Friday, June 25, 2010

Must Have

Halston Heritage Metallic Leather Double Sash Obi Belt

PRICE: $195.00

Enough Said. I want it now. The Obi Belt has Shown up in many Collections recently Including Isabel Marants  Fall/ Winter Collection

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What I like... Street Watching

As in any city, I love observing people and their interactions! While walking through Paris for my class, I entertained myself by observing my surroundings. A classmate asked me "why are you taking pictures of people" and my answer? "Is there anything better to do?" 

Street Style
A Parisian never leaves the house without heels

window shopping at Palais Royal

this wasn't actually street watching. she is a girl from my class and while the teacher bored us with french architecture, i clicked away with my camera. Don't you think her glasses are cool?

Crazy Tight.

waiting, chic.

all the time in the world

Les Kooples. I love that Parisian couples are always chic and never "too" into each other 

(It was so hard to get a shot of this couple, my pics are fuzzy, but u can see the complementary styles of the two) 

Gallerie Near Palais Royale.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What I like... French Decor

I have an obsession with wallpaper and I think i have found my paradise in Paris, where people are insanely creative and dedicated to their wall decor as I am. This past weekend I had the chance to photograph beautiful examples of French decor in hotels and apartments and I found the palette of colors and different designs very inspiring!

This Armoire was located in the Lobby of Hotel Le Meurice which is a luxury hotel partner of the Academies des Arts de Vivre. Even if you don't have a vintage armoire, you can get the same effect by finding antique mirrors at flea markets (both hand held and different sizes) and arrange them on a wall with an area about 36"X 48" and put some candles of different sizes underneath on a table and voila!- easy french decor that opens up your room and sets a beautiful mood. 

While sitting in The San Regis hotel, I came to understood the rules of French decor.

Rule 1. Keep it simple
Rule 2.  Scale and Balance the room. 
Rule 3. Use Contrast 
Rule 4. Layer
Rule 5. Mix Old and New
Rule 6. Place the unexpected with the norm

Note that the rooms of the San Regis felt like a treasure cove, with the delicate layering of contrasting textures. In another words, the French are very darn good at picking the best things and putting it together. 

At Damann Freres known for its refined collection of teas, I loved this wall! What a french way of arranging photos. The french love organization and symmetry and this is an excellent display of the french taste! I also love the mixture of black and white pictures with photos of colorful tea leaves to showcase their rich heritage and fabulous teas. 

At Victor Hugo's Apartment I noticed that the decor was not Les Miserables at all! 

The subtle decals give gradient to wallpapers as well as add elegance to a room.

The influence of oriental design can be seen in many French houses and has a permanent fixture in french decor. (Not to mention, the famous Chanel quilted bag was influenced by chinese quilt designs). There is so much creativity in the walls but it is balanced by the simplicity of the room with just a few chairs and a chinese wooden bench. I love the mix of sage green with the gold accents and black wood. The display of the plates on the wall is actually french style, but its refreshing to see how well it mixes with the oriental design. 

 Who said carpets are only for the floor? 

Small animal prints can add a beautiful textured color to the room.
 This is a zoomed picture of the design but the spots are so small i needed to take a second look to assure myself that the brown wallpaper was actually a leopard print! 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Marie Antoinette-- Paris Hilton of her time?

Our visit to the Petit Trianon was most enjoyable as we got a peek into Marie Antoinette's life.


As we were walking, Amy sighed and said "Oh Marie-Antoinette, I understand you." Which got me thinking, history has written off Marie Antoinette as a spendthrift, detached from reality and an arrogant queen. However, looking at her simple home-away-from-Versailles,  it seemed that what Antoinette desired above all is solitude from the court life. Why did it feel that dear Marie had been misunderstood her whole life?

At the Entrance of her Chateau

As an austrian Princess who was betrothed to a prince of an enemy nation, I doubt Marie was thrilled at the age of 14 to leave behind her lax courtesan life in Austria (and her dog) to come live in the rigid palace life of Versailles. Since it was apparent that the nobles were not keen on being friends with her, I think Antoinette protected herself through an arrogant attitude. She couldn't speak the language, she didn't know the customs, and people were not very inviting. Furthermore, although she was friends with her husband Louis, there wasn't love in their relationship, which i'm sure added to her loneliness.

