This week is flying by in Paris with a vibrant fun group of women from all over the US....including a trio of sisters, an aunt and niece, and including our niece, Madeline. Flowers and color has been a theme with visits to a couture flower making house, to the breathtaking gardens at Giverny to a visit to see the waterlilies at the Orangerie, the impressionist paintings at the d'Orsay....and then, the shop windows full of color. Finally, yesterday the warm weather broke and people in the street and parks in light spring clothes. ....but in Paris, it is always a good idea to carry an umbrella!
Below.....some impressions from spring in Paris.
Vintage Fath dress.
Shopping for flowers in the drawers in the showroom which has not changed in many many years. While we were there, a charming French woman came in to pick up a flower and said how she loved coming here, that her grandmother brought here there when she was a little girl.
Our friend Dominique joined us for the visit.
In the workroom where the flowers are made.
Forming the flower, each petal shaped and formed by hand...all this work done by a group of women.
Flowers made of cork fabric....at first glance they looked like cookies!
Sunday, May 6, 2012
unday in Paris the pace of life here changes. Quiet, shops and some cafes/restaurants are closed. We started the day at the flea market, then to the organic marked in our neighborhood, then to a beautiful once a year, (10 days only), pop up shop showing of textiles, clothing and objects, called the HEARTWEAR COLLECTION. Thanks to our friend Dominique (included in our group photo at the right), we wended our way to a new neighborhood, where the gracious team from Heartwear (all super talented designers and stylists who run this non-profit), gave us a mini lecture on the textiles. See below for a taste of this inspiring collaboration between designers and African textile workers that is helping to keep the indigo traditions alive. Parisian designers work with the African men and women, and the results are beautiful. See below for impressions of this marvelous exhibition.
I coveted this magnificent quilt!
The Heartwear Design team....some of the most talented stylists and designers in Paris.....you can get a glimpse of their hearts and enthusiasm in this photo. We loved meeting them and having a chance to visit the fabulous space and have a chance to buy some of the beautiful textiles, clothing and household objects crafted by artisans in Benin.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
ne of my 3 favorite heart-rendering spaces in Paris is the Palais Royal. Go there when you are in Paris. I take every opportunity to use it as a short cut, or to grab a sandwich and sit in the garden, have a quiet respite from the city, a quick lunch and a muse on what has happened here in the past. People watching is great too. Joggers. Neighborhood kids and dogs at play. Colette lived in the apartments above, and once I rented apartments here with a group.
The arcades have marvelous shops & GREAT window shopping. I thoroughly enjoyed the clever use of design, fabric and sewing in the window at Marc Jacobs, hope you do too.
Leche Vitrine at Marc Jacobs in the Palais Royal
....for the French, 'leche vitrine', (literally window licking) is a common pastime. Here, in the window of the quietly elegant Marc Jacobs shop in the Palais Royal, a simple little outfit, classic with a twist, navy cardigan jacket and beige silk skirt....but take a second, more detailed look. The details and the fabric are what warrants the sky high price tag.
When we really LOOKED, it was an aha moment, very fun to dissect how it was done!
What looked like a double ruffle on the skirt was a flat layer of tulle sewed to the silk charmeuse so it LOOKS like a ruffle, but is a trompe l'oeil effect.
Take a closer look, click to take an even closer look and you can see the machine stitching. Clever!
Now, check out the jacket....look at how the collar is not really a collar, but is sewn flat on the cardigan (actually collarless) jacket.
....and notice the peek of color used for the facing/undercollar.
Clever and creative. ....and a bit of a tongue in chic spin on Chanel.
There is a major show of Marc Jacobs/Louis Vuitton at the Louvre. We will go on Sunday, stay tuned.
I am inspired by others, can be a simple remark or request. About a year ago, Sandy Globius, owner of Fabric of Vision , a fabulous fabric shop in Ashland, Oregon, made a request that got me going....'Marcy, why don't you come up with a pattern for a dress, a dress with the flavor of a little French vintage house dress?'
Vogue 8813 came about as a result of Sandy's request!
I admire Sandy's personal style (always fun to see what she is wearing), and I love to visit her store, where she has the perfect balance of quilt and garment fabrics, and always a show of fiber art on display.
Thought you'd enjoy seeing some other renditions. While I was testing this pattern, I brought prototypes to the Design Outside the Lines retreats and asked for feedback and try-ons. Here are the Vogue versions as well as mine and a great version by my friend Alex. Beth has made several versions, sorry, no photos yet. She shortened it to tunic length, wears it with her signature leggings and loves it as a studio top, says it is so handy to have the deep pockets.
