September 24, 2017

The biggest flea market in the world

A sunny Saturday afternoon and Expat husband and I are off to the St.Ouen flea market on our little Italian vespa. Weekend traffic in Paris can be terrible.

You really don't need to be looking for any specific object - in fact it is probably better you don't - because you'll either return empty handed or with all kinds of trinkets you didn't even knew you needed. However, it is a fantastic place to shoot photos... again and again and again...

The business of collecting (scrap metal, antique jewellery, furniture, old books) has been part of Paris life for ever. At night, rag-and-bone men biffins, or crocheteurs travelled through the capital in search of their loot. Driven out of the city at the end of the 19th century by the new authorities anxious to clean up the capital, these rag-and bone men set up camp and hovel between the fortifications and the first houses built in the village of Saint-Ouen. Little by little, it wasn't long before open-air cafés and dance halls appeared, along with numerous stalls where the people of Paris would come by on a Sunday to stroll and perhaps stop for a small glass of white wine.

In 2001, the entire marketplace was classified as Zone de Protection du Patrimoine Architectural Urbain et Paysager (urban architectural landscape heritage protection zone ) for its very unusual atmosphere. There are more than 2000 boutiques spread out into 16 markets and spilling over into several surrounding streets.

Les Puces is known as one of the largest Flea Market in the world.

So, let's start with a real Neapolitan coffee!

I have always had my eye on these kind of 1970s champagne glasses.
My husband informs me his Mamma has plenty of these in the cellar in Napoli

An eclectic mix

Expat hubby does not believe I started skiing with these bindings.

Caught my eye

Thinking of my knitting Mexican friend

Seems like a scene out of a French movie

Made me smile big time

Thanks to little brothers and car-mad sons you recognise the models

Loved the colour composition

Blast from the past!

We could do with a big miroir louis xv in our entrance, couldn't we?!?

It's all in the presentation

This painting hit home... literally!

If ever we acquire a chambre de bonne... this could become its direct access!

Impressive "stand"

I'll have the pair to take home please.

Funky dining room chairs... to bad that don't come in pink!

Please can we have a rest?

These round mirrors might fit our entrance better?

Someone got lost!

Aperitivo time!

My absolute favourite fairy tale when I was a little girl.

I love kitch!

One day... when we live in the country?!?

Paris or Las Vegas?

Gotta love those old-fashion globes

Caught my husband's eye!

Wondering what's behind those walls?

A touch of pink and an amazing smell

Clutter that someone will be interested in buying

No one home?

Someone emptied their attic

Where to start?

Feeling artistic!

September 22, 2017

Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams

One of the most spectacular exhibits that the capital of luxury has seen in the past years has GOT to be the Christian Dior exhibition at the Musée des Arts décoratifs.

To celebrate its 70th anniversary the House of Dior has staged the biggest retrospective ever featuring more than 400 dresses in the most magnificent ways.

"Deep in every heart slumbers a dream and the couturier knows it: every woman is a princess." Christian Dior once said, maybe with a degree of exaggeration but first and foremost with an unusual ambition to dress women of his time. This exhibit more than any other in the past has managed to capture this credo and walking through the various extravagantly decorated spaces the veil of luxury hanging in the air is palpable.

It is true that he knew how to unveil the princely part of every woman's body, offering them a tremendously modern and sophisticated silhouette on a platter. Even though his creations are reserved for the elite, they went beyond the private sphere of the bourgeois fashion and became symbols which now have the place of honor for a six-month exhibition at the musée des Arts Décoratifs.

The layout is both chronological and thematic, offering up the story of the man, his house, and fashion within the broader context of art and culture.

Christian Dior revolutionised the post-war fashion,
he breathed extravagance into the too conventional dresses of the women from the 50's and launched a large business where couture is an art.

Christian Dior used to be a gallery owner and he was in fact an enlightened art lover, for that reason the exhibition features many works of art alongside the 400 selected dresses from the House of Dior origins to the most recent creations.

pure sensory overload 

an excess of pattern and colour

natural elegance

a touch of pink

A coat-gown decorated with Hokusai’s Great Wave

Dior’s Bar jacket is characterized by molded curves, a cinched waist, elevated bust and padded hips. Christian Dior named it the Bar jacket since the piece was intended for the afternoon cocktail hour at hotels. 

Rooms capture different settings - a boudoir, a garden, a gallery and a street - culminating in a vast recreation of the Hall of Mirrors at the Palais de Versailles.

Literally overwhelmed by emotions!

The luxury is in the details

The goal of the exhibition is to show the source of creation and the breadth of culture that Christian Dior and the designers who succeeded him possessed. They really explored the history of art creating an important message that fashion isn’t "easy". Christian Dior and his designers made a point of bathing in culture. He understood the complexity of things, but what he loved was simplicity. 

Gianfranco Ferré's Italian touch

Extravagance par excellence by John Galliano

An orange-hued backless dress by Raf Simons, a creator of gorgeous architectural abstractions

Current and first female creative director: Maria Grazia Chiuri

"We should all be feminists" Christian Dior's latest bestseller!
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