indie elegance

When it comes to French fashion, Paris tends to overwhelm with endless designer boutiques lining the streets, particularly in the Marais. The question is, how NOT to look like all the mannequins peering out the windows, enticing you to fall in love with the latest trend. Not to mention the women parading around the city, an ever changing fashion show. Thus, when I discover an independent designer that suits my (classic with a twist) fashion sensibility, I become a loyal follower.

One such designer I met by chance, as she happens to be my manufacturer’s wife. On first glance of her ‘elegant yet casually chic with just a touch of masculine’ ready-to-wear collections, I was smitten.

Suppan is unique not only in it’s Indo-Austrian roots but in it’s philosophy.

Our approach is to reconsider production standards. We build our collections through a humanistic point of view, starting from the conception up to the manufacturing process and propose a selection of timeless and handmade items in a limited edition, entirely crafted in Paris. We try to distance ourselves and our creative process from cultural and social conditioning and conformity and propose a bare aesthetic, contrasting with fine materials, refined treatments and handcrafted finishing details.

Yes, it’s all about quality and details.

This weekend join us in Paris for a VENTE PRIVÉE, as we showcase our limited edition pieces, womenswear by Suppan and handbags by Kasia Dietz. Many of my new handbags will be featured!

VENDREDI 30 + SAMEDI 31 MARS : 11 H À 20 H

DIMANCHE 1 AVRIL : 10 H À 17 H

9, RUE TAYLOR 10ÈME

{not just} another day

Little did I know that March 20th would forever remain a day to remember. Not merely because it’s Macaron Day, though this would certainly be reason enough to celebrate. Today marks 3 years since the dinner that started it all, after the meeting just days prior. To celebrate, I spent a memorable Paris weekend with dear friends of almost 20 years, each living their own unique love story, one in Istanbul and one in London. (Last year’s girls’ weekend was in London… next year Istanbul?) As we dined our way through Paris, we reminisced about the journeys that created our multi-cultural lives, and how much of these lives we have experienced with one another. For all of this, as our chapters continue to be written and shared, and winter turns to spring… I am grateful.

Now time to indulge in a few free macarons… I am in Paris after all!

 

The Dream Life of Suzanne Flenard

Moving to a foreign country, as challenging as it is, can afford us the privilege of redefining ourselves by asking the question ‘Who am I and what do I really want to do?’, versus following a path that might not lead to fulfillment, which to us New Yorkers, often means climbing the corporate ladder.

Suzanne Flenard is one such savvy ex-New York gal I met along the expat way. She and her partner Jeremy decided to take a ‘break’ from the grind of life in NYC, having both lived there for over 15 years. Six months of a break has now turned into 3 years and they have never looked back. Paris very quickly became home. Might I add that home to them looks much like a boutique hotel in the Marais, très chic!

As a seasoned professional in the world of interiors, working with furniture companies such as Design Within Reach (one of my personal favorites), Suzanne always had the desire to create something of her own. It was over lunch one day with a mutual friend that we brainstormed ideas for her vision. Over the course of several months, Suzanne set her designing mind into motion. While her foodie partner was busy exploring the gourmet markets of Paris, Suzanne spent many an afternoon carousing Montmartre and the Sentier in search of just the right fabrics (an exercise I know well), not to mention the virtual world… I introduced her to my trusted manufacturer… she impressively designed her own website… et voilà! Square Modern came to life.

What exactly is Square Modern and why is it so unique and eco-friendly? In the words of Suzanne…

Square modern is a limited edition collection of pillows/cushions using reclaimed designer fabric remnants. The idea came about as an interest to introduce the European Community to “Mid-Century Modern” textile designs, in addition to other beautiful modern classics, popular in the United States. These designer fabrics are selected from some of the most exclusive textile manufacturers that exist today: Maharam, Kvadrat, Knoll and Kravet. Square Modern uses primarily reclaimed fabric remnants, often found in limited supply. Therefore, the collection is produced in limited quantity and will continuously change as interesting textiles become available. All cushions are produced in Paris.

I am very proud and excited for Suzanne, living her dream in Paris, a life she could not have foreseen in New York. I for one, possessing a passion for interior design, particularly mid-century modern, already have my eye on a few coussins…

Square Modern is based in Paris and available internationally. Join on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest limited edition pillows!

date with Jacques

Never trust anyone who doesn’t like chocolate. That’s my theory anyway, and so far some of my closest friends have proven to be fellow chocoholics. Dark, milk, white, now that is a question of personality. And yes, taste. I am very lucky to be living in the land of chocolate. What started in the liquid variety in the form of thick, indulgent chocolat chaud in the 17th century (often used medicinally which makes perfect sense to me) has since been refined into tasty bite-sized morsels made of praliné (my favorite) and almost any flavor imaginable. All of this I learned on last years tour du chocolat.

I am also lucky to be living within minutes of one of Paris’ most revered chocolatiers, Jacques Genin. Sweet expert David Lebovitz is a fan and friend, as is Sweet Freak Amy Thomas who describes her love affair with Jacques and his chocolate in her new book Paris, my Sweet. So I have chosen this luxurious space, filled with scents and visions to arouse the senses, as my ‘happy place’.

Hazelnut millefeuille… melts in your mouth.

Layer upon layer of light and dark chocolate… divine!

And the chocolates… Euphoria on a plate, whichever one you choose to indulge in.

Photos by my accomplice La Belle in France, and yes, we did taste all of the above. Guiltlessly.

Jacques Genin: 133 Rue de Turenne 75003 (exclusively available in Paris)

London calling

Last week London called. I answered. A quick two hour jaunt via the Eurostar, and there I was.

This city that has always felt like home. Perhaps it’s the dynamic energy felt amidst the international air, much like NYC and certainly something I miss living within the calm and frenchness of Paris. The trip was one of business, as I’m currently working on a new hand-printed London Collection of handbags (where better to conduct market research?), had several shops and showrooms to meet, and equally one of pleasure. Many friends to catch up, exchanging a bottle of red for a pint of cider.

Home became close to Baker Street with a dear friend, Regents Park just minutes away.

I could not avoid central London…

What clever advertising! (Love the classic London cabs, preferably black.)

A walk around Sloane Square and into the world of eggs & Saatchi…

On my last morning I was given a tour of the colorfully posh Primrose Hill.

A walk along the canal beneath London skies, to Camden…

And back again from one world into another.

My trip happily ended in London’s evolving East, Shoreditch.

London has also called Andi of Misadventures with Andi, who just took a gastronomic tour with Context Travel… who knew what a foodie city this was!