Masqued Class

31/10/2012 § Leave a comment

From my temporary refugee perch on the UES, and on Halloween no less, I felt this elegant masked ball in Paris in 1946 was particularly apropos to share with you today.  Featuring several minor royals and creations by seminal postwar French designer Jacques Fathand a few pictures of Fath himself, even in a mask! — these ensembles take fancy dress to dizzying couture heights.  Doesn’t it just make you itch for a pair of opera-length gloves and a set of crown jewels?

Photos by David E. Scherman for Life Magazine, via the Life Archive.

While these pictures are a sorry excuse for missing out on the usual Halloween festivities, I’m still very hopeful that New York will come together for the kids this evening.  I’m planning a UES constitution of my own, to try to help spread the spirit.  So many New Yorkers are still without power, and the annual Halloween parade in the Village has been postponed, but the city has been working hard to come back online as soon as possible after Sandy — and we’ve made some amazing progress already.

If you would like to help, please make a donation to the American Red Cross.  You can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

Be well! Happy Halloween!

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Desired Destination: EuroLapse

27/07/2012 § Leave a comment

Because I’ve not yet taken a big trip this year and because I’m a complete sucker for well done time-lapse photography, I’ve decided that David Kosmos Smith‘s EuroLapse might just be the next best thing.   A gorgeous, wanderlust-inducing tour of Europe, EuroLapse features the cities of London, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Paris, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Milan, among others.  Do yourself a favor and take a 4.51 minute, no passport required vacation (preferably in full screen).

Sidenote: if you’d rather a trip to Florida, David’s got you covered there as well.

Quite Continental Desired Destinations
~*~Travel Charmingly~*~

Love, Parisian Style

24/05/2012 § 2 Comments

I don’t know this lovely couple personally, but I do know the groom is one half of the duo behind Rogue Territory, an excellent Los Angeles-based handmade denim goods company.  Nor do I personally know the photographer who shot this, but I do know he is the exceptionally talented Duncan Wolfe.  What else do I know?  That this film is perfect and beautiful and that I was left speechless after viewing it…and wanting to hop the next flight to CDG.  And while I don’t generally talk about weddings and such on here, I had to share.  It’s that good.

Congrats K & L.
May your life together be as filled with love and beauty
as these 4 minutes and 29 seconds are.

Many thanks to Ryan for the tip.

The Perils of Love

14/05/2012 § 2 Comments

  Loving this sweet little Parisian confection by Louis Clichy.

To see Edith Piaf and Théo Sarapo sing “A Quoi Ça Sert L’amour?” live, head here.
Many thanks to Tara for bringing this to my attention.

Louis Vuitton – Marc Jacobs at Les Arts Décoratifs

22/02/2012 § 1 Comment

Simply adore this! 

Presenting “Fan Club,” an art deco burlesque fantasy à la Busby Berkeley shot in honor of the upcoming “Louis Vuitton – Marc Jacobs” exhibit at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris.  Not a mere retrospective, the exhibit highlights the contributions of trunk-maker Louis Vuitton and designer Marc Jacobs (current creative director of Louis Vuitton) to the world of fashion through the parallel lenses of the industrialization of the late nineteenth century and the increased globalization of the early twenty first century.  “Louis Vuitton – Marc Jacobs” runs from March 6 through September 16.

More information here (en français).

Les Arts Décoratifs – Mode et textile
107 rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris
Tél. : 01 44 55 57 50
Métro : Palais-Royal, Pyramides ou Tuileries
Autobus : 21, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81, 95

**And don’t forget about Babar’s exhibit at Les Arts Décoratifs!

Asnières: The Home of Vuitton

12/01/2012 § 1 Comment

Home to Louis Vuitton and his family between 1880 and the 1970s, the house at Asnières is also the first and historical workshop of Louis Vuitton. At present, all the “rare and exceptional” Louis Vuitton products from the Leather Goods collections are made in Asnières, as well as all special orders.  Located just outside of Paris, Asnières is also a “secret” museum of over 150 years of Louis Vuitton heritage not officially open to the public.  However, I am told that if you ring them and ask very nicely, they might allow you to schedule an appointment for a tour.  This gorgeous home and museum is at the top of my list of things to do when next I am in Paris, bien sûr.

