Parisien Salon http://www.parisiensalon.com Sun, 05 May 2013 20:46:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Paris Privé http://www.parisiensalon.com/2013/05/paris-prive/ http://www.parisiensalon.com/2013/05/paris-prive/#comments Sun, 05 May 2013 20:46:37 +0000 Linda Donahue http://www.parisiensalon.com/?p=8671 girl-writing-in-parisEver since I decided to take sole responsibility for writing the content of ParisienSalon, life has conspired to make that a difficult task for me. There have been technical glitches, bouts with the flu, crazy deadlines and whatnot. So, yes, I’ve been missing in action, and missing in Paris since December. Je suis desolé.

All of these things forced me to take a big step back and take a look at the bigger picture. Sometimes that’s a difficult thing to do when you’re in the thick of it all. But Paris is all about reinvention, isn’t it? I’m not certain that those who’ve lived in the French capital their whole lives see that side of the city. One doesn’t have to look further the Louvre to see this—once a palace, it’s now a museum with a thoroughly modern twist (in E. M. Pei’s glass pyramid).

So I embarked on a reinvention of sorts—not necessarily of myself (I’m perfect, after all), but of my life and what I want that life to be. That involved some trimming of the fat, so to speak. In January, I shut down Shop.ParisienSalon, something I primarily launched a year earlier as a venue to sell my photography. I realized that I just didn’t like being in the retail business.

On that photography front, I was invited to exhibit my photography at a gallery in Miami. Coming totally out of the bleu, I was suddenly thrown into a whirlwind tizzy of indecision. Of the hundreds upon hundreds of photographs I had ready to show, which ones would tell the most unique story worthy of a gallery wall?

Much to the surprise of just about everyone who knows me, I opted not to show any of my Paris images, instead putting together a collection from Istanbul. But I did want to get Paris into the gallery some way, somehow. The exhibition inspired me to FINALLY finish putting together my Paris book, which was completed and published a few weeks prior to the show.

Paris Prive Cover ResizedParis Privé was a labor of love, but a labor nonetheless. For years (yes, years), I’d been trying to decide the best way to tell this visual story, and it all finally coalesced under the pressure of publishing. I held off on announcing the publication because there was the possibility of a distribution deal that would change where and how the book was sold. I’m still not sure what will happen with the distribution of this book long term, so I’ve decided to let everyone know that they can buy the book here (and now).

I also moved all of my photography to a new website, where all of my Paris prints (and more) can be seen and purchased.

And then there’s my biggest project…the one I had put on the back-burner for too long: my novel. I’ve been hard at work writing Haven—while still holding down a full-time job as a freelance copywriter. A girl’s gotta pay her bills. I’m 150 pages and 17 chapters into the book, with a deadline to get the finished manuscript to my editor by June 30th. And, yes, I’m feeling the pressure. You can learn more about Haven and follow my progress on my Facebook page.

I have scheduled some time to get back to writing about Paris here…so please stick with me. I miss my amis and fellow Francofiles. And let me know what you want to read about in the comments section, and I’ll be sure to get those stories to you.

In the meantime, merci beaucoup for your patience…and a bientôt.

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Dog Trots Globe (to Paris). Or Not. http://www.parisiensalon.com/2013/01/dog-trots-globe-to-paris-or-not/ http://www.parisiensalon.com/2013/01/dog-trots-globe-to-paris-or-not/#comments Wed, 16 Jan 2013 22:08:30 +0000 Linda Donahue http://www.parisiensalon.com/?p=8660 Yorkshire TerrierI started writing this post over the weekend, after reading Sherry Long’s Dog Trots Globe To Paris & Provence, a story about Sherry’s trip to Paris and Provence with her husband and dog. In fact, the whole book is written from the point of view of Chula, the Long’s 9-year old Sheltie.

I never finished writing this post over the weekend because Ella, my 9-year old Yorkie, got sick. Again. (At Christmas, she was hit with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, which is as horrid and bloody as it sounds.) So I spent the last few days at the vet, or nursing my suddenly and uncharacteristically needy pup.

I believe the literary gods call that “irony.”

Ms. Ella is the kind of dog you would expect to be a canine jetsetter. She would, in theory, fit under the seat of any aircraft, and is the perfect (if not trendy) fashion accessory.

If only.

I can’t even begin to picture Ella on an airplane, crammed under the seat and whimpering the whole nine hours to Paris (and more than ten back to Miami). She wants to be a part of the action too much. Given her delicate digestive system, I’m not sure what gastrointestinal disaster would result from the trauma of the trip. And I’m not sure there is enough Xanax/Valium out there to keep both her and me calm for that sort of voyage.

