Paris vs New York: The Striped T-Shirt Edition

Paris mon Amour or New York my Love? That’s the question that JCrew’s little sister Madewell is asking in its second collaboration with the French label Sézane®. After a successful first capsule collection last year, Madewell x Sézane is back with flared jeans, a very Parisian-chic little black dress, Ulysse lace-up sandals, accessories like a flirty printed scarf to wrap effortlessly around your neck, a “Féminin et Masculin” gray sweatshirt that’s guaranteed to sell out as fast as the “Superbe” one did in 2014, and, my personal favourite, this set of two striped tees:

Paris Mon Amour New York My Love

Paris mon Amour New York my Love t-shirt image by Madewell

J’adore New York, but Paris will always be my home so I just ordered the red-striped shirt. I can’t wait to show it off around town here in Washington, D.C. The collection is only available online (check it all out right here) and will sell out so I wouldn’t wait too long if I were you. As a matter of fact, the madewell x sézane® striped knit dress is already gone. Le sigh. I really liked that one too 😦 

 

 

Retail’s Night Out @ City Center DC

The National Retail Federation knows a thing or two about shopping, and in an effort to highlight retail’s entrepreneurial spirit, the trade association is hosting Retail’s Night Out at City Center DC on May 6, 2015. The one night only event featuring pop-up shops from local merchants and national brands is part of Small Business Week (May 4-8, 2015) and will also feature live music, local food trucks and a red carpet.

 

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Participating retailers include: ALEX AND ANI, ArtJamz, Bull and Moose, JRINK Juicery, Salt & Sundry, stubble & ‘stache, Hugh & Crye, Potomac River Running Store, proper topper, Milk Cult, Ah Love Oil and Vinegar, LiLi The First, UrbanStems and more. Food will be available for purchase from Pepe Food Truck, Ball or Nothing and CapMac. Music will be provided by Levi Stephens.This event is free and open to the public.

Learn more here and here.  Need another reason to head to City Center DC? I’ve got you covered with this list of five (French) reasons you should go

Fashion TakeOver Lunch break at Ann Taylor

I don’t always get to take my lunch break but I’m glad I took the time to drop by Ann Taylor on Connecticut Avenue today. Not because I was in dire need of some retail therapy but because the store played host to Tom Broecker and Jenny Gering, costume designers for DC-based dramas House of Cards (Tom) and The Americans (Jenny.) Both designers will headline “Dressing DC for the Small Screen,” a fashion conversation at the Smithsonian tonight but I’m glad I got a preview of their talk at Ann Taylor.

fashion House of cards, fashion the americans, DC Style, DC fashion, Washington DC

Moderated by Mikki Halpin, Editorial Director at Refinery29, the lunchtime chat centered around the show’s female leads, Claire Underwood and Elizabeth Jennings, though there was a quick question towards the end about Zoe’s style (or lack thereof) and the evolution of D.C. fashion. Things have changed since Rep. Charlotte T. Reid became the first woman to wear pants in congress back in 1969. The Americans takes place in Ronald Reagan’s Washington and ’80s suburban wardrobe is vastly different from the style that Tom Broecker seeks to achieve for the Claire Underwood, who runs her own non-profit in Washington, D.C.  In addition to talking about their style inspiration for their characters, both designers emphasized how important it is for women to dress in clothes that makes them feel confident and that are appropriate for the situation or stage in their life that they are in. Both mentioned that, with an increasing number of women in high-power position in Washington, D.C., professional women have a more options and no longer have to try and dress like men. Men, on the other, have a uniform, especially in DC. And I must agree, I’d much rather hear from the stylish for Claire Underwood than Frank Underwood.

Do you like Claire Underwood’s fashion style?

Longchamp Store Coming to CityCenterDC

Hot on the heels of the announcement that Chef Daniel Boulud is planning to open a DBGB restaurant at CityCenterDC comes another great (French) news for downtown D.C.: Longchamp is also planning to set up shop at CityCenterDC. Awesome news… well, perhaps not for my wallet. Which, actually, happens to be a Longchamp wallet.

retail city center dc, longchamp, longchamp dc, longchamp dc store, longchamp citycenter dc, city center dc

What I love about Longchamp is that it is still owned and managed by the Cassegrain family who founded it in Paris back in 1948. Oh, and I love their signature Pliage bags of course… but did you know Longchamp initially started as a leather goods’ company, selling leather-covered items for smokers then leather wallets and pouches? Now you do 😉 And I love that they are choosing to open in downtown D.C. as opposed to Georgetown or Chevy Chase where I would expect a retailer like Longchamp to open. It’s about time we become a shopping destination too!

paris pliage bag, pliage bag, longchamp pliage bag, eiffel tower pliage bad, special edition pliage bag,

What you (and I) still don’t know though is when Longchamp will open its first Washington shop. Hopefully on time for fall… I could use a dark purple Pliage bag…

Benetton Loves Paris

benetton new collection, benetton, benetton georgetown, fashion event

 

Not invited to the State Dinner but still want to a little something French to do on February 11? Head to Benetton in Georgetown. The Italian apparel maker will toast the arrival of its new Spring 2014 collection with a sparkling glass of (Italian) Prosecco. What’s the tie in to France you ask? Well, Benetton went to Paris to shoot its new collection, filled with chic basics, cool separates and effortless style.

