International Macaron Day

21 Mar

Joyeux Jour du MacaronHappy Macaron Day!

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March 20th commemorates the macaron, one of France’s beloved sweets available at pâtisseries. The day was created by Pierre Hermé, a well-established pastry chef and pastry company, who is famous for his macarons.

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In New York City, select bakeries gave out free macarons. I wish I was in the city to celebrate, but instead, I made it to a local French bakery in Middletown called The French Confection. I went there once and enjoyed an amazing croque madame sandwich, so I was eager to try their macarons. I sat down for tea and chose three of my favorite flavors: rose, lavender, and chocolate.

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At $1.50 per macaron, or $15.00 for a dozen, the prices are more gentle for a broke twentysomething budget. I never regret a visit to Ladurée, but at $20.00 for six macarons in a keepsake box is a little expensive.

I never knew that this delicieux celebration existed until I saw tweets and blog posts–a big thanks to Jen Balisi, because it was her Twitter link that made me aware of Jour du Macaron. Merci beaucoup!

French Film Festival in Newport, RI

18 Mar

Sunday night kicked off the 8th annual French Film Festival sponsored by Salve Regina University, L’ Alliance Francaise de Newport, and other local organizations in the Newport area. Over the next two weeks, from now until March 28th,  there will be screenings of French, Belge, and Quebecoise films. The films are recent–all of them have been released within the past three years.

The first screening, Monsieur Lazhar (2011), was held at the Jane Pickens Theater. The rest of the films will be shown in Bazarsky Lecture Hall in O’Hare Academic Center at Salve Regina University.

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In truth, as wonderful as the event was, I may have been the youngest in attendance

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It was a great film to watch–I would encourage anyone to see it. Even though the film was released two years ago, I think it’s a reflective meditation in a time of crisis. I don’t want to give anything away, but if you are curious to learn more about Monsieur Lazhar, here’s the trailer:

Saint Laurent Show Stirs Controversy at Paris Fashion Week

7 Mar

Saint Laurent’s Fall 2013 collection, shown Monday night during Paris Fashion Week , has received mixed reviews.

It is clear that creative director Hedi Slimane still faces hurdles against the fashion critics since arriving at the renowned French fashion house last March.

Charlotte Cowles of New York Magazine reports how  “critics don’t know what to make of it, particularly considering its departure from anything remotely resembling Yves Saint Laurent.” Cowles writes “no one seems to know what exactly Slimane was getting at besides a very expensive redux of nineties grunge, which a certain kind of girl will probably buy no matter how much it costs.”

Cathy Horyn of The New York Times made her opinion of Slimane’s work very clear last season–which is why she did not receive an invitation to the Saint Laurent’s show this season.

Horyn acknowledges the power of the Saint Laurent brand in her Paris Fashion Week review,but reasserts her opinion of Slimane’s collection: “Without the label attached to them, Mr. Slimane’s grunge dresses wouldn’t attract interest — because they’re not special. But a box of labels is worth a million.”

WWD.com gave a review of Saint Laurent in a similar vein: “Is playing a cutesy, disaffected-youth hand enough to propel the house of Saint Laurent into today’s luxury stratosphere – especially if the targeted air space is that in which Chanel and Dior reside?”

How to Shop Like a French Woman

7 Mar

Imagine you just got out of a dressing room at Zara. You have tried on a few things–let’s say a pair of pants and two blouses, one in white and one in blue.

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As you wait in line at the register, you decide to get the pants and the white blouse. You don’t really need the blue blouse.

…But once you’re about to check out, and the pants and the white blouse are already in the shopping bag, you notice a gold necklace hanging nearby the counter. It’s on sale.

You don’t really need another gold necklace, but in the end, you convince yourself that it would complement any outfit and add the perfect feminine touch to your jewelry collection.

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When it comes to clothes shopping, I have noticed that American women are notorious for making impulsive purchases and replacing worn out or dated clothing on a regular basis. After learning more about French culture from class and friends, the French take care in investing in long-lasting wardrobe staples.

Here are a few tips to keep your wardrobe stay simple, chic, and look effortlessly French:

1. Qualité vs. Quantité–The best way to build a good wardrobe is to buy well made garments. Sometimes this means hunting for certain brands or even taking a trip to a tailor (un tailleur), but having a wardrobe of key essentials to weather the seasons of trends and fads promises enduring style.

2. Don’t buy it just because it’s on sale–Spotting a discount or clearance sale never discourages a shopaholic, but it shouldn’t be the only reason that encourages you to make a purchase. Even if a sale item is $10, consider how well would it coordinate with your current wardrobe, whether or not it fits you, and if you would wear it often.

3. Be wary of trendy pieces–It is important to have signature statement pieces, but maybe an acid neon hi-lo dress is not a statement that you want to keep in style for a long time. Do you really want too many things that will be considered démodé next season?

4. Remember the little things–Use accessories as an opportunity to bring your wardrobe to the next level. Jewelry, scarves, and handbags add more personality and character that extends from your clothes.

Also consider choosing a signature scent: as Coco Chanel once said, “a woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” Make yours beautiful!

Kim & Kanye on L’Officiel Hommes and Other March 2013 Covers

26 Feb

Reading a magazine is a great way to learn about a country’s popular culture. Unfortunately, buying international issues can be expensive ($10.00 for French Vogue vs. $4.99 for American Vogue?). Thankfully, images of the magazine covers are only a click away. Here are some March 2013 issues en francais:

Cosmo France

Cosmopolitan France: Russian Model Zhanna Tikhobrazova

Glamour France

Glamour France: American Model Charlotte Free (IMG)

Vogue France

Vogue France: Finnish Model Suvi Kopenon (Next)

Marie Claire France

Marie Claire France: American Model Angela Lindvall (Women)

And last, but certainly not least…

Kim and Kanye

L’Officiel Hommes: Kim Kardashion and Kanye West

Qu’est-ce que c’est?!

One of Hollywood’s couples–christened KimYe by the tabloids–posed for the magazine’s March 4th cover. The expression on Kim’s face makes it clear that Kanye’s embrace is more than a bear hug…

A magazine cover like KimYe on L’Officiel Hommes would not rest comfortably on American newsstands. Remember Vanity Fair’s June 2008 issue featuring the underage Miley Cyrus? Parents across the nation were upset to see a young role model portrayed in a light that was too mature for her tween audience.

Given that Kim and Kanye are adults, and sensuality in art is quintessential to the French style, I was almost willing to give KimYe a pass for this pose, if it wasn’t for the fact that Kim is enceinte (pregnant)…

Bonjour!

26 Feb

Bienvenue à Macaron Hoarder~a blog dedicated to following the adventures of  a twentysomething Francophile (c’est moi) stuck in New England.

Je m’appelle Mia~an addict to all things deliciously and fabulously French, whether it be food (la cuisine), fashion ( la mode), or art (l’art).

I love going to French museum exhibits,  reading Flaubert, watching Chanel documentaries and eating  warm croissants in the morning.

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In case you haven’t noticed, I am also a professional <<Franglais>> speaker.

I am inspired by the French attitude of  BCBG: “Bon Chic, Bon Genre.” Or, in English, “Good Style, Good Class.”

My goals for Macaron Hoarder is to explore my curiosities and dalliances in French culture in the spirit of BCBG.

Join me on mes aventures and the search of the perfect macaron.

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Taking on the world one macaron at a time

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