Louis Vuitton Museum
17 Rue de la Comète
Asnières, France

Photos by Todd Selby, who visited the home in 2010.

Les Histoires de Babar at Les Arts Décoratifs

04/01/2012 § 2 Comments

Can you believe that Babar, the beloved king of the elephants from the popular children’s books written by Jean de Brunhoff and his son Laurent, is turning 80 this year? In his honor, Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris has put together a lovely exhibition of books, sketches, toys and memorabilia, drawing from great museums and private collections around the world, showing Babar’s journey throughout the years.

Growing up, Babar was one of my very favorite stories, and I strongly believe it is the source of my small obsession with elephants.   I especially love the simplicity of the watercolor illustrations by Jean de Brunhoff, from the little pom pom on cousin Arthur’s beret to the wrinkles of the older elephants.  It was even better to find out that Babar was originally a bedtime story told by Cécile de Brunhoff, mother to Laurent (who was five at the time) and wife to Jean, a painter, in 1930.  Jean, at the request of his sons, turned the story into an illustrated album that was then published by his uncle’s publishing house in 1931 as Histoire de Babar, le petit éléphant (Story of Babar), to great acclaim.  Jean went on to write six more Babar books before his untimely death in 1937, with son Laurent continuing the tradition after WWII.  Laurent has since added more than thirty books.

A lovely interview with Laurent about Babar, his family and his own writing.

New York’s own Morgan Library — one of my favorite places in the city — has also contributed to the exhibition in Paris, and for good reason.  In their collection they have the Jean’s original maquette (or first draft) of Histoire de Babar, which you can view online here with commentary and comparison to the published work.

The exhibit runs through September 2012, and I have very high hopes I will be able to make it to Paris in time to catch it.  If you go before I do, please give Babar my regards.

Les Arts Décoratifs
107 rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris

Coming Attraction: Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life

21/10/2011 § 2 Comments

Singer.  Songwriter.  Hellraiser.

Excited to see Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life tonight.  Pretty sure I will love this film — we’ve previously discussed my love for Jane Birkin, Laetitia Casta looks amazing at Bardot, and when you add in a liberal dose of surrealism, 60s music and puppets (?!?), you’ve pretty much guaranteed me two hours of bliss.
If you happen to be in New York this weekend, you can catch a viewing at the Soho House on Saturday night.  Find further details here.

“Best-selling comic book artist Joann Sfar delivers an inventive biography of famed French singer Serge Gainsbourg (Eric Elmosnino). Born Lucien Ginsburg to Russian-Jewish parents, Sfar follows him from his childhood in Nazi-occupied Paris, his transition from painter to jazz musician to pop superstar and his many relationships including Juliette Greco (Anna Mouglalis), Brigitte Bardot (Laetitia Casta) and Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon) while employing a witty surrealistic style and a soundtrack that acts like a time capsule to ’60’s Paris.

Louis Vuitton City Guides 2012

27/09/2011 § 1 Comment

In its thirteenth year of publication, the Louis Vuitton City Guides offer sage advice on cities around the world for discerning — and moneyed — travellers.   These slim volumes will be available in LV stores on October 15, but in the meantime you can get the inside track on:

Bespoke gentlemen’s tailoring in London

Perfume in Paris

Dim sum in Hong Kong

Cinema in Rome

Real Property Lust: Parisian Dream

26/09/2011 § 3 Comments

Come away with me to Le Marais?

We could be artists, you and I?  Or intellectuals?

We can sit on our chevron floors and discuss Sartre.  Or Duras.
You know how I love Duras, Cherie…

You can sit in your chair and roll your eyes at Le Monde,
while I laze on the bed like a Siamese cat…

…or perhaps draw.

I shall read to you in bed…

and you will cook for me…

…while I fill your glass with wine, and your lips with my kisses.

There will be no time…

Only Paris.

All images via Designsponge.

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