A Wonderful Time seeking Coco Chanel

N° 5I was invited to join a fun and delightful tour with a new company called Wonderful Time. They were in the final stages of testing their tours, and asked me to join a group (thanks to Pamela of francophilia who put me in touch with them, and who joined me on the tour) for a tour of Coco. THE Coco.

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The Mystique

It’s all about the aura we create around our natural beauty.

The Mystique

Marc Jacobs rose perfume
$76 – harrods.com

Sisley lip care
$69 – liberty.co.uk

Chantecaille eyeshadow

Chanel blush

Dressing Like Dita

I have a lovely habit of wasting time on one of my favorite websites : ShopStyle. It’s like having the world as a closet and being able to create outfits form millions and millions of articles. It’s addicting. I am warning you now.

I am also a big fan of Dita. You know who I am talking about. She inspires me and well frankly, I wish I had her waredrobe and work-out regime!

I created some looks from pictures of Dita Von Teese found off of Google. It was time-consuming but fun to browse thousands of pieces of clothing and accessories, looking for that one perfect piece to illustrate her outfits.


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Paris FNO 2012

Me admiring a Moschino jacket, Photo : Lauren Cashwell

This year Paris FNO happened on the rue du Faubourg Sainnt Honoré.  I thought it would be a mixture of avenue Montaigne and Faubourg Saint Honoré, but avenue Montaigne did not participate at all. There was a slight improvement from last year, meaning access to many stores was less strict, but I was again left with a an annoyed feeling that they still haven’t understood the purpose of this event.

Some stores denied access to us, claiming that theirs was a private party and we had to have had a special invitation.

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Paris Fashion Week – The show outside the tents

Guest post by Katie Henoch

Trends outside BAILMAIN and CHANEL Paris AW1213 shows : CHIC STREET FASHION


People attending were in more of a “working trendy” outfit, as in they were going to work but you knew they worked at Vogue.  Whereas non-attendees outside were wearing more vintage oversized clothing, taking more risks.  Grace Coddington was in all black, black flats and black jacket with no makeup on.

Fur seems to be in here, either with full jackets, or vests, or collars – same with leather.

People showed off their originality through their vintage jackets.  From boxy patterned 80s inspired ones, to a pastel Easter yellow textured jacket with heels to match, to a plaid tailored men’s jacket reminiscent of the 1940s.

There seemed to be a rocker chick trend happening, either with leather leggings, jacket, boots, or bags all in black with red lipstick.

Then you had your classic vintage girls, with skinny jeans, or boyfriend pant jeans with blouse and blazer on top and bigger accessories or necklace.

Also – florals and mix matching of patterns.



Outside of CHANEL there were two categories: people going in with invitations, and people not going in.

Of the attendee’s almost everyone with an invite in their hand was wearing some accent of Chanel on them, if not being outfitted entirely in it.

However, there was still a sense of higher fashion in the air for those who remained outside the show.  Less vintage 80’s or baggy street wear, and more of a cinched, put together, and classic style but with a bit of an edge…I mean c’mon! The point is to get noticed right!

Perhaps sometimes a little too classic! :

Fashion week is the one place were you can wear your most interesting wardrobe elements…whether it is as a statement piece, as an accent piece or how about all at once! :

Katy Perry’s appearance seemed to come out of nowhere. Within a few seconds she emerged from a moving orb of body guards, her entourage and a sew of photographers, heading swiftly towards the entrance, dressed in black with a pearl accented black hat to contrast with her blue hair.

Guest Post : Lucky First-Time Fashion Week

Post by Emily McGovern

March 6th couldn’t have been a better day for fashion in Paris. Waking up to Chanel in the morning and ending the evening with Alexander McQueen – can it really get any better than that?

Despite the rain and the cold, lucky guests made their way in style to some of the most fabulous shows that this year’s designers had to display. A crowd had formed outside of the Grand Palais around the time that the Chanel show took
place, people swarming to snap photos of Katy Perry and other guests as they entered and exited the building. Comparatively, the Jean-Charles de Castlebajac show was a breath of fresh air. Taking place in L’Oratoire du Louvre, there was a smaller gathering on the street and a short line in which the guests waited to be seated.