That said, were Ella to be a traveling kind of canine, Paris—indeed all of France—would offer her the kind of welcome reserved for foreign dignitaries and royalty. Or as Chula the Sheltie said in Dog Trots Globe, “The French have the right respect for dogs…” You’re far more likely to see a dog sitting at a table inside a restaurant than you are a child.

Dog Trots Globe Book CoverChula’s adventures were drool-worthy, for dog or human. She spent days wandering the streets of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, and exploring the villages of Provence. She (and her biped companions) discovered the dog-friendly spots in Paris, and the few spots—museums, and gardens—that said interdit to les chiens.

But Chula did get to go to a vernissage at an art gallery on the Île Saint-Louis, for American expat photographer Meredith Mullins, and ride a carrousel at the base of the Eiffel Tower. Lucky dog!

The only way Ella will ever make it to Paris is aboard a private jet, so if anyone out there would like to loan me one, we’re ready to go. In the meantime, Miami is, in many ways, similar to Paris in its attitudes toward dogs. While you’ll never see one inside a restaurant, you’ll find the dog to human ratio at many outdoor tables practically 2:1. Dogs are more likely to get a bowl of water delivered to them before waiters even take drink orders for the rest of the table.

Ella has been to Nordstrom on more than a few occasions…she even received a lovely note from one of our salesgirls.  I wonder if that would happen at Bon Marché.

Should anyone come through with that private jet (hint, hint), Sherry Long offers all the tips I’d need to get through the bureaucracy of bringing Ella into France.

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Want to win a copy of Dog Trots Globe? I’m giving away one copy of this fun book to a random reader. All you need to do is leave a comment below, and I’ll select one winner on Sunday (January 20th). Enter your comment below.

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Twenty Lessons on Leading a Stylish Life http://www.parisiensalon.com/2013/01/twenty-lessons-on-leading-a-stylish-life/ http://www.parisiensalon.com/2013/01/twenty-lessons-on-leading-a-stylish-life/#comments Wed, 09 Jan 2013 00:59:21 +0000 Linda Donahue http://www.parisiensalon.com/?p=8654 female-style-in-paris.jpgRight around the time that I re-imagined what I wanted ParisienSalon.com to be, a publisher sent me a copy of Jennifer L. Scott’s “Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris.”

The timing couldn’t be better. After all, ParisienSalon.com was now all about enjoying life like a Parisian, and who better to share her tips on how to do so than the editor of The Daily Connoisseur. Ms. Scott has been talking about the art of fine living since starting her blog in 2008.

I devoured Lessons from Madame Chic, eager to master the art of la vie Parisienne. The 20 lessons are covered in three parts: diet and exercise, style and beauty, and how to live well.  None of the lessons offered here are revolutionary. On the contrary, it’s their utter, beautiful simplicity that makes them so easy to bring into your life on a daily basis.  But don’t mistake this tome as a beauty book, despite chapters on how to wear makeup, always making oneself look presentable, and cultivating a ten-item wardrobe.

No, the heart and soul of this book is to give yourself permission to savor life. It’s about treating yourself well and not depriving yourself of true quality. And this, I think, is the ideal of life in Paris.

We Americans have a saying: stop and smell the roses. It’s a reminder to slow down life and take a moment to actually enjoy it. That’s all well and good, but la vie Parisian requires no reminders. If we live each and every day savoring the moment, then we’ve achieved the lifestyle that we so envy in the French.

Paris apartments are small. Some are très, très small. That means tiny refrigerators and a lack of closet space that would send most American women into a heightened state of panic. But look at the trade-off. Parisians buy their food fresh almost every day, instead of relying on processed products cluttering their shelves. They don’t consume, consume, consume … something we Americans tend to do without noticing what we’re consuming. And they cultivate a sense of style admired (and envied) around the world without stuffing their wardrobe with every single piece of clothing they see in a magazine, or hording a collection of shoes that would have Imelda Marcos salivating with envy. They simply buy high quality staples that never go out of style, and manage to get endless looks by simply mixing, matching and accessorizing.

I used to think I had to move to Paris to live my life like they do, but as Ms. Scott shows in her book of 20 lessons, I can live like a Parisian no matter where I am. Even in Miami.

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Want to win a copy of Lessons from Madam Chic? We’re giving away one copy of this wonderful book to a random reader. All you need to do is leave a comment below, and I’ll select one winner on Sunday (January 13th). Enter your comment below.

