My sister has given our family two gorgeous children and my nephew is about to turn two. Running around after him at the playground has proven difficult when carrying a bigger bag. Everyone that knows me, knows that I tend to carry a lot of stuff in my handbags. Since I’ll be in Maui in late August, I purchased a Paravel cross-body bag for when we are out on the boat for our night cruise or jet-skiing. I started using it for running errands and I decided I like traveling lighter.
I went ahead and ordered myself an early birthday present, mind you it’s not a top designer handbag, but it’s a handbag brand with a cult status. It modernizes my style without being showy or ostentatious. I have a Chanel, a Celine, several YSL’s and LV’s and I just don’t feel right about carrying them around when there is so much poverty in the world. Mind you, if you want to carry yours that’s fine, no judgement here.
I’m just not comfortable carrying a Chanel while standing inline at the pharmacy when there are people waiting in line with me who can’t afford their medication.
But back to happy thoughts, back to my handbag. I’m sure you’ve noticed a theme of leather embossed handbags, I prefer it to the basic calf skin that will attract scratches.
Can you guess which one I bought, it was on sale and the price was right.
I never wore Vans, I wore Sperry Topsiders and Bass Penny Loafers. I just didn’t think they were aesthetically pleasing on my feet. But now they seem to have caught on to the sneaker trend, and are all grown-up. They are affordable too, under a hundred.
Now I am contemplating ordering a pair. I saw a lady eating outdoors looking so cool wearing a pair, I was tempted to ask her if I could take her photo but I chickened out.
The question is, Red, Black or a red with sequins?
The minute I saw this dress, I imagined myself wearing it, walking around carefree on the streets of Rome. Walking around happy, meeting friends for coffee or outside dining. I’m not supposed to be shopping, but I had to do it. My heart skipped a beat and I acted fast, this dress for sure is going to sell out, the color is unlike anything I’ve worn in a long time, my mother would be happy.
I like Cos, it’s budget friendly, the items are well-made, they last forever and they keep me from dressing like a suburban grandmother. I was out with my nephew and someone asked me if he was my grandson and my sister looked at me and said, we have to admit it, we are old enough to be grandmothers, I’m like if we had kids in our twenties, which we didn’t.
I am also sure there are some suburban grandmothers that are more stylish than I am, but I think you understand.
The first street I remember when I moved to Paris was Rue de Rivoli. The long avenue in the center of Paris is a beautiful sight to see. It crosses the city East and West along the river Seine and is the address to the Louvre Palace Museum, the Paris City Hall and also an Art Nouveau Art Deco architectural gem named the Samaritaine.
The Samaritaine… when I moved here 12 yrs ago, I distinctly remember appreciating the building from the outside. It was a condemned building, abandoned for so many years, until I started to see the huge scaffolding which meant something was happening. News later revealed the planning. I still remember seeing construction workers there on the side of the quai who told me a hotel was being built there. It was Paris growing. The city of Paris also required the refurbishing to also include housing for underprivileged Parisians and there are business offices too.
The opening was just last month after so many years of renovations by the LouisVuittongroup, and I saw many fashion bloggers reporting and stating all the dates and details of the history online, so I’ll spare time and just give my impression of this beauty and why it’s the latest new “must see” in Paris. It’s located facing the famous bridge PontNeuf and across the street from the actual Louis Vuitton headquarters. Virgil Labloh, the men’s LV designer, has his design studio on the 6th floor, it’s a lovely building as well.
Founded in 1870 by ErnestCognacq and LouiseJaÿIt, it was originally built to house a market place, with many individual booths, but this market place was special of course because it’s in Paris and modernised by the BaronHaussmann who redesigned Paris. The Art Nouveau design and decoration that still fascinates today, is beautiful to look at. The top floor deco is covered in original yellow/gold like tile which resembles a royal French garden with peacocks wandering around on a sunny day,… so “Versailles”, or maybe inspired by the original “Tuileries”? The design is also eco friendly, mainly because its use of natural light which was a priority at that time in design, so Parisian as seen at the GrandPalais on ChampsElysées because Paris doesn’t have many sunny days. I often think I lack Vitamin D from the lack of sun since I moved here, oh well.
The South end of the Samaritaine is the original building occupied by all the big designer brands, Chanel. DIOR, RalphLauren, Balenciaga, Cartier, etc but the property of the Samaritaine extends all the way back to Rue de Rivoli onto another building on the complex that was totally gutted out and remodelled. That side of the Samaritaine houses the smaller brands, they call it more “Street wear” like Off-White amongst others.
So on your next trip out to Paris, remember if you’re here for shopping, this is part of the New Parisian landscape, La Samaritaine will help you feel like you’re running around chic in Paris.
I’m obsessed, the question is which one do I order? The pink that works for all complexions, and that will correct my imperfections. Or the one that is best suited for my skin tone? Leave it to Dior to send me into a tizzy. I also don’t need another compact, but this one is lovely, don’t you agree?