Attendees were generally young, and wore colorful, easy clothes accented by somewhat eccentric pieces. This crowd had a plainly different aura, blending chic simplicity and youthful fancy to create a calm look with a splash of boldness. Most admirable was the integration of Catslebajac’s design and aesthetic into the guest’s ensembles. One guest arrived in a striking black dress with the open-mouthed bird shoulder that had been prominent in Castlebajac’s Fall / Winter collection. Another sported some cheeky Mickey Mouse heels that corresponded with his Spring / Summer collection, which utilized the icon in several pieces. Overall, it was a relaxed and cool atmosphere, but as is always the case with designers such as these, the excitement preceding the show couldn’t be denied.
Later on came one of the front-runners of Fashion Week (and the one I was most desperate to see); the Alexander McQueen show. Located at Salle Wagram, a multitude of spectators were forced to part down the middle to make way for some of the most famous and talented people in the fashion world today. Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of the American Vogue, walked briskly through the crowd, ushered by security guards who obstructed the view of her magenta python skin coat trimmed with orange fur, paired with black boots. Her right hand at Vogue, Grace Coddington, was also spotted upon entrance, in black as usual, her dark red hair falling naturally about her. She was the first I’ve noticed carrying a notebook and a pen, presumably to take notes while the show is fresh in her mind. Another intimidatingly fabulous woman, Nina Garcia, passed by, casually talking on the phone as those on the sidelines captured photos of her in an all black outfit, including a stylized fur coat. Clearly, with such outstanding guests, this show had some high expectations. Luckily, Sarah Burton has never failed to deliver a less than incredible collection so far as the new artistic director of the late Alexander McQueen’s brand.

Through a fantastic unforeseen miracle, I was able to witness the presentation of Burton’s collection. Standing out in the cold in the hopes of seeing more celebrities, a man approached my friend who had tagged along with me and asked if she had a ticket. She told him she didn’t, and all he said was, “Wait ten minutes,” and left. We anxiously waited for him to return, wondering if this really meant what we thought it did. Finally, he came back, and we followed him down a suspicious-looking path ending at an elevator, which brought us to a space behind the wall facing the runway. The show had already begun, and I was simply in awe that I had made it. I always dreamed of attending a show at fashion week (though I imagined being seated with the other “real” guests), and there I was at Alexander McQueen, watching the newest trends emerge. In this one day of Fashion Week, guests and gawking fashion lovers alike came together for the sole purpose of absorbing and appreciating the beauty that these designers produce. All kinds of people from around the world made March 6th a day to remember – and this is just one of seven!

Emily McGovern is a student from Massachusetts, USA studying in Paris for a semester.

Couture fashion week : My favorites from the major brands

The Dior show was very subdued minus Galliano, and perhaps change is a good thing. I did however love the sillhouettes and waistlines which to me are the most important part of a gown or dress. It’s the base from which all the extra frivolities may flutter, and it must be perfectly accented and cut. The next important thing is the neckline which must draw attention up to the face, and the the hemline which brings the eye back down and allows the pbserver to engulf the entire attire and see through it to observe the woman who is wearing the dress. For she should not mearly be a hanger for the garment, she should be the reason for the garment. This piece shown below I feel takes all of those elements into consideration. Simple, yet elegant. Classic, with a youthful ease.

From Vogue.fr

Alexis Mabille, went for an interesting “total look” perhaps with his models face color matching the gown she was wearing : blue, orange, grean, yellow etc. And capping it all off with giant paper flowers on their heads. The piece I chose for this list is the light aqua beaded short dress, because the detail work embodies what couture is all about. It goes beyond prête-à-porter and brings the work done on each piece to a whole other level of difficulty and savoir-faire. These beads must all be hand sewn. These details are all incorporated one by one with excruciating attention paid to even the slightest stitch. The human labor and hours of time put into one piece SHOULD far surpass anything prête-à-porter can claim.