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Hidden in Plain Sight: Rue de Lévis in the 17th http://www.parisiensalon.com/2012/12/hidden-in-plain-sight-rue-de-levis-in-the-17th/ http://www.parisiensalon.com/2012/12/hidden-in-plain-sight-rue-de-levis-in-the-17th/#comments Tue, 11 Dec 2012 22:07:10 +0000 Linda Donahue http://www.parisiensalon.com/?p=8642 By Linda Donahue

A few years ago, when I began to venture deeper into the “real Paris,” I decided to stay in one of the vacation apartments offered by Gail Boisclair of Perfectly Paris. Located on the Rue des Lévis in the 17th arrondissement, it was as far off the tourist track as I had ever ventured.

It was love at first sight.

There are many market streets in Paris—rue Mouffetard, rue Montorgueil, and rue Cler come immediately to mind—but most tourists (and many Parisians) have little experience with rue des Lévis. Located right off the Villiers metro (lines #2 and #3), rue des Lévis has it all: fromageries, boulangeries, patissieries, chocolatiers, wine shops, butchers, cafés, brasseries, supermarkets (Monoprix) and tea shops. The produce vendors (there are three) sell fruits and vegetables that look as if they were just plucked from the soil or the tree.

Arnaud Delmontel has one of his three boulangerie/patisseries on the rue des Lévis and, after much taste testing over the years, I’ve concluded that his macarons are among my favorite in Paris. His breads are equally mouthwatering, even winning the Grand Prix de la Baguette de Tradition Française de la Ville de Paris in 2007.

The pedestrian-only portion of rue de Lévis (cars are permitted only for residents and vendors) is also home to non-food shops. There’s a bookstore, jewelers, housewares, florists, fabrics, shoes, perfumeries, and the foodless version of Monoprix. Further down the rue, there are quite a few boutiques catering to children, a Benetton and a few women’s clothing shops.

I have, in the past, claimed my favorite time of the year in Paris to be in November, and living on rue de Lévis around the American Thanksgiving holidays feeds a very specific food ritual that blooms only then. In the evening, after stepping off the metro, I’ll stop at Arnaud Delmontel for my baguette. If I’m in a particularly chocolately mood, I’ll walk down the rue to yet another patissierie for a chocolate éclair. I’ll grab a half dozen clementines at the corner produce market and, if I’m dining in, pick up the Cuisse de Canard Confite from Picard. A delicious evening awaits at home!

Although it’s located in one of the outer arrondissments, life in this part of the 17th feels centrally located. A ten-minute stroll up Rue Legendre takes me to the Square des Batignolles and the charming streets of that neighborhood. After a ten-minute walk in the other direction down Rue Legendre, I’ll find myself at Parc Monceau (my favorite parc in Paris).

The Villiers metro stop in ParisThe #3 metro line takes me directly to my beloved NoMa (the North Marais) via the Arts et Métiers metro stop, and to Opéra, from where I make a beeline to Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. I can transfer to the #12 line (to hit Bon Marché), the #4 line (bonjour St. Germain and the Luxembourg quartier) or the #8 line (and visit the 7th arrondissement). The #2 line takes me directly to Pigalle and Montmartre, and to Pere Lachaise, or to the #1 line that runs through the center of Paris (from the Arch de Triomphe down to Bastille).

square-des-batignolles-paris

A duck in the Square des Batignolles

Of course, meeting friends (including Gail, Thierry and John) at neighborhood restaurants makes me feel like a local (one of the waiters at Dome knows to bring me my coupe de Champagne  right away). And acting like a local is truly the best way to experience Paris.

All photos © 2012 by Linda Donahue. All rights reserved. Photos may not be used in any medium without the expressed written permission of the photographer. Photos may be purchased at The Fine Print [Studio].

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Change is Good http://www.parisiensalon.com/2012/11/change-is-good/ http://www.parisiensalon.com/2012/11/change-is-good/#comments Wed, 21 Nov 2012 16:01:46 +0000 Linda Donahue http://www.parisiensalon.com/?p=8634 parc-Monceau-Paris-Franceby Linda Donahue

You may have noticed that I’ve been away for a while. Please also note that I said “I” rather than “we.”

In the four years since I launched ParisienSalon.com, I positioned the site as an online magazine, not a blog. I also frequently referred to “we” when talking about the site, as if I had a whole staff helping behind the scenes.

I’ve already admitted that ParisienSalon is just me, Linda Donahue. I’ve had contributors and contractors to help me build the site, but the only person posting, marketing, chatting, editing, etc., has been moi.

