brrrrrrr! it’s downright bone chilling cold in paris! today was our final day trudging though the slush and snow at the markets all weekend but i can definitely say our mission was accomplished!
i was fully focused on shopping with the crew so didn’t get much but photo memories which is somehow ok, at least this way i’ll have them forever.. and as my guy always says, you can’t buy it all!
going through the shots i couldn’t help but see that this trip i was attracted to art, paintings, sculpture and architectural artifacts…
the markets are so rich and thick that it really feels like a living, breathing museum. it’s a place where you can find junk juxtaposed with truly fine art.
and it’s not what a piece is worth but the joy it brings
and who makes the decisions as to what’s valuable if not the beholder?
the way the market vendors curate their booths is much more than you’d expect at a typical flea market and this year many sellers are really stepping up their game.
all sorts of busts and statuary are displayed as if they’re uber important pieces in super simple vignettes.
of course you can always find the funky, fun stuff
and the french certainly have a sense of humor about their past!
and one piece can really set a regal mood. you’d never know these were flea finds!
i guess i do wish i could buy it all and surround myself in my own tiny museum
but for now i’ll settle for just enjoying the pics and thinking about ways to incorporate more art in my world.
as for the gang, we finished up our weekend with stephane who always brings the market to life and today he greeted us in the cold with champagne and oysters, using snow in an ice bucket and along a huge silver tray for the shells he shucked. we had a ball and everyone left happy and well overfed. i’ll clue you in when the time comes as to what we all did but for now it’s off to bed, a couple pounds heavier but i guess that’s what winter is for, n’est-ce pas? enjoy the rest of your weekend!
allo all! it’s very late and my last post from paris this time around. it’s been a fantastic trip with lots of great memories and pretty things coming home. but for the first time, it’s a little different for me. as you know i adore the flea markets and all the stories they tell. lately though, i feel a little bittersweetness about it because the subtle ‘progressive’ changes in the city are becoming more apparent and i’m not sure they’re for the best.
ok maybe at times paris can be a bit of a gilded lily, and i can understand wanting to mix the old with the new. but paris is the worlds’ muse and we come for her beauty and inspiration.
le train-bleu, in paris’ gare de lyon
and as someone who loves interior and exterior architecture, i can’t for the life of me figure out why the french allow their beautiful city to be ravaged by renovators.
the changes are everywhere, from the windows coming down and satellite dishes going up
to small details like the books being pilfered for engraving and endpapers sold as scraps
glass fronts on traditional boulangeries and boucheries are tossed aside and the storefronts are cemented over
handpainted panels are removed and separated from the grand walls they once adorned
and apparently stained glass is considered passé
why someone would want to dismantle a marble fireplace and mirror is beyond me
and why would the city allow such destruction?
i mean, i’m not complaining, it gets circulated all over the world i suppose
but it just seems that in this day and age we should preserve what we have and take care of it as stewards
these apartments will be here long after us and what will be left?
where is the love?
and why is it being replaced with ‘sanitization’of the city’ as the french are calling it?
ok maybe i am complaining just a little. it’s happening throughout the city. these beautiful old tile frames in the metro are all coming down
and the old bouquinistes kisoks are being replaced with one of the prototypes below
maybe like joni mitchell sings, paris, is old and cold and settled in its ways. but isn’t that why we love her so? if the powers that be want to make changes, i humbly suggest adding a few more escalators in the metros, make it easier to catch a cab and run a design contest for a pretty something to cover the hanging clear plastic garbage bags on the streets. of course outlawing satellite dishes and making it a crime to dismantle apartments and store facades over 100 years old wouldn’t hurt either! but some say it’s progress. i say it’s heartbreaking. what do you think?
bonsoir guys, ca va? it’s one of our last nights in paris and hard to believe it’s been 6 weeks already. the days have flown by and the nights are mainly work but claudia II is our social director and if it weren’t for her we may have missed a lot of great soirees.
last night we were invited to a grande fête at the one and only clignancourt marche aux puces. the paul bert and serpette markets were the hosts and the tapis rouge was rolled out along the alleys both indoor and out. seeing the market by night is such a different experience than in the lazy afternoons. the vendors really let their hair down and put on a night to remember with trimmings to rival a ball at versailles.
it was both intimate and inviting
with furniture you wouldn’t even touch by day being enjoyed by all
the tables were beautifully dressed
and the scent of flowers was everywhere
and bien sur, the champagne was flowing
and the petit fours were plentiful
a good time was had by all, even the kids
this little one below curled up on a chair and took it all in.
so now i bid you adieu, it’s getting late and we have an early morning for our last market day. there are brocantes, fairs and shows going on and we can’t do it all, but you know we’re gonna try!
and last but certainly not least, i wanted to introduce you to claudia’s friend who we saw perform the other night. he’s a funny, charismatic homme francais. we all fell for him, maybe you will too! click the pic above for one of my favorite seductive video of his. there are more on youtube including this live performance. he plays in cosy, clubby spots (we saw him on a houseboat) and just has a real joie de vivre. ok c’est tout pour c’est soir. bon nuit mes cheries, a demain!
