Friday, August 29, 2008

C's Boots

When one of my best friends returned from living in Stockholm her timing was impeccably terrible. I had literally just purchased a pair of boots for the Fall- settled rather than excitedly sported- and when I saw her she had these perfect specimens on. They are by Acne Jeans and are every bit as perfect as you may believe them to be ;)
It's a style that is repeated each season, in limited quantities. Although I don't have 600+ euros to throw down on them, it reminds me how hard it is to find a great pair of comfortable boots.
A slight heel is my idea of ideal- but I realize for many, flat is imperative.
I hate looking for boots but adore wearing them. If you come across something of such perfect simplicity, in a more Diet friendly price point, please let me know!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Everybody needs a Rest


So I took one. What an incredible month I've had dieters. I'm actually very happy to be back in NYC- gearing up for fashion week- and strategizing all the exciting purchases I am hoping to make.

I hope the live journaling during my trip wasn't a complete snooze for you. It was a one time necessity and I promise not to indulge in such nonsense again.

Back to business- is hosting an event called "Brooklyn Fashion Week" which I think is supposed to kick off on September 3rd. While I was initially under the impression that the event would be taking place in Brooklyn exclusively, with the borough's talented wunderkinds showing off their spring collections, it seems the shows will be held on the island of Manhattan, but giving voice to some talented designers without the gift of Mercedes Benz tents.

I like the idea- but would LOVE it if it was in Brooklyn exclusively. It kind of feels like a long overdue War of the Worlds that way, doesn't it?

Besides, it would be really nice to give Brooklyn the homage it deserves as many designers get their start out there anyway. Alas, I hope that you all find a way to show some support for the featured designers (Love Brigade, Harriet's Alter Ego and Sheila Frank) and perhaps make it to many of the boutiques hosting trunk shows during the week.

Check out the whole Calendar of Events here:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In Conclusion

You'll notice I added pictures- more or less related to my posts ;)

Happy to be back in NY and actually preparing for my final summer holiday to Western NY to visit my grandmother.

Now that I have my pictures here, a little summary with visuals (oh my!).
First, France seems to have a really nice amount of lines that fall within a moderate price range. Not cheap, but not "designer expensive" either. They don't seem to have the copious amounts of sales that we do so maybe this is their response. Footwear is one category where this is extremely useful (how expensive are the shoes that you are coveting for fall?). SO MANY BEAUTIFUL FLAT BOOTS under $200.00. Above is an example of a few that I was oogling. Not the best pic but I was quickly instructed to put away the camera from a salesgirl. I always hate getting busted for being a blogger.

Next, a shot of the store with the random antiques that will forever haunt my mind- only the bins outside but you get the idea I hope.

Below, another favorite discovery, a musis box store! It wasn't opened when I found it, so I just gazed inside. Tons of amazing little pieces and a whole selection of songs that can be inserted into the box. What an amazing gift that would make!

Thanks for putting up for me over these few weeks. Ready to roll into fashion week/s...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Wedding in Strasbourg

I've been pouring over web pages all morning trying to find a suitable picture to accompany this post (specifically of the dress I am going to be wearing today) and nothing nothing nothing. It's driven me into such a frenzy that I could easily have not posted anything at all...

So once again, my apologies for the random live journaling and no photos.

Today is the wedding. I am apprehensive and frightened by all the threats made to me regarding not being in bed before 6 AM. Apparently in every part of the world other than the states, weddings are excuses to get insanely drunk and eat like a pig for hours and hours on end. So when in Rome...

Last night we had the "rehearsal dinner" in a brasserie near the middle of the city. I don't know how many people were there- maybe 20- hence rehearsal dinner in quotes. The wedding guest list is currently at 180 so only a small fraction of the guests attended last night's soiree. Tarte flambees were served the minute we sat down and I don't remember my wine level dipping very far below it's status quo even though I am certain I was drinking. SUCH AMAZING WHITE WHINE!

Alsace is the place to get your fix with the most lovely pinot gris, gerwurtztraminer (sp?) and Reisling. The best I've ever had. The night ended relatively early around midnight and I've slept off the consumption- ready for round two today (although trepidatious, me of the "Grandma" moniker).

Wearing Tracy Reese snatched from Sara's closet. It's lovely and chiffon with velvet blue ribbons for straps. I am so excited to wear a uniform that has not been in rotation for the past 3 weeks. Honestly can not wait.

I have no idea what the bride's dress will be like, but knowing her I'm putting my money on simple and elegant, very little embellishment and likely strapless.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Junk Shop on Friday and Paella for Lunch

I forgot to mention the most intriguing part of my Friday morning in my last post (apparently far too excited to dish about my Kookai purchases). G's cousin- aptly called Jean Luc like any good french man- took us to a junk/furniture/consignment shop on the outskirts of Aix. After seeing my temptation to throw down 15 euro a pop for mundane vintage household items at the afore mentioned store in Paris, G implored me to wait it out and that everything I was lusting after would be found in the single digit range in Aix (even if it won't have the charming display or stylish salesgirl behind it).

