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Well, it took my long enough to finally find this fashion/interior deco mecca, but la Grisette found it, and boy did she ever! For someone who could live in an Anthropologie store, it was tough not having an equivalent in Paris… until Merci.

A concept store that resembles a trendy oversized loft, Merci houses what I would love to be my closet, full of Isabel Marant, Stella McCartney, YSL, and purses by Jérôme Dreyfuss.  The lower level has sections dedicated to men’s and women’s wear, including  a small jewelry section with up and coming designers, and a perfume counter. I recently got my hands on a wonderful new Annick Goutal for Merci scent called “Eau du Sud”, I love it because it’s incredibly fresh and not just a rehashed sickeningly sweet designer scent! The place is a vrai regal for the Parisian fashionista!

But then, it gets better with its upstairs level featuring amazing furniture and furnishings that range from a very organic style to a more colder modern feel.  Light fixtures, couches, tables, shelving, you name they have it, and you’ll probably want it. The only holding you (said me) back…are the prices. But that said, Merci is “charity store” in that it donates %100 of the profit to a charity that helps women and children in Madagascar, a country that suffers from intense poverty. So NO GUILT on the purchases!!

Going just go for the experience is definitely worth it, even if you don’t plan on buying anything. They have a really cozy café with all kinds of fancy teas and cocktails, which you can enjoy while getting your daily dose of people watching !



Ok, so I’ve noticed that lately all I have been writing about is FOOD!! Clearly it demonstrates my priorities during my free time…but I swear that eating out is not all I do!

I also do a a lot of fashion. An equally damaging obsession that well, I just can’t help. Recently, I went to check out an expo that showcased some of Paris’s up and coming designers, and fell in love with the creations of Rose la Biche. 100% hand-sewn and designed by Lucy Baluteig-Gomes, Rose la Biche literally means ‘Rose the Doe’ and was started by Baluteig-Gomes in San Francisco in 2005.

Love the sleeves on this one!

What attracted me immediately to Baluteig-Gomes’s clothing was the playful yet structured nature of the line, demonstrated particularly in her spring jackets. Capturing the romantic yet edgy fashion of Parisian chic, her newest line is worth an online browse on her Etsy web site named after her label.

Baluteig-Gomes told me that originally her line was geared to an American public, however following her move back to Paris, she discovered that Parisians really enjoyed the American simplicity of a jacket and tee, so she abstained from deviating too far from her original designs. I found her clothing to be a great balance between casual and alternative, making them perfect for almost every occasion. When I tried on several magnificent pieces, which happen to all be too big for me, she offered right away to fit me at her studio in order to get the fit just right.

The shoulders sold me!

In her own words, “Creating this apparel line came out of my urge for elegant yet edgy basics as a refreshing alternative to trendy look-alike mass produced pieces. I design each new piece with the idea of a balance between ‘wow factor’ and everyday ‘wearable.’ Unexpected shapes plus sober colors for a clean finish to wear up or down: that’s what Rose la Biche is about.”

I couldn’t agree more, and I highly suggest checking out her line out to freshen up your wardrobe this spring!!

Rue Beaurepaire in the 10th arrondissement

Oh lazy Sundays… the kind of days where you just want to stroll in the streets, eat a late brunch, and well do a little shopping. A little retail therapy  to cheer you up from some back to work blues…pourquoi pas?

Why not? Well first off most shops are closed on Sunday in Paris, as well as in most of France. Then, should you be looking to get food around 1pm or later, it also gets difficult as most Parisian restaurants aren’t too keen on serving  late into the afternoon. All in all, it kind of  ruins the whole lazy Sunday I look forward to at the end of my week… until I discovered RUE BEAUREPAIRE.

Rue Beaurepaire in the 10th arrondissement is glorious little Sunday haven I escape to now that the sun is shining bright and spring has arrived. Branching off from Place de la Republique and winding down to the canal St. Martin, this street has it all. Whether is a trendy shop (THAT IS OPEN) or a cool  neighborhood bistro to grab some brunch, the charm and relaxed atmosphere is everything I am craving on a Sunday. And did I mention that it isn’t hardly as crowded as the Marais, and that beautiful bobo chic peeps are everywhere?

Here is a short list of the places open for business on Sunday:

American Apparel – great for trendy basics and old-school vintage redone with a modern edge. http://americanapparel.net/

10, rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris

Bazar Ethnique – has a great selection of clothing and accessories that are made of organic fabrics and materials. Distributes brands such as Lola Bon’Heure

25, rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris

Bel Air - 22, rue Beaurepaire, 75010



Bel Air Not the Fresh Prince, just Bel Air. A hip and stylish joint that echoes the LA/Santa Monica fashion I grow up on. Bel Air makes some killer leather bags and satchels, and doesn’t completely empty your wallet!  http://www.belair-paris.fr/

22, rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris


Boutique Liza Korn – Liza Korn is a stylist who styles to the likes of Vogue and now has her own boutique. She mixes soft romantic themse likes Liberty with a harder rocker flair. http://www.liza-korn.com/

19, rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris

Cotélac – a very chic shop that resembles a mix of Zara, Maje, Sandro rolled in one. Very bobo, very French.  http://www.cotelac.fr/

30, rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris

Ekyog – ORGANIC, ethically produced and great ! Women’s and Children’s fashion http://www.ekyog.com/

33, rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris

Liza Korn - 19, rue Beaurepaire, 75010

Frivoli – vintage and gently used clothing and accessories, features brands such as Gucci, YSL, and more.

