October 25, 2012
Beer, frites, comics. Blah, blah, blah. No disrespect to lovers of ambers and ales, salty, fried foods, or Tintin, but there’s so much more to Brussels, capital of Belgium—capital of all of Europe—than these perennially touted attractions. Here are three lesser-celebrated reasons to hop on a train and make the 80-minute trip from Paris.
Chocolate boutique in Brussels (flavijus)
At first glance, the architecture in Brussels is incongruous—ugly, even. But in that odd stew of styles are treasures from many eras. Continue Reading »
Posted in Travel | 5 Comments »
September 13, 2012
On a rare afternoon off, I took a stroll in Paris and came upon 5 Octobre and Sophie, its adorable owner. She has wonderful gem of a boutique selling her handmade jewelry in the Marais. After hearing a little bit more about her unusual story, I’m so glad to share it with you here – Erica
How did decide to move from being a lawyer to making jewelry? Was the stop gradual or brutal?
It was a long process because I have been passionate about accessories since my childhood. I was already very creative, and the dream was ingrained very deeply – I didn’t just wake up one morning and decide I wanted to make jewelry. When I was 10 years old, I was already collecting beads and stones and turning them into jewelry for my friends.
I was also always a bit of an intellectual, so law satisfied that aspect of my personality, but it wasn’t creative enough. I traveled a lot as a lawyer; the time spent in transit allowed me to spend time dreaming about a new career that would fulfill a larger part of myself. My family is involved in fashion; my mother is a creative buyer for several stores she owns, so that helped me to envision a project that was both creative and professional.
Were your friends and family supportive of the change?
Everyone supports me (my husband first, my parents as well), but I knew the change of social status might not be as easy. Being a lawyer is quite well considered and I didn’t know if I would succeed in this new venture. Continue Reading »
Posted in Shopping | 4 Comments »
May 31, 2012
At My French Country Home in Normandy, we love to go antiquing. We welcome guests from all over the world, from private shoppers looking to experience real French brocantes (flea markets) and hopefully bring back a special souvenir of their holiday in France, to professionals looking for hidden gems to add a little French je-ne-sais-quoi to their boutiques.
Bedrooms decorated with brocante finds
Here is how it went for a recent client, Jeni, who came to shop for her vintage rental company in California. She was only here for 24 hours, but thanks to careful planning and her ability to make quick decisions, she managed to purchase all kinds of amazing loot! Continue Reading »
Posted in Shopping, Tours and Classes, Travel | 13 Comments »
May 27, 2011
Given that Parisians set the international standard for chic, it’s a bit tricky (as an étrangère) to figure out how to blend in among the locals. I’ve never considered myself a particularly risqué dresser, but when I moved to Paris, it was clear that some pieces I had worn in New York suddenly felt downright scandalous alongside the low-key, layered look of Parisians.
During seasonal transitions, the challenge of dressing for Paris is compounded by the unpredictable climate—it can be sweltering one minute, hailing the next—but this need not lead to bipolarity of the wardrobe.
Just do as the French do—layer accordingly and do not surrender your personal style to seasonal shifts. A few rules to keep you looking sharp as we move from spring into summer:
1. Lighten your layers. Warm-weather dressing in Paris is not really about shorter and skimpier; it’s about looser and lighter. It’s not about less layering; it’s about different layering. Switch your wool, cashmere and suede pieces for similar items in summer-appropriate materials (linen, cotton). This way, you’ll still look like you, but you won’t spiral into a heat-induced rage.
2. Show a little leg. Paris is not a cleavage-bearing city. Over-exposed décolletage always shocks me here—perhaps because it happens so infrequently. In the summer, however, you can get away with wearing shorter hemlines (just make sure to balance them out with more coverage up top). French women masterfully pair short dresses with tailored blazers, and shorts with modest menswear-inspired shirts. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 3 Comments »
March 17, 2011
I always know I’m in New York when, on Sunday, everything is buzzing and churning as if it were any other day of the week. Does no one in this city ever rest?! It makes me pine for Sundays in Paris, when the city retreats into its secret corners and everyone does their own thing.
But if you’re new to Paris or simply passing through, Sundays can often beg the question: now what do we do?
Never fear. Though the city’s pulse has slowed, its heart is still beating, and Sundays have their own unique array of activities to be uncovered. Here are a few of our favorite weekend activities.
