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.

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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!

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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…

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!

Save the Date: Georgetown French Market

Mark your calendars now, the 10th annual Georgetown French Market will take place Saturday, April 19 and Sunday April 20th, 2013 in the charming part of Georgetown known as Book Hill. Let’s just hope Macaron Bee doesn’t run out of macarons this time 😉

Last year, I had a lovely time with my friend Cécile, strolling (well, more like elbowing our way through the crowds) along upper Wisconsin Avenue, between P and Reservoir Road. We took silly pictures at the photobooth, shopped at one of the area’s cute boutiques, grabbed a merguez sandwich at Patisserie Poupon and crepes at Cafe Bonaparte. Then we washed it all down with a French wine tasting at Bacchus Wine and Cellar. It was a blast, though I recommend getting there early, it gets VERY crowded! 

Can I Fluff your (State) Pillow?

Do you love your home state so much that you would want to cuddle with it all night? Well, you can, thanks to Love California‘s adorable customizable state pillows on Etsy.

Cuddle with your favourite state – picture courtesy of Love, California

Christin Morgan’s adorable handmade felt pillows come in different colours and are priced at $58.00. They just seem like a fun way to personalize your apartment by celebrating the different states where your family may come from, or where you may have lived over the years.  And even though D.C. is not a state it still gets its own pillow:

Washington, D.C. state pillow – picture courtesy of Love, California
I might have to custom order a hectagon shaped France pillow 😉

Let Them Eat Cake, I mean…Chicken Feed

We have this expression in French: “quand on aime on ne compte pas.” I’m not sure if there’s an equivalent in English but it roughly translates to “when you love, you don’t count.” As in you don’t count your money and you spend lavishly. So let’s say you have some chicken in your backyard. And you really (really) love them. Then Neiman Marcus has just the gift idea for you. In its recently released annual ‘fantasy gifts’ holiday catalog, the luxury retailer featured a multi-level hen house inspired by Versailles.

All photos in this post courtesy of Neiman Marcus
The fancy chicken digs are inspired by Marie Antoinette’s petit trianon and feature a nesting area, a living room, a library with books, paintings and a chandelier.

The Beau Coop (beaucoup… beau coop… get it?) retails at $100,000, though $3,000 per purchase will be donated to the American Livestock Breed Conservancya nonprofit organization that protects genetic diversity through the conservation and promotion of endangered breeds. And as I said in the opening of this post, if you really love your poulets (and poulettes) money shouldn’t be an object 😉

"Like" This New Facebook Inspired Eye Shadow?

I must say this is a rather clever way to make people talk about your brand’s facebook page. French fashion house Yves Saint Laurent, who is currently trying to rebrand itself into Saint Laurent Paris, will launch a limited edition eye shadow palette inspired by facebookon July 19th. And the launch will happen exclusively on YSL Beauty and Fragrance’s Facebook page, bien sur 😉 

Photo credit: Yves Saint Laurent/DR

The Pure Chromatics Devoted To Fans palette comes in a facebook-blue enameled case and includes four shades inspired by the social networking site: royal blue, violet, white and black. Buyers who shell out $60 for the exclusive product (only 1650 will be available) will have access to special Facebook features and exclusive information. I must say, you’ve got to be a real Zuckerberg fan to wear this bright facebook blue colour… 

What to wear this Quatorze Juillet?

Every July 14th is pretty much the same here in D.C. so rather than write yet another round-up post on what to do to celebrate France’s national holiday (BYT has a great post for that) I thought I’d help you figure out what to wear to some of the big Bastille Day events…

BLEU BLANC ROUGE PINK FOR PAUL’ S BAGUETTE RELAY RACE 
Paul Bakery started a new tradition last year when it launched its French Baguette Relay Race last year. No need for sports gear for this “race,” the running is pretty minimum and the hardest thing is probably not to snack on your “baton.” I do recommend some flats though 😉

Baguette race at Paul's

Paul Bakery’s Baguette Relay Race takes place at their flagship location on Pennsylvania Avenue, by the U.S. Navy Memorial, starting at 10:30AM (kids race) and 11:00AM (grown up race) on Saturday, July 14.

LIBERTÉ! EGALITÉ! INSANITÉ! AT L’ENFANT CAFÉ
You won’t catch me in a French maid outfit, but I do like to fit in so I thought keeping the colour scheme to black and white would be appropriate 😉

L'Enfant's French Maids Race Outfit

 

L’Enfant‘s 8th Annual Bastille Day Block Party and French Maid Race takes place in the streets near the Adams Morgan restaurant, over Vernon Street between 18th and 19th Streets NW, from 3-11PM on Saturday July 14th (there’s a $5 “express line” fee though if you ant to get there before 5PM). Being outdoors, sunglasses (here chanel like the nailpolish) and a hat are in order if you plan on being there on the early side. The French maid race starts at 6PM and costumes are provided – anyone else wish Sheldon Cooper were running? 😉 There’ll be a beer garden (not very French) courtesy of Stella Artois (not French either), a food truck pavillon (also dubiously French) and can-can dancers (ok these are kind of French). Almost makes me wish I could actually make it one year… almost. 
ps: this outfit would probably also work for dinner dancing at Bistrot du Coin.

 

FESTIVE FRENCH FLAIR FOR HILLWOOD MUSEUM
L’Alliance Française de Washington is taking over the lush gardens and beautiful mansion of Hillwood Museum, so shorts and a t-shirts wouldn’t quite cut it here… 

Garden Party at Hillwoods



French Festival activities are presented from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 14th (tickets here) and are more family friendly than can-can dancers and men dressed as French maids, with activities for children, mimes and baroque music. 



MAGNIFIQUE FOR FRENCH DINNER

A number of local French restaurants are celebrating la fête nationale with special menus. Michel Richard’s Central offers 15% off all french wines and is providing its waiters with berets. That seemed good enough to get the Pennsylvania Avenue restaurant on a recent Forbes list of Best French Restaurants for Bastille Day (felicitations!)

Dinner at Bistrot du Coin



FRENCH CHICKS RULES AT THE FRENCH EMBASSY
This outfit works for either the Comite Tricolore’s annual Bastille Day event (tickets here) on July 13th or the invite-only event for expats the next day.Yes, it’s a little bumble bee chic, but it’s a garden party after all.

 

July 14th at the French Embassy

 

The last outfit option I should mention of course is the one I really wish I could wear (I’ve had a very long week!) while snuggling at home with my kitty and hubby, watching The Artiste or another great French film available on Netflix… maybe that’s what I’ll do the next morning 😉

Joyeuse Fête Nationale!! 

 

♫ 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!

Marni at H&M Part Deux – Pretty in Print

I showed up H&M on F Street this morning around 7AM. The store was set to open its door for the Marni collection at 8. I figured, if the line was crazy I’d just walk on by and head to the gym for a quick run before work. Turns out there was hardly anyone outside the store! So I joined in the queue and ended up in the second group of 30 people allowed in. It was a little crazy, definitely an intense 15 minute shopping experience! Bags were flying off the shelves, women were just grabbing anything they could get their hands on… I mean, I’ve heard stories from the launch of the Karl Lagerfeld collaboration and I can only imagine how it must have been when they launched the Versace collection…! But I had never done anything like this, it was kind of fun.

I ended up with 3 items, a skirt, a dress and a top, in Marni’s signature prints. My wardrobe is pretty bland, so I figured just the kind of colourful print therapy it needed. Can’t wait to play with my new outfits now 😉