26 Rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris

Ikks – Fun mix of wearable casual chic clothes, lots of leather, silk, and cotton. This season has a nice splash of floral tops and dresses. (this goes for men and women, minus the floral dresses) http://www.ikks.com/

34, rue Beaurepaire, 75010,Paris

The Kooples – You’ve probably seen the ads with the hot (or not) couples, wearing mostly somber outfits that give off a punk/rock vibe. Pieces contain lace, studs, skulls, leopard print, and many shades of black! You get a free cloth bag with purchase, you’ve probably seen a handful of women toting their lunch and other miscellaneous items inside… http://www.thekooples.com/

32, rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris

Renhsen – Great selection of ultra-flattering  jeans, and very stylish accessories! http://www.renhsen.com/

22, rue Beaurepaire, 75010, Paris

Canal St. Martin, just off rue Beaurepaire

As this posting got a bit long, my brunch short list will be the next blog posting, so stay tuned !!

Great color scheme, great bag, I gave this guy La Grisette's seal of approval!

 

So recently with fashion week going on here in Paris, I have been trying to gather the nerve to capture some of the great looks I am seeing on the street during my lunch break, my runs etc. Here is my first try, à la Sartorialist…

This hip guy had a great color scheme going on that I just loved. It was so refreshing to see color (BRIGHT COLOR!) given that Parisians love their shades of black. To see it on a man was even better. The “Hermès orange” hat just made the look, I will definitely be adding that hue to my wardrobe this spring…Hermès here I come!

Hitting kiosks today is the new pocket size Madame Figaro, a widely read women’s magazine supplement to the French newspaper Le Figaro, much like the T Magazine is to the New York Times. After seeing the success of recent almost tabloid-esque magazines such as Grazia and Be, Madame Figaro has decided to downsize literally the size of its magazine in order to most likely save on production costs and put itself in a better position to compete. Starting at 1 euro, and eventually going up to the regular price of 1,30 euros, the new miniature Madame Figaro has picked a perfect time to launch…smack dab in the middle of Paris Fashion Week.

While magazine sales are suffering for the most part in other countries, notably the U.S., magazines, especially small cheap ones, are still going strong in France. For example, Elle magazine has actually increased sales over the past five years, whereas other magazines have had to pull their shutters. Time will tell whether the move to create a pocket size Madame Figaro will render the magazine more competitive…for the moment it seems like a desperate measure to cut costs and appeal to France’s slimming wallets. Especially when they say something as cutesy/cheesy as “Madame Figaro pocket – Le style à prix mini.” It’s like saying “Payless – Dress for Less” for a magazine…

Salon International de l’Agriculture 2011. Just the word agriculture sounds terribly boring, not to mention this year’s very unsexy advertising poster with a giant cow named “Candy” on it. People mocked my Saturday salon plans. Yet, despite of it all, I just couldn’t pass up the promise of delicious eats and drinks, France’s finest farm animals, and scoping out the lieu of Sarkozy’s famous “casse-toi, pauvre con” episode.

The look "Alsacien" is always a staple on the catwalks of the Salon Int'l de l'Agriculture

Being the fashionista and foodie that I am, I headed straight to Pavillion 7, the French food court as I dubbed it, where the UNESCO heritage gastronomie was laid out in abundance. Hundreds of stands offered free samples of cheeses, charcuterie, chocolate, nougat, beer, wine, and regional specialities from almost every region in France. My goal was to sample away to my hearts delight while snapping the hilarious “agri-couture” around me.

Six hours later…mission accomplished as la Grisette emerges from the salon completely saturated with food/wine and a set of ridiculous photos.

These "cardinals" definitely nailed this year's fur-lined everything trend...

All in all, it was definitely an experience, an enjoyable one at that, so don’t miss it this year!!

And should you want to make a dinner of it – as some booths are full on restaurants, be sure to go on Friday, February 25th, as the Salon is open until 11pm!

 

 

 

Salon International de l’Agriculture 2011

Going on from the 19-27 of February 2011

Porte de Versailles from 9-19h


Don’t miss the rest of the Salon’s top looks!! No sarcasm here… =)

The modest pilgrim look was taken up by men and women alike.

This takes buzz cut to a whole new level...or shall we say buzz butt?

Uni-suit anyone? A cow is truly the best accessory here...

And yes she did. The jelly sandal. Amongst manure and hay. The biggest fashion faux-pas of the salon!

My new favorite belt - an Omaya purchase at 10€

So, while I’ve cooled off on shopping for a bit (translated as saving up for the soldes…), this place opened a block away from my apartment and as you can see, I felt absolutely compelled to drag my ass in there to see what it was all about.

