Friday, January 29, 2010

Paris Menswear Snaps

Half the excitement of fashion week is the people watching. I really need to get a more professional camera if I want to do street shots. Hopefully next time.

So here are a few stealth shots.  I couldn't resist taking one of Kanye and his crew. And look how tall that one camera guy is behind them. And I love the postures of the people in this front row shot. Texting, taking photos, smiling across the runway. I did ask this guy at Walter van Beirdonck show. Funny the "Urban Trekkers" outdoorsy trend on fashionistas in the middle of the city.  But it's a trend that will come naturally to Canadians!

And nothing says menswear like a traditional French atelier. This one is in Le Marais along with many great galleries and studios to peak into.

Kris Van Assche A/W 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Les Caves Populaires, Rue des Dammes, Paris

I can't get enough  of the Parisian cafe culture. This photo is my breakfast at Les Caves Populaires, a cafe/bar just down from my hotel. Fresh squeezed juice, no-frills industrial interior, and the choice of a big coffee or small, juice, baguette/ croissant with jam. I sat there all morning using the free internet.

I just love how even the younger crowd (younger than me which I have come to realize isn't necessarily that young) sits around chatting over red wine and a cheese and a meat platter, stopping only for smoke breaks - all afternoon. They finish with espresso of course. They are just so civilized. I love them.

Walter Van Beirendonck Autumn / Winter 2010, Paris

Walter Van Beirendonck Autumn/Winter 2010

Huge headphones, bubbly pouches spelling out words like ‘Fly’, and brightly coloured overalls made for a Japanese comic strip meets futuristic skateboarder look. The ladies “rode” theatrical animals attached to their bubbled dresses and 3D guns and spaceships jutted from the boys’ trousers. The movement of the animal’s heads bobbing up and down added dynamic live element to the show that wouldn’t have translated in photographs. With a growing number of designers showing their collection through videos, this type of movement in the collection might be something for designers to think about.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

El Dorado to Louis Vuitton

Hotel El Dorado in Paris is in the seedy entertainment district and it’s a low budget hidden gem. Colourful, eclectic and bohemian with a great little bistro attached for late night drinks or breaky.

I turned up to my first Parisian fashion catwalk experience much less chic than I expected. No shower, sleep or real food…but the messy hair, thrown together look is very French. Right?

So “Bleisure” (coined by Jacob at The Future Laboratory a year ago) a mix of business and leisure was quoted as Mark Jacobs inspiration for the show. I am so excited. MJ achieved the bleisure look seamlessly for Autumn/ Winter 2010. So well that it feels natural. Yes, men should totally wear stylish sweatpants to the office.

So back to the show. The impressionist painting prints on the LV bag were new.  I'm sensing an intellectual/ philosopher /poetry revival so the reference to classic painting was perfect. Oh and there was a classical music soundtrack. Bottega Venetta (photo left via had a few looks that worked for this trend...baggy cord trousers with turtlenecks. Philosophers don’t change their clothes very often. They have more important things on their minds. Oh the frivolity of fashion.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A la mode at Grub, Vancouver

Grub on Main is a lot more than just grub. The citrus salsa, fresh scallops in a pestoey perfect risotto beside the daily catch blew my socks off. The long narrow spot with the daily blackboard menu served outstanding food - even for Vancouver diners' high standards.

In London I was paying the equivalent to $20 for a small meal of sub-par sushi to get my fix. And I certainly struggled to find a large fruit and protein dressed salad when 'salad' often refers to one piece of lettuce and tomato.
I'm curious what the reactions to hospitality industry will be during the big O. (Vancouver Olympics)

Amazing food, cheap, and over the TOP service. I'm from here and I was startled when the smiley, friendly, busty, doe-eyed, straightened-hair waitress served us. Then I looked around and was overwhelmed. The spot for my diner date was Joey's off Robson. All the waitresses dressed snugly in black were overly attentive and wanted to know how my wine was. I'm a girl...a hetero girl..and it perked me up.

But once I was in a deep conversation with my date, ie Maggie, I kept wondering when our server would stop making small talk with us. The wait staff is a big part of the dining experience out here. That seems obvious, but in Europe, or for sure in London, restaurants seemed to try to make the meal go smoothly while being as unnoticeable as possible. No banter anywhere. Charity and I scared many a bus boys by making jokes with them.

So, I am thrilled to be back in Vancouver for dinner. And I think we are going to have some very happy campers at dining tables in February.

Oh top off our meal at Grub we had a real granny’s pear pie... à la mode of course. And there is my blog name. Conveniently I'll be writing about fashion here as well. Paris next week...Autumn/Winter 2010 men's sera incroyable! I'm also trying to improve my French. So will be inappropriately throwing in French bits here and there.