allo dear friends, how are you? i hope you’re into the fall weather and are getting your autumn on! we’re still running around and no matter where we turn paris is still ful of surprises. the day started with a rainy marche but it warmed up when we got to le square trousseau to meet friends/fellow bloggers, vicki, author of french essence and haleigh, blogger extraordinaire from making magique. both of these girls know how to live and they record it all with the most gorgeous photography! if you’re ever in need of eye candy or to drift off into neverland, just click your heels on over to their blogs. we shared ideas, tips and just had a great leisurely long lunch which i doubt any of us get to do very often! below is a glimpse into haleigh’s world in paris:
and vicki’s in provence
of course we couldn’t leave without lusting after the desserts…
we thought the day couldn’t get any better when on the way home claudia and i took a shortcut. we came across one of the last men working in his studio on the dying art of handmade engravings. when our friend ellen was here she was telling me all about the copperplates, hammering them backward with tiny pins to create the detail we see in so many familiar works of art.
olaf was diligently working but stopped to chat. he happened to have one of my favorite plates, le souper fin (below) which he purchased from a workshop that had recently closed. if you look you’ll see it was all done in reverse. the detail is incomprehensible and so is the idea that this is how so many important events were recorded! it takes black tar, ink, acid and god knows what else to produce a perfect engraving and it’s all done on handmade paper.
souper fin, Jean-Michel Moreau. he did admit he’s one of that last to do this painstaking craft…
not sure what this one was about but his work was stunning. i couldn’t resist getting a couple to bring back!
the day is now coming to a close and we’re nestled snug in our pied a terre, happily fed and another unforgettable day under our belts, but also aware it’s quickly coming to an end. when i get home lots of goodies will be waiting there. in the meantime, it was nice to know we got a little press in the states today! miles redd recommended one of tpa’s mirrored pieces in an article for the home section!
someone here asked me if mirrored furniture was ‘over ‘and i had to think for a minute. it will never be over, it’s a style that’s been around way too long to become passé now!i found this shot from the market last week and it re-confirmed my opinion that mirror is and always will be tres chic. it’s been worked on furniture since the 2os with details we can’t even produce now. how they manipulated mirror is yet another mystery the french started!
ok well this was a bunch of non sequiturs but isn’t that what a journal/diary/blog is for, to remember the details of life big and small? well, it’s time for bed, officially midnight yet again. have a great night!
bonjour mes amis, ca va? we’re fully immersed in parisian life over here, for another week anyway. i’m trying to make it last and enjoy every minute (even if that’s a nap here and there)! paris is like a laduree candy shop with unexpected, delicious beauty around every corner. especially at the markets. we can walk for miles and still only skim the surface.
the fleas are full from the vendors’ summer finds and we’ve been getting up early to make the most of it.
i definitely have a thing for chairs and have been getting sofas, slippers, vanity stools and bergers…
sad for the ones that got away…
but n love with what’s coming back to the states! thought you might enjoy a preview.
and we know you can’t get it all. but we sure try! we’ve been to the maison objet (a little uninspired this year but i’ll post the pics from it. then again everything pales in comparison to the fleas for me!) instead of heading back we went to the markets with our client for the past few days. she’s been shopping for her store, shed home and tomorrow we’ll be packing her goodies up to ship.
the photo above is dave bloom’s of sophie atlan’s booth in clignancourt at vernaisson. we spent a couple days shooting together for the new book.
the detail in this country never ceases to amaze me
the closer you look the more you find
even a tiny powder puff is still as pretty as ever.
well tomorrow is our last day together, and i believe a good time was had by all.
thought you’d enjoy a shot of cindy’s room at caron de beaumarchais. amazing what you can do with 4 little walls!
we’re invited to a big party at clignancourt on friday eve and a concert tomorrow. we’re hoping to get to the show above if we can squeeze it in! well it’s minuit, so more soon, have a great night!
good morning guys! it’s a chilly, dreary morning in paris but what else is new? we’re up early for a market held every day called marche d’aligre. it’s been packing and shipping central around here and before everything is en route to the us i thought you’d enjoy one small unappreciated box out of a million that were tossed into piles at lille.
i got this paper filled, obviously long forgotten collection of clippings, patterns, catalogs and dreams at the last minute when we were packed like sherpas and all i wanted was a catalog from au bon marche. the guy gave me a good deal on it and i had to say yes, both because it was embroidery stuff (i inherited an appreciation for it since my mom and gram were always hand making the most beautiful things). the second is that i knew i could send bits of it to you.
when i was in lille i guess i was imagining the 20s or 30s glamour gal to be living in paris, the talk of the town, but this box make me think about an era i rarely do, the turn of the century. i think this humble but grand dame lived in lille and was the woman behind the woman i conjured up.
the box has been untouched for almost a humdred years. the papers are from 1908-1914 and it is a tiny window into her life, one not so different from ours but maybe light years away from her own daughter’s. she saved catalogs and made patterns, wanted to create heirlooms and make a happy home.
planned dinners and bookmarked pages of things she hoped to have one day.
she was concerned about her apprearance
and may have even had extensions!
she worked hard to make beautiful things for her family to inherit, her daughter probably thought she was old fashioned.
but she wanted to feel pretty, even sexy maybe in her corset and garters
when she traveled it was in style with everything in its place
lotions and creams (sorry for the bad pics, it was so dark in here last night)!
amazing how generation to generation things can change so much.
she still had questions
and life was centered around creating a well decorated home with all the trimmings.
well my guests have arrived and we’re off to the market. i hope you have a fabulous day!