Getting to know Jane through her work has been fun, she’s as equally excited as we are that there will be 10 new episodes of Sex & the City. She’s basically Carrie Bradshaw, living parallel lives with SJP. She lived in New York during the height of the shows success and spent her hard earned cash on Fendi baguette bags and Jimmy Choos, how fun is that? Jane also met the love of her life in a Meet Q situation, even more exciting.
Jane writes for various publications, she’s been in the beauty industry for over 30 years, a well respected journalist and BFF. In-between articles she found time to answer a few questions.
Fashion Icon: Vivienne Westwood for so very many reasons, (a). she designed my wedding dress; (b). she understands women’s real body shapes; (c). she is eccentric and a rebel so what’s not to love? I have met her so many times and she is a British gem.
Last Book Read: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman – it’s about a group of elders living in a retirement home solving a murder and a lesson in never underestimating the experience of those older than you.
Current Beauty Routine: I love Barbara Sturm products at night – a great serum and moisturizing duo but I also adore Vintners Daughter. In the day I often pop on a bit of Amanda Harrington or James Read Tan and then a foundation, blush, mascara and lippie I have found I am going off eye shadows at the moment in favor of a full face “sheen” products I love including all and anything by Pat McGrath or Hourglass, their formulas are a step-above.
My Biggest Beauty Tip is keep it simple: There is nothing more beautiful than bare faced glowy skin and a big smile. My husband has always said I look better with little makeup and as I age I think he’s right on the money.
Last item purchased pre pandemic: It was a skirt I bought in New South Wales, Australia – in a town called Orange which was packed with interesting little boutiques and very big wineries – my kind of spot. It’s a full skirt of gingham with yellow flowers, it makes me so happy.
Plans for after the pandemic: To travel as much as I can and kiss and cuddle everyone.
A piece of clothing to live in forever: I think it has to be that wedding dress don’t you?!
Madeleines are so Parisian. The petit cake shaped in a shell brings to mind the Venus you may have seen at the Louvre, or the story or a little girl in a boarding school but Madeleines are much more chic now. Along with everything French and or Parisian that is always on the fore front of trends and fashion, this much beloved kids snack is back and refined.
The Famous Ritz Hotel has a pastry shop inside with their famous Madeleines, but I came to Rue de Rivoli to try out this new brand I spotted across the street from the Louvre gardens of Tuileries, so intriguing.
Not far from the Place at Concorde is where you’ll find Mado à Paris. I wonder if the name is a take on the very common “in Paris” theme, either way, it is very instagram friendly.
The Madeleine was delicious. Living here in Paris we eat a lot of Madeleines, especially living with children so as soon as I tried this Mado à Paris I could appreciate the better quality than the store bought Bonne Mamman. The variety of different flavours are exceptional and very enticing, must try them all
The café is designed beautifully with modern design, in natural wood colors and framed black and white vintage Parisian photographs, chic enough for chic pictures on Instagram.
Being so close to the Louvre on the Rue de Rivoli makes this stop a must. A Madeleine of Mado àParis is worth the visit and the view on the outside terrace will be ideal when the Tour de France rides in.
This is a cute shop I’ll come back to, especially since the guy behind the counter was very hospitable and spoke English. It was a pleasure to stop here and try the best Madeleines in town. I’ll meet my friends here for Tea and a Madeleine soon, as we run around chic in Paris.
When I was a little girl, my mother dressed me up in pink. As I grew up I literally stayed anyway from it, since it was all she dressed me in. She said she dressed me in pink because it looked good on me and it was her favorite color.
I turned to black in revolt I suppose and stayed away from dresses. She always worried that I would walk down the isle wearing trousers, I would jokingly tell her, don’t worry they would be white trousers – I laugh at the memory, I liked joking with my mother.
In my wardrobe I only have a pink silk blouse and a pink t-shirt with big sleeves, a nice addition is the pink dress shirt I just ordered from Cos. I have a gorgeous light grey tunic from Cuyana, along with the matching shawl and a luxurious light grey poncho from Cos that I can wear with them, plus I can always wear the dress shirt with black jeans and my black suede Loeffler Randal booties.
Real women like men wear pink, it reminds us of our childhoods, of innocence and summers long forgotten.
Kim Kardashian-West and Kate Moss made headlines this past week, when the two were seen together having a private tour of the Vatican. To be in Rome, although I would never go to Vatican City again, unless it was to go to the little Italian restaurant we discovered on our last trip. The reason, I don’t like crowds or waiting in line.
The reason Kim and Kate were spotted together is because Kate is the new spokesperson for Skims. Kate Moss is an icon, a fashion powerhouse that translates all generations. The only supermodel that doesn’t have her own Instagram page, why? Because she doesn’t need it.
