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When the Price is Right!

Right now I am so jealous of Clare’s H&M sunglasses…..having just visited from Melbourne, she took Paris in her stride and did things her way……and in these gems…..for the price of a cup of coffee….perfect…..

Yves Saint Laurent…..Fall 1971……

A collaboration with Jean Claude Vannier and Yves Saint Laurent, created this short fashion film, showing one his most notorious collections of the seventies…..’L'Enfant La Mouche et les Allumettes’ is the equivalent of opening a French Vogue of the time, dramatic and exotic, devastatingly beautiful……



Marc Jacobs Loves Louis Vuitton…..15 Years of Reinvention……


Look at the time already…………once again those blog post entries are adding up…..but even with so much excitement going right now, I can barely think of not writing…..I am sad to say a few exciting things have gone on in my Paris adventure that I am not allowed to blog, but many others I can share…..beginning with the amazing show on at the Musée Les Arts Decoratifs…….15 years of Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton, what began as a very sober, modernist start….and at the time a little unthinkable, after all here was the most downtown of New York designers taking over as the Creative Director of a company, so established and set in their culture and history, that it seemed impossible he could even changed it, let alone lead the revolution and add a clothing collection for the first time, which is the LV we see today……I remember seeing just a fraction of that first collection….so exquisite and simple, not unlike the love of minimalism that is the strong hold of fashion right now……but of course a man who can put Minnie Mouse ears on the catwalk wasn’t going to remain a shy type for too long…..Marc Jacobs brought the East and West Village to Paris and something you experience as you enter the second floor of this exhibition……it’s impossible to say what is more amazing in this show….to see the history and values of LV, is breathtaking….their early innovations were modern and luxurious, much like today……but walking into Marc Jacobs live visual reference room, was like walking into one of the rooms in my own head….for he had added not just photographs of style icons, but segments from classic films new and old, and anyone who put’s Bob Fosses’s, All That Jazz and Cabaret in prominent display has a fan in me……there was the little orphan Annie mixed with a 1960′s Barbara Streisand mixed with a dance scene of Studio 54 mixed with Sponge Bob Square Pants, of course………it was simply intoxicating….and having been working on my own visual references this last month, seeing this, made we wish, we could all present it in such a way…….this was followed by the hall of fame of handbags, which now seem so normal but each caused it’s own stir at the time of release, my all time favourite is Julie Verhoeven’s animal patchwork bag….still gold! But then came the clothes, and for once a fashion exhibition lived up to it’s original presentation……with little golden plaques to guide you the way, not unlike his other favourite, Wizard of Oz, the selection on display seemed small, simply because you were left wanting more……the rotating mechanical legs doing a sort of post modern Busby Berkeley dance, was the greatest display of shoes I have ever seen……more than pictures I wish I could show you video footage, perhaps on a return visit!

Les Arts Decoratifs, 107-111, rue de Rivoli, Paris, 75001

Chloé…….Turns 50……….

This year, the beloved label Chloé is turning 50…..she doesn’t look older than 21 though….. there is a planned exhibition on later this year in Paris to showcase it’s history with lace, shades of nude silk and romantic leanings that this label’s reputation has been built on…..started as a small boutique on the Left Bank, by a  prêt-à-porter visionaire Egyptian Gaby Aghion, who simply wanted couture quality pieces for her store…….soon she enlisted a team of freelance designers, which included Maxime de La Falaise and of course soon the group of freelancers were gone, when Karl Lagerfeld became it’s sole designer….and that is where it really began….the Chloé we know today…..I fell in love with the brand all over again when Stella MacCartney took over, convincing me to set aside my vintage loving ways for her type of lady…..I still miss my original Chloé jeans…..but it’s Karl’s collections that open my eyes like the romantic paintings of Ignacio Zuloaga y Zabeleta…..I thought it would be fun to blog a few vintage ads from the archives over the next few weeks…..enjoy the nostalgia….

Karl & Grace at Chloé Studios in the seventies……Karl’s early eighties Chloé…..Stella’s late 1990′s Chloé…….Phoebe’s debut Chloé…….


Walking into the newly re designed Kenzo store on rue Rennes on the Left Bank of Paris last week, on the suggestion of my dear friend Ben, who has just started working with the company, brought  the Jackson 5 song “Can You Feel It?” into my head……because it really was an exciting moment happening right before my eyes…..with every season nowadays seems to bring yet another creative director to a company in need of reinvention….some labels brought back have been so obscure, they may have fared better left in the history books and others have brought a whole new life to the meaning of the brand, like Celine & Carven……..but with the re launch of Kenzo by New York’s Opening Ceremony owners, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, they have shown a match made in heaven, their story is well known and their experience in fashion is a long one, with this they have brought a certain Kenzo seventies energy, with a touch of Fiorucci colour craze, and a whole new sense of modern dressing going on……this is very good stuff indeed…….so a little New York know how is living in here…..and soon everywhere but with such distinctive pieces, these wont be for the shy…..right now, I am contemplating the trench with removable collar and sleeves, sounds so modern, because it is!

