Tag Archives: fashion

Staying Cool In Paris

Friday was a scorcher in Paris, with the high around 91 degrees. I knew it was going to be hot, so I planned to leave the apartment early, avoid enclosed spaces, and be home again soon after lunch. The last place you want to be on a hot day in Paris is in a restaurant or, even worse, in a store trying on clothes. Just don’t do it. Unless you happen to find a store with really good air-conditioning, in which case call me.

I walked up my side of the river all the way to the lovely Pont Neuf (which means “new bridge” but it’s actually the oldest, because the French like to confuse you that way), which I crossed to the Isle de la Cité.

I adore this bridge. The first stone was said to have been laid for it in 1578 by King Henry III.



You can look over this bridge for a nice view of one of the best picnic spots in Paris. This little park is called the Square du Vert-Galant, and is at the very tip of the Isle de la Cité.


IMG_2268I wandered around on the little island until I found myself at a small square, all tucked away and quiet. This was its name-o.





Yeah, some grass would have been nice, but on this hot day I was happy to find empty space with shade.

Place Dauphine was surrounded by several restaurants and some pretty old buildings. It backed up to the Palais du Justice.





Palais du Justice

Palais du Justice

I found a table on a terrace and lingered over my Diet Coke and lentil salad. My bottle of soda was five euros and the waitress happily brought me more ice, so it was totally worth it. The guys sitting next to me (as in six inches away) were already discussing their plans for les vacances. I love these people.

After lunch I crossed over to the other bank and walked through Saint-Germain. The sidewalks were full of people eating and drinking and savoring the summer day. I enjoy seeing what the Parisians look like when they are unwrapped from their coats and scarves and boots. Most women wear loose skirts or sundresses and sandals, with an occasional straw hat. Hems are on the short side but not overly revealing.



Rarely does a French woman wear shorts, although some of the younger ones attempt the shorts-with-tights look, which I simply cannot get behind.

Just no.

Just no.

I am loving this bright blue color, which seems to be popping up everywhere.


This woman opted for an orange Goyard, a color choice I particularly applaud.


This little guy was clearly hoping for rain.


A few more favorite shots of Saint-Germain, where I must have lived in a previous life because I love it so.


IMG_2275My Fit Bit finally buzzed and I opted to catch a bus the rest of the way home. When I got on the 83 I knew before even swiping my Navigo transport pass that the temperature inside the bus was at least equal to its number. The wave of heat hit me as I climbed up and then turned to face the miserable passengers, furiously fanning themselves with anything they could find to move air. The buses, though un-airconditioned, are rarely this hot. I stayed on as long as I could stand it, and then flung myself off when I couldn’t, and walked the rest of the way. Lawdy, that bus was broiling.

So that was my Friday! I went home and enjoyed the breeze blowing through my apartment. And I wrote blog posts. Which I hope you enjoy.

Signing off.

Staying cool.


Filed under Isle de la Cite, Paris

Bon Anniversaire, Printemps!

Paris has three beautiful old department stores- Galeries Lafayette, Le Bon Marche, and Printemps. Printemps and Galeries Lafayette are located next to each other on Boulevard Haussman, very near the Garnier Opera House. Recently I walked around that neighborhood and was delighted to find Printemps all “floraled” up for her 150th birthday. “Printemps” means “spring” in French, and the store certainly exudes springtime, even as we are still donning coats and scarves in Paris.












I gave up on ever finding the windows without a glare. Sorry.




I loved the background of this one, though it’s hard to discern with the glare. The clouds are cut out of paper and the right side of background is stormy, windy sky while the left side is cherry and calm.


This window had cool flowers that opened and closed. You do have to exercise a little patience, though. Kind of like waiting for springtime in Paris.

Finally, here is a picture of le printemps at the gardens of Palais Royale on Saturday.


Photo by Mark F. Mai. Used with permission. Not really.


Filed under fashion, flowers, Paris

Dior’s Christmas Windows

I know- several weeks late, and in the case of Dior, several tens of thousand dollars short. But I was completely smitten with the understated elegance of the Dior windows on Montaigne, and I think you will like them, too. And don’t worry- I have pics of the current windows, and they are knock-out, as well.

Usually I try to avoid taking window photos during the day because the reflections are so bad. However, in this case, I thought the reflections added some interest. I”ll show you day and night photos so you can decide for yourself.

First, the gigantic chandelier hanging on the corner of the Dior store was a show stopper.




The windows, with groups of oversized metallic ornaments, were gorgeous.