Therefore, she found refuge in spending the ridiculous fortunes given to royals. From both her little house in Trianon and from her taste, Marie had a passion for the theatre and drama. In a way, I feel she always loved to have eyes on her, kind of like our modern-day Paris Hilton. She loved luxury and she loved fun, as we can tell from various tables and chairs throughout her little castle, she loved to gamble and play games. She even built herself a charming miniature village close to the Petit Trianon!

Her Personal Theatre

The Chairs in the Music Room

The Little Village behind the Petit Trianon

However these places, were just for her.  It was her escape from the politics of the French court and it shows me she must have wanted to stay a little child in her heart to hide herself and her loneliness.

I believe, Marie experienced centuries in advance, what current celebrities live through everyday. The  commoners (us) are fascinated by the lifestyles of the rich and famous. We want to know everything for our amusement and we do not hesitate to judge them in a second. Yes I think two closets is excessive (ahem Maria Carrie) but I also feel for Antoinette's loneliness. I wonder how many celebrities use their black american express card to fill their solitude and how many of them feel like a Marie-Antoinette- judged and misunderstood?

More Shots and Random Thoughts

I loved the design and the color of the railings.

The Chairs in her private Salon behind her Bedroom.

This couple decided to do a photo shoot usisg Antoinette's little getaway to tell the story. What a wonderful idea! 

Marie's Litte Pond with a LOT of big fish (Look closely and you can see them!)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Where the night takes you...

Although I am a sucker for the Eiffel Tower, I realized last night that I still haven't paid homage to this magnificent structure in my blog posts. Therefore i grabbed my camera at 11pm and met my new friends at Javel station to catch the midnight light show. 

A pre-midnight snack at a crepe stand along the Seine. 
I marveled at how Parisians can make a tower look magical when it could have easily ended up looking like a giant christmas tree. But lucky for them, I am also a big fan of Christmas.

This was a very blurry pic that I liked because there is so much to take in near the tower that everything just becomes a blur of light. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Paris Moments

You know you are in paris when...

You look to see if there are any cars before crossing and the Eiffel Tower is chilling in the background

You have no idea why the man in the ad in pointing a gun at you but you don't care because the trains are on time!

You sunbathe by in a little garden called the Tuilleries

You carry a motorcycle helmet. Always. (Tuilleries) 

Again the Eiffel Tower is just chilling in the background (Place de la Concorde). 

And you don't care if you are stuck in a traffic jam (Opposite Arc de Triomphe).

This was a random little post to showcase some photo moments that I thought were very awesome. I hope it amused you. These are sights that are very famous in Paris, and its amazing that I can find them by surprise when I exit a metro or stop by a road-crossing! Paris always works its charm on me day or night!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why not... be Goth?

I walked the streets of the older paris this week since my assignment was to choose 3 medieval structures and analyze their architecture. At first I cringed my nose since medieval reminded me of goth and that to me are people who wear all black, wear skeletal jewelry (though some are quite fabulous) and dark kohl around their eyes. However gothic architecture?  How could that translate?

Nevertheless after walking into Notre Dame my ignorant soul was singing the praise of gothic design! Here are some things I learned this week.

It was all about the churches!
In the middle ages, churches were important edifices because religion was an escape for the people from the diseases and the attacks on their village.  

The Churches are elevated with towers and bells. This design has two important feature, the bells indicated the time for prayer as well as warned villagers about attacks or enemy invasion. 

Therefore in order to be able to alert the town, the walls of the churches had to be quite tall and we see many pointed arches used for design as well as practicality.  The flying buttress was also introduced to support the high walls

The stained glass window was also an important gothic design as the painting illustrated stories from the bible and controled the light inside the churches. 

I was most amazed at how middle age architecture incorporated practicality and design! 

And now for more pics!

The Gates of Notre Dame.

This is to illustrate both the magnificent arches of Notre Dame as well as the immense height of the church.

I also visited St. Germain-des-Pres and not only was it a favorite of the middle ages but also for existentialism.  I myself found the Place a little interesting since the ancient Eglise is right across from a Louis Vuitton!

The gates of the churches. You can see the similar gothic styles of both St Germain and Notre Dame!

I was behind two nuns in line for Notre Dame. They seemed to have so much fun! Jealous of her camera!

Un petit marché  des trucs. 
Random little shop I walked into by accident had the most interesting things almostlike a hidden attic!