When I took a break from ParisienSalon.com, back in the spring, it was to recharge my batteries. It took a lot longer to recharge than I thought it would. A large part of that was because I didn’t know what I wanted ParisienSalon.com to be anymore. When I birthed the site, I was adamant that it be something possessing journalistic qualities and refused to call it a blog. I wanted it to be objective and neutral. Clearly it worked, because the site garnered a wonderful, loyal audience.

But it stopped working for me. Somewhere along the line, ParisienSalon.com became more of an obligation and less of a passion. That’s when I had to take a step back.

Over the last few months, I’ve thought quite a bit about what I wanted the site to become. It looked good, but it was missing something. I finally realized what that missing something was: my voice. So, that was the first step in re-imagining what ParisienSalon.com could be.

I also started to think about what would keep me interested in the site…not as a writer or editor, but as a reader. I travel frequently to Paris, but do I want to read about Paris all the time? No, I don’t. But I, as a reader, would be interested in learning how to bring a little bit of Paris into my life back in the U.S. And that was my ah-ha moment.

ParisienSalon.com is no longer just about the city of Paris. It’s about living the Parisian life. I know that’s what I intended back when I launched the site, but I seem to have forgotten it as I tried to make a name for the site.

So, I’m back. ParisienSalon.com is back. And I’m back in Paris, meeting up with people who know what it means to live a Parisian life. My plan is to introduce them to you over the next year and let them offer their expertise. People like John Agee, a jewelry designer/boutique owner on rue Jacob, or Cécile Hasroyen, a brilliant stylist and personal shopper. I’ll have experts on cooking and entertaining—Diane Anthonissen, for instance—and wine. I plan to introduce you to artists, photographers, interior designers, romance experts and more, all with the intention of bringing Paris into your everyday lives and homes. This is my salon, and I will bring you the best and most brilliant Parisians (natural or adopted), a la Gertrude Stein. Of course, I’ll still share some of the things you can only see or do in Paris, but from a more personal perspective.

I hope you’ll stick around for this and like what I have planned for ParisienSalon.com. The look of the site won’t change, but some of the organization of it will. And you’ll still be able to create your own little suitcase of interesting features to reference later.

Let me know what you think in the comments below, and if you have any suggestions on how to bring you more of what you want from ParisienSalon.com.

A bientôt!

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My Day at a Paris Hammam: Les Bains du Marais http://www.parisiensalon.com/2012/06/my-day-at-a-paris-hammam-les-bains-du-marais/ http://www.parisiensalon.com/2012/06/my-day-at-a-paris-hammam-les-bains-du-marais/#comments Fri, 29 Jun 2012 07:19:48 +0000 eyeprefer http://www.parisiensalon.com/?p=2700 paris-hamman

Story and Photos by Richard Nahem, Eye Prefer Paris Correspondent

I received a generous gift certificate from my friends to Les Bains du Marais for the hammam, a massage, and manicure. Looking forward to some R & R, if only for a few hours, I made my appointment on Friday afternoon just in time to unwind from a long and hectic week.Located on rue des Blancs Manteaux, I walked into the reception area with its handsome dark wood kiosk and wall cases lined with enticing beauty products in seductive packaging. The gentle receptionist said to go and change, relax in the hammam for a while and then the masseuse would come and get me for my massage. I changed into a plush, oversized white terry bathrobe and rubber slippers and went to the café first. I ordered a mint tea and it was kind of decadent hanging out in a bathrobe in the middle of the day and also funny being surrounded by other men wearing the same. The men all seemed to know each other and I concluded this s was probably a weekly ritual.

hamman-in-parisI went into the large hammam lined with beautiful tiles and I chilled out for a while, inhaling the intoxicating steam. About 30 minutes later, the masseuse called me and laid me on a table, vigorously scrubbing me first with delicious smelling black soap body gel with olive oil. The deep cleansing gel with orange nectar and hibiscus scent is a traditional hammam cleanser used for thousands of years. She then rinsed me with warm water and proceeded to strenuously massage me and the whole treatment took about 20 minutes. A far cry from the slow, relaxing 1-hour Asian massages I was used to, nonetheless, I felt energized.

Next was my manicure, and the manicurist did a bang up job on my cut-up cuticles, which hadn’t seen the likes of her in many years.

I walked out of Les Bains du Marais invigorated and can’t wait to return to this relaxing urban oasis soon.

