Tag Archives: fashion

Top Ten Basics

The other day I was greatly inspired by the gorgeous Ms. Garance Doré’s blog post about her top ten clothing/make-up/accessories basics.

Because I cannot be brought to decide ten basics in general, I’d like to separate it into two categories: five for Fall/Winter and five for Spring/Summer.

Here goes:

Fall/Winter:
1) Boots (high heels/flats – preferably black)
2) Thick tights to wear with knee-length skirts (in black, grey, and brown)
3) Knee high socks (in all colors)
4) Moisturizer (Daily Moisturizing Lotion is the best for winter)
5) Perfume (Dolce and Gabbana The One L’eau)

Spring/Summer:
1) A chic pair of leather flats/kitten heels (in brown)
2) Flowy skirt with a great design
3) Colorful and bright bikini
4) Sunblock
5) Sunglasses

And necessary for forever: blacker than black mascara and a dusting of blush to make my cheeks rosy and take away the deathly pale color that is currently my skin. Yuck. I need some sunshine!

Now it’s your turn! What are your five basics for fall/winter and spring/summer? I might just have to adopt one of your picks as mine! And don’t just think this is limited to the ladies…I want to hear the guy’s picks too!!!

* Here is a link to her post in English and in French.

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Alexander Wang, Fall 2010

I know it was just the other day I blogged about Spring 2010, but I cannot avoid talking about this Alexander Wang show until fall. I WANNNNTTTT, especially that camel cape and coat, grey criss-cross sweater and those boots. Love the velvet, so late 70s rocker chic. C. Ronson also did a really 70s inspired show. Fall is looking good. I cannot wait to wear my “ratty” suede and fur collar jacket allll spring. (Yes, mom, it’s just guna get even ratttierrrrr. 🙂 I’m just trying to be authentic.)

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Spring Trends for 2010

Now that a new decade is upon us, and a new season, Spring 2010 will be an interesting time. My predictions for upcoming/persisting trends from the shows I am most excited about.

– 1950s/1960s femme fatale, with a twist. (See Hussein Chalayan)
– Leather used in new ways. (See Valentino PS – that’s not lace, that’s leather!)
– Rocker Chick (See Balmain)
– And one of my favorite shows from the season (and a definite favorite designer in general): Lanvin

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Les Françaises

When someone says to you “French girls” what comes to mind?

Style, class, cigarettes, Brigitte Bardot? One friend (a Frenchman) once said, “I don’t date French girls. They are crazy.”

On the contrary, I don’t think French girls are crazy at all. I think they know exactly what they’re doing. Their bedhead hair is extremely calculated, the way they clutch their cigarette is poised but fanatic, they slur their words until it sounds like they are purring, and their leather boots clunk to a perfected rhythm. In fact, it’s their quirkiness that makes them so unique.

Often when I take a glance at a française trundling down the street I think, “Mhm, interesting.” Unlike Scandinavian girls, where their beauty is sometimes downright blinding, French girls have a beauty that takes time to acclimate oneself to. That is not to say that French girls are frog-like creatures who you have to kiss to make them turn into the beautiful princess. Nor is it to say that French girls who are blindingly gorgeous do not exist. Quite the contrary. It is rather that there is a certain twist, an alluring twirk of the nose, a furrowed brow, or a piercing glance that throws you off at first. Then, after a while, you realize that the creature before you is not directing their eyes towards me and thinking, “I hate you,” or turning their nose up at you. But I suppose it is rather, “Pfh…this world…,” “Putain, I have no more cigarettes,” or “God, it smells bad in Lille today” (which it really does sometimes). Ah, so French.

When I first moved here I felt very self-conscious, not only because I was in a new place but because I do not look like French girls. I have short, dirty-blonde hair, and blue eyes, which some French women do have, but most are a gorgeous, flowing brunette with molasses eyes. Damn, that’s the opposite of me. I’ve lived in places where I was overwhelmingly in the minority and overwhelmingly in the majority. But somehow, living in a place where you can blend in but still don’t look like the inhabitants was a little unsettling. Somehow it’s easier to be one or the other, but never in the middle.

After the first month or two I got over my self-consciousness and was glad that I stood out. I’ll never be able to do the bedhead look. I don’t want to smoke cigarettes. I will never be able to speak French like a cat. And I’m very happy to have my own klonk-klonk of my leather boots. But, you have got to give it to them. They are magnificent.

