I’m in heaven.
A few years ago, I stumbled upon the book My French Life in, of all places, Anthropologie (the American version of a concept store). The book, written by Vicki Archer and photographed so beautifully by Carla Coulson (both transplanted Aussies), absolutely mesmerized me.Flash forward to a few weeks ago, when Claudia Strasser (she of The Paris Apartment fame), introduced me to Carla Coulson and her book, Paris Tango. Carla sent me a copy and I just haven’t been able to put it down.
Let me start with the photography: it’s magnificent. Stark and evocative in some places, ethereal and soft in others. But more than that, it captures the very essence of Paris in a way that others—save for greats like Helmut Newton, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Annie Lebovitz—have never been able to accomplish.
But there’s more than photography. There are words. Wonderful words. Carla, you see, reluctantly moved to Paris from Florence, where she’s lived for five years in complete bliss. It was only because the love of her life (Francesco) had been accepted into an architectural program in the South of France that she made the move. Paris was a compromise for her. But she quickly fell in love with the city—something that’s reflected in the stories she tells in Paris Tango.
In just under 300 pages, Carla takes the reader on a visual tour of the Marais, the Moulin Rouge, gardens, artists, haute couture, perfume, dogs, dance and introduces us to the people of Paris. She takes you not just behind the scenes, but also beneath the surface and behind closed doors, making us all party to wonderful secrets that make us, by default, Paris insiders.
Like I said, I can’t put the book down and have decided to savor it a bit more with a glass of champagne and some baked brie. So I’ll leave you to go off and discover it on your own. You can find the book in our Boutique P.S. (under Paris nonfiction).