Isabel Marant for H&M

13 Jun

In case you didn’t hear, Parisian designer Isabel Marant is partnering up with H&M to release a Isabel Marant for H&M collection in November:

 

Photo: Alessandro Lucioni

Photo: Alessandro Lucioni

Not familiar with Isabel Marant? Take a peek at her Fall 2013 collection available on New York Magazine‘s The Cut.

Festival de Cannes 2013: Days 1-6

21 May

As you may know, the Cannes Film Festival 2013 started last Wednesday and is running until Sunday May 26th. There have been a lot of films to be talked about (The Great Gatsby, The Bling Ring, Young and Beautiful, etc.) and plenty of red carpet looks to love. Here are some looks from Cannes Day 1 until present that I fell in love with:

If you want to learn more about the films shown at the Festival or more behind-the-scenes information, be sure to check out the Festival de Cannes website.

Karl Lagerfeld Short Film Features Keira Knightley as Coco Chanel

2 May

On Wednesday, May 8th, Karl Lagerfeld’s short film “Once Upon a Time…” will debut at a Chanel Singapore Cruise and on Chanel’s website.

Here’s the film’s trailer:

 

To learn more about Lagerfeld’s short film, read this article on Fashionista.

French Professor Rethinks the Bra

13 Apr

Harvey Morris of The International Herald Tribune wrote a blog post Thursday about a study that may reveal medical evidence that the bra does not provide veritable health benefits. The post–France Debates the Merits of the Bra–names Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon of the University of Besançon as the man behind the research. So far, Rouillon has studied 330 women–ages 18-35–and concludes breasts gain no benefit from a bra “medically, physiologically and anatomically.”

Morris reports that the French press and the social media community have been poking fun at Rouillon’s research (it takes 15 years to examine 300 young women?). Moreover, Rouillon’s claims may revive the touchy “social dimension” of the bra–what will the feminist response be to this research?

Victoria's Secret Store 9, 722 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022, USA - Dec 2012

How would Victoria’s Secret respond to a claim that denounces the bra as an unnecessary garment?

Je ne sais pas. I don’t know what to make of this study. I believe there are several pitfalls to this research. I don’t think every woman can go bra-less–every body is different.

Rouillon himself admitted his research is far from conclusive and final in an article from The Local website:

“These are preliminary results,” Dr. Rouillon said. “The small sample of 320 young women is not representative of the entire population – that would require something like 300,000 subjects.”

Ultimately, however, he feels his work is not complete, since the findings are not definitive.

“We will simply have to recruit a larger sample of the female population, and conduct further research,” Rouillon added.

Until reliable research shows that wearing a bra is a danger to women’s health, I know I’ll keep wearing my soutien-gorge.

If you want to learn more about the history of the bra, I found this YouTube video about its origins and how its changed from the 1920s to present:

NYC Trip: The Met and Macaron Cafe

8 Apr

On Saturday, I spent the day in New York City on a university field trip.

The trip was for a course on the Harlem Renaissance. The group visited an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (African Art, New York, and the Avant-Garde) and went on a walking tour of Harlem to see historical landmarks from the Harlem Renaissance.

As much as I enjoyed learning about the Harlem Renaissance, my main prerogatives for the trip were visiting the Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity exhibit at the Met and, of course, getting a box of macarons. The “Impressionism” exhibit was beautiful and impressive–I only wish I had more time to look at all of the paintings and artifacts more closely.

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Photos were not allowed to be taken at the “Impressionism” exhibit–this was taken in the Greek/Roman sculpture hall

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The Apollo Theater in Harlem

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Harlem Shake graffiti…in Harlem

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Most American women want the blue box from Tiffany’s–I want the red box from Cartier

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Argosy’s basement: wall-to-wall books

For the macarons, I originally had planned to go to Ladurée on 864 Madison Avenue, but my friends wanted to check out Argosy bookstore on 59th and the bus was arranged to pick up the group on 54th. My disappointment wore off quickly when we passed Macaron Café on 59th heading towards the bookstore. Needless to say, I quickly browsed through Argosy and went straight to Macaron Café for a cup of tea and eight bites of heaven.

