Friday, September 29, 2006

Violet yoghurt?

This is definitely not one for the masses. French gourmet yoghurt brand Mamie Nova has launched a violet flavor.
Full disclosure: I am one of those people who loves violet-flavored sweets. When I was a kid, I used to buy little packets of Parma Violets at the sweetshop. Nowadays, I prefer the violet pastilles of the Abbaye de Flavigny. Not only do they come in a delightful flower-printed oval tin, but the round white pastilles contain a crunchy anise seed at the center.

I'm off to track down that yoghurt...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Anyone for tennis?

Tom Dixon, the head of design at Habitat, has designed two limited edition polo shirts for Lacoste. The Techno+ is created from a hi-tech fabric combining woven fibres echoing effect of stainless steel and aluminium. The +Eco is made from organic cotton and hand-dyed indigo and is sold in a recycled box resembling egg cartons. Both are on sale exclusively at Paris designer megastore Colette at the end of the month - just in time for fashion week!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Eat your greens!

Not content with plastering his Pop Art designs on teddy bears and ski suits, French designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac has given houseware an irreverent twist with his three lines for ceramic firm Deshoulières. They include these camouflage plates (left) where kids will finally be able to hide their green beans.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Mischa, Mischa on the wall

Mischa Barton is all over the fashion radar this fall. The "O.C." star is featured in campaigns for Keds, BeBe and French high street retailer Morgan. Here she works the season's sweater dress, but above all, the Patrick Demarchelier-shot campaign suggests that a hunky male is a woman's most important accessory.
I'm not a huge fan of Morgan, both on account of the throwaway quality of the fabrics and the sizing, which tends towards the minuscule - I suspect you need to be a Mischa clone to make these clothes look any good.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Gehry scales down

Famed architect Frank Gehry, the brains behind the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, has brought his twisted genius to Tiffany's jewelry. Among the stand-out pieces are this black jade ring (left) and banded agate bangle (right).

Friday, September 22, 2006

Scent of a regent

Sofia Coppola's film "Marie Antoinette" drew mixed reactions here in France, but I must admit I loved the movie, which shows Kirsten Dunst in teen queen mode lolling amid candy-colored cakes.
Marie Antoinette

For a real taste of exclusivity, why not treat yourself to the 18th century queen's scent? Created by famed perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, the fragrance is only available at the Chateau de Versailles. Based on historical research by writer Elisabeth de Feydeau, Kurkdjian composed a heady bouquet of rose, iris, jasmine, tuberose and orange flower, punctuated by notes of cedar and sandalwood. There are only 1,000 bottles of the juice, priced at a dizzying $450. Now that's a royal treat!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Happy Birthday, Vanessa!

There are few things as Parisian as a Vanessa Bruno sequin tote.

The French designer celebrates 10 years in business with a limited edition collection for the Printemps department store, which is on sale until October 7. It includes bestselling outfits from the last decade and eight ultra-collectible shades of the iconic bag. And you know what they say, a girl can never have enough handbags!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Kate Moss turns designer

It was only a matter of time: Kate Moss, the model who inspired a thousand Topshop outfits, will design her own line for the high street retailer to go on sale next spring, trade paper Women's Wear Daily reports. Rumors about a possible collaboration intensified after Moss was spotted in the front row of the Topshop Unique catwalk show in London.

"I have always been a big fan of Topshop and regularly shop there," the model said in a statement. "I love what they stand for and am very excited at the thought of working with them." Topshop wants to break into the U.S. market and is also working on a website that will enable global e-commerce.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Chloé exit

It's musical chairs time again on the Paris fashion scene. Yvan Mispelaere becomes the latest designer to switch jobs, quitting Chloé to take up the position of design director at Gucci, where he will work under creative director Frida Giannini, trade paper Women's Wear Daily reports. Mispelaere has long been a key member of the Chloé team and took on an even greater role after British designer Phoebe Philo quit the French label in January to spend more time with her family. Chloé is expected to appoint a new creative director shortly after its spring-summer 2007 ready-to-wear show on October 7.
Two looks from Chloé's autumn-winter collection co-designed by Yvan Mispelaere

Friday, September 15, 2006

Nine West-wood

New York Fashion Week obliging, it's been a week for personal appearances at Manhattan department stores. Sarah Jessica Parker and Hilary Duff promoted their perfumes, while Manolo Blahnik and Vivienne Westwood were hawking shoes. Westwood, who is famous for creating the punk look of the Sex Pistols, has created a limited edition collection for Nine West. There are none of the monster platforms that famously felled Naomi Campbell on the catwalk.