The Spring 2014 Benetton Catalog was shot in Paris

Charity in Chocolate: An Event Too Sweet To Miss

Every fall, when Le Salon du Chocolat takes over the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Center, I cannot help but marvel at the intricacies of chocolate couture during the event’s signature chocolate fashion show. When you see the models strutting their stuff down the runway it’s hard to believe their dresses and outfits are not haute couture but haute chocolate…

chocolate fashion, salon du chocolat, charity in chcocolate

Sonia Jeito et concept chocolate http://www.sebastiengras.com — at Lille Grand Palais.

Last week, I got a sneak peek at what it takes to design and create a unique fashion statement made out of chocolate and sugar during a preview event for the upcoming Charity in Chocolate event, which will be held September 6th at the Mandarin Oriental. The fundraiser is the Heart of America Foundation‘s signature event and one of its highlight (other than knowing that you’re raising funds to help kids have access to books) is D.C.’s only chocolate fashion show. At the preview event, held at Boxwood’s Tasting Room in Chevy Chase, pastry sous-chef Shaun McCarty of the Reagan Building and pastry chef instructor Carlo Figarella of the Art Institute of Washington explained some of the challenges involved in creating chocolate fashion pieces. As expected, temperatures are a huge issue, and  I must say that I  have a newfound respect for the chefs but also for the models who volunteer to walk down the runway covered in stiff (and heavy) cocoa couture! 

Chefs

Chefs McCarty and Figarella at the preview event at the Tasting Room

Since the event raises funds to provides books to children who have little or nothing to read at home, the fashion show typically has a literary theme. I love the Madhatter inspired dress that Chef Figarella created last year for the event (picture below) and can’t wait to see what the chefs come up with this year! 

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Charity in Chocolate 2012

In addition to the sweet soirée’s signature fashion show, Charity in Chocolate features some 50 local chefs offering sweet & savory tastings. There’s still time to buy your tickets ahead of the Friday, September 6th event and you can even use the code CICInsider for a slight discount. Remember it all goes towards a great cause…

Sneak Peek: Isabelle Marant for H&M

A few weeks ago, Swedish retailer H&M announced that it would collaborate with French fashion designer Isabel Marant for fall high-fashion mini collection. The collection will include clothes and accessories for women as well as, and this is a first for Marant, some children and men’s wear too.

The collection won’t hit the stores worldwide until November 14th (mark your calendars now) but H&M has been tweeting some sneak peeks for the past few days…

Slide1In one of them, the former model can be seen checking out her own design in the mirror. In the other, a male model is wearing a long sleeve shirt in similar black and white colour patterns. Isabel Marrant cited Paris as one of her inspirations for the collection (that might explain the black and white… let’s hope the rest of the collection isn’t a camaïeu of grey). So far, I like what I’m seeing though and can’t wait to see more!

♫ Do you, do you ♪ do you Saint-Tropez ♫

 

Pictures assembled from J Crew website

Whether or not you’ll be spending some time in St Tropez this summer, you can channel your inner Brigitte Bardot with CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner Joseph Altuzarra’s 60s inspired, riviera chic capsule collection for J Crew. The Paris-born designer created seven preppy French pieces with classic Breton-stripes and a flirty gingham dress that are perfect for leisurely strolling the Baie de Pampelonne … or the port of Annapolis! 😉 The collection is available for purchase on JCrew.com and at the J.Crew store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

S’il Vous Plait… Dessine Moi Un Ispahan

There are many reasons you should visit the Galeries Lafayette on boulevard Haussmann during your visit in the city of light. First, of course, there’s the shopping. You can find anything you want at the Galeries, from a bedskirt to books, cartier watches, chanel bag or kookai skirts, gourmet food, books and Paris souvenirs. You can even buy macarons from Pierre Hermé’s not so secret boutique:

Pierre Herme has a store inside the Galeries Lafayette in l’espace createurs

Then of course, there’s the building itself. You’ll never look at your local mall the same way after seeing the Galeries’ stunning ceiling:

The current store opened in 1912 and is an elegant setting for your luxury shopping
And then there’s the view from the rooftop of the store:
The view from the rooftop of the Galeries Lafayettes at 40 Blvd Hausmann
Not too shabby right? Though the food they serve at the rooftop restaurant is not that great so I wouldn’t recommend getting much more than a salad and a coffee… On top of all this, if you still need a reason to visit, star pâtissier Pierre Hermé is currently exposing a series of his personal drawings. Known for being a pastry artist, his sketches show that he is as can paint as well as he can pipe and that he is equally talented with pencils or a whisk 😉
Just like a designer, Pierre Herme sketches his pastries during the creative process
Pierre’s sketches are part of a larger exhibit called “Made in Mode” that offers  an insider’s view of fashion. Throughout the month of April, shoppers will get a sneak peek into the kind of work that goes on behind the scene at the Galeries Lafayette, through workshops, pop-up boutiques and exhibitions. The 6th floor for example (the one that leads to that gorgeous rooftop), will give designers, jewelers, leatherworkers and others a platform to display the techniques they use in their crafts. Dior will share its beauty secrets with a pop-up nail salon and workshops on creating your own fragrance. Princesse Tam Tam and Fendi will reveal what it takes to create a new lingerie line or a new bag, respectively. In short, if you’re in Paris this April, you really have no excuse to skip the Galeries Lafayette!