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The Flavors (Les Saveurs): Honey Lavender, Mocha, Lemon, Matcha Green Tea, Dark Chocolate, Vanilla, and White Chocolate Peppermint (not shown–je l’ai mangé avant le photo)

Questions/Réponses with Mme Lawber

4 Apr

Since I have not yet been to France–and Macaron Hoarder is a francophile blog–it makes sense to seek out someone who has been to the country and learn about their experience.

I have spoken to several people so far and every person has a different story to tell. I hope to post all of the Questions et Réponses (Q&R/ aka Q&A) interviews over time.

Today’s Q&A features my French professor Dr. Katharine Lawber of Salve Regina University in Newport, RI. In addition to teaching French, Dr. Lawber helps coordinate the Newport French Film Festival and raises awareness of French culture among university students. Here’s what she had to say about studying in Paris as a student, visiting different regions in France, and le joie de vivre:

Media Credit: donteversaygoodbye.tumblr.com/

Media Credit: donteversaygoodbye.tumblr.com/

Q: What inspired you to study French? 

R: I actually started college as a Math major, but I liked a lot of different subjects, really.  I had some great courses and professors in French, thinking that this would be the end–just what I needed to fulfill the language requirement–but after a couple of semesters, I was hooked!

Q: How long have you been visiting France? What changes have you seen since you first came to France versus now?

R: I spent my junior year in college in Paris living with a family and studying at the Sorbonne, and I’ve been returning regularly ever since.  The changes in technology are similar to what they are here.  There have also been a lot of changes on a cultural level as the dynamics of the average family have changed and evolved…more women in the work force and so fewer at home on a daily basis; the divorce rate is higher, so there are more blended families, that sort of thing.

Q: What regions/cities have you visited? Are there cities you have not yet visited but would like to in the future?

R: I have visited most of the country’s different regions.  As I mentioned earlier, I spent a year studying in Paris and then returned to spend a second year as a graduate student at the Université de Nice.  I have spent the least amount of time in the southwest region, so I would like to spend more time there at some point.

Q: When you visit Paris, what are your favorite places to visit? (Museum/Monument/Restaurant/Shop/etc.)

R: Paris is truly like a second home for me; I love being there, and although we always try to find something new, we always gravitate toward our favorite spots…the gardens at the Palais Royal; the Marais district and the Place des Vosges;  the tiny Ile Saint Louis tucked behind Notre Dame; the Saint Germain des Pres neighborhood, where I spent five wonderful summers in a little apartment not too far from the Seine; Montparnasse with its wonderful cafes; the Cluny Museum; the Jardin des Plantes; and the Pont des Arts, of course, where my husband proposed!  There are lots of favorite restaurants, too.  We love Chez Cecile (great food and a live jazz band on Thursday nights; the Coupe Choux in the Latin Quarter; l’Heure Gourmande just off the rue Dauphine in the 5th…to name just a few.

Q: There are plenty of differences between French and American cultures, but what do you think makes the French culture special?

A: Their indefatigable JOIE DE VIVRE!

Q: What is your favorite French pastry?

A: It is way too hard to narrow it down to ONE!  But I love mille-feuilles, religieuses (a big, gooey cream puff), Paris-Brest, and anything with chantilly (French whipped cream)!

Hermes, Gay Marriage Protests, and a Super Suit: Paris in the News

25 Mar

One of my favorite things about Sunday (le dimanche) is that it’s the one day I really sit down and read the news. Mon père has subscribed to the New York Times for as long as I can remember. Needless to say, my favorite sections of the New York Times are the Styles sections published on Thursdays and Sundays.

This Sunday, the “Travel Spring” T Styles Magazine came in the Sunday paper. There’s a cool article–The Californication of Biarritz–that talks about how Biarritz is the new, hip place to be as St. Tropez is becoming too “bling-bling”.

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After France, the next place I want to go is California. Any other person would aim to go to California first–no need for a passport, visa, language courses, or currency change–but France is my priority. Maybe I can kill two birds with one stone and just head to Biarritz, if it’s really considered “the California of France”…

Here are some other French culture and news articles to read, if you haven’t read them already:

Protesters Clash with Police at Last-Ditch Demonstration Against French Gay Marriage Law (Washington Post)

Hermès Reports Record Profitability as Revenue Surges in Asia (Bloomberg) via Business of Fashion

Dress Like the French: A Guide to Vintage Shopping in Paris (Conde Nast Traveler)

French Fashion Firm Makes Suit to Block Electromagnetic Waves (AFP Relax News) via Times Live

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