I like these little tartan lace-ups though I am choking a little on the $325 price-tag. What is the point of pricing the items close to Westwood originals...I thought high street tie-ins were supposed to bring your product to the masses?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Baby Jane

French brand Cacharel is finally back on the Paris shopping scene with a brand new flagship on the trendy Left Bank. After closing down its former stores, the brand has undergone a radical makeover and come out feeling groovy. Its Space Age interior is white with red accents including futuristic armchairs. It is the first store in Europe to sell Cacharel's more accessible secondary line, Baby Jane, which is already a huge hit in Japan and other Asian countries. The range features funky printed tops and cute accessories inspired by the Swinging Sixties.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Blythe à Paris

Blythe fans, rejoice! Your favorite bubble-headed doll is the star of an exhibition at Paris department store Galeries Lafayette from Sept. 21 to Oct. 17. Some 60 designers, including Christian Lacroix and Cacharel, have created special outfits for the cosmopolitan doll. They will be auctioned off for charity in June 2007 with profits going to children's charities.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Marc's definition of cool

Hot damn, as Elvis would say. That was one cool collection that Marc Jacobs showed in New York. And I don't just mean the palette of whites, greys and metallics. Forget for a moment the harem pants (some French women wear them, but believe me they are MISGUIDED). Next summer, your favorite high street retailers will be seizing on the ra-ra skirt layering, the T-shirt dresses and the chunky metallic bags in this collection. Personally, I love this flapper look. Work it!
Marc JacobsMarc Jacobs

Monday, September 11, 2006

Chanel goes naked

Karl Lagerfeld has found the solution to pesky new rules about carry-on luggage in airports - the "Naked Bag", a range of transparent totes that should pass muster with even the most stringent airport security guards.

This reminds me of a see-through Patricia Field bowling bag I had in the 1980s. I used to spend hours arranging its contents!

Theyskens appointed at Ricci

It's official! Nina Ricci will announce today that it has hired Olivier Theyskens as its new artistic director, Women's Wear Daily reports. The move has been widely expected following the resignation of previous Ricci designer Lars Nilsson last month. Theyskens has been jobless since consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble closed down the ready-to-wear division of Rochas in July, despite the critical acclaim Theyskens has garnered since he took over the brand in 2003.
It was obvious that it wouldn't be long before the Belgian designer landed on his feet. Theyskens, who is just 29, said he felt on the cusp of a new chapter. "I’m totally excited about it. I’m very happy. It’s an honor," he told WWD in an interview. "I would like to see (Nina Ricci) become a symbol of beauty, of femininity and grace. I want to make it a brand with true values, an iconic brand. And I want to have a lot of girls fall in love with it!" I'm sure that won't be a problem!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

V&R for H&M

If like me you can't wait to see Viktor & Rolf's collection for H&M, which is due to hit stores in November, take a look at their brilliant blog, which features a truly beautiful ad for their new men's fragrance "Antidote" with a specially written song by Rufus Wainwright.

