L’appartement Leboncoin

French classifieds website Leboncoin has created an apartment in Paris, furnished entirely with things bought on the site.

 

 

 Open until 19 November, it features different animations each day, including DIY workshops and “job-dating”.

Today was a vide dressing, with bloggers selling clothes, shoes and accessories-perfect for me as I can never resist a fashion bargain!

And on the last day-19 November, everything in the apartment will be up for sale.

So whether its a cushion, lamp or even a sofa you’re after (there’s a bed, too), be sure to pay it a visit.

 

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L’appartement Leboncoin is at 3 Rue Française, 75001 Paris.

Coffee & cake at Merci

img_5830There’s no shortage of places to go for coffee and cake in Paris, but the Used Book Cafe at the Merci concept store is one of my favourites.

Located at 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, it’s the perfect place to refuel after a Saturday spent (window) shopping in the Marais.

I opted for a cappuccino and a slice of chocolate cake, but if you’re feeling flush there’s an organic salmon and cream cheese bagel on the menu for 18–for that price it can only be fabulous.

Merci was set up in 2009 by the founders of children’s clothing label Bonpoint, who spotted a gap in the market for a place that combines fashion, design, household goods and refreshments. Each year the company contributes to a foundation that funds educational projects and development in south-west Madagascar.

Belle in Balenciaga

This weekend in Paris was the 33rd edition of Journées Européenes du patrimoine (European Heritage Days), where sites open to the public across the capital included ministries, embassies and Hôtel Matignon, the official residence of the French Prime Minister.
Being a bit of a fashionista, I opted to visit the new head offices of French group Kering, which owns brands including Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci and Alexander McQueen.

 

Located at 40 rue de Sèvres in Paris’ 7th arrondissement, the new head offices of Kering and Balenciaga is the site of the former Hôpital Laennec and is classified as a ‘monument historique’.

In the chapel there was a contemporary art exhibition from the Pinault Collection, while in the Balenciaga showroom some iconic pieces from the fashion designer were on display.

 We also got to peek at the office waiting area, which was as luxurious as you might expect.

All in all, a great visit that made me want to indulge in a bit of retail therapy-lucky then, that the Le Bon Marché department store is just up the road!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Behind the scenes at Dior


Ever wondered about the craftsmanship behind designer handbags, haute couture gowns and men’s tailoring?

Well, today I got to find out thanks to a behind the scenes visit at LVMH-owned Dior in Paris as part of the group’s Journées particulières open days.

(If the Dior haute couture gown to the left looks familiar, it’s because it’s Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar’s dress).

 

 


From men’s tailoring to embroidery, haute couture to Baby Dior, the visit shone the spotlight on the materials, skills and time needed to create some of Dior’s most emblematic and eye-catching pieces.

To create the iconic Lady Dior handbag above, it takes 140 components, one full day and four people (once all the pieces are ready). A Baby Dior dress can take 30 hours to make, a haute couture gown 250, and there was even a one-of-a-kind bracelet that represented a year and a half of work.

 
The visit continued with a gallery of miniature Dior dresses, then down to the perfumes where we could smell the scents in Dior’s Collection Privée and admire a model of Dior’s La Colle Noire chateau near Grasse in France (La Colle Noire is also the name of the latest fragrance in Collection Privée).

  

And as if it wasn’t amazing enough to get a sneak peak behind the scenes of one of the world’s most coveted luxury brands, we were presented with a gift in a beribboned Dior bag on the way out.

Meeting the Queen of chicklit


Today I met the fabulous Sophie Kinsella at a book signing in Paris, and it was a bit like how I imagine meeting royalty to be.

Having rushed there from work (hence the ‘just been dragged through a bush backwards’ look), I was alarmed to be told that the queue for signed copies had closed 15 minutes earlier. After seeing my crestfallen face, someone kindly took pity on me and I was mercifully allowed on the other side of the gilded rope.

Half an hour later and I was in front of the Queen of chick lit.


I think I finally understand how One Direction fans feel when they see Harry Styles – I have been a huge fan of Sophie’s books for as long as I can remember, and meeting her in person induced a level of excitement in me that I hadn’t felt since Christmas day 1999.

In person, Sophie is as witty and warm as the characters in her books.

I love all of Sophie’s books – they are guaranteed to put a smile on your face and I’ve re-read them all more times than I care to remember. I’m a massive fan of the Shopaholic series in particular, and can’t wait to curl up with the kitty to read my signed copy of Shopaholic to the Rescue.

Barbie’s timeless appeal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I may not have played with Barbie dolls for about twenty years, but I was as excited as a small child to hear of the Barbie exhibition at Paris’ Musée des arts décoratifs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
The exhibition traces the history of Barbie, the manufacturing process, and how the iconic doll reflects cultural and societal shifts.

A definite must-see if you’re a fan of Barbie and fashion –  the exhibition features Barbie dressed by designers including Oscar de la Renta, and 7,000 of her tiny outfits displayed in a riot of rainbow colour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbie is on from 10 March – 18 September 2016 at

Musée des Arts décoratifs
107, rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris

Métro : Palais-Royal, Pyramides ou Tuileries

Spring time in Sceaux

 


As much as I love Paris, it’s sometimes nice to get out of the city, so that’s what we did today, on what turned out to be a suitably sunny Saturday.

We decided to head to Parc de Sceaux, which straddles the communes of Sceaux and Antony in Hauts-de-Seine and is about 20 minutes from Paris on the RER B.


Popular with runners and picnickers, Parc de Sceaux is particularly nice at this time of year because its blossoming cherry trees. Tomorrow, 17th April, is the fête de cerisiers en fleur, a Japanese festival to celebrate their flowering. Everyone packs a picnic, and can participate in a dance workshop in the afternoon, which sounds like a pretty fun way to spend a Sunday.