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Francophile Radio: Tuning in to France’s Best Podcasts

HiP Paris Blog rounds up the top French podcastsJuja Han
Though French radio has long been the first stop for francophiles, a steady stream of producers have begun launching independent podcasts in Paris over the last two years, giving lovers of all things French a new way to tune in. From audio documentaries to tips for well being, these French producers are drawing attention for their departure from traditional French radio.

Posted in Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

Inside the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, Part II: Where to Find Designer Vintage

Flea Markets: Where to find designer vintage at Paris' marché aux puces

AnnieAnniePancake; Zylenia

We wrote in October with tips for navigating Paris’ Marché aux Puces St-Ouen, specifically where to find the best in oh-so-popular mid-century modern furniture. Why? Because with more than 1700 vendors spread out over 14 different markets hawking wares from 1960s lighting to vintage copper pots, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the idea of a visit to this market, which is the largest in the world. But identifying what you’re seeking in advance and knowing how to find that item will make for a smooth day of treasure hunting.

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Posted in Fashion, Markets, Shopping, Tours and Classes | 2 Comments »

All That Glitters: Paris for Lovers (of Fine Jewelry)

Fine jewelry in Paris. Discover the city's precious stones at museums, historic neighborhoods, and vintage markets

Empress Eugenie’s Diadem

From the glittering Eiffel Tower to the lights dancing on the Seine, Paris is a city that shimmers, and not only on the outside. Considered by many to be the capital of fine jewelry, the city is a treasure trove for collectors and enthusiasts with its famed jewelry houses at Place Vendôme and historical pieces in museums across the city. However, it can also be an exclusive and secretive world. Graduate Gemologist and antique jewelry expert Alexis Vourvoulis is trying to lift the veil through her company Bijoux Society. On her website she blogs about up-and-coming jewelers and jewelry auctions and offers excursions to places like Place Vendôme, the Marché aux Puces, and the Musée des Arts Decoratifs.

Fine jewelry in Paris. Discover the city's precious stones at museums, historic neighborhoods, and vintage markets

Start of Opera tour; Marché aux Puces

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Posted in Arts, Fashion, Shopping, Tours and Classes | 3 Comments »

Our Favorite Trends from Paris Fashion Week AW 2014

Spring is almost here, and that means another season of fashion shows is winding to a close. Here to help you make sense of the madness, the lovely Marissa Cox reports on the season’s most notable runway trends. -Geneviève

Paris Fashion Week Recap, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Ylenia Cuellar

Tweed – Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Margiela
Tweed turned up at Paris Fashion Week’s most talked about show, Chanel – a full-scale supermarket set up in the Grand Palais that made shopping for groceries look incredibly glamorous.

Paris Fashion Week Recap, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Ylenia Cuellar

Colorful candied shades of tweed swept down Karl Lagerfeld’s chic supermarket aisles in the shape of overcoats, cropped jackets, trouser and skirt-suit combos and even spilled onto trainers. Panels of tweed in autumnal shades were inserted into tough, but feminine leather skirts and dresses at Louis Vuitton. At Margiela, models were clad head-to-toe in sophisticated, tailored versions of the classic fabric.

Paris Fashion Week Recap, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Ylenia Cuellar Continue Reading »

Posted in Fashion | 1 Comment »

Le Parfum: Decoding the Allure of French Scent

Blentley

I’ll never forget the first time I was “perfumed” in Paris. After spritzing and sniffing numerous scents at a parfumerie in the Marais, I settled on L’Eau d’Issey by Issey Miyake, a citrusy floral just right for warmer weather. The chic saleswoman held the tester aloft angled in my direction. “Je vous parfume, mademoiselle?” she asked, dousing me head to toe in a scented shower of Issey.

Snailsareslimy

Not since have I worn quite so much scent but will admit to feeling quite glam that afternoon as I trailed its sweet essence through the streets of Paris. It was an early lesson in the seductive power of fragrance.

That was more than ten years ago and I’ve tried many perfumes since. While I love the idea of a signature scent, I can’t seem to commit to just one. With so much wonderful choice and temptation, why settle? But whether true to one fragrance or scent schizophrenics like me, French women are united in a deep devotion to perfume.

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Posted in Parisian Living | 8 Comments »

Christmas in the City of Lights: Seeking Out Paris’ Holiday Cheer

Mic Mac

When I popped home to the UK in November, London was already in full festive swing with Christmas trees, festive songs and neon lights galore. Sent back with a Cadbury’s chocolate advent calendar adorned with an oversized Santa, I was ready to start the Christmas season with a bang.

Making Magique

Yet once back home across the pond, I realized Paris hadn’t joined in on the fun yet. I was ready to start in on my advent calendar and temperatures were plunging, but where were all those tell tale signs that our favorite mid-winter festival was fast approaching?

This set me thinking. What exactly is a Parisian Christmas? What happens in the cold windy days leading up to the big event? I set out on a mission to discover the seasonal delights that France’s most romantic city had to offer.