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Soldes

10am: Just ate the leftovers of a peach tart for breakfast (uhm…fruit, that’s healthy right?) and waited for an hour for a friend to Skype with me (no luck) so I’m now getting off the couch and going to check out the madness of the sales. (YES, you heard me, Sale Season here in France!) I didn’t go out yesterday on the first day of sales because, honestly, I didn’t want to get killed by the stampedes of psychos – and, yes, that does really happen. But I promise myself that I’m not going to buy anything, unless I need it, and it’s a really good price (ha, good luck Lise, courage and restriction!). No, but seriously, it’s just after the holiday season and I’d much rather keep my money for more important things, so we will see how this goes.

3pm: Drum roll please…I bought…Pyjamas, which I actually did need. One pair of pants and one nightie. One pair of black tights. And one nail polish (gotta splurge someway). The really ironic thing is that originally I had the intention of going out to buy new underwear and…low and behold…as I was walking I felt like there was something trailing behind me, I look down, and a pair of MY underwear was caught in my pants. Sweet. Classy! Does everyone have some sort of nightmare about nudity, underwear, etc? I don’t really feel inhibitions towards those sort of things, so this was just very funny to me. But for a second there, I was really embarrassed to be walking through the Grand Place – the main strip in Lille – with a pair of my underwear dragging behind me. Yessss…nice way to start of the New Year – exhibitionism!

On a more serious note (for the ladies, and dudes if you have education in this department you can pitch in some advice too) what is up with French lingerie stores? Why can’t I find my size? Does anyone have recommendations for buying bras in France? I thought you guys were supposed to be experts here.

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La Grande Braderie

This weekend was absolutely insane. I think the only way to describe the Grande Braderie is a Big Mess. Thousands of vendors came from all over the region – Belgium, the Netherlands, all of France, England, and Germany, to celebrate one of the largest flea markets in Europe. Despite a few obstacles during the Braderie, such as the GRIPPE! (swine flu), stores not selling alcohol after 3pm to avoid drunken mobs, a big brawl in the Grand Place between drunkards and police at 4am, and the fact that NO ONE slept well the whole weekend because of all the noise, the Grande Braderie was so awesome and totally fou.

Our friends started arriving on Friday at around 5pm, began the apero while waiting for others to arrive, and watched the madness start to unfold out of our window – vans parked everywhere on the sidewalk, vendors sleeping in tents on the street, and hordes of people arriving to Lille by train, car, or bike every second.

Irina, Gaetan, Claire, Markus, Olivier, and Arthur

On Saturday, I woke up to a marathon outside our window and all the vendors prepared to sell their goods.
Marathon

As the minutes passed and the marathon came to an end, the street began to buzz louder and louder. When everyone at the apartment was ready to submerge into the crowds we went out. Here’s a few pictures from the day – quiet streets turned into traffic jams, massive amounts of food to feed the hungry, and policemen on horses to control the crowds. At one point, I was so overwhelmed by the amount of people, by my inability to communicate in French because of exhaustion, and because I dropped kebab grease on my shoe, that I just shut down and felt I could not go on any longer. But, alas, ’tis the Grande Braderie, and thus I forged on!

For lunch on Saturday I tried mussels and fries – the traditional Grande Braderie meal. Lets just say that I can wait until next Grande Braderie to eat mussels again! And, of course, we bought some things for the apartment:
– egg cups
– a big poster for the living room wall
– a mortar and pestle
– a butter dish
– a dress for one euro (I bought this one obviously not for the apartment but for myself)

My friends bought stuff like a carpet, a recipe box full of recipes from the 60s, a tea kettle, TONS of old clothing, including two suits for both Alex and Gaetan who wore them to a big party one night and looked like gangsters from the 20s with their black hats, black suits, and cigarettes. You could literally buy anything at the Braderie – from skis to second hand everything to snakes and lizards.

Here is a view of the Braderie from our window at the height of the weekend. There was a steady stream of people exactly like this from Saturday to Sunday.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend full of apartment parties, street parties at 4am, and odd purchases. Now, I am absolutely dead and want to stay in a hole for at least a week.

How are your lives? It is the beginning of the first semester for a lot of you – is it going well? And for those of you in the northern hemisphere, did you notice how the weather changed this week so suddenly? It’s COLD now! Summer is really over, true fall is on it’s way!

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