Classical Updates

O.K. Let me set the scene. My daughter, Tatiana, and a few friends decided to meet up in London for a weekend of museum and gallery hopping. Hey, I like that!!! Sounds better to me than a weekend in NYC club hopping. What I really liked, is that she invited Mom and Dad to tag along for a lunch. Yes, we hopped the EuroStar for that 2 and 1/2 hour train trip from Paris. What a treat to meet up with a group of good looking young adults who are out to enlighten themselves with a bit of culture. Nothing but positive here.
London weather was perfect for this time of year. NO RAIN!!!

I did make Tatiana and Sam a bit crazy with my photo shooting, but they were polite in the end.
For me it does not get any better than the way these two were dressed. They are a statement in how to be a la mode, fashionable, up-to-date, actual and at the same time with a "touch of class" or "classical".

Sam has a very nonchalant "look of the day" attitude. His choice of suiting, shirt and tie are very coherent in their slim silhouette. Haircut and unshaven? Clean and sharp just like Sam.

Tatiana kept it girly but a bit quirky as usual. She masters that, always.
Her studded black boots are oldies but goldies from Chloe. I bought them for her 3 years ago and they remain her favorite. Chloe has just re-edited these for their Spring 2012 collection. They have been produced in black, red (Kate Bosworth and Sienna Miller's favorite)
and a beautiful beige. So, if you missed out on them, now is your chance. I still torture myself as to whether they are too young for me........I LOVE those boots.
That long flowing pale pink skirt is a buy from Rag and Bone, and she teamed it perfectly with a classic navy cashmere blazer from Arthur & Fox (her father's clothes line in Paris). Her cable knit scarf and bonnet are from Crimson (her mom's boutique in Paris).

All of this to say, Kids, you make us proud.

With love from Paris, Linda


Times They Are A Changin'

Ah Springime, my favorite time of the year. These pictures were taken in Miami on the premises of a Juicy Couture boutique. I felt it was time to bring them out of winter hibernation as a signal to Spring. I am sure you are all feeling like me and are soooo ready to get rid of the winter colors and winter mood. Out with the darks and in with the vibrant or at the very least a color palette that is fresher in nature.
ALSO, I am happy to announce that my next post will be bringing on a colorful change. For the last 3 months I have been working with an agency in Paris that has helped me to form a new structure for my blog. I am now in "training" to understand how to use this new vehicle of communication. This is very exciting and much fun for me to "better" what I have been doing.
To tell you the whole truth, my last post on my beloved Serge Lutens was to have been the last on the old format. Hence, a few days have past since my last posting. Alas, technical advances for me are difficult.......I am slow........very slow. All I can say in my own defense is that my desire is there and I have found that I need to be very, very, very patient with myself.
Modern communication tools do not have a "not for over 60 years" age limit marked on them, so I shall continue giving myself the pleasure of trying to evolve and enjoy the various possibilities available. Let's just say life should always be about Springtime and giving yourself some fresh new colors.
Lots of xxxxx's, Linda


Serge Lutens Forever

There is something about a girl and her perfume. For me it is so feminine to wear perfume.
Perfume says a lot about a person. However, I am not sure a woman always knows how to chose a perfume that suits her. This is where I think commercialism risks diaster at a certain moment. It is a chemical thing. Certain perfumes do not work well on certain skin. I am a bit biased on how perfume should be worn. A little goes a long way.

Personally, I think it should always be low keyed, just a hint of........keep it pretty and mysterious. It is so difficult for me to find a perfume that does not give me an instant headache. So, you can imagine my delight in finding my second perfume maker in a year. I have already spoken to you about Killian and my Rose Oud. However, I have changed my opinion on this, because I became increasingly aware that barely 15 minutes after spraying, there was no longer even a lingering hint of a spray.

Enter Serge Lutens. I have been aware of this man and his genuis for sometime. I just never seriously studied the question for myself. Funny, how I would admire his beautiful bottles and the exotic names of his perfumes. However, after learning that he has created his universe of perfumes while living for the last 20 years in Marrakech, my curiosity was tweaked. You all know my on-going love affair with Marrakech. I will try and not get side tracked while speaking about his perfumes, but this will be difficult. He has actually spent 20 years renovating a beautiful Riad in the center of Marrakech with hundreds on local artisans while still living in a 20 square meter studio on the outskirts of town. I have read that his studio gives onto a beautiful garden, however. This must be his oasis. O.K. back to the perfume.......

I have actually been on his perfume stand at Bon Marche about a dozen times trying different ones each time. I spray and then wander around the store for about 20 minutes trying to get a feeling about a particular odor. Not a decision that should be made easily, ladies. Take the time to understand what a perfume says to you. It should be PERSONAL. For me, Serge Lutens perfumes are highly personal. They evoke so many different images and emotions. For me, they are the opposite of "highly commercial" and industrial. They are about love.

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you


Tea on a Sunday Afternoon

My sunday has been perfect. Here was the recipe.