Photo : Vogue.fr

Jean-Paul Gaultier understands the spectacular concept of couture…that all-out-shocking-let-your-creativity-run-wild aspect to fashion design. It’s so hard to pick one single look from his Spring 2012 couture show. It was literally the opposite of the Dior show. It has this wonderful mix of Lindy hop culture paired with Amy Winehouse nostalgia and a fully charged palette of colours and textures. Gaultier understands how to do the daring, how to push the limits yet remain true to his signature style. I chose this piece not because it’s my favorite, (I couldn’t chose a favorite there were too many), but because it has got Gaultier all over it.

Photo : Vogue Paris

Karl and his collection want to take us on a trip while staying true to the Chanel culture, with acatwalk set that looked the like the interior of an airplane. Like Gaultier, his work for this power fashion house always remains faithful to those elements that have it wings. One of them being the perfect cut. This is a standard chez Chanel. And it comes out on every piece. The perfect lines, the perfect patterning of fabric and textile. This piece brings that precious value to eveidence.

Phtoo : Vogue Paris

Couture is an art that can do more than just dress the body, it can create goddesses with the mere donning of a garment that seems to have been woven by fairies. These are the Elie Saab gowns. His talented ability to make a woman become a dream is breathtaking. Like this…

Photo : Vogue Paris


Shopping in and around Paris

Guest post by Bonney Bailey 

Paris has to be one of the most popular shopping cities in the world. Here, high-end chic rubs shoulders with vintage fashion, making this the ultimate city to shop ’til you drop. Whether you’re spending a romantic weekend away or taking the kids to Eurodisney Paris you’ll never be far away from some first class shopping opportunities.

1. Avenue Montaigne and Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
Dedicated to high end fashion, Avenue Montaigne is the place to shop – and be seen. This famous  street is home to fashion houses such as Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Fendi, Ralph Lauren, Christian Lacroix and Bulgari. You can easily do some credit card damage here, although there’s nothing wrong with window shopping! The fashion continues along neighboring Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, where you’ll find the flagship stores of Hermès, Lanvin and Lancôme. Not surprisingly, it’s also where you’ll find two of the major Parisian powerhouses – the President of France at the Élysée Palace and the headquarters of French Vogue.

2. Les Puces de Saint-Ouen flea market
There is nothing like a Parisian flea market to bring out the bargain hunter in even the most high-end fashionista. From antique jewelery to vintage perfume bottles, this is a magical place to rummage for treasures, whether to find souvenirs, gifts for someone special, or a beautiful trinket to call your own. Get in early for the crème de la crème of clothing, jewelery, art and home goods.

Les Puces Saint Ouen Flea Market by ParisSharing

3. Le Marais district
Vintage fashion has had something of a revival over the past few years. Yet, while this now seems to extend to the shiny polyester collections of second-hand stores of England, Parisian vintage fashion is on another level of style altogether. Les Marais is home to one of the greatest concentrations of vintage shops in Paris. From appointment-only costumiers to general vintage stores, a determined rummage might reveal a rare Chanel jacket or Hermès scarf. Prête-Moi Paris’ very first blog post was on one such of these vintage stores!

4. La Vallée Village
Even Disneyland Paris holidays can involve some Parisian retail therapy. (Why should the kids have all the fun?) La Vallée Village is a luxury outlet center featuring a huge collection of major designer brands at over 95 boutiques, and everything is at a reduced price. Conveniently, it’s only five minutes away from Disneyland Paris, so you can spend the day enjoying the rides with the kids and then take a little shopping spree with them afterwards. (There’s even designer children’s wear available here!) For those staying in one of the Disney hotels, there’s a dedicated shuttle service that runs straight to La Vallée Village. This shopping haven is open 7 days a week (excluding Christmas day, January 1st and May 1st) so you can easily fit your shopping trip into your Disney trip.