Little Brown Pen

Shopping

Although the Christmas shopping frenzy begins relatively late in Paris (thankfully, shops only step into gear at the end of November), once it gets going, it really gets going. Stores go all out with light shows and designer-crafted window displays – always tasteful, bien sur. First stop? Paris’s iconic department stores. Whilst London has toy-filled Hamleys and elegant Harrods, Paris showcases its trademark sophistication with Les Galleries Lafayette and the neighbouring Printemps, where Karl Lagerfeld’s touch marks this year’s displays: think Chanel-clad rock ‘n’ roll dolls strumming their electric guitars and 20m Christmas trees. Continue Reading »

Posted in Events, Shopping, Travel | 5 Comments »

Parisian Fashion: French Women Remain Timeless, Chic and Elegant

Chic and Elegant Paris fashion – Paris in Pink

What is it about Parisian women that always leaves me staring as they ever so briskly pass by, thinking, how do they always manage to look so (for lack of a better word), chic? They appear to be dressed with a casual confidence, never looking out of place and drawing just enough attention. Each detail and accessory is carefully chosen, creating a color palette of distinctive greys, blacks and neutrals, with just a touch of color. Timeless. Elegant. And always classy. This ‘dress-code’ is most creatively displayed in the ‘bobo’ parts of Paris where ‘bourgeois’ meets ‘boheme’. The result is a never-ending fashion show on the streets of the Marais, Saint Germain, and often in between.

Longing for Paris summer fashion – Paris in Pink

What’s their secret? I have a few theories.

Timeless. Parisians are avid shoppers but not necessarily considered consumers. They choose quality over quantity and when the Soldes hit Paris, they spend the time necessary to find that one signature piece to add to their collection, which will naturally work with all the other pieces. Shopping becomes a curatorial experience. Thus, there is no end to the possibilities and no need to follow the latest trends. Rather than mimic a mannequin, a Parisian woman will simply use this model for inspiration. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living, Shopping | 20 Comments »

The Ten Never-Ending Trends of Parisian Shoppers

Ballet flats (Paris in Pink)

Casual shoppers, beware. The French sales are just around the corner and many a French fashionista is getting ready to pounce on items she has secretly coveted all Fall. In all honesty, though, the soldes are often the one moment of fashion folly many Parisiennes allow themselves. For decades, one market has proven remarkably resistant to passing trends: Paris. Despite jumping at the occasional fad (the Balmain-inspired shoulder pad, the hardware-adorned gladiator sandal), Parisian shoppers — both young and old — follow certain cardinal rules in their shopping habits, year-in and year-out.

The key to this eternal French chic may lie in a natural sense of restraint and discernment. In considering her past wardrobe choices, a French woman is less inclined to wonder, “What was I thinking?” because (most likely) it’s what she’s still thinking: invest in high-quality staples and err on the side of understated elegance.

An Hermes scarf, guaranteed to never go out of style (Paris in Pink)

Here are the most time-tested items that can aid your journey towards impeccable Parisian dressing. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living, Shopping | 22 Comments »

How To Be a Parisienne: 10 Golden Rules

DaveBloomGirlBridgeBigDave Bloom

I can already tell I’m going to get into trouble with this post, but I’ve never been afraid to ruffle a few feathers (especially of the French variety), so here goes. As a female ex-pat, living in Paris is no guarantee that you’ll automatically become a local. If you’re not a Parisienne and you want to be, these are the rules.*

1. Cultivate austere beauty. Today’s Parisienne has natural beauty down to an art: very little make-up and a fresh-faced complexion. Hair should be un-“done” (bonus points for bangs and / or a careless ballerina-inspired bun) and brown. With a few rare exceptions, blond hair is a red flag that screams foreign and/or fake. Beware! You want your look to seem unstudied—even though we know it’s not. For inspiration, look no further than Jane Birkin and Jane Birkin 2.0 (her daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg).

2. Don’t smile much. You might be surprised to learn that smiles are, in fact, a limited resource in Paris. They’re not to be wasted on the undeserving, and they play no part in most daily interactions. When deployed, a well-timed smile is a Parisienne’s deadliest weapon, but your default expression should always be set somewhere between deadpan and “subtle scowl.”

3. Nail the “I don’t think so, but I guess if you do…” look. When someone says something you find wrong / distasteful, don’t openly object. Passive judgment is much more effective. Just raise your eyebrows, and look down / sideways to see if anyone else is noticing how absurd the statement was. Note: This is also a good way to establish solidarity with other true Parisiennes in the group, who will undoubtedly be giving the same look.

Lisa WeatherbeeLisa Weatherbee

4. Be thin. But not just thin, a particular kind of thin that I like to call “healthy frail.” Other than a few moments spent standing on a mysterious vibrating plate from time to time, Parisiennes don’t really exercise. As a result, they don’t really have muscles, so they’re diminutive but vibrant, waifish but not gaunt. Damn them. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 51 Comments »

A Little Parisian Luxury this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of holiday. But whether you’re a cynic or a romantic, single or attached, you can probably justify making room in your life for a little Parisian luxe. Kim Petyt, an American wedding planner in Paris and author of Parisian Party, has a few gift ideas for lovers and haters alike…

monop

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