All posts tagged: paris

The wait continues for a revamped Samaritaine store

The first few times I visited Paris was with my mom. She knows the city very well and would take us to all the tourist places as well as one of her favourites, La Samaritaine department store. The landmark art deco building owned by LVMH sits on Rue de Rivoli and overlooks the river Seine. In 2005 the buildings doors were shut as it no longer met to meet safety standards and after lengthy renovations was meant to reopen in 2013. I pass this building often and always admire it’s beautiful architecture – especially the art deco signage in black and gold, I imagine the generations of women passing through it’s doors since it’s opening in 1869 and I’ve been exciting at the prospect it’s new chapter and story… it’s just taking a mighty long time! The renovation is fully funded by LVMH boss Bernard Arnaud (France’s wealthiest man), his plan is to transform the space into luxury complex comprising of upmarket stores, a luxe hotel, office space as well as duty-free stores appealing to the Chinese consumer …

Love, Style and Bad Habits …

Parisian women have always seemed mysterious. The subtle pout, the nonchalant way they carry themselves and their confident low-key look that oozes femininity. Think Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Tautou, Marion Cotillard or Vanessa Paradis – sexy, stylish, alluring and seemingly mysterious and untouchable… until now. How to be Parisian Wherever You Are : Love, Style and Bad Habits is an insightful tongue and cheek manual written by four friends and Paris natives, Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret and Sophie Mas. I’ve just finished the book in Thailand (great for the holiday attention span!) and it’s the perfect handbook on how the modern Parisian woman manages to stay so mysterious that can be practiced wherever you are in the world. It’s penned as if you’ve just made friends with a bossy, opinionated Parisian and she’s dishing her intimate secrets, obviously with immaculate red lips while sipping a glass of red wine with a cigarette in hand! She’ll share her fashion tips, teach you how to make your boyfriend jealous and enlighten you on the etiquette for beauty products and plastic surgery. She’s the Paris …

Lifting the curtain on LV’s renovated Avenue Montaigne store

For months the Louis Vuitton store on Paris’s most famous luxury fashion street has been under construction. A gigantic white metal ‘curtain’ hid the magic that was happening behind it, and finally this week, that curtain has been lifted to unveiled the maison’s new-look store. As the doormen open the large glass doors, you enter the open plan space designed with all the trademark LV colours of beige, brown and gold. The design of the store, created by architect Peter Marino, is created in the spirit of a Parisian apartment (although way more modern the mine!). There are break-away areas with tables and coral hued loungers where you can try on and enjoy the merchandise at your leisure. It does feels as if you are in someone’s super posh home where you’re treated as a VIP guest and nothing is too much trouble. My girlfriend and I browsed for over an hour and a half, we tried on the beautifully curated selection of bags and shoes, sat on the comfortable sofas, sipped champagne and used the time to catch up on each other’s …

Make me pretty one lash at a time

At first, having eyelash extensions made me a little nervous – I mean, I didn’t want to rock up at school-pick up looking like a drag queen (after all the french mamas like to do things trés naturelle)! There are the obvious worries such as my own eyelashes falling out and never growing back or the glue creating small noticeable snot-balls on the eyelid! Eeuw! All these thoughts were enough to keep me layering on my favourite mascaras for eternity. But there’s no better time than the holiday season right? So I finally did it and they are perfect. I opted for the safest and shortest length available as I wanted thickness more than length and they are super sexy, save on time and my four-year-old thinks I look like a princess! I luuuurve them! If you’re a virgin, then here are a few tips: – Find a reputable salon, ask around – and don’t go too cheap either, they last around 6 weeks so you want them to be professionally done with care and precision. – The …

Superheros, cartoons and giant balloon dogs. What kid wouldn’t want to see that?

Taking kids to any museum is a little stressful, there’s always the chance that you turn your head for a second and they’re touching the 17-century painting that changed the course of history! However, there is one artist that seems pretty safe and fun to take the Small People to, and that is American artist Jeff Koons. Not because his works haven’t changed the face of modern art (he is after all the artist who tops the list of the most expensive work by a living artist sold at auction – just a cool US$58.4 million) but because his works even appealed to my 4-yr-old. He is widely regarded as one of the most prominent, popular and provocative artists of the postwar era and kids get it. His famed giant inflatables (Balloon Dog Magenta, 1994-2000), cartoons and Super Heros (Hulk Friends and Hulks Bell both 2004-2012), Play Doh works and stainless steel cast trains (Jim Beam – Baggage Car 1986) will keep even the smallest of people’s attention while you can enjoy the exhibit too. Bonus! Jeff Koons retrospective showing at the …

The most romantic guy in Paris is 2cm tall!