Les Bains du Marais
31-33 rue des Blancs Manteaux, 75004
Tel. 01 44 61 02 02
Metro: Hotel de Ville
Note: Certain days are men and/or women only, other days are mixed
Below is the schedule
Women: Mon-11AM- 8PM, Tues. 11AM- 11PM, Wed. 11AM-7PM
Men: Thursday 11AM- 11PM, Fri. 11AM-8PM
Men & Women: Wed. 7PM-11PM, Sat. 10AM-8PM, Sunday 11AM-11PM

Les Bains du Marais offers a variety of services, from massage to gommage to hair and nails, and even a delightful restaurant.

 

 

 

 

Richard Nahem is a native New Yorker who now lives in Paris. A successful New York City event planner and producer of cultural events, he has worked with many celebrities including Sarah Jessica Parker, Whitney Houston, and Joan Rivers. After a teenage trip to Paris made him an instant Francophile, he visited the city frequently until he made it his home (in 2005).

With 25 years of rave reviews from friends and colleagues, Richard decided to take his own private tours of “his” Paris public. His goal for Eye Prefer Paris Tours is to provide fun, adventurous, and exciting tours of Paris for the independent-spirited traveler.


 

 

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Rue du Commerce: A Hidden Shopping Treasure in Paris http://www.parisiensalon.com/2012/06/rue-du-commerce-a-hidden-shopping-treasure-in-paris/ http://www.parisiensalon.com/2012/06/rue-du-commerce-a-hidden-shopping-treasure-in-paris/#comments Tue, 26 Jun 2012 07:00:34 +0000 Linda Donahue http://www.parisiensalon.com/?p=7913 Story by Laura Thayer

When you’re looking for the best hidden shopping streets in Paris, one of the places you’re unlikely to start your search is just a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower. Yet, just across the Champ de Mars gardens on the border of the 7th and 15th arrondissement, is a charming neighborhood where you’ll find the narrow rue du Commerce. The street is chock full of boutiques for a truly Parisian shopping experience—sans the traffic and tourists.

If you’re staying in the heart of Paris in the 7th arrondissement, it’s only a pleasant stroll across the Champ de Mars gardens, or you can easily take the Métro to the La Motte-Picquet-Grenelle stop and cross the street to find the rue du Commerce. There are some delightful Paris rental apartments nearby, so you can live like a Parisian in this charming neighborhood.

On the corner you’ll spot the large Monoprix, which was one of my greatest discoveries when I first came to Paris. Much like a Target in America, this store is a wonderful spot for affordable fashions, house wares, beauty products, and also includes a large grocery store on the upper level. It’s a wonderful spot for finding that perfect gift, with excellent spices and food items often costing significantly less than at gourmet shops in Paris.

Just outside, rue du Commerce starts with some familiar names, such as H&M and Zara. But as you wander down this charming street, you’ll discover an enormous mix of stores like Princesse Tam Tam, Promod, Etam and Sephora along with charming small boutiques selling one of kind finds. This is the street where Parisians head to first, whether they’re looking for the latest fashions, the perfect pair of boots or something special for a big event.

With a quiet village-like feel to the neighborhood, shopping along rue du Commerce is a real pleasure. The large sidewalks and limited traffic along the narrow one-way street make it easy to pop back and forth across the street when a window display on the opposite side lures you over.

Surrounded by a quiet residential area of Paris, rue du Commerce is also home to a fine selection of high quality food shops, bakeries, cafés and restaurants catering to the locals in the neighborhood. And you can’t miss the Grenelle open air farmer’s market next to the Motte Piquet metro station on Blvd de Grenelle.  This is undoubtedly one of the best markets in Paris, with vendors coming from all over France to sell their quality food.  Prices are excellent, for local Parisians keep a close eye on value!

This is a neighborhood where Parisians come to shop, and I love spending the day feeling very Parisian myself while making my way down one of the most enjoyable shopping streets in Paris. At the end of the afternoon, I stroll across the Champs de Mars Gardens and have dinner with friends serving the delicious treats I’ve bought at the market.

 

Story by Laura Thayer, correspondent for the Paris Perfect Blog, where she writes about savoring the pleasures of the authentic Parisian lifestyle. Top photo ©2011 Paris Perfect Apartment Rentals.

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How To Be a Parisienne: 10 Golden Rules http://www.parisiensalon.com/2012/06/how-to-be-a-parisienne-10-golden-rules/ http://www.parisiensalon.com/2012/06/how-to-be-a-parisienne-10-golden-rules/#comments Fri, 22 Jun 2012 07:00:25 +0000 haven http://www.parisiensalon.com/?p=6198 parisienne-on-bridgeStory by Tory Hoen, Haven in Paris Correspondent. Photos by Dave Bloom.