5. Les Galeries Lafayette
This 10-storey department store in the 9th arrondissement of Paris covers everything from bedding to bridalwear. There are some huge designer names here, from Burberry to Vivienne Westwood, but there is plenty for those whose budget won’t quite stretch to luxury brands. There is even a gourmet food and drink department with all manner of foodie indulgences, and an on site travel agent. Its huge glass dome and art deco interior makes this one of the chicest department store experiences you can have.

Another perk about this department store is the free fashion show held there on Fridays to show the different designers that the store features!

Galeries Lafayette by edmundv

As you’ll have gathered, Paris offers a diverse selection of unrivaled shopping experiences, so break out the credit cards or save up your euros, wear comfortable shoes and hydrate and feed yourselves. This is not shopping to be taken lightly!

Vintage ‘it’ bags and more

Since 1995 Monsieur Gérard Avrand and his wife Mme Valérie Michot have held this boutique that brings new life to items that no longer serve their original owners. Chanel bags, Prada, Hermès, Vuitton… I guess in this age of consumerism we can all get tired of even the finest of things and be on the search for something new. Thank goodness there are people like Mr and Mrs Avrand for those of us who aren’t always looking for the newest ‘it’ bags, but rather like to find vintage editions that are no longer sold in the mainstream marketplace.

The boutique is called the Galerie Antiquités de l’Île Saint-Louis, and the concept is that of vintage accessories being treated like antiques, items with increasing value according to their rarity and good condition. They work as a dépôt-vente (consignment) or they may also buy and resell.

Luxury shoes, handbags, scarves and silk ties, jewelry, even furniture! (the dog is not for sale) 🙂


Vintage Hermès Kelly bags, left-right : 1994, 1970s, 1995








20 rue des Deux Ponts 75004 Paris
Tel : @ : isl.antiquites@wanadoo.fr

IN OTHER NEWS… Recent Luxe Links from our friends at POSHGLAM! : Luxe Links | Marchesa Redesigns Playboy Bunny, Design Your Own Hermes Scarf & Gucci’s Bracelet for Japan

Vintage heaven

♫ Where do used clothes go when they die? They don’t go to heaven where the clothespins fly. Go to a hanging wire and dry. Wear ’em again til the Fourth of July… ♬

Rochas 225€

Actually they are reincarnated and get a chance at life again…. as they wait in Nirvana (anyone getting my little joke here?!?) where you may try them on for size and purchase them if you so fancy, so that they do live again. This place can otherwise be referred to as Thanx God I’m a V.I.P. and it can be reached by taking the righteous path to the 10th arrondissement in Paris, France.



I have never seen such a beautiful vintage store in my entire life. IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. The young couple that are the owners, have a knack for meticulous almost borderline maniac arranging capabilities, their store is IMPECCABLE…and everywhere you look you see a picture perfect line of color coordinated-gradient racks of frocks and feathers and fun, fun, fun things! They even have a stunning Dior evening gown to dream about. A ground level and an underground level great you with eyefuls of color, clean lines, spaciousness for browsing and so many many tangible articles. All of their articles are quality to luxury… there is NO bottom-of-the-barrel stuff here!


Leather clutches & wool and cashmere scarves



Only part of the shoe selection



Opened in 2009, Sylvie Chategnier, the driving force behind this stunning boutique, used to sell vintage luxury clothing items in her private boutique by rendez-vous only. La ti da! Thanx God I’m a VIP also has their own it-bag brand, and they do touch-ups and hemming in their store. Thanks God, because if you find something that you just can’t live without but it doesn’t fit well, they can help!



The peeptoe green silk Louboutin in the middle is size 40, and was marked at 250€!

What can you expect to find there??? Among others you can find treasures from YSL, Chanel, Lacroix, Rochas, Chloé, Louboutin, Nina Ricci, Lancôme, Prada, Givenchy…and more.


12 rue de lancry

75010 Paris

01 42 03 02 09

mardi au dimanche 14h-20h

(Tues-Sunday 2pm-8pm)