I have an off the shoulder dress I plan on taking with me to Maui this coming August and I’ve been eyeballing the Skims collection on Net-a-Porter and finally succumbed and ordered the Bandeau to wear underneath it. The fabrics are luxurious, and Ms. Kardashian-West makes them to celebrate all women, they come in all sizes.
Of course I am eyeing more from the collection, but I am not supposed to be shopping, wink.
When my sisters and I were younger my mother had bought us a little turquoise set, which consisted of a necklace and a ring. I was in-love with my little set and hid it somewhere in my room, thinking it was a safe place. Little did I realize it was too safe and had a hard time finding them. I eventually found them, and now all I have is a memory. I do have a turquoise ring, which I rarely wear. But that doesn’t mean I am not intrigued by turquoise. I love the combination of turquoise, gold, diamonds and pearls. It reminds me of the little church where my parents were married.
It was Millicent Rogers that put Native American Art on the map and successfully lobbied for it to be classified as historic and protected. She was a huge collector or Native American Art and jewelry, which can be viewed at the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos, New Mexico.
I’m showing you bracelets from an adorable little shop in Santa Fe, Shiprock Santa Fe. They have belts, necklaces, blankets and so much more in their selection. Shiprock Santa Fe is a destination when one is visiting. I’ve been wistful lately about wearing bracelets when the pandemic is completely over and life resumes back to normal.
When you add a nice handbag to a blazer, you immediately raise the bar. Shopping high & low is a favorite pastime for most women. And no one does it better than a Parisian. How I miss traveling, missing Paris. I love people watching, getting style inspiration.
You can always sit at a coffee shop in Italy, Paris, New York and London and never be disappointed with the eye candy.
I’ve become enchanted with Kari Gran’s Lip Whip. I love the taste and smell of peppermint, and they’re organic, so when you’re eating, drinking or just licking your lips you’re not consuming toxins or other chemicals.
I’m also into the packaging, each little pot reminds me of a little jewel. I have one in my makeup bag and now that I’ve been carrying my summer tote I have one at the bottom, which I fish out to reapply.
Kari Gran makes puckering up this summer easy peasy…..
I love looking at my friend Cindy’s street style photos. On my last trip to Paris, I was all over the place, must have passed The River Seine like 5 times a day. I never plan to be in one section for the whole day. I usually wing it and just go where the morning takes me.
Personally Summer has never been my favorite season, but I am starting to embrace it more, and wearing dresses has helped.
I’ve been obsessed with navy eyeliners ever since I read Jennifer Alfano’s post many years ago about what she noticed on her last trip to Paris. She noticed that Parisian’s wore navy eyeliner and not the harsh black we are accustomed to. I’ve been trying to order the Suratt Beauty’s Nuit D Orage but they have been sold out of it since before the pandemic and when I saw that Victoria Beckham Beauty came out with one, I had to act fast.
I love, love navy eyeliner, especially when paired with a red lip. It’s also fun to tip your lashes with navy mascara. It’s utterly chic to wear navy & black.
Reading Fiona’s answers was like being in the same room with her, that’s how welcoming she is. Fiona makes you feel right at home and her style can best be described as modern and sophisticated with a touch of Rocker Chic. You will develop a girl-crush and want to run out and get a pair of sleek performance leggings by MAÄT, a company she co-founded with Alden Hoyt. The leggings themselves can be worn to Yoga class, or with your favorite booties, that’s how cool they are.
The Launch for MAÄT is happening this week and Fiona graciously found time to answer a few questions.
Fashion icon: Deborah Harry- it’s not about what she wore/wears, it’s her attitude. She always seems so true to herself.
Favorite restaurant: I think it might be Eleven Madison Park, but I haven’t been yet. I am so impressed that the chef, Daniel Humm, took the risk of going plant based upon reopening after shutting over the pandemic. He is living his beliefs and taking a huge risk and I love that. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 12 years old and I am finding the elevation of plant based cuisine so exciting.
If you could live in any piece of clothing what would it be: I always love a good vintage sweatshirt.
What was your last purchase before the pandemic: I bought a white Normandy blouse and white Cyro pants, both from Nili Lotan. Thankfully, both pieces are timeless since it was more than a year before I wore them. For post pandemic life, I want everything from Maria McManus– I am loving her gorgeous, sustainable pieces.
Beauty Routine, what beauty products can’t you live without: I love this clean beauty skincare brand called Linné. My favorite product is their Renew face serum– my skin definitely looks plumper and more hydrated when I use it. I also love their Smooth body balm. It’s made for the body but I also use it on my face at night- it’s really rich but somehow not greasy.
My natural hair is curly/wavey and can get really frizzy so I use one pump of MAY11 hair oil before styling . It tames my frizz and smells so good. I also massage a few pumps of it into my hair before going into the ocean or a pool- it prevents my hair from absorbing the salty and chlorinated water, helping to keep it healthy.
What was missing from the market that you created MAÄT: There was no way to flow through a vinyasa yoga class without having to stop and grab and remove padding every time we put our knees down.