1. Linger over brunch. Brunch has most definitely become “a thing” in Paris, and there’s no shame in passing your entire day partaking in the act. Check out some of our favorite spots here.
Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 13 Comments »
January 14, 2011
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 »
December 13, 2010
On a recent Paris jaunt during the now infamous snow storm of last week, Badaude made some Paris fashion observations. As usual, they are right on and just right. What do you wear in Paris in the snow? – Erica
I was decorating the windows for Christmas last week in legendary Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company and I had (perhaps too much of a) good chance to see what Parisienne’s wore during the recent cold snap. With snowflakes the size of postage timbres falling onto the Christmas tree outside Notre Dame, it was picture postcard pretty but definitely necessary to wrap up warmly. This is what I, with a Posca pen tucked behind my ear, saw from the top of a ladder…
(Click on image for full size)
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Text and illustrations by Badaude for the HiP Paris Blog. For our amazing rentals in Paris, Provence & Tuscany check out our website Haven in Paris.
Posted in Parisian Living, Shopping | 10 Comments »
November 1, 2010
Badaude, the talented illustrator and Paris editor at the Style Bible, brings us here her top 5 fall fashion must-haves, as portrayed by her characteristic sketches of Parisiennes. Thanks to her advice we are off to start building our collection of opaque tights in bright fall hues!
What’s a French classic? We all know about trench coats and berets, though I’m not too sure many people wear them outside Amelie. There is a Paris ‘uniform’. If you want to fit in – or if you want to give it a go because, well, fifty million French girls can’t be wrong, here are the items I see on the street all the time.
Have I missed anything? Let me know…
Paris Fall Fashion Essentials – Badaude
Continue reading for more Paris fall fashion essentials…
Posted in Design, Shopping | 12 Comments »
September 10, 2010
Last Spring, Maggie was lucky to spend some time in Haven in Paris’ gorgeous Rue du Bac 2-bedroom. A relative newcomer to Paris, she made the most of her expat status by seeking out the hidden gems her wonderful neighborhood had to offer. She shares a few of her favorites with us here…
I adopted the Saint Germain neighborhood up and down Rue du Bac as my home away from home earlier this year. Eventually, to my delight, the neighborhood started to adopt me in return! After seeing my smile amidst the sea of scowls over and over again in the long lines in their shops, the local merchants actually started to smile back, even if it was ever so slightly.
Each vanishing grimace assured me it was okay to start feeling at home. And I did, quickly. As an American girl in Paris, I knew the quickest way to appear even remotely French would be to build up my arsenal of Parisian necessities, all within the few blocks around my apartment. To that end, I hereby share what I think every aspiring local Parisian woman needs:
Continue Reading »
Posted in Homes, Parisian Living, Shopping | 15 Comments »
August 26, 2010
Prakhar – Rainy view from Montmartre
Fifty degree weather? Rain? What’s next, sleet? The summer is obviously on vacation somewhere else this year. It packed up and went on a tour of Italy and Spain most likely, because it’s definitely not in Paris! The sun has been taking a big ole dump on my outdoor plans for quite a while now. I’ve been cooped up in my apartment too long, another week of this and I’ll be eligible for the hermit of the year award.
It’s time to brave the weather and see Paris from the inside out. Here are a few things that are tempting me at the moment:
YSL expo at Petit Palais: I’ve heard great things about this exhibit, but haven’t gotten around to going yet! It’s open until this weekend, so I’m down to the wire to get around to doing anything that could give me the slightest insight about how to dress my sorrily-clothed-self.
Kentrige 5 Themes expo at Jeu de Paume: This is by far one of my favorite museums in Paris; the expos never fail to disappoint! This expo looks particularly good. I like that it’s a mix of mediums – drawings, prints, films & all that. This is good because I have a real attention span pro- DID YOU SEE THAT BIRD FLY BY??
Tea at l’Hotel: My friend Rebecca introduced me to this place and it was love at first sight. It’s the perfect place to cozy up and drink your self warm again. Luxurious, a bit swanky, but they’ll let you sit and relax for hours with a good book. (Read: I’m cheap. 5€ is already a lot, so I’m getting my money’s worth!)
And here are suggestions from the Paris experts via Twitter! These people REALLY know their way around the city, you can trust them with your rainy vacation days! Please be sure to check their blogs and add them on Twitter for more insights!! Continue Reading »
Posted in Arts, Events, Parisian Living | 7 Comments »