Tag Archives: Printemps

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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And Now- Printemps!

While Galeries Lafayette chose Louis Vuitton to design its dazzling Christmas windows this year, rival neighbor Printemps wore Christian Dior this season.  And she looked absolutely stunning.

Here she is from afar.

The theme was Noel, Inspirations Parisiennes, and the windows featured gorgeous drawings of Paris landmarks.

The marionettes were beautiful in their Dior outfits and their precious little Dior bags.

Aren’t those gorgeous?  I have to give this year’s contest to Printemps, even though they didn’t have an amazing tree that changed colors.

I found several blogs with fabulous photos and good information about Printemps and the decorations.   If  you would like to see and read more, go here and here.

Thanks for peeking in my little window on Paris, mes amis!

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Ladies Who Lunch

Contrary to what many of my friends think, I do not typically spend my days at cafes and glamorous restaurants.  In fact, most days my lunch is straight out of last night’s Tupperwared left-overs.  However, some days are better than others.

Several weeks ago I met a friend for lunch under the gorgeous dome of  Printemps department store, which is a 30 minute walk from my apartment.  The restaurant was so lovely, I couldn’t wait to share the pictures with you.  But then for some reason, I did wait.  In fact, I waited so long that I almost forgot about that nice day I spent wandering around that beautiful store, enjoying a delicious lunch, and then joining a walking tour before heading back to watch the Biggest Fashion Show In The World.  It was a good day in Paris.

When you walk into Printemps, you step onto this gorgeous mosaic in the entryway.  I think it really sets the stage for the atmosphere of this lovely, old store.

I walked into the center of the store and looked up at the dome.

The route to the store restaurant was a long and windy one.  I assume they are trying to whet one’s appetite for more than lunch.  I loved the big wire sculptures of marine animals and birds suspended in the children’s departments.

We also passed the wacky Louis Vuitton displays.

Oh, and I did figure out what is behind this Vuitton campaign.  More on that later.

Here is something I don’t understand.  Within the fancy department stores, there are small designer boutiques, which frequently are cordoned off like this one.  A “guard” lets people in a few at a time, and the rest patiently stand there and gaze longingly at the wares within.  At Christmas it’s really crazy- the lines to get in these “stores in a store” are long, the lines to pay  in these small spaces are long, and it’s invariably hot and stuffy.  No wonder people get cranky during the holidays.  Geesh.

I don’t think so, LV.

Finally we reached the restaurant.  Wow.

in the restaurant

We were on the early side, so it was still pretty empty.

I loved the way the mirrored tables reflected the dome.  Brilliant!

After lunch we went up one more floor, which is the roof-top bar and self-serve cafe.  Not nearly as elegant, but with its own beautiful ceiling- the skyline of Paris.

Then it was time to make the long descent to the street.

Just so I can add a “fashion” tag to this post, here is one of the windows.  I read somewhere that shoes this year are very “sculpted”, and I guess these boots reflect that trend.

As for me, I am sticking with my plain old low-heeled riding boots, because God knows I cover the miles in this city in my tireless quest to keep you all entertained.  And I’m very happy to do it.  Especially when lunch is involved.

 

I am off to St. Louis tomorrow to see my girl.  I think some shopping may be in my future.  Just a hunch.

A bientot, mes amis!

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So You Want To Be A Model?

Several weeks ago the Paris department store Galeries Lafayette held its annual  “World’s Largest Fashion Show” and this year I actually made the effort to go watch.  And it really was an effort, as I had spent the afternoon on a walking tour and really wanted to go put on my fuzzy Ugg slippers and drink  a cup of tea.  Instead, I walked (some more) from the tour’s ending point to the site of the fashion show, which was on the street in front of Galeries Lafayette.  AND I had to arrive an hour before the 7:00 PM starting time if I wanted to have a decent view of the runway.  Notice I didn’t say “if I wanted to get a good seat for the show”- no seats for this event, unless you were one of the invited guests sitting in the bleachers that lined the catwalk before it came into view of us (standing) commoners.  Fortunately, it wasn’t too hot or too cold, and the rain that had threatened earlier in the day did not appear.