I can already tell I’m going to get into trouble with this, but I’ve never been afraid to ruffle a few feathers (especially of the French variety), so here goes. As a female ex-pat, living in Paris is no guarantee that you’ll automatically become a local. If you’re not a Parisienne and you want to be, these are the rules.*

1. Cultivate austere beauty. Today’s Parisienne has natural beauty down to an art: very little make-up and a fresh-faced complexion. Hair should be un-“done” (bonus points for bangs and / or a careless ballerina-inspired bun) and brown. With a few rare exceptions, blond hair is a red flag that screams foreign and/or fake. Beware! You want your look to seem unstudied—even though we know it’s not. For inspiration, look no further than Jane Birkin and Jane Birkin 2.0 (her daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg).

2. Don’t smile much. You might be surprised to learn that smiles are, in fact, a limited resource in Paris. They’re not to be wasted on the undeserving, and they play no part in most daily interactions. When deployed, a well-timed smile is a Parisienne’s deadliest weapon, but your default expression should always be set somewhere between deadpan and “subtle scowl.”

3. Nail the “I don’t think so, but I guess if you do…” look. When someone says something you find wrong / distasteful, don’t openly object. Passive judgment is much more effective. Just raise your eyebrows, and look down / sideways to see if anyone else is noticing how absurd the statement was. Note: This is also a good way to establish solidarity with other true Parisiennes in the group, who will undoubtedly be giving the same look.

4. Be thin. But not just thin, a particular kind of thin that I like to call “healthy frail.” Other than a few moments spent standing on a mysterious vibrating plate from time to time, Parisiennes don’t really exercise. As a result, they don’t really have muscles, so they’re diminutive but vibrant, waifish but not gaunt. Damn them.

5. Indulge in moderation. Of course, you occasionally have to eat something very small and decadent—a sliver of foie gras, a single macaron—so that you can then talk about how good it is while you subsist on Diet Coke (Coca Light).

6. Look sober, even when you’re not. Unflagging composure is the mark of the Parisienne. Drinking is fine; showing how much you’ve been drinking via sloppy behavior is not. It’s unbecoming; plus, it can lead to gratuitous smiling (see Rule #2). In Paris, visible drunkenness is best left to foreign study-abroad students.

7. Smoke. Instead of eating or drinking, just smoke a lot. It’s sexy, it burns calories, and it’s socially acceptable at any hour of the day or night. (Alternate option: be a non-smoker and act slightly self-righteous about it).

8. Don’t stay single. It’s not done. Singleness is suspect, and being en couple is much more fashionable (see: The Kooples, a hot new Parisian brand dedicated to couples who wear each other’s clothes. High-concept!). Get a boyfriend, date him, and then eventually, marry him. Then, get a lover—it’s the best way to ensure a happy marriage.

nyc-in-paris9. Adore New York. Even though you’re a Parisienne through and through, talk about how much you love the “energie” of New York, and vow to live there someday.

10. Know where to shop. We all know Parisiennes have an innate sense of chic that can’t be learned, but knowing where to shop can give you a leg up. For the younger set, it’s all about the magical triumvirate—Sandro, Iro, Maje—mixed with pieces from A.P.C. and “It”-designers Isabel Marant and Vanessa Bruno. If you can swing it, take a trip down Avenue Montaigne for some big-ticket items from Chanel, Chloe and Barbara Bui. Your shopping motto should be je ne regrette rien (”I regret nothing”); after all, these are not purchases— they’re investments—and they are your inalienable right. Round out your wardrobe with non-investments from Zara and H&M. Bonus points for vintage items culled from your elegant grandmother’s closet. And if you’re not lucky enough to inherit good taste, fake it by scoring vintage pieces at various depots ventes (consignment stores) around the city.

*Note: These are sweeping generalizations best taken with a large grain of salt (or better yet, fleur de sel).

While living in Paris, I must admit: I didn’t follow a lot of my own advice. As a makeshift Parisienne, you must pick your battles. #10 was no problem, #6 I could manage (usually), #7 didn’t work out, #2 forget it. In retrospect, #2 is a complete Catch-22. How can you live in Paris without smiling? Through my foreign lens, nearly everything is laugh-inducing; I am constantly giving myself away.

Written by Tory Hoen for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.  Dave Bloom is a tepid consultant and aspiring expatriate; born in the Midwest and working his way east via D.C., he is hoping to join Paris for grad school shortly.