1) This morning I went directly to the weekly organic market on Blvd. Raspail. The -5° was not keeping me from buying my bread. There is a stand that sells marvelous breads. I have a hard time deciding which one to buy. La quelle?......nuts and dried figs or nuts and orange. Yes, both, please. Bien sur!!! Of course!!!

2) One jar of fresh organic honey to spread on said bread and eventually a dollop in my morning tea.

3) One small box of chocolates from La Maison du Chocolat. I will limit myself to 2 only. No need to start my new gym classes and then eat an entire box of chocolates.

4) My newly found favorite tea. Delicious tea from Korea. I discovered this some weeks ago in the new Hermes shop on the Left Bank. They have a tea salon with a wonderful selection of teas from the Tea Palace (just around the corner) and incredible cakes and tarts. I had mine with a coffee/chocolate tart while contemplating which new purse I would like to have but cannot possibly purchase. That's O.K. I get to look at them in all the new spring colors.

5) Bought the first series of Downton Abbey. The world is addicted.......why not me?

Yes, I appreciated my sunday. Full of pleasure. I wish the same for you.


Chapeau de Paille (Straw Hats)

My daughter Tatiana and her father last summer in St. Tropez.
WHY!!!??? am I posting this NOW.
Just felt like it..........needed a winter pick-me-up picture, and I found this one.
Also needed a little sunshine on this below zero day in Paris.

Or maybe it is the two glasses of Chateau Haut-Bages Monpelou Pauillac (bottled in 2005) that I just consumed. The wine Monsieur at the wine shop told me it was great........it is good.
WHAT was great is the cheese from Madame Barthelemy....Vieux Comte 36 months old.
Threw that on a piece of great nut bread from Pain Poilane and I am calling this a party.

Random writings and random post. Just to lighten the winter mood.

Kisses to you all, Linda


La Main de Fatima or The Hand of Fatima

The Hand of Fatima is not a religious symbol. It is a symbol of the spirit of hope. Hope against all things destructive and evil. I happen to appreciate the significance in wearing it. I started collecting these early on when visiting the souks of Marrakech. Now, it has become a personal pilgrimage. I always buy another one before leaving. I am making a charm necklace out of them.

My goal is always to find a vintage piece fashioned by hand and made of silver. Shapes vary but stay true to the Five Finger form in one way or another. If you would like to understand the story in its true historical form, I encourage you to reasearch this on-line.

What you will understand is that it is a sign of Divine Protection. Hey, I like the idea!!!

Back to Paris...........Going from 23 degrees to -7 degrees........Must take my vitamins for another form of divine protection.


Marrakech Made of Pink and Gold and Red

I never tire of taking this picture. However, I promise it will be the last time I post it. You see, this is the view from my hotel. I observe Marrakech change colors with the progression of the day's light. The constants are the pinks of the mud buildings and the golden glow of light.
I am always tempted to buy one of these vintage leather bags.
The thing is that they are for sale all over the souk, but the shop owners feel they need to update them with beadwork. Actually, I am still looking for one that has not been updated.

Seriously, girls, one or two of these beautiful amber necklaces would be great this summer. Team it with a white tee or a floaty summer dress, and VOILA, you look exotic. By the way, it might not be real amber, but for the price, you cannot go wrong. Now, why did I not think about buying a few dozen for my shop and website. Yea, next time!!!
This is my terrace. That subtle shade of Marrakech pink and black artisanal (hand-made) lamp are a picture for any decorator with a discerning eye. Well, I like it, anyway.
Riads make up the inner part of the Medina. The Medina being the center of old Marrakech.
There are many narrow winding streets in the Medina and behind tall pink and gold walls are these beautiful inner-city homes. All built by hand.......the mud walls, the latice wood work and the mosic tiles that decorate a wall or compose an entire floor. However, this one is now a place open to the public for having a mint tea and some delicious morrocan pastries.
A typical front door of a Riad. Call it vintage, call it weathered, call it an antique and call it pricelessly beautiful. Once again, just my opinion.
View from a terrace in the souk overlooking a building where they are still hand dying wool for weaving rugs. Notice the yarns drying and some newly made rugs drying after having been washed before being placed in the souk to sell. Notice "Le Main de Fatima" painted on the wall. I will be posting on this icon next.
This is not just one lone wall. All the walls in the Medina of Marrakech are like this. Aged with a beautiful patina.
Another poetic and beautiful picture just around the corner. This is what I feel when walking in the Medina.

The people of Marrakech are incredibly welcoming. They are all smiles and never hesitate to say "Soyez bienvenue". This means You are Welcomed. They always touch their hearts after greeting each other. They have touched mine with their kindness.

With love from the land of sunshine and delicious dates!!! Be back soon. Next time I must make a trip to the neigboring seaport of Essouira.......


Tiffany and Victoria's Mom

Seriously, there is nothing not to like about this girl. She is a woman's woman. Beautiful in a real sense of the word. Inside and Out. I am very lucky to have her as part of my team.