Waiting it out proved an intelligent move- most likely why G is in business and me...not so much. The store was enormous and contained the most remarkably vast selection of antique furniture in decent condition for Ikea-competitive prices. If only shipping wouldn't match that 3 fold, I may have indulged with more apartment renovations in the imminent future...

But once again, abstained and quarantined myself to the small pieces and collectibles section. I left with a gorgeous cask for Ricard or water or wine and matching glasses. It's the really old school kind complete with glass stopper. The design on the front is suspiciously reminiscent of the Mayle logo which is perhaps what drew my eye to it amongst the plethora of merchandise.

Also came upon a beautiful pair of shoe inserts (you know the metal kind that you use to keep your oxfords in good shape?). We're planning on hanging them on the wall.

All purchased for 8 euro, definitely not a bank breaker and really nice mementos. Saturday we went to the market in Puyricard, where all the farmers set up stands to sell their produce, or fish or nuts or olives...
I went a little crazy after sampling the ripest fresh fig and ended up buying a basket worth of ingredients at the "biodynamic" stand to make a ratatouille that evening. Once I get my usb I will put pictures up- of all the things I could have forgotten to bring with me on the trip it was this. Now you're stuck listening to me ramble without any visuals.

Yesterday at the giant Aix market, I was on the hunt for an antique table cloth for our newly acquired coffee table. Found a beautiful one that has a lovely lace border and although feminine not TOO much so (at least that's what I convinced G of).

After we accompanied the family to a small village where a family owned restaurant served us lunch. They only make one dish a day and yesterday it was paella. Right when you sit down they greet you with a bottle of red and a bottle of rose (free refills too!). Paella arrives absolutely delicious, fresh seafood, and a basket of baguette- it's not just a cliche. The french love baguette.

After Paella, a blue cheese and a brie are served with salad literally picked from the garden behind their house/restaurant. And to finish it off (this was the best part) an ice cream cone.

To work it off (and our buzz) G and I rode bikes around the hills for an hour or so and then swam for a bit.

Today we are going to the ocean with the family again. To my delight Liz, the 2 year old German cousin who is already totally bohemian has arrived. Having children around immediatly gives me energy.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Yesterday I went into Aix with the family and although shopping was not in the plans, Kookai just showed up right in my path with a big sign saying "Solde."

So, I convinced G and P to wait patiently while I had a quick look. Kookai has lovely stuff, not of the best quality, but falling within the non- cardiac arresting price range. And with the applied "Solde" I found two great items.

One is a Balenciaga-esque boxy top that has two big puffed sleeves and a square neck. The other is an impossibly long pair of trousers with pleating down the front and uber wide legs. Very cozy-comfy "chic with heels, cute with flats" denim alternative. They of course need to hemmed (impossibly long meaning like two fold in length). Slightly embarassing...

All for a grand total of 47 Euro. So although my task was not shopping yesterday, the road inevitably led me to a few great finds which I am sure will bring me into fall with only the best memories of this trip.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

For Those Who Don't Care

Enough live journal- let's talk fashion France style ;)
What have I been seeing lots of? Well harem pants, of course. I love the fact that most chic parisian women seem to forgo denim for smartly tailored pants, this season they're higher waisted, slouchy and cuffed at the ankle. Lots of blazers on the first cool days we were here and once it warmed up, dresses ONLY. Lovely, feminine, and soft flouncy dresses. A few fedoras...

In stock for fall are copious amounts of shaggy sweater vests, knee length and cropped. Knobby and cozy in a really yeti meets Sienna Miller kind of way. And lots of tuxedo pants. Smart black pants have never enticed me more.

Nary a logoed handbag in sight and any time I have inquired about where a bag was purchased from one of the chic girls that I found myself in the company of I have received elusive answers like "Mallorca," "Corsica," etc...

Yes it makes me want to mutter expletives under my breath too.

Now I am in Aix so we'll have to see what hot hot summer fashion is happening in the countryside.

As always, above is my undying love in a homage to french line, Maje. Their fall offerings are to die for.

For Those Who Care

Writing this from a high-speed train going 200 MPH towards the south of France. Goodbye Paris! The city of my most elaborate and exciting fantasies. Last day was lovely- and surprisingly so. We left the house a bit late, around noon, only to return 20 minutes later as my beloved paraboots were giving me more than stylish feet (two ripe blisters to boot). These are shoes that need to be eased into no doubt as they are quite sturdy in the most wonderful (albeit pain inducing) way.

