Archive for the ‘Haute Couture’ Category

Three Shops I Cannot Wait to Visit in Paris

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Merci Merci, Paris

As soon as I return from a trip to Paris, I start another file folder filled with places I must see, shop, eat and visit in Paris.  My folder is exploding with so many great things!  It IS time to return.  My next trip is in October and I wanted to share three places where I hope to spend many (dropping) Euros.

1.  Merci 111 boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003

This shop has been on my radar for some time.  I started reading little blurbs here and there about it and this little photo at the top has been popular in Pinterest.  It is filled with unique, stylish and chic items that will undoubtedly make me more unique, stylish and chic.  I shall visit there as soon as I get to Paris!!!

2.  Heurtault Paris 85 avenue Daumesnil, 75012

I have already warned my husband that I will be carrying an umbrella back on the plane home.  He reminded me that it is my umbrella and I will be doing all of the handling.  Fine!  I don’t care if he won’t hold it for me.  Look how beautiful they are!  I most definitely will be the chicest girl in the California rain.

3.  Les 3 marches de Catherine B.  1 rue Guisarde, 75006

I love Hermes.  I know, what girl doesn’t?  I have waited long enough for my dream Birkin.  I think I have a better chance of discovering one here.  I first found Catherine B. on Twitter.  And, from what I can gather from her French tweets, she is THE woman to go to for vintage designer goods.  Not only does she have Hermes bags, I believe she has quite a collection of vintage Chanel.  Don’t worry, I will give you the low down when I return!

Will you be in Paris before my October trip?  Please share your shopping lists and help me discover great Paris treasures!

Coco Chanel by Daniella Carrese

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Coco Chanel

By Daniella Carrese

Coco Chanel was one of the most influential designers in the fashion industry. She added so much to the world of design. Today her designs are warn by celebrities and aristocrats alike.


Early Life

Gabrielle Chanel was born in Saumur, France in August of 1883 to unwed mother Jeanne Devolle, a laundrywoman and father, Albert Chanel a traveling street peddler.  Her mother died when she was 12. As a result she was shipped off to a convent, in Aubazine, for orphans by her father, along with her two other sisters.

Getting Started

When Chanel was 18 she was sent to a boarding house for Catholic girls, where she learned how to sew.  She was hired as a seamstress, as her first job. She acquired her nickname “Coco” from the French word cocotte meaning lady or darling because of her cabaret shows she had put on when she was not working. Coco became the mistress of a wealthy cavalry officer, who indulged her with luxuries. Later she began an affair with a wealthy English upper-class man, Captain Arthur Capel had financed her first shop and greatly influenced her view of the world. Her taste in everything was changed to only the best that would be received. Her famous, eau de toilette, Chanel No. 5 was greatly changed due to the views of her paramour. After he had died due to a car accident, she was greatly devastated. Later she became a licensed hat maker or modiste.  Her hats became famous because of actress Gabrielle Dorziat. In 1931, while in Monte Carlo, she was introduced to Samuel Goldwyn who had asked her to come to Hollywood twice a year to design costumes for MGM stars.

World War II

During WWII, Chanel closed her shop. She had expressed her suppression toward Jews because of her involvement with the aristocracy. Her eau de toilette Chanel No.5 was very profitable during the war. She became a paid Nazi spy for the chief of the SS intelligence. Later she was used for a mission, because she was acquainted with Winston Churchill, to relieve tension between the English and Germans.

Later Years

Chanel returned to Paris in 1954 and also became reestablished with the fashion world.  Her couture house was not considered popular among the Parisians because of her betrayal to the French people during the war. But her new British and American customers loved her work. In 1971 she died at the age of 87 at the Hotel Ritz.

Audrey Hepburn

Coco Chanel gave the world of fashion many famous attributes including the “Chanel Suit” which became the casual formal wear for the prosperous. Also, the famous “Little Black Dress” arranged with pearls, was and is an everyday evening formal look. The look was also made famous by Audrey Hepburn in the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.  Today Chanel’s shops are seen throughout the world but while you are staying in your Paris apartment rental you can easily walk to the most famous of stores.

Mode à Paris – Fashion Week

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Ready to Wear. That’s what we like to hear during fashion week. Currently, in Paris, fashion week is debuting the Ready to Wear (RTW) lines. Valentino, Stella, Chloe, Hermes, Louis Vuitton…the gangs all here. RTW means that the clothes are typically manufactured for sale in stores worldwide. They are made in a range of sizes and are accessible for the public to buy. This is very different from the  haute couture collections that normally won’t make it to stores in the same numbers.

Fashion houses that produce a women’s haute couture line, such as Chanel, Dior, and Lacroix also produce a ready-to-wear line, which returns a greater profit due to the higher volume turnover of garments and greater availability of the clothing. Relative to couture, ready-to-wear clothing is often more practical and informal, though this may not always be the case. The construction of ready-to-wear clothing is also held to different standard than that of haute couture due to its industrial nature. High-end ready-to-wear lines are sometimes based upon a famous gown or pattern that is then duplicated and advertised to raise the visibility of the designer. Bespoke is custom tailored clothing.

The RTW shows attract the most retail buyers. The buyers work closely with designers and attend trade shows and fashion week to determine what items will be stocked in a store, based on his or her predictions about what will be popular with shoppers. The buyers study the collections, trends, color schemes and price points to ensure that they are getting everything they need to adequately stock their store. Some are small boutique owners that are responsible for all types of merchandise or they might just be the woman’s dress buyer for Neiman’s.  The decisions they make can greatly affect the fashion business.

Whether you are in Paris for fashion week or just following the shows online, take a look {here} for all the details and show times. If fashion is your first love, then you may want to think about renting a luxury Paris apartment in February. The RTW shows are already scheduled for  Tuesday, February 28th until Wednesday, March 7th, 2012.