And well, I was not disappointed!! Omaya, recently opened and run by a charming man by the name of Thomas, was a treasure chest of tried and true vintage from the 70’s and 80’s. Thomas carefully sorts through everything leaving his boutique stashed full of the cream of the crop – dresses, shoes, blouses, overalls (yes apparently they are making a comeback), belts, purses, and boots. He gets most of his clothing from Italy and France, and has really taken the time to chose quality over quantity. No out of season H&M peices here…it’s the real stuff. And the prices — can not be beat!!

Omaya Vintage - the treasure chest!!

If you don’t have time to check it out, Omaya also has an online boutique (http://www.omaya-vintage.com/) that features the new stock and a good portion of what Thomas sells at the shop. They can also be found on Facebook at (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Paris-France/Omaya-Vintage/289202147281?v=wall)

Omaya Vintage

29 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud

75011, Paris

Mon-Sat (10am-7pm)

Violette et Léonie - thrift/vintage store at 27 rue de Poitou, 75003

Lately, and I thought this day would never come, I have become apathetic to the shop windows of H&M, Zara, Mango and more. Every time I see something I like in those places, I know now I am bound to see the chick sitting next to me on the metro wearing it too. Their styles as of late…well, it’s the usual Parisian uniform consisting of a blazer or a trench, a skinny pant, maybe tights under some worn cut offs jean shorts, and an original pair of shoes, if your lucky. Colour of choice here? Black.

With the shopping itch hitting hard as the seasons change, I find myself totally uninterested in my usual digs, and with the purse strings tightening, I decided to seek out affordable vintage stores to help heal my wardrobe woes and just go a bit funky with my style. Vintage shopping in Paris however, was not quite what I expected when it came to staying within the budget. Who knew used stuff could be so freaking pricey? THE NERVE of some of Paris’s vintage shops… sucked the fun right out of it.

But, perseverance prevailed and I thought I would to share my latest finds of great vintage fashion in Paris that comes at a great price. Yeah!

The first place is called Violette and Léonie (dépôt vente concept), located on rue de Poitou in the 3rd arrondissement. Treasures such as a Marc Jacobs clutch for 60 euros or Paul and Joe jeans for 40 euros can be found, as well as real vintage stuff like Givenchy dresses for around 100 euros or Balenciaga heesl for about the same price. Blouses and tops range from about 10-40 as a well as skirts and dresses. Coats and outerwear can be a bit more pricey depending on the brand.

The second place, Vintage Desire is also in the Marais  at 32 Rue de Rosier, right next to a delicious falafel restaurant. After gorging on a large falafel sandwich, I popped over to Vintage Desire to browse and start the digestion process. More goodies awaited me, including these badass booties I purchased for 15 euros! (ok ok, I know they are black…but different nonetheless!) Less upscale than the previously mentioned shop, this place offers up all kinds of pieces for real cheap, letting you indulge in your funky chic side without have to suffer any guilt when you realize you’ll only wear the thing a handful of times. How liberating!

My €15 funky boot purchased at 32 Rue de Rosier, 75004

Me modeling said funky boot

Maje Stock

Maje Stock

For those of you who have great taste, but usually have to settle for some good ole leche vitrine (translated directly as window licking…love that so much better than window shopping) at some of Paris’s trendiest boutiques, fret no more…

Spread out across Paris lie the outlet versions of Maje, Sandro, Zadig & Voltaire, and many many more. The collections offered are usually fin serie (leftover stock from the previous season) but can also be current collections. The ideal time to go is when new stock is delivered, so I have indicated the dates that I know, and will put the rest for the others as soon as I get it.

I have found some major steals, and usually have no regrets. The thing to be aware of is that at some places, trying clothing on is not encouraged, and changing rooms are not even provided. Be sure to wear something that you can try clothes over, a dress with tights for example works well as you can try jeans over the tights.

— And need I mention that shopping at these places during the soldes is even more exciting?   Happy Shopping!!!

Maje Outlet Location 1: Deliveries are made on Wednesdays and Fridays

4 rue de Marseille

75010 Paris

Open from 11am to 8pm Tuesdays through Saturday

and 1pm to 7pm on Mondays and Sundays

Maje Outlet Location 2:

Avenue Général Leclerc, next to the Minelli store, exact number unknown. It resembles a small garage

Metro: Mouton-Duvernet

Note: Tags are often ripped, and the ladies working the place are MEAN. Don’t be discouraged though, it is worth the look in a case you find a real gem!

Sandro Outlet Location: Deliveries are made on Mondays and Fridays.

26 rue de Sévigné

75004 Paris

Open from 10:30am to 7pm Tuesday through Saturday

and 1pm to 7:30pm on Sundays

Stock Sandro

Sandro Stock

Zadig and Voltaire Outlet: Deliveries made on average every 10 days.

22 rue Bourg Tibourg

75004 Paris

Chloe Outlet:

5-7 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud

75011 Paris

Metro: Oberkampf

Note: They have bags, clothes, jeans, and SHOES. Shoes are probably the best deal, the rest can still be pricey.

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