Finally arrived in Montmartre- one of my favorite neighborhoods in Paris. It’s below the Sacre Coeur, a really hilly area with lots of steep inclines and declines. Quaint, quiet and exactly the kind of place that you stumble upon the most obtuse shopping and mind blowing culinary experiences. Arrived starving and settled on a cafĂ© that G insisted looked good (it took some insisting because I had to disagree). Primarily a lotto joint/dive bar, I was too hungry to fully express my disdain. Dieters, I was wrong. So so wrong. If there is one thing I have learned in Paris, it’s to forgo all those “best of” lists and just find your way. Not everything is spectacular, but I have had the best macaroons, the best croissant and at this little unassuming place, the best lunch all in places not documented in guides or even the popular foodie blogs.

Our waitress owned the place and we ordered omelet’s- mine plain, G’s with ham and cheese. Maille mustard (something you can find stateside) was served on the side. It happens to be my favorite condiment in the world…

The omelet was incredible. I buttered my baguette with mustard and made a sandwich, literally savoring the whole thing, no small feat for a grazer such as myself. G’s had real large pieces of ham and was oozing the freshest cheese.

When the waitress offered us a dessert and Guillaume ordered ice cream (chocolate and vanilla) I gave him one of those incredulous eye rolls “You really want me to get fat, don’t you??”

People- the ice cream was of another species of frozen dessert ☺. The chocolate was so dense and dark it even contained huge chunks of super dark chocolate. With the vanilla, that was so strongly flavored, I think I had the most gourmet version of a frozen Oreo. It was to die for.

After lunch we came upon an amazing store. Outside there were old wooden spools, vintage martini glasses and the heads of some vintage porcelain dolls.

Inside was a veritable gallery of the most bizarre and wonderful gifts. Everything was antique: soap boxes from the 1940’s, plastic daisy necklaces from the ‘60’s, chanel No. 5 empty vintage bottles, vintage cheese labels, combs shaped like umbrellas…far too many things to list. Probably the most amazing store I have ever been in.

Walking on, we made our way back towards Galeries Lafayette, as the first day we were there it was far too insane to really see much. The mood was remarkably calmer, as most of the sales had ended. As usual, so much to buy, so little money after the cursed euro exchange. I tried on a few Reiss pants, all too large.

Exhausted from walking for 5 hours straight we headed to Tuileries- the park where they hold Paris fashion week. Such a gorgeous park, complete with rows and rows of bushes and, giant fountains, an amusement park, and of course the giant Louvre in the background. We slept for about an hour in the grass, waking up to figure out how to get to Belleville to meet a friend of Guillaume’s from his childhood. Belleville is a divey neighborhood that has recently experienced an influx of young, broke students. It’s le souk in every sense, tons of people, loud, dirty, and slightly alarming. Happens to be G’s favorite neighborhood and he loves a certain couscous place that only serves this particular specialty with three options: merguez and chicken, beef or vegetarian. We met A and his Australian girlfriend (who put me to shame with her mastery of the French language) for a drink served by a man with one tooth.

Arriving at the couscous place, we were greeted by the bartender asking us if we preferred outside or inside. As outside was full, we told him we could sit in, at which point he told us that if we want to be out, just move the table. So we picked up the table and set it down on the sidewalk. I adore the absence of licenses.

Amazing couscous just as I’d remembered from last time. At 12 euro each with two bottles of rose included, not much to complain about. After we followed the canal down to an Irish pub for a last drink. The canal is insanely romantic, leads out of Belleville into a decided less chaotic neighborhood. Tons of young people drinking bottles of wine and eating baguette and cheese.

When the day ended I don’t think G or I remembered our names, more from the exhaustion than intoxication. This morning we were up early to catch this train and now my hands smell like butter from my croissant. Can’t wait to get to Aix.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Alive and Well

Hi dailies...
SLACKER is back. Its kind of frightening when bloggers go Missing I find. Apologies for putting you through that but I am in Paris and a shoddy internet connection does not lend itself to blogging. There is a certain amount of relief actually in not checking my email every 10 minutes but it also means I miss telling you about my trip.
Needless to say, its been lovely.
First day we had a dinner party with the partner that L is opening his restaurant with. The apartment L and C bought is amazing and very condusive to cooking and eating which we have done so much of here.
Next day I found my paraboot shoes and love them just as much as I did in pictures when we first met long ago on the daily diet. And that night we went to a restaurant with friends of L and C who own a restaurant called The Office. The chef is a disciple of Jamie Oliver and made us a 4 course meal of mushroom shrimp soup, tomato compote with fresh mozzarella and basil, dorado with lemongrass foam, and homemade wild rose ice cream with sour peaches for dessert. Truly amazing.

This meal ended around 2 AM after consumming about 2 bottles of wine each and copious amounts of champagne. AND AT 12 THE NEXT DAY I WAS KICKBOXING!
dont ask. its a long story without any rational reasoning. something that people do hung over here apparently...

And today we were up early, perusing the bon marche and picnicking under the eiffel tower. Pictures to come soon. I miss the daily diet. its a tough separation for me.
Will do my best to provide more tomorrow. and pics. blast these boring words words words.