I took the train this morning from Brussels to Paris, a short ride of just over an hour, and made my way to Hotel D’Aubusson, a charming spot on rue Dauphine. My room was ready for me in spite of arriving well before noon, so I dropped my things quickly and headed down the block to my favorite place for leather handbags, Max (45 rue Dauphine). Here the quality is great, the colors and combinations are fabulous and the styling is superb. Did I mention that the bags are made in Paris?
My friend Irene was with me the last time I bought at Max. She told me that she had later found my favorite brand from that shop (Frederic) in a store in New York at more than double the price. I have included that information in case my husband is reading today’s blog post. I should also mention that I bought only one purse today (a dark Plum, smooth leather shoulder bag with one outside zipper.
Off to Galeries Lafayette! I perused apparel first and had a few thoughts that dovetailed with what I had seen in Belgium.
1. Denim is coming back fast. Items range from ponchos to puffy coats to longer, hourglass shaped jackets (there was hardly a straight-bottom, Western style to be seen) in both dark and Black denim. Skirts are showing up on mannequins far more than jeans. Denim has not been a big trend for home in many seasons…maybe it’s time to consider it again.
2. Menswear wools are accenting delicate apparel fabrics. Pocket flaps, lapels or the inside of pleats on ladies’ jackets and skirts all provided possibilities for masculine and feminine counter-play.
3. Embellishments on clothing, paired with pattern play, printing and piecing, are bringing the decorative of mood of ready-to-wear to something near chaos.
4. Metal zippers showed up on flat shoes for women. The scale is large, which is certainly directional for other embellishments like studs, jewels, metal chain.
5. Knitted winter scarves appear more complicated than ever, with multiple types of yarns, different stitches and flat/eyelash contrast. I couldn’t help but think about how interesting some of the same techniques would be if applied to knitted throws.
6. Iridescent silk is popping up here and there—but too much to ignore.
7. Gray is everywhere.
8. Teal or Peacock Blue is a well-developed apparel story.
I just had to check out the pet products. I was especially taken with the expandable pack-pack carrier with a telescoping, luggage inspired handle. My 24.3 pound Bichon Frise, Winston, would even fit into this. A bed with a metal rod frame, shaped like a bone, was another favorite. Here are a few pictures from their pet assortment.