Doesn’t it look like the ornaments are popping out of the windows?

At night the windows just exuded elegance.





A few close-ups of the product:



Better late than never, right?


Filed under Ave. Montaigne, Dior, fashion, Paris, shopping, Uncategorized

Paris For A Week

This will be my quickest trip to Paris ever- arrive on a Sunday and leave on the next Saturday.  But when my daughter said she would like to spend her final week of vacation in Paris with us, I jumped at the chance.  Six days is better than none, oui?

After showering off the Air France residue on Sunday morning, she and I went to the art market near the Tour Montparnasse.  I discovered this weekly artists market when I was here in the fall, and now I hate to miss a Sunday there.  Although some of the artists had apparently not returned from their holiday, there was plenty of art to admire.  Martha bought this pretty little watercolor print of St. Germain.


For moi, two little ink sketches.


Le Marche Parisien de la Creation is located on Boulevard Edgar Quinet from rue Huygens to rue du Depart.  The best metros are Edgar Quinet or Montparnasse-Bienvenue.

Later, we forced ourselves to waken from our jet-lagged laden naps with a walk down Avenue Montaigne.  I was happy to see that she was still dressed in her holiday finery, and that the store windows were  gleaming in the perfect evening light.




Louis Vuitton looked like a modern a modern art exhibit.





Dior had a spacey, futuristic vibe.













The Champs Elysees is still glittering, as well.  Here is one of four sections of a traffic circle, all of which were glowing blue and white.


It feels really nice to be back in Paris, even if only for a few days.  And it feels particularly nice knowing that we are missing the freezing temperatures that have gripped Texas this week!  Stay warm, mes amis!


Filed under Champs Elysees, fashion

Fashion Week Paris

As you probably know, twice a year the fashion world gathers in Paris for Fashion Week.  Usually, I am aware it’s Fashion Week, and then I yawn and say, “wow- Fashion Week is over and I didn’t see any signs of it”.  But yesterday I decided to see what it was all about. Of course I didn’t have a coveted invitation to any of the fashion shows, so I stood outside the venues and looked for people who were famous, might be famous, or just wanted to be famous (there were lots of those).

First, I arrived at Trocadero at 9:30 in the morning, which was way early for the Sacai show which began at 11:00.  No, I have no idea who Sacai is, but it was the first show of the day with a publicized venue.  The Stella McCartney show (9:30) would have been better, but one had to have an invitation in order to know where the show was being held.  So there I was at Trocadero, which is just across from the Eiffel Tower, early on a cold morning.



Very gradually, people in funky outfits began showing up.  Most had the white envelope required for admission; others were there just to be seen and to see who else showed up.









Next I took the metro to the Grand Palais, where a crowd was already gathering for the 12:00 Leonard show.



This woman was very popular with the photographers.

This woman was very popular with the photographers.


I thought this woman looked very nice- and that bag!

I thought this woman looked very nice- and that bag!


loved the matching Asian couple with the dots

loved the matching Asian couple with the dots


The only sort-of famous people whom I half-way recognized were these two.

IMG_2975 IMG_2976

With the help of friends, I now know that he is French designer Jean-Claude Jitrois and she is American actress Sarah Marshall.  Would any of you have known that?

I couldn’t have been that close to the Tuileries and not visited them, so I walked on down the Champs-Elysees to the gardens and ate a sandwich in the sun.



Then I went home and rested my dogs for a half-hour before heading for Parc Monceau and later to a cocktail party with more fashionistas and one very famous and beautiful French woman.  But more on that later.

A bientôt!


Filed under Champs Elysees, Eiffel Tower, fashion, Grand Palais, Paris Fashion Week, Tuileries

Another Paris Fashion Show (Or “Haute Chocolat”)

I know what you’re thinking.  Another fashion show, Kate?  Really?  Yes!  Except that this one would be perfect for ….Cocoa Chanel!  Because this fashion show was part of the Salon du Chocolat and all the fashion was crafted from chocolate!

OK.  That was a really chirpy intro, with three exclamation points and all.  But it kind of goes downhill from here.  You have been warned.

If you are a devoted reader of Mais Oui Paris, you surely recall that I attended the Salon du Chocolat last year and my post on it included  pictures of dresses on display.  I didn’t realize at the time that those dresses were actually modeled each day of the Salon in a real fashion show.  Having already “done” the Salon du Chocolat, I wasn’t really interested in returning until my friend at Out and About in Paris whipped us all up into a chocolate frenzy about the fashion shows.  I felt like I owed it to you all to return and capture the wonder of models in chocolate.  And so I took the 80 bus farther than I had ever taken it- to its terminus at Porte de Versailles, and joined the line of bobbing umbrellas slowly filing into the building.  Before I got there I witnessed this funny scene: a little girl trotting behind her distracted mother was horrified to watch her bag of chocolates empty on the wet sidewalk.  When Mom turned around in response to the shriek, she didn’t look too happy either.