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The Ten Never-Ending Trends of Parisian Shoppers http://www.parisiensalon.com/2012/06/the-ten-never-ending-trends-of-parisian-shoppers/ http://www.parisiensalon.com/2012/06/the-ten-never-ending-trends-of-parisian-shoppers/#comments Tue, 19 Jun 2012 13:05:38 +0000 haven http://www.parisiensalon.com/?p=7084 Story by Tory Hoen, HiP Paris Correspondent. Photos by Paris in Pink.

Casual shoppers, beware. The French sales are just around the corner and many a French fashionista is getting ready to pounce on items she has secretly coveted all Fall. In all honesty, though, the soldes are often the one moment of fashion folly many Parisiennes allow themselves. For decades, one market has proven remarkably resistant to passing trends: Paris. Despite jumping at the occasional fad (the Balmain-inspired shoulder pad, the hardware-adorned gladiator sandal), Parisian shoppers — both young and old — follow certain cardinal rules in their shopping habits, year-in and year-out.

The key to this eternal French chic may lie in a natural sense of restraint and discernment. In considering her past wardrobe choices, a French woman is less inclined to wonder, “What was I thinking?” because (most likely) it’s what she’s still thinking: invest in high-quality staples and err on the side of understated elegance.

Here are the most time-tested items that can aid your journey towards impeccable Parisian dressing.

1. The scarf. Parisians’ year-round obsession with scarves has more to do with style than climate. For warmer months, a lightweight silk scarf (think Hermès) can sass up a basic outfit. As it gets colder, reach for heavier knits.

2. The trench. This old-school staple projects refined sexiness, while also combating the relentless Parisian drizzle.

3. The ballet flat. Brigitte Bardot helped put Repetto on the map when she began traipsing around town in the brand’s dance shoes in 1956. Nowadays, a pair or two is de rigueur for any pavement-pounding Parisian.

4. The pump. For the office or evening hours, an elegant heel is the way to go. Just make sure it’s walk-able—teetering is never a good look.

5. Le smoking. Created by YSL in 1966, this tuxedo jacket set the precedent in sexy menswear-inspired style for women. Today, you’ll find variations everywhere from H&M to the fashion house that originated the look.

6. The black pant. It’s a no-brainer, but a well-made pair of black pants (or a few, in various cuts and materials) provide the foundation for many a Parisian wardrobe.

7. White tailored shirt. Clean, classic and always in style.

8. The classic bag. Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton. Bags that can appear too trendy in other environments somehow offer just the right touch when slung over the arm of a nattily dressed Parisian.

9. Touch of fur. Even the most basic outfit can be amped up by a hint of fur in the form of a hat, a stole, or a glove.

10. Minimal make-up. Well-maintained skin and hair are the domain of the French woman. Beyond that, a red lip or a kohl-lined eye can add drama—just don’t overdo it.

Finally, remember that it’s less about assembling a look than it is about owning it, so don’t forget to cultivate your je ne sais quoi.

Need a daily fashion fix? We love these:

Written by Tory Hoen for the HiP Paris blog. Featuring images by Camille from Paris in Pink.Camille is a French-American freelance writer living in Paris, and she adores pink! Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

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Picturing Paris with the Little Brown Pen http://www.parisiensalon.com/2012/06/picturing-paris-with-the-little-brown-pen/ http://www.parisiensalon.com/2012/06/picturing-paris-with-the-little-brown-pen/#comments Tue, 19 Jun 2012 07:00:40 +0000 lindadonahue http://www.parisiensalon.com/?p=5815 paris-cafe-greenInterview by Linda Donahue. All photos by Nichole Robertson.

Parisien Salon readers are already familiar with Nichole Robertson and her stunning Paris photographs. And the blogosphere has had its compass pointed to her blog, Little Brown Pen, for quite some time. The self-described “girl of many words and few exclamation points” is also a writer, married to Evan and currently dwells with him and their two sons in a charming New Jersey hamlet–when they’re not spending a few months a year in Paris.

I recently had a chance to chat with Nichole about her relationship to Paris, her inspiration and the success of her Etsy shop.

 

When was your first visit to Paris?

My husband Evan and I went to Paris on our honeymoon in March 2003. He had been many times, but it was my first. I had always wanted to go to Paris, but things like college tuition and rent always got in the way.

I am happy to have experienced Paris for the first time with my husband. He carefully planned visits to the places he knew I’d love, and they didn’t include the Eiffel Tower and Champs-Élysées My most memorable first was the first time I stepped inside Notre Dame. I’ll never forget the fragrant incense, dizzying heights or the weight of the collective human will to achieve something so grand. I’ve never been to Paris and not visited Notre Dame multiple times.