Coincidentally, I was in the same neighborhood that morning, because I met a friend for lunch under the gorgeous dome of another department store on the street, Printemps.  While there I watched them setting up for the show.

That gorgeous building is the Garnier Opera House, which is directly across the street from Galeries Lafayette.   The bleachers were set up under the covered area, alongside the catwalk, which then continued out in the open, where the crowd gathered .Does this help?

We couldn’t see the models until they passed through the black bleachers and came out into the open area of the catwalk. But we could see them on the screen while they were still in the covered area.

The  interesting thing about this fashion show is that the models were  just ordinary people who auditioned for the show, wearing their own clothes.  If they were selected, they wore the same outfit in the show, and spent the day of the show learning how to “work it” on the catwalk, as well as getting their hair and make-up done.  How fun would that be?

I have to apologize for the quality of my pictures.  There was a huge light shining right at me, as well as many heads in front of me.  You will see what I mean.

Here is one of the first models of the show.  I was standing directly in front of the large screen and could watch the models on the screen before they got to the end of the covered walkway, when they became visible to those of us standing and watching.

Sorry about the big bald head. I guess he got there more than an hour early.

I have a lot of photos, some of which are better than others, but none are great.  I”ll just put them up in no particular order, and you can click on them if you want to enlarge them.

These were the final models of the evening.

At the end of the show, the hair stylists came out and used up the last of their hair spray.

Here are some models reveling in their final moments of fabulosity after the show.

When  I turned around to leave my little spot on the sidewalk, my legs were so stiff I could hardly move them.  Such is the pain I endure to share a little bit of my Parisian life with you guys!

After the show I met a friend for a late dinner on the other side of the Opera House.  Here is what it looked like when we finished.

I do apologize for the poor quality of most of the pictures in this post, but as I said, I was operating at a disadvantage.  My blogger friend at Out and About In Paris, however, had the good fortune to spend the entire day with the models, and her photos are fabulous.  You can see her post about the event here.

Keep it fabulous, my fashionistas!

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Christmas windows in Paris

As I write this on Sunday night, it is actually more wintery in Austin, Texas than it is here in balmy (albeit rainy) Paris.  However, Christmas is on here, despite the unseasonably warm weather.  It’s much  more low-key than at home, though.  Fewer lights, fewer ads, and no horrible Christmas carols to torment me as I do  my grocery shopping.  The Christmas trees for sale on the streets are smaller and sitting in stands made of wooden logs, with no room for watering the tree.  The fake trees are very stylized and are clearly not going for any semblance of “real”.  Quite interesting.

Several weeks ago we strolled up Haussman to see the windows of two of Paris’ grand department stores, Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.  It was just what I needed to nudge me a little closer to the holiday spirit.

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The window themes were a bit unorthodox.  Printemps was all about Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld- two names that don’t immediately evoke images of Yuletide cheer for me, but who am I to judge? Here is how Printemps describes their theme.

CHRISTMAS
DREAMS OF ESCAPE

WITH THE MAISON CHANEL AND KARL LAGERFELD, PRINTEMPS INVITES YOU TO ENJOY CHRISTMAS ITS OWN VERSION OF CHRISTMAS: DREAMS OF ESCAPE.

WITH TRAVEL AS ITS WATCHWORD, CHRISTMAS EVOKES LEGENDARY CITIES – BYZANTIUM, MOSCOW, VENICE, PARIS AND MANY OTHERS…

A little strange and they could have used a copy editor, but the windows were magnificent.

Paris! These Karl puppets moved but I did not get a video because they kind of creeped me out.

Here is my favorite moving window.  I apologize in advance for any extraneous heads or voices that may wander across the screen. Printemps did not grant me a private viewing of its windows.  Also, it’s unfortunate that the music did not come through, because it added a lot to the window.  The song was something about flying to LA.

While wealthy Parisians may dream of Byzantium and Shanghai when they think of Christmas, we at chez Mai are dreaming of Houston and Austin, neither of which made the windows this year.

No Santas?  No trees?  No piped-in carols?  Nope. Nada.  I have to say I didn’t really miss them.  Did you?

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