Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Paris part 1 - Vintage Heavan

Paris - the centre of fashion and the home of Haute Couture so as part of our recent trip we had to check out what the vintage shops had to offer.

With the help of my vintage guide book (they are quite a few on Amazon so check them out) and our map of Paris - hubby and I ventured out to see what we could find.

Many of the shops are not in the normal tourist areas so quite a lot of seeking out and map reading skills were required!!!

Our first stop was Palais Royal - a covered shopping walk way around a beautiful garden with fountain and flowers - here we discovered Didier Ludot, who deals in vintage Haute Couture - stunning gowns, brocade fabrics, among Chanel Suits and Hermes bags - way out of my price range but it was fabulous to drool.


Vintage to die for!!!
The next shop on my list was Mamz'Elle Swing - full of fabulous 40's and 50's gems in a bright pink shop pumping out swing and R&B music. The owner was lovely bringing out more and more things for me to try and had such a passion for her vintage it was a joy to shop there. I was hot trying things on but I eventually chose -  a beautiful print 40's dress and the cutest little hat complete with veil and flowers.
 Mamz'elle Swing outside her bright shop.
Inside the wonderful clothes and painted walls.

The following day - we hit a completely different area of Paris - 18th arrondissement - Montmartre, the old red light district full of quirky shops and bars. Fuelled by an espresso we headed of in search of more vintage treasures.
Our first stop was not in my guide book but we stumbled across it by accident no 86 Boulevard de Rochechouart  which again was packed with a mixture from all eras but I found another stunning 40's dress ( no doubt all the purchases will feature in up and coming outfit posts very soon).
One  of the shops that I did want to visit was Mamie - which was packed from floor to ceiling with everything from hats to sunglasses, jewellery to shoes, men's and women's vintage everywhere!!
No purchases for me this time - but the hubby bought a very smart 40's blazer and an original 1940's Hawaiian shirt.
Almost next door was their sister shop Mamie Blue - Bridgette was adorable and has a passion for all things 30's and 40's, with a vast knowledge of her collections. We spent ages chatting - in a mixture of my bad French and her much better English.  She brought out a divine 1930s' straw hat from the back of the shop - one she was possibly saving for herself but let me buy it!!!
Mamie Blue!!
We loved discovering fabulous vintage in the streets of Paris, chatting and sharing our passion with the lovely shop owners and bringing home a little bit of vintage French style!!!



Tuesday, 2 July 2013

How to get Parisain Chic???

The hubby and I are off to Paris in a few weeks time for a well deserved break so lots of serious outfit planning will be need in the next week or so. I love Paris it is one of my favourite places, just sitting drinking wine and watching the world go by - it is one of the few cities that is OK to stare at how people are dressed.

And I will be doing rather a lot of  people watching because French women seem to look effortless chic whatever the occasion, so what is their secret??

Rule no 1 - buy quality not quantity, you don't see French women's wardrobes bursting full of clothes they never wear, investment pieces are the key.

Rule no 2 - go for classic items - you don't see many new trends in a French wardrobe, they like to dip into the seasons look but work them around their classic pieces.

Rule no 3 - keep it simple French women stay away from fancy frills and fuss favouring clean lines and neutral colours.

Rule 4 - add in some vintage whether it be your grandmothers Hermes Kelly bag or Chanel jacket ( I wish but that's what the French ladies do invest and pass on to the next generation!!!) or something you picked up in the little vintage shop around the corner from your office.

Rule no 5 - accessories, accessories accessories  - a great bag or fabulous pair of shoes, a scarf tied jauntily around the neck or a vintage brooch placed just right.

Rule no 6 - spend a little more on your lingerie, French ladies spend money on their underwear - no basic M&S multi packs or greying bras, go for matching sets in pastel shades or classic black.

Rule no 7 - take your influence from classic French designers - think Chanel, Dior and Givenchy

I've got a few more French flavour posts to come leading up to the visit and then from Paris itself - so watch this space.