Paris-yellow-wallYou moved to Paris (briefly) last year. What led to that move?

Temporary insanity? Reckless abandon? Butter?

If I’m being honest, it was likely a marriage of all three coupled with the realization that it was now or never because we had children who were not yet in school. Evan and I made the decision over a glass of wine, and never looked back. We had refrained from buying a home during the housing bubble, so the move wasn’t stymied by selling a house. We notified our landlord, downsized, sold or gave away most of our belongings and left. At the time, we honestly didn’t know when we’d be returning. It was incredibly exhilarating, and a bit terrifying, but it was a shake up in retrospect I know we both needed.

You and your family spend three months a year in Paris? Is there a favorite neighborhood you stay in?

We’ve always stayed in either the Marais or Montmartre. I love them both, but I am partial to the Marais, because of its proximity to Notre Dame, the Falafel shops on Rue de Rosiers and the carousel in front of the Hotel de Ville. I have many fond memories both as a recently married young woman and a mom.

What do your children think about Paris?

My children have distilled Paris into the three Cs: carousels, chocolate croissants and crepes. They are 5 and 2, so I won’t hold their narrow views against them yet.

Do they speak any French yet?

They know some basics like bonjour, au revoir, the numbers 1 through 10, but I don’t expect that they’ll be chatting up the toddlers at the park any time soon. It’s sad to see them attempt to engage with French children who return their English greetings and pleadings for swings with blank stares. Our oldest is starting to work on it at home, and we plan to enroll them both in French classes very soon.

You have several themes that run through your photography—color, shapes, etc. Does your eye pick up on the themes while you’re out with your camera, or do you see the themes emerge later after the photos are processed?

I’m usually on the lookout for a specific color or two. I’ve discovered that it’s a wonderful way to explore Paris. I’ve taken photos of vents, grates, letters on the street, etc., that I would absolutely overlook had they not been the color I was searching for. It’s become such a habit for me now, that I have to remind myself to shoot other things.

By the way, you’d be surprised by the number of beautiful air vents there are in Paris. They look like flowers.

What kind of camera equipment do you use?

I have a Nikon D5000 and nine times out of ten I shoot with a Nikon 200mm zoom lens. Parisians aren’t too fond of people getting up close and personal with their bread, their flowers, their shops, etc., and I find it’s a whole lot easier to stand back and snap away unnoticed. I’ve endured my share of “pas des photos!”

paris-cafe-chairsHow did the idea of taking your photography and turning them into calendars come about?

I had been collecting photos in colors and planned to parlay them into art for our home once we returned to the states. One night I was surfing around on Flickr, and I came across a college student who had made a perpetual calendar out of Polaroids and Post-It notes. I showed Evan and we both agreed that we had to make a perpetual calendar of Paris. We assessed the photos we already had and collected more numbers on subsequent trips.

The actual printing of the calendar was kind of a risk for us. We had to invest quite a bit of money to have them offset printed because we needed to print on very heavy cardstock. It was a financial plunge that was terrifying at the time, but it all worked out.

Talk about the different calendars  (and other products) you’ve created and sell?

In addition to the perpetual calendar, we have a 2010 calendar that features some of our favorite photos, and a few color series in sets of nine that we love. The idea for the color series prints came from my blog readers who emailed me asking if I planned to sell them.

My favorite part about the color series is the paper they are printed on. It’s a heavy, matte, fine art cotton-rag paper, and the texture is just gorgeous.

How is your writing influenced by Paris? Do you feel more creative when you’re in Paris?

Gosh, this seems like such a cliché, but yes, I certainly do. I have no idea why, but when I am in Paris, I am doubly creative and half as lazy. It’s a good combination.

During your next stay in Paris, is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to seeing or doing?

I am really looking forward to our next trip. My parents, both of whom have never been to Paris, are going with us, and I’m giddy. I’ve been begging them (really, really begging them) for years to go to Paris, but they’ve always replied with “next year” or “when we retire.” Well, I don’t know what changed, but this time when I asked they said yes.

I can’t wait to take them to our favorite places, and for them to finally get to see the place that makes me sublimely happy.

Any words of advice for a first-time visitor to Paris?

Allow yourself a few days to see the popular spots, but give yourself at least three days to follow your bliss and traipse about with no itinerary. Just walk, and walk, and walk, breathing in the fragrant food, basking in the abundant lights, eyeing the colors, taking in the street sounds, all of it. Let your senses lead the way.

Note: Since this feature originally ran, Nicole published a gorgeous new book, Paris in Color. You can buy it online at Little Brown Pen’s website.

 

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