After months of passing the new Hermès flagship store
on Rue de Sèvres
(located in the 6ieme arrondissement
near St. Germain), I finally decided to stop and take a look inside.So in doing my best to appear important and wealthy (large sunglasses, Blackberry in hand
, avoiding eye contact, etc.) I waltzed in and took a peak.As you enter the store, you realize pretty quickly that this is no ordinary space - converted from
a 1935 art deco Lutetia indoor swimming pool, the store opened in December 2010, and is Hermès second largest store in the world, after Tokyo.
In addition to their usual fare of clothes, accessories (scarves of course), and saddles, this Hermès store also manages to fit in a tearoom, a gorgeous flower shop, a bookshop, and entire sections dedicated to housewares. I guess when you have three stories to work with, you might as well go hard or go home.Below are a few photos I took, thanks to my trusty Blackberry - for more info and photos, check out these short pieces on the store from Travel Avenue
and Wallpaper* Magazine
Spring window display at Pierre Hermé
Well imagine my delight when I awoke this morning to discover that it was Le Jour du Macaron
!It was almost as good as those days when you wake up and think it's a work day, only to realize it's still the weekend. (Almost.)Today, March 20th, 2011 marks the 6th year that Pierre Hermé
and Relais Desserts
have hosted this event, which in my mind is an act of pure genius. Basically for the entire day, customers can get three free macarons (which normally go for 1.95
€ a piece) at any of the Pierre Hermé or Relais Desserts store locations around Paris
(or those throughout the rest of France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Japan and the U.S.).
Everyone is expected to give a donation towards the participating charity - this year, as it was in 2010, donations were made towards Autour des Williams
, an association that aims to help those living with Williams Beuren syndrome
, a rare neurodevelopmental disorder.
My winnings (and my breakfast)
I figured the only way I was going to get my hands on some free macarons without waiting in line for an hour, was to get there early.So I killed two birds with one stone, and stopped by the shop on my way back from a morning run in Luxembourg Gardens (I am the queen of multi-tasking, what can I say?)I got there around 11am and only had to wait in line for about 5-10 minutes. As we waited, we were given a form to fill out, to choose three flavors out of a generous selection of 25 scrumptious choices, ranging from Chocolate and Foie Gras (ew) to Green Asparagus and Hazelnut.I went with the Métissé (carrot, orange and cinnamon), Dépaysé (Matcha green tea, Azuki bean, lime and ginger)
(milk chocolate, banana, passion fruit and ginger).This is why I love Pierre Hermé - they are so creative with flavors and color, and really think outside the box.All three flavors were delicious - I had eaten the Arabella before, and love how the strong flavors of ba
nana and ginger really play off each other. The citrus flavor in the Métissé definitely dominated the carrot flavor, but it had a terrific balance overall. And the Dépaysé was definitely sweet, but the bean flavor evened it out so that the lime and ginger flavors still came through.All in all, it was a terrific way to spend a Sunday morning. I posted a few photos of my delicious experience below.
Also, un grande merci to Chic Provence
for being the first Tweet to bring this glorious holiday to my attention - I owe you a macaron the next time you're in Paris!
So as it does every year, Paris Fashion Week
has come and gone. It was a complete whirlwind of celebrities, editors, models, scandal (John Galliano has great timing doesn't he?
) and of course, fabulous clothes, taking over the city for the week.
In a nutshell, it was Paris on uppers. Heavy, trendy uppers...
For those of you who weren't able to catch the shows first hand, I wanted to share some of my favorite links that provide great editorial and photographic coverage of Paris Fashion Week:Best Overall coverage
- The Guardian
: I'm going to have to give this one to the Brits. The Guardian did a great job of providing both insider coverage (um, I had no idea Kate Moss was back on the catwalk - and smoking!
) as well as basic photos and info on all the runway shows. I also love all their lists like "Ten things we learned at Paris Fashion Week," and "Trends from the front row"
Stella McCartney Show (Harpers Bazaar)
Best "Just the basics" coverage
- The Huffington Post
: Although the layout for HuffPost can sometimes get on my nerves, their site is great for getting general coverage of all the runway shows and all the juicy gossip. If you're not a total fashionista and just want to see the pics and get the basics, this link is pour toi.Best "On the street" coverage
- The Satorialist
: Yes, it's an obvious choice. But no one can deny that photographer Scott Schuman
is amazing at capturing an individual's distinct, personal style. Sometimes the outfits spotted outside the shows are just as amazing, if not more so, than the ones walking the actual runways.
Elie Saab (Modish)
Best "Trend tracking" coverage
This site does a great job of outlining the top trends spotted at Paris Fashion Week. Capes, velvet, smoking jackets and black and white combos just to name a few. I also love FabSugar for its photo galleries - you can check out photos from most of the runway shows and other galleries
here.Best "Newcomer" coverage
- Paris Girl Couture
: This one has to go to my lovely and talented friend Stacie Fleming, creator of Paris Girl Couture. This girl has gone to Berlin, London and finally Paris for all the major fashion week events this season, and has managed to score tickets to some of the hottest shows. Check out her coverage of Burberry in London, Elie Saab in Paris, and much more!Conclusion - I'm no fashion expert, but if I had to list my favorites from Paris Fashion Week, I'd say (in no particular order): Elie Saab, Stella McCartney and Valentino
. Stunning fall colors like gold and burgundy, lovely accessories, and a great mix of some more masculine looks combined with detailed feminine pieces made these collections stand out the most in my mind.As nice as it will be to get our city back to normal (not that Paris has been, or will ever truly be, "normal") I will certainly miss the extra air of excitement and glamour that Paris Fashion Week
brought to the City of Lights. Well, il y a toujours l'année prochaine!
I have been given the wonderful opportunity to become a contributing writer at My French Life
(or Ma Vie Française for you frenchies.)
My French Life is a self-described "ultimate Global Community of french, francophone & francophiles," that works to connect "like-minded people in French & English globally."
This site offers great articles on everything from art, fashion and food, to pieces by contributors sharing their stories about the "French thread" that connects us all.
My actual 'French life.'
I will be contributing about one piece a month - some will be updated or edited blog posts from Ma Vie en Franglais, others will be completely new articles on whatever French-related topic I think might be of interest to readers.
I highly recommend everyone take a peak at the site, and comment on some of the insightful articles that you find particularly interesting or helpful!
To comment or become a contributor on My French Life, you just need to join and get in touch with creator Judy MacMahon
- contact her at email@example.com
and just say "referred by Carolyn Englar" in the subject line.
Feel free to check out my bio
, where I discuss my "most unfortunate childhood" that began my addiction to la vie française!