She is in constant motion. Running in the door at Crimson with her hair still wet after she has dropped off her two daughters at school and then made time for an hour of gym. Guess what, ladies? Natacha loves to eat. She is what the french refer to as "gourmande". I know for sure when I bring in some "cornes de gazelles" from Marrakech or some dark, rich chocolate found in Florence, her eyes will light up with pure delight. She will not hold back thinking she might add an extra pound. In fact, Natacha does not hold back on much of anything. She will spend as long as it takes to help a customer find that special something they want. Customers come in just to chat with Natacha, because they know there is a real soul behind that beautiful face.

Natacha belongs in a Gucci or Dolce and Gabbana ad campaign. She looks like one of those beautiful and sensual Italian mamas. However, the only mama Natacha is interested in being is one to her two young daughters, Tiffany and Victoria. Natacha divides her time between taking them to school everyday, arranging their piano lessons, special art classes, tennis classes and overseeing their homework. The girls know to call her immediately upon arriving home from school. Otherwise, all of Crimson will be worrying where they might be.

As Jack Nicholson put it so well in the movie "Somethings Gotta Give":

Natacha, you are a woman to love.

Jacket: Moncler
Leather pants: Chine
Shoes: Lanvin
Sunglasses: Gucci
Bag: Hermes
Scarf: Crimson

P.S. Special thanks go to Dejan, her husband, for giving her that beautiful smile and sharing her with us on a daily basis.


A Stroll and a Cappucino in Florence

Pitti Uomo is the biggest men's pret-a-porter show exisiting. It happens twice a year in Florence. Once in January and again in June. I usually go both times as I feel it is necessary to understand the trends for men's fashion. Also, there are about 1000 exhibiters showing anything and everything a man could and should wear. It is a beautiful show, and a lot of work.
I went to see my manufacturer for the beautiful gloves he makes for Crimson. I enjoyed buying a few hats for next winter. Scarves are more and more important. Crimson is famous for having 40 colors of socks for men in wool or Egyptian cotton.....also manufactured in Italy.

Today was the last day and I had scheduled a late afternoon flight back to Paris. For once I wanted to actually see a bit of Florence and not just the exhibition halls. So, I raced back to my hotel, packed my bag and set out for a stroll around the streets of Florence.

I find it overwhelmingly beautiful. The architecture, the sculptures, the incredible frescoes on the ceilings. What a priviledge to view the richness of history in this small town in Tuscany.
So, here you have just a few pictures of what I saw on my stroll through Florence today. I took around 200 photos, but obviously cannot possibly put them on my blog.

I cannot drink cafeine and I am lactose intolerant, however, I always have one capuccino when I come for Pitti Uomo in Florence. I love the ambience in the cafe's. I just want to be a part of it.
So, I order my cappucino and even pour a little sugar just like the regulars. Ah, it feels good to be a Florentine for a day.

Gotta catch my flight to Paris...........


A Girl, a Guy and a Bonnet

This is the story of Crimson's cashmere cable-knit bonnet. Christian bought it for Justine's brother for Christmas. Justine, who has an eye and a talent for choosing beautiful classics that fit her modern day lifestyle in L.A., bought herself one in black. Christian, deciding he needed one to get through the winter, once back at his university in Boston, bought his in grey. It would seem that when Christian's beautiful Mom, Jennifer, saw the bonnet she requested he return to Crimson and purchase her a black one. In the end, Christian felt he also needed it in black. He is beautiful dressed in black......or pink or green or orange or any color is my guess!!!

Their smiles and energy are contagious. I appreciate their presence in my shop.
They made my day. Please pop in and say hello when you are back in Paris.

Hoping you all have a good and productive week. Linda


Miscellaneous in Marrakech

La Mamounia is a marvelous hotel. Owned by the King and recently underwant a 3 year and A LOT of euros renovation. Their swimming pool is pure luxury.
However, for my next trip, I would love to find a smaller and cozier place. Marrakech is rich with renovated Riads and smaller boutique hotels that have amazing little gardens with all the necessities of visiting this beautiful city. The search will be fun in itself.
I have actually mastered this art of pouring mint tea. NO, I am exagerating. I do enjoy seeing how high I can go with the tea-pot though.
Sophie's sandals. She always finds the prettiest shoes.
Tatiana's sandals. Found in Miami at Steve Madden's for 39 dollars. Well worth the investment.
Considering India, Tatiana and myself all bought a pair.
The view from my terrace at La Mamounia with the Atlas Mountains in the background.
This is a necklace I have put together over the years. I call it my charm necklace. The whistle is a vintage Tiffany piece from the 1940's. Anecdote being that it was a gift from a lovely gentleman who told me if you ever need me, "Just Whistle". Each visit to Marrakech I always go to the souk and buy another Hand of Fatima. There are new ones made in silver and not expensive (starting around 10 dollars), but I always try to find some great vintage ones that have been made by loving hands. These are also easy to find and the price varies. However, I always stay within a 50 dollar budget.

Marrakech is a magical place to visit. The people of the city are incredibly kind and welcoming and respectful. I heard many languages around the city. Many americans, italians, english, spanish, german and french were there for the holidays, and this brightened the city even more. The people in Marrakech depend on tourism for their economy and I was so happy to see that the international community felt good about being there.

Have a good weekend, Linda