Friday, November 26, 2010

Paris Play

At the Carnavalet
Couldn't resist amusing ourselves with the huge mirrors at the Musée Carnavalet.  As we wander through the beautiful rooms, I try to imagine what it must have been like to live there.  The lap of luxury for a few and huge amounts of work for the rest.  The many massive mirrors would reflect the candlelight and certainly make things brighter on those grey Paris days...

The beginning of logos

There was a Louis Vuitton show at the Carnavalet which (in spite of not being a particular fan of what I consider 'status' merchandise) we went to.  It was fascinating.  I now see where the term 'vanity case' comes from.  And it certainly fits with much of what the original Louis Vuitton does and the company is now doing but it's vanity faire for sure.

The first Louis Vuitton was a packer - he packed peoples trunks for them - and so he began to figure out designs that worked better to not only keep clothes neat but organized.  After living out of a suitcase for nearly a month I envied the labeled drawers for shoes, containers for toiletries and perfectly engineered slots for brushes or tools of any kind.  Silver, horn, ivory, brass, leather and other fine materials were crafted into brilliantly designed, beautiful containers for anything you could want to travel with, anywhere and anyway you wanted to go.  Obviously the folks who ordered and owned these pieces were not carrying them themselves.

My favorite was the 'Brazza' bed designed for the French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza.  Basically a camping cot (not especially comfortable looking) with chic red and white stripe cover (made extra long for Brazza's height) that folds into a trunk. 

Metro Chic?

Traveling by the Metro is efficient and life underground is always interesting.  I actually think the French stay slim from walking up and down all those stairs and tunnels.  You have music, food, accessories, pan-handling, momentary drama and here clothing (the first I'd seen).  Everything was 5 and 10 euros, cheap chic compared to the other prices I've encountered here.
Isobel being creative at Desigual
Chic clothing is in full force at Desigual, a Spanish company whose windows reminded Marcy and I of home (updated hippie stuff).  Loved the place with its loud music, bright colors, stacks of pattern on pattern and a tiny corner set aside to personalize whatever you buy with hand-stitching, paint or sequins.  Reminded me of a hand-painting gig I did for Daytons/nowMacys some years back.  Isobel was talented as well as gorgeous as she personalized our purchases.

Street chic
I've spotted some very chic women and men on Paris streets (not as many as you would think though bad fashion choices exist even here).  There seems to be a 'uniform' of sorts - faux or real fur/leather jacket, skinny jeans or little skirt and leggings and boots, high or low.  It's a look that is all over the window displays and all over the street.  I loved this young woman with her artfully ragged fishnets.
Coco doll
You can't visit Paris without at least looking in the windows of the original Chanel on the rue Cambon.  They are now sporting a white look, Lolita frocks with far too many ruffles for my taste, for Resort and/or Christmas/Holiday. What I liked best were the many Coco dolls, apparently not available in the stores...
Peaceful Paris outside our window
Returning 'home' in the evening with some delicious soup, bread and wine for supper is the end to a perfect day.  Maison Zen has a beautiful zen (of course) garden that is right outside our window providing a calm transition from the bustling streets of Paris.

Just two more days....  What to do?