grateful to all the readers who stayed with me or emailed to check in on my absence. Bloggers and readers are the best when it comes to support and I had plenty of time to think about blogging and it's creative hold while I made my way through the summer months. And this is what I have decided about blogging.

I will continue to blog as long as there is something that makes me reach back into my bag at the end of a long Paris day and pull out that camera one more time. A visual treat that unexpectedly appears as we round a dark corner and realize we are across from the Louis Vuitton headquarters, the background feathers are moving ( I should have hit video), the Marc Jacobs creation has appeared out of nowhere it seems and all I can think is "I have to blog about this". This is a window advertising the exhibit about the history of Louis Vuitton and it's creative director Marc Jacobs that I had noted months ago. I would guess that means if it fascinates me, I hope it will fascinate or delight someone who is reading this blog and for now that is a good enough reason for me. Now, scroll back up to the top photo and take another look at the detail, the colours, the flowers, the crystals.........oh my. Paris perfection. 

Louis Vuitton ~ Marc Jacobs Exhibition
Paris Museum of Decorative Arts (Les Arts Decoratifs)
Exhibit information here.
Open until September 16, 2012

Photos by Sande Chase


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