I interviewed our dynamic duo when they staged a 10-year retrospective of their work at the Museum of Fashion and Textile in Paris. I decided to wear one of the sweaters they designed for the French catalogue La Redoute - grey wool with puffy sleeves. Viktor walks in, silently appraises my look and says: "Nice sweater." One minute later, Rolf walks in, clocks my top and says: "Nice sweater." They really do share one brain!
This is a picture I took of their new collection for fall. The bodice of the dress is literally dipped in silver!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Models are so passé, darling is running a blog from New York Fashion week called Tent Talk. It featured this intriguing little post yesterday:
We're not planning on running a lot of blind items here, but this one floored us, so we thought we'd share: Which employee was offered $30,000 to walk in a fashion show? P.S. She refused. We don't get out of bed for less than 50 grand.
Coming on the heels of the Banana Republic ads starring New York writer and all-around It Girl Jessica Joffe, I thought this was pretty funny - are fashion journalists the new models? (And no, I'm not holding my breath for the phone to ring!)
Banana Republic

Balenciaga specials

Balenciaga is set to open two new stores inside the Paris department store Printemps this month, one on the accessories floor and the other in the designer department. French Vogue reports that to commemorate the occasion, designer Nicolas Ghesquiere has produced a limited edition collection of seven classics ranging from stretch jeans to a striped version of its Classique bag. Shame they only come in gray and black - I much prefer the bag in hot red or canary yellow, à la Nicole Richie!

Madrid bans low-fat models

Organizers of Madrid Fashion Week are boldly stepping where no fashion officials have gone before, by banning from their catwalks models considered too skinny. A third of the models who had been booked to appear at the Pasarela Cibeles event have been rejected on the grounds that their body mass index, a measure of weight in relation to height, is too low. Organizers took the unprecedented step after coming under fire in the past for allegedly promoting eating disorders among young Spanish women. Australian designer Leesa Fogarty this week took a similar stand, sending out real women instead of models to promote her MaraJoara swimwear brand at Australian Fashion Week.

"Someone said this week is anorexia week on the runway," she told the Herald Sun newspaper. "You need to set real examples and what a woman should look like." I don't know about you, but these women don't look fat to me. Nonetheless, the show drew a mixed response, with some applauding Fogarty and others saying the amateur catwalkers looked clumsy. At any rate, I wouldn't expect top designers to follow this trend any time soon. As it stands, they don't even manufacture clothes for women bigger than a US size 8, let alone have models that big.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Like mother, like daughter

This could cause an embarrassing silence at the family dinner table. After unceremonously dumping Italian actress Isabella Rossellini when she turned 40, cosmetics firm Lancome has just hired her daughter Elettra as its new face. The campaign is expected to debut in magazines early next year.

One-stop shop

Getting kitted out for winter in Paris is all about intimate multibrand stores like Hoses, the Right Bank boutique of stylist Valery Duboucheron. The shop stocks designers from Marc Jacobs to Avril Gau, whose knee-high boots and leather satchels are a favorite among models. I really love its selection of jewelry by London-based designer Mawi, who mixes Victorian with punk and counts Kate Moss and Madonna among her clients. This purse-pendant is a must-have.

A Ked for every season

After its cute summer sneakers printed with strawberries or cherries, footwear brand Keds has collaborated with rock poster artist Eleanor Grosch on a collection of shoes with graphic prints. My favorite is the one with the stylized '70s inspired owl pattern.
With an advertising campaign fronted by Mischa Barton, these are sure to go down a treat!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bottega turns up the volume

I am nuts about Bottega Veneta's dresses for fall. Although their advertising campaign works a rather rigid Hitchcock vibe with stiff felt separates, the collection featured loads of softly draped dresses that spell pure sex appeal.
Bottega fall collectionBottega fall collection

Claudia is not an old bag

Claudia Schiffer joins the ranks of supermodels fronting campaigns for high street chains with these images for Accessorize.

Unfortunately, the store's website is deeply disappointing. Confusingly, a web search initially directs you to the main page for Monsoon, with Accessorize appearing in small letters on the top right hand side of the menu. Once inside, the site offers only one image from the new ads and no mention of the Claudia clutch touted in interviews hyping up the campaign. Unless they are rolling it out in stages, this has "missed opportunity" written all over it!