Anybody else thinking of Caddyshack?

It was really pouring by the time I joined the end of the line, which seemed to be moving at a snail’s pace.  When I finally approached the entrance I realized that all us were being fed into one (of about 5) doors, and further advancement revealed that the ticket booths were so close to the entrance that the lines were all converging into one wet, wiggling mass of humanity.

Yep, they all entered through one door.

 Of course, all the Frenchies were effortlessly sensing how to cut into the ticket lines as they entered the building, which further slowed the process.  I was frustrated, but did my yoga breathing and thought about how lucky I was that I wasn’t pushing a stroller, as so many around me were.  Finally I was able to buy my ticket and enter the giant hall.  By this time it was 4:20, 40 minutes before the fashion show was to start, and almost 2 hours after I skipped out of my apartment with visions of chocolates and caramels dancing in my head.  I walked straight ahead to the area where the fashion show would happen, and found that another show of some type was just ending.  I hoped that perhaps the audience would empty their chairs and allow some of us who were pushing ourselves through the standing crowd to nab a seat, but that was wishful thinking.  Those people sat through 45 minutes of awards to the top chocolatiers (all in French, of course), which included a short interview with each one, followed by a reading of the judges’ comments , culminating in an official photograph of the smiling chocolate- maker with his award.  Even more surprising is that most of us who were standing as close to the stage as we could get (which required standing as close to each other as we could possibly get) also stayed for the entire awards ceremony.  Not only was it boring, it was hot.  I stood there with my coat draped over my arm, my tote bag (for umbrella and free chocolate) at my feet, my purse strapped across my chest, and my camera in hand.  Each time someone in front of us surrendered and pushed through us to escape the misery, the rest of us wedged ourselves in the additional space, desperately hoping for a viewing space to open up for the show.  Sadly for you, and for me, the space around me never opened up for a view.  The reason for this was primarily because I had the misfortune of standing behind The Biggest Man In France.

And his camera was huge, too.

Is it any wonder that I couldn’t get a single good shot?  I don’t know who that dude was, but I hope he has a rockin’ blog.  Or works for Vogue or something.  Because my iPhone camera and I were relegated to pictures like this:

Pitiful, I know.  I am so sorry.  These two fashion shows have made me think I have to get some press credentials.  Either that or make very good friends with The Giant.  And I was miserable the whole time I was taking these terrible pictures, too.  I don’t think the guy standing behind me could have possibly been any closer, and I was praying that whatever was prodding me insistently back there was not part of his body.  Seriously.  The good news is that my friend was able to get some good pictures,(presumably without being violated in the process)  and you can see them here.

I guess I could have made this short and just sent you to her page at the beginning of this post, but I wanted you to know how hard I tried.  And remember that I don’t even like chocolate all that much.  When I was finally able to extricate myself from the man behind me, and push through all the people behind him, all I wanted was to get the hell out of that place.  But I made myself wander around a bit.  Soon the dresses were back on display, and I was able to really get a good look at them.  I think this one was my favorite.

For those of you wondering how the chocolate creations were able to be worn, I’m sure they all had special linings on the inside, so that those hot bodies were not right up against the chocolate.  It’s a good thing, because as hot as it was in there, those models could have become very saucy indeed, had the dresses warmed up.

So that, mes amis, was my ill-fated trip to the 2012 Salon du Chocolat.  Can I have a pass for 2013?  I’m not sure I can survive another one.

Thank you and good night.


Filed under chocolate, Salon du Chocolat

Fall Color

I don’t usually keep up with the fashion news, but living in Paris, it’s hard to be totally oblivious (even for me).  I have read recently that the new color  is purple ( or purplish) , including burgundy (or bordeaux, if you’re in France).  I can’t think of a single thing I own for this season that falls within that color family.  Quelle horreur!  I did notice that the dresses and bags in Nina Ricci’s window all featured tones of purple.  Do you like them?

Here on the streets of Paris, however, dark colors still dominate.

During an art tour yesterday, I was momentarily distracted by the color out the window.

Enjoy your weekend, mes amis.


Filed under fashion, Uncategorized