Kenzo Fall 2012…..the collection just shown brought back those high cheek bones and casual glamour Kenzo was also known for back in the day……this collection out did the last…..more everything….the knitwear was a standout and so were the prints…..the suiting looked so perfect and no one else has touched hot pink quite like this, also loved the comeback of the silk lamé, (good timing since I just scored a seventies Sonia Rykiel silk lamé dress at the flea market!) …..shown in the incredible setting of the atrium of Université Pierre et Marie Curie, these modernists are taking it from strength to strength…..


Photos: UK Vogue, April 2012,

Afternoon Chai Time with Tiff… Télescope Cafe….. Paris

A few days ago my friend Tiffany introduced me to yet another little pocket of Paris….with so many pockets to find, I am amazed people ever really get to know this city……but having one of Tiffamade Chai’s in the newest home of coffee for coffee lovers, Télescope, was a treat…..the cafe opened only 2 weeks ago by two French boys, and has already created a lovely harmony….with cakes and amazing biscuits, it’s a break from the every day around here…..just off rue St.Anne, (little Tokyo) and a stones throw away from the Palais Royale, I can see this new addition becoming a little oasis in months to come….and Tiff’s Chai was pretty amazing too!


Télescope, 5 rue Villedo, 75001, Paris

Seeing the World Through Charlotte Rampling’s Eyes……..

Ohhh I must be missing Melbourne right now…’s hard not to, with my family and dear friends over there, enjoying their take away skinny lattes, new deliveries of Lover’s winter Lydia collection and fish & chips…………my friends over there, keep inspiring me over here…..but they always have……another dear friend Deanne and I were discussing personal style over emails….she is a natural at this, her style defies trends, to me this is the ultimate personal style…..because it means complete freedom to wear what ever you choose……and always look incredible! It’s been quite a revelation what style is in Paris, it sure isn’t Audrey Hepburn of the sixties or even Jerry Hall in the seventies, but it is distinctly far more modern than other cities I have visited, with an eye for detail in unexpected ways…….a culture is so centered on the appreciation of the daily rituals in food, wine and the arts, that are as much part of Paris as the Eiffel and Seine, it seems there is no place for fuss and frou………which brings me to one of their more famous residents, Charlotte Rampling, for an English woman she is very Parisian…..right down to the hair cut…but in this new documentary, it reveals quite a compelling story of what is going on behind that austere gaze……a woman who hasn’t encountered a taboo she wouldn’t break, shows there is a greater complexity than simply being a beautiful actress…….








Magical Making with Isobel Knowles and Cat Rabbit…….

A while back my dear friend Isobel told me she was working on a book, using her amazing animation talents……(my thought not her words!) and every so often she would mention it again……now one of Isobel’s charms, is her total modesty, which means being blown away every time she shows me something new she has worked on…….and she works a lot! But seeing the book she has completed with Cat Rabbit has left me more blown away than ever before…… a little kid, these photographic story books were amongst my favourites….for some reason they seemed to be even more magical than illustrations, because there was the possibility of them being real….and these ladies with a lot of hard work and painstaking patience have sewed a whole new world I wouldn’t mind visiting soon…..let me not spoil the story by telling you what happens……why not buy a copy for a little someone you love or the kid in you? There is also a little kit to make your own little owls…..more adorabilty…..and for people with a touch of the lazies and fear of glue and scissors, they have an Etsy store too….I asked her what made her want to do this book and she answered……”The opportunity presented itself like the universe handing us a giant piece of chocolate cake. We couldn’t NOT make this book!”

For a slice of the cake, the launch will be on Wednesday, April 4th from 6-9pm at No Vacancy Project Space in the Federation Square Atrium.
Where there will also be a special exhibition of the sets used to create the illustrations in the book, from April 2 – 8 2012

Please Note All Melbourne People: The ladies will be running free Easter workshops on saturday 7th at 11 am and 2 pm, check for details. Children must be aged 5 or over and be able to use scissors and glue. There will be other events coming up throughout April and May including a reading at Outré gallery on Saturday 14th.

Owl Know How by Cat Rabbit & Isobel Knowles

32 colour pages
lift-out owl pattern
Published by Thames & Hudson

Front Row at Nina Ricci…..Le Bon Marché….

When the new season arrives in Paris, everyone wants to see it from the front row, including the mannequins at Le Bon Marché…all dressed in Nina Ricci……I can’t help but think of eighties VM classic film, Mannequin……the dresses, exquisite of course…..

Le Bon Marché, 24 rue de Sèvres 75007 Paris, France


In the 1970′s Paris fashion experienced it’s most lasting fashion revolution with YSL, Karl Lagerfeld, Sonia Rykiel, Ungaro….. the new establishment in place….the white gloves were off….and in came the fun, which still remains, amongst those who added the newness was Kenzo……with his label JAP, and his love of colour, knitwear and prints…. Paris in the seventies became a colourful romance, envisioned by a Japanese man that wasn’t afraid to bring his culture and to rework a whole new way of modern dressing…..on retirement not too long ago, there was a dedicated show at the Bercy Stadium in Paris, to celebrate his history and influence with former models and staff, a credit to him, for in his 40 years of making fashion happen, he never lost that sense of fun……

Photos: Kenzo by Ginette Sainderichin