Kate X

Despite the drugs scandal and her on-again, off-again relationship with troubled rocker Pete Doherty, Kate Moss is going stronger than ever with a record number of advertising campaigns this fall, including Burberry, Longchamp and Dior, as well as covers for Vanity Fair and Vogue UK. Now the famously sphinx-like model speaks, although in character as Miss X, the star of a series of eerie films made by British director Mike Figgis for the lingerie brand Agent Provocateur. In the first of four short films posted on its website, Moss is filmed in what appears to be night vision, which makes her eyes gleam spookily like a cat's.
Miss X

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sharon Stone vs Olsen twins

After tapping the lollipop-headed Olsen twins for its last advertising campaign, purveyors of red-carpet glam Badgley Mischka are going back to their roots with fall press ads starring Sharon Stone. Compare and contrast.

Badgley Mischka Badgley Mischka

Gucci thrift sale

Expect duels with handbags at dusk as Manhattanites compete for the $500,000 worth of Tom Ford-era Gucci designs which the Housing Works Thrift Shops chain in New York is selling off this month. The sale is scheduled to kick off on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Housing Works' renovated Chelsea flagship at 143 West 17th Street.

For those who can't make it, you can bid online for items including this slinky black goddess dress.
Gucci auction

Proceeds from the sales go to provide housing and support services to people living with HIV and AIDS. Get clicking!

Roland Mouret returns

It looks like "American Idol" founder Simon Fuller wants to keep his protégée Victoria Beckham in Galaxy dresses. Women's Wear Daily reports the pop mogul has formed a fashion company with French designer Roland Mouret, who has been looking for a new outlet for his creative talents since he quit his label last year.
Roland Mouret
The Galaxy dress

Mouret designed the va-va-voom Galaxy dress that was snapped up by celebrities from Scarlett Johansson to Beyonce. He has lost the right to use his name, so the new company has been christened RM19, a combination of the designer's initials and Fuller's 19 Entertainment firm. The new label could show its first clothing collection as early as next year. Mouret said the company would also launch a variety of fashion-related projects, though he did not give any details.

"The world is our oyster. We have no limits, and we'll be looking at fashion from a new angle," Mouret told WWD. "The landscape of fashion has changed so much — just look at what the High Street stores are doing — so we want to bring something else to the customer."
Roland Mouret
Victoria Beckham working the dress on the red carpet
Roland Mouret
Scarlett Johansson sharing the love with Roland Mouret

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Paul & Joe @ Target

U.S. chainstore Target continues its policy of pairing up with relatively obscure European designers to design capsule collections. After teaming up with British designer Luella Bartley (whose fans include Kate Moss), Target is presenting a collection by hip French designer Sophie Albou, whose Paul & Joe label is a favorite among trendy Parisian girls. Among my favorite looks in this range are the kimono-sleeved dress, rustic knit sweater and accessories like the cute cat badge.
Paul & Joe dress

Paul & Joe sweater
Paul & Joe badge

Friday, September 01, 2006

Chloé sunglasses

French label Chloé has announced it is launching a new eyewear line for spring/summer 2007. The 19 models are mainly of the oversized variety made popular by Mses. Hilton and Richie, though Chloé - being a chic Parisian brand - prefers to say the collection "takes its inspiration from the chicness of Claude Pompidou and the heroines of François Truffaut". For those who did not grow up in France, Claude Pompidou is a former First Lady of France and Truffaut is the director behind classic films such as "Jules et Jim". Judge for yourselves!

Chanel Bearbricks

Chanel has filled its window displays in the tony 8th district of Paris with these super-cute Bearbricks, donned out in a monochrome Chanel suit and pearls! Trade paper Women's Wear Daily recently reported that Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld sent 18 of the collectible Japanese figures to editors around Manhattan to wish them a happy summer. It said Chanel was the first fashion house to create a Bearbrick, but apparently British designer Vivienne Westwood already produced a set of three to accompany an exhibition in Japan earlier this year. At any rate, the real Beabricks are considerably smaller than the oversized versions seen in Chanel window displays this week.


This page is the sister site to Boutique personal shopping where I will be posting news about shopping in Paris and other fashion tidbits that may be of interest. Check back soon!