Bonjour mes chères amies and happy labor day. i hope you’re having what’s left of a great weekend. here in france the day is coming to a close but i wanted to stop by and share ours before a new day dawns and the weekend fades away.
claudia and i decided to take roadtrip to one of the biggest flea marktets in france. sadly no, this is not our car, but trucks like this are de rigueur for vendors who descended on the little ville de lille this weekend.
we’ve talked about going for years but there was always something else to do. so we finally hit the road for what was a legendary experience.
it’s known as a braderie, and it’s been going on since the 12th century on the first weekend of september. ten thousand people gather for what can be described as no less than a fleamarket and mussel fest. it’s a gentle takeover of every single street, nook and cranny and is lined with vendors whose treasures continue to astound and amaze me.
we got there a day early since we heard that setup started early and the crowds weren’t there yet.
but it didn’t take long and by sunrise it was on overdrive.
the sheer magnitude was almost incomprehensible. hard to believe it could be so organized in hundreds of tiny streets and parks. but then if you’re doing it for a few hundred years it’s probably child’s play!
of course there was something for everyone and i had to keep focused for what to shop for.
i’m a sucker for all things boudoir so bikes and sleighs were out unfortunately. but sometimes it’s just as much fun to have the pics as the real thing since, as my guy says, you can’t buy it all!
we had rolling carts and bubble and when they were full, we were way done. we think we walked 10 hours both days!
it was worth it, cause tonight we’re going through our stash and it’s a little like christmas.
as i started putting up pics tonight i realized that for me the fleas really tell a story. and they tell a different one to each of us. it was crazy what some people were carrying out! for me it’s about that girl. the one who lived a life i romanticize for it’s beauty and detail. i love to imagine the things she had and did, from an era that seems like a mysterious and glamorous dream.
i wonder about what she wore (or didn’t)!
the pretty powder boxes that every chic femme fatale had.
her dressing table and what the bottles held. was her life so different from ours?
the way she traveled
and where she went
how she decorated
and what she read
whose call she waited for
the letters she wrote
and who she loved
and what made her happy?
and how did she end up in my hand?
well that’s enough dreaming for tonight. it’s such a gift that the people of france preserve so much living history. i’ll never get over the markets and every single time i go it’s both fresh and old. can’t wait to do it again tomorrow, we’re shopping the dealer day at clignancourt. et alors, ic’est midnuit. have a bon nuit and sweet dreams!
hi gang, how was your holiday? i hope it was really long and lazy!
between naps i started unwrapping my stash from last month’s trip to nice.
it wasn’t till the last day that i picked up a few things for myself. (actually to sell but i can love them for awhile :)
i’m an ephemera-nut…i have a feeling you are too? the menus, the cards, the love notes…i swooned!
i thought this one would make a pretty business card
super fun stuff at the fleas
and don’t get me going on the textiles!
ok i give in! there were incredible vintage fabrics (quilts, spreads, unused, patched) but as my guy says, you can’t buy it all…then again, there’s that container i’ve been dreaming of, and i’m having another OKL sale in november…
i can’t describe the gorgeousness of the linens. every one is a work of art. not to mention the preservation techniques and impeccable laundering.
i had to get this little tray when the woman told me it was used to carry in the mail.
i fell for these chairs, i love their curly whimsy!
i did manage to nab these pink shades that were still in their original 30s wrapping paper
and this black lacquer tray, made in occupied japan
i got this for you, dad!
there was an infinite variety of les coiffeuses
this one packed right up and rolled out!
furniture, doors, hutches
accessories, electronics, phones, vintage clothes
…and the books
i think i fell hardest for the books. these were all piled up and dirty but so pretty together. they’re all from the 1800s and seemed to have been a collection for a very long time. turns out two of them are a set, with hand painted hot pink covers, what’s left of them. but the insides are perfectly preserved. some are stamped and inked. all are magnificent!
i had to tie them with a satin ribbon right away.
liz finally made me put them away
anyway it’s so the little things isn’t it? well i better get going. i could go on and on obviously! but for your notes, if you go to the region (by the by i’m heading back in august and september so if anyone is over and wants to rendezvous, let me know)! if you do go my advice would be to hit the first magazine shop and look at the brocante and antique magazines like aladin. check the local paper for brocantes, vide greniers and special markets.
and for those who aren’t going away, i hope you don’t feel like you can’t find anything here in the states. i was out last week and found this oil painting from vienna in a collective (among many other things)! there’s incredible stuff all over in the u.s., in every town, so don’t give up on yours and vow to find that one fab thing. hit your local consignment, thrift, collectives and antique stores even if you think they’re really grungy or way chi chi. ok better get back to it, have a great night!