In a linen/cotton blend, feels great on a warm day.
Pocket detail. On some versions I left the pocket open, liked the slouchy drooping look. On other fabrics I nipped in the pocket with a tuck or as here, with a button.
In a melange of gray and white rayon/lycra knits, some cut on the cross grain.
On the striped knit version, I rolled the under pocket toward the outside so the contrast knit stripe would show, then stitched in the ditch to secure it in place.
My version of the LBD (little black dress). In a super drapey poly knit, with black on black polka dots.....sorry, we're now sold out of this fabric. I wear it with leggings or skinny cropped pants.
Alex came to visit when I was doing prototypes. She is petite, so we tweaked the pattern, took it in a bit too much, and the center panel ended up a bit small. So, she simply eliminated the shirring, and that is an option, as would be substituting pleats for the shirring, anything goes. The fabric is a hemp/linen which she 'dyed' by wetting and then wrapping the wet cloth with rusted objects and wet tea bags. Love the use of running stitch hand stitching instead of machine top stitching.
Monday, April 30, 2012
COLORS AND LOOKS OF THE SEASON
I'm absorbing the shift in fashion and color, seeing some different color combining....breaking the 'rules'. For instance, putting together warm and cool colors in one garment or one total look: like warm orange and cool taupe. At first it looks 'off', but this is how change happens, then the eye adjusts.
On the street, I'm seeing people wearing orange in many different ways. Walking down the street with my friend Martine, (wearing orange scarf, bag, shoes), a passerby muttered, "belle orange!". Color is contagious! After shopping with Martine for just the right orange cashmere summer sweater, I went out and bought orange sandals.
In the photo at right, In one of the covered passages, this woman in red, head to toe, whipped past on her scooter....then paused to window shop.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Out and About in Paris: Le Shopping
One of my favorite places to shop is at the Paris street markets. Tomorrow we'll hit the Marche Biologique at bvd. Raspail, a wonderful place to experience. Here in our neighborhood, there is a small market 2x each week, and we've gotten to know this woman who has a stall selling scarves in both places. I have a special weakness for the scarves and shawls I find from her and another vendeuse, fun to see the spring offerings as we also shopped for a roasted farm chicken for dinner.
New this season are these handwoven cotton cloths which you could use as a tablecloth, bath towel, beach cloth or pareo. Really lovely, and a rare Paris bargain at 2 for 35euros...about $25 each.
Loved this rainbow edged and feather light cashmere shawl! COLOR is everywhere in the shop windows and in some (but not all), of the shops, this one a good way to add a pop of color to natural.
Friday, April 27, 2012 The Musee Galleria is a fashion museum with a huge collection, and it has been closed and undergoing renovations for years and years. In the 30+ years I've been coming to Paris, it has never been open. There is a new director, and the plans are to open in the Spring of 2013, but in the meantime, they are sponsoring shows at different Paris locations. Right now there are 2 shows in tandem. One is Balenciaga's personal costume collection, the other features the entire current spring/summer collection from Comme des Garcons. This is a new and radical concept in the fashion world. We're going next week to check it out, but thought you might enjoy a peek at it via the video below. I like that you can really see some of the seaming and details in the video.
The dog stayed home with his friends and family at the ranch. He hates shopping.
4 magic words: I am in Paris.
People ask about some of my favorite places, so I'll post as I go.
When we hit town, we drop our suitcases and hit the streets. A little bump in the road on this trip, we took the wrong suitcase at the airport, so had to make a return trip to make the exchange. Now we know how to do that....
simple Paris pleasures....
One of our favorite hangouts, a Jean Nicot, a little cafe/bar/tabac you might just pass by. On rue St. Honore, close to bvd. Opera. Great people watching, classic interior, Cecil is the charming proprietor.
A croque Madame. French ham and cheese toasted sandwich with an egg on top. French classic, you can get them all over town, but this version is made with Poilaine bread and is more than a cut above the rest.
One of my favorite places to people watch. On rue Veille du Temple, near rue des Rosiers. Has a great interior and very modern (dark, a bit disconcerting) bathroom.
Starting the day with a cafe creme at l'Etoile Manquante.
Off to Paris....
I'll be blogging from Paris, while Shelley and Beth will keep things flowing and the fabrics shipping from the ArtBarn. Lots of new fabrics are photographed and waiting in the wings for posting over the next weeks.