I really did think I’d get this out to you yesterday, people. But jet lag fogs the brain something awful.
1. Two Chains That Need to Hit the US.
Also this top, with a lace pattern composed of tiny little skulls. (I’m a bit mystified by my current affection for skulls, as their ubiquity on every t-shirt, scarf and necklace used to drive me nuts. But they’re clever in this context, don’t you think?) I read here that The Kooples are actually coming to New York, but so far no official announcement has been made. Meanwhile, I predict…Bleecker Street.
You can, however, find some of their stuff—like these excellently slouchy trousers—on Asos.
2. The Crazy-High-End Store I Was Prepared to be Annoyed By But Loved
L’Eclaireur is moodily lit, concept-y as the day is long, and populated by the kind of big fancy designers whose stuff I didn’t buy even back when I could afford it. And yet I loved it hugely, because —statement-heavy though it might have been—the shopping experience was also somehow very intimate too. There was beauty everywhere you turned—strange Margiela rings, and gorgeously deconstructed pieces by like Gustavo Lins and other people I’d never heard of before.
They’re also on Farfetch, which means that you can shop them from America quite easily. And which is happy news for me in the event that I can’t get this whole Fornasetti thing out of my head, as they appear to be Fornasetti Central. These are bookends and they are crazy and I’m pretty sure I need them.
3. The Whole Isabel Marant Thing
I really didn’t spend all that much time shopping in Paris, as it turns out—the city does have its other charms, after all—so I was particularly irked to have spent some of that time visiting Isabel Marant’s boutique. Especially because I already knew exactly what I’d find: a few knockout jackets I would kill for…
…not unlike this one from her Fall collection (which wasn’t in the store, but I had to show it to you because it’s pretty great) some cute dresses and shoes, and possibly a great bag. And then, a whole lot of a what my grandmother would have called very costly schmattes.
I’ve touched on my Isabel Marant problem before, but to take it one step further: a designer who takes a peasant top, makes the simplest of design tweaks, and then sells it for $400 or more has to be coming—at least a little bit—from a place of disrespect, if not actual contempt, for her customer. There’s just no reason for jacking up the profit margin that high; it’s vulgar.
Also? I’m no fashion expert, but as far as I can tell, what Isabel Marant is doing is not so much designing as styling. And she’s very good at it and it’s all fantastic to behold, but that’s the whole story there as far as I can tell: selling a ready-made look to people who aren’t interested in—or lack the confidence to— try and pull it off on their own.
4. My Favorite Indie Boutique
French Trotters reminds me of my favorite standby shops New York like Albertine and Bird: there were interesting new discoveries…
Like shoes by French designer Avril Gau, for instance. And also a bunch of cute pairs by Chie Mihara— not the easiest designer to track down. Plus a lot of cute stuff from local labels like American Vintage and Les Prairies de Paris. If I was a local, I’d be haunting its racks on the regular.
5. Happy, Lovely Merci
I’ve never met anyone with a sense of direction inferior to my own. Ever. If I strike out by myself in a strage city, I will get lost. This is simply my reality, and I try—not always successfully—to stay sporting about it. And so it was one late afternoon when I found myself trekking up a busy and thoroughly unfamiliar boulevard, only nominally confident I was headed in the right direction, really hungry and fading fast and feeling distinctly less than sporting.
Suddenly, and thrillingly, I spied Merci across the street. This was great for a couple of reasons. First, I was starving and they have a lovely sidewalk cafe. And second, because my first visit had been rushed, and I’d meant to return. Merci is spacious and pleasant and not even the least bit attitudey. It definitely skews boho, but in a sophisticated—rather than straight-out crunchy—way. They carry Swildens, and a few other French brands I love and have never found in the US, and have a huge home section as well.
They were also in the middle of a collaboration with designer Paola Navone, of whom I had never heard but am now a big fan. If the notion of transporting them home hadn’t been such a pain, I would totally have bought a stack of these suitcases (the ones on the top shelf especially) even though I know they’ve got Fuck Your Noguchi Coffee Table written all over them.