The other night I came across this fabulous and ingenious Instagram account, @Legocentric, and was totally amused by it. This may have something to do with our apartment being held hostage by these miniature “personage” or Lego men – Their best form of attack is crushing your bare feet in the dark! I caught up with the creators of these cutely curated images, couple Nicolas and his girlfriend Jen who he credits to having great ideas. Nicolas has been in Paris for 14 years after growing up in France’s south-east region and declares his love for the city. By day he’s a project manager for a consulting firm and so uses his photos as a creative outlet. He tells me that, “The original idea came to me almost 2 years ago in January 2013, a snowy day in Paris. I thought it would be funny to do a photo with mini figurine feet in the snow on my balcony. I used a mini Playmobil man but then I realized that the Lego men allow more creativity than …

Au clair de la lune

As if Paris isn’t romantic enough without a full moon, but lucky for me a saturday night stroll to see the Christmas lights and the market on the Champs Elysees surprisingly brought with it a beautiful full moon over the famous city of lights. One of my favourite walks in the french capital starts from nearby our apartment. We cross over Pont d’Alma gazing at the Louvre in the distance and the Bateaux Mouches as they hug camera flashing tourists on their decks, we walk up Avenue Montaigne while window browsing the most famous luxury stores and meet the Champs Elysees. Turning right we walk along the busy avenue watching the crazy drivers while admiring the symmetry of the Arc de Triomphe as it mirrors the Place de la Concorde. The Grand Palais greets you on the right, it’s contemporary-looking glass roof juxtaposing it’s early Beaux-Arts columns. As you get closer to the Alexandre III bridge it’s hard not to feel as if you’re in a movie – the river beneath, and the glowing lamp posts make even the …

Oui! Colette, J’arrive!

Colette in Paris isn’t a new store – however it is still one of my fave concept cult stores to visit. I popped in there on a saturday afternoon and it was full of young, trendy locals and visitors to the city. Their book collection is one of the best I’ve seen, they have a great selection of fashion biographies that will make any fashion lover tingle. I spotted a very chic tourist glancing through How to be Parisian wherever you are, written by four french women who have been friends forever and decided to put together a very funny manual on how to be parisian chic (I grabbed a copy, will let you know how my transformation goes!). The upstairs section of the store is my favourite, you’ll always find interesting pieces that have been perfectly curated for the girl looking for the extraordinary and it’s impossible to walk out of the store without buying something – this time I got myself a pair of gorgeous Ancient Greek Sandals, the fantastic cult-ish shoe brand, gaining a major celeb following. …

Ski suits swinging from the ceiling

As the temperatures drop in the Northern Hemisphere and you dream of warm duvets then it’s worth visiting a Moncler store. The brands outerwear is just that – super high fashion duvets. Who knew that a skiing label could become so stylish that even if you don’t set foot on a ski slope you wouldn’t look out of place. I visited the Moncler store on Rue Faubourg Saint Honore, it is a masterpiece ! My favourite part, seeing the mannequins suspended from the ceiling dressed in – you guessed it – ski suit-esque garb. It’s a store full of imagination – beautifully merchandised, creatively designed and with awesome tunes playing the background you’ll want to spend hours just browsing.

Ready, set, aller! Navigate Paris with these reads

While the simple app on your smart phone is very quick and SO tech forward, there’s nothing like the printed version! Open the book, turn the pages, see the photos and read the stories… Here are my top three at the moment. If you love history and your mode of transport is the Metro, then this is a great way to tick both of those off the list. The book follows Lorant Deutsch, an historian and lifelong Francophile as he uses the 21-stops on the Paris underground to unveil events from French history – a super fun, awesome way to spend time in the beautiful city while brushing up on your history. Metronome by Lorant Deutsch Food, clothing, live animals (yes really!) – too many markets and so little time? Get yourself the Markets of Paris Second Edition mini-guide written and compiled by Dixon Long and Marjorie R. Williams. This little black book of markets takes you through the entire market scene in the city, including organic produce, artisanal vendors and antiques. It also includes virtual markets as …