Tag Archive for 'insiders guide paris'

celebrating black friday in paris

In a very short time, all across the U.S., family and friends will gather together to celebrate that most reverent American holiday- Black Friday. Since Thanksgiving doesn’t exist in France, that means that technically Black Friday doesn’t exist in France either. But if you happen to be in Paris over the Thanksgiving week-end, why not create your own tradition and celebrate Black Friday comme les parisiennes.

Start the evening by inviting your friends around for an all-black apéro: Try your hand at home-made foie gras and truffle “lollipops”, served with a refreshing black cocktail, like Eristoff’s Black Up. Or maybe something sweeter like black licorice macarons from Ladurée with cold flutes of sparkling Piper-Heidsieck Black Cancan by Jean Paul Gaultier.

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Next, slap on a fresh coat of YSL Pur Couture Noir and head on over to Dans Le Noir? for dinner. Sure, it’s been around for a while, with locations now open in London, Barcelona and New York, but what better way to spend Black Friday than at the original pitch-black dining experience?   Top the night off  at BC Black Calvados, the branché black and chrome nightclub that’s been a Paris standard since the 1950’s. Not exactly a Paris bargain, but I bet you’ll spend less there than you would’ve at Macy’s Black Friday Sale!

Dans le Noir?
51, rue de Quicampoix 75004

BC Black Calvados
40, rue Pierre 1er de Serbie 75008

change is good

French wedding style expert kim petyt

After nearly 10 years of planning weddings and events in Paris, I’ve decided to set aside my (fabulous!) wedding planning hat and take an extended hiatus from parisian events.

My idea to create an agency to service English-speakers in love with the romance and style of Paris was born out of necessity- In 2001, I planned my own wedding in France, long-distance from San Francisco and without being able to speak French. Since wedding planners didn’t really exist in France at the time, when my husband and I moved to France soon after, I decided to tap into my experience in corporate and social event planning and create parisian events. The idea was to help other romantic, Anglophone Paris-lovers like myself to create their dream celebration in the “City of Love”, and I’m extremely humbled to say that the idea took off like wildfire! Over the years I’ve had the opportunity and honor to work with some AMAZING vendors and some absolutely wonderful clients, many of whom have since become dear friends. I’d like to thank all of you for inviting me into your lives, and for helping me to make parisian events the success that it has become.

I’ve decided now to focus my energies more on sharing what I’ve learned over the years with others, on both the creative side and the business side. Writing my book, The Paris Wedding, has given me a great opportunity to share my expertise on French- and Parisian-style weddings with the American market.  I’ve been very lucky in that Paris is becoming one of the hottest European destination wedding locations for American couples. With this comes more American vendors looking to tap into this growing market. This past year, I’ve been lucky to have been asked to speak with entrepreneurs about the cultural aspects of the business, and am continuing to build on that with a roster of future speaking engagements and other information-sharing opportunities.

My heart still belongs to Paris and weddings, of course, so please continue to follow me on my book site, facebook, twitter, pinterest and my curated newsletter, J’ai Deux Amours” . I also continue to write for lifestyle blogs like “The Daily Basics” and my own Parisian Party, and am always open to speaking or writing opportunities about French wedding or social entertaining styles, the cross-cultural entrepreneurial experience, or the destination wedding industry in general.

Thank you again for your years of support.

vintage jewelry in paris: au grenier de lucie in the paris flea market

Ivintage Paris wedding jewelrynspired by the recent 1920’s Great Gatsby style wedding trend, as well as all of the other Parisian Art Deco loveliness that seems to be circulating around, I felt compelled to pay a little visit to one of my favorite boutiques in les puces (the Saint Ouen Flea Market of Paris), Au Grenier de Lucie. Opened in 1987 by Franco-British couple Lucie Ellis and Alain Dufour, Au Grenier de Lucie in the Marché Aux Puces in Paris has been on the “must see” lists for vintage jewelry lovers from around the globe for nearly a quarter of a century. Since her retirement in 2005, Lucie’s son and daughter-in-law, Jason and Heidi Ellis, have continued her passion for vintage fashion, growing the business so much that in 2009 they moved into a larger space in the Puces, at the Marché Vernaison.

Au Grenier de Lucie offers a whole range of costume jewelry dating from the 1920s to the present. Their jewelry is sourced worldwide and includes pieces from French designers such as Chanel, Yves St. Laurent, Lanvin, Lacroix and American classics like Miriam Haskell and Joseff of Hollywood.  During Paris Fashion Week, their sweet little shop is bursting at the seams with fashion editors from Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar—all looking for that unique piece. They pride themselves on the fact that they can guarantee a special something for everyone, even a princess. They also carry a range of rare nineteenth-century crowns that they’ve collected from churches around France.

Heidi and Jason took me exploring through their precious treasure-trove, and spoke to me about what Parisian women are on the hunt for when looking for vintage bijoux fantasie (costume jewelry).

heidi ellis: The typical French client always knows what she’s looking for and what suits her best. She’s not driven by designer names but by her desire to “get it right.” Many Parisian women opt for the classic pearls and simple designs. As regard to French designers, they appear to be particularly drawn towards Christian Dior 1960’s pieces. However the younger Parisian girls love Balenciaga and Lanvin. The Parisian women also opt for Miriam Haskell 1940’s to 50’s pieces, as they do Bijoux Heart one-of-a-kind pieces. Chanel has long been a favorite for all women everywhere, of course, and her stunning pieces are always sought after. Other highly regarded designers include Yves St. Laurent and more recently Christian Lacroix. However, for some it is not about the designer but about which piece draws them in, lights up their faces and makes them feel special when wearing it.

parisian party: Paris is known for being the “center of the universe” when it comes to the Art Deco movement in design and style. What ways can vintage jewelry be incorporated into a French wedding look, in particular, if a couple wants to play up Paris during “les annees folles”?

heidi ellis: Many a bride has found her treasure in Au Grenier de Lucie. As jewelry is timeless, any of the pieces can be incorporated into a wedding look. Some girls love the pieces from the 30s and 40s, whereas others opt for contemporary designs that use vintage components. The key to success is finding that piece that adds the finishing touch. Some of the key jewelry designers from the Art Deco era were Chanel, Miriam Haskell and Elsa Schiaparelli. All three designers were committed to fashion and were rivals in their day. The 20s and 30s are so nostalgic and it is easy to understand why weddings depicting this era are so popular today. Finding pieces by these three designers from this era are rare. However, we do come across them from time to time, and they find their way into many ladies’ treasure-troves.

parisian party: Vintage designer jewelry pieces can often carry a pretty big price tag. You also sell certain lines in your shop that are new pieces made from repurposed, high-end costume jewelry. This can sometimes offer an alternative for brides on a budget. Can you tell me a bit about some of these newer designers, and what was it about them that attracted you to carry them in your shop alongside the classics?

heidi ellis: Bijoux Heart is a favorite of ours. They create the most beautiful, unique modern pieces made of vintage stones and modern crystals. Their designs and colors are exquisite, and the craftsmanship is truly remarkable, as Tracy Graham and her partner Robbie are so committed and passionate about their work. We’re delighted to be the only boutique in France offering their line of jewelry. We also like to encourage young Parisian designers such as Kormilitz, who uses vintage components in her designs as well. It was wonderful to see her excitement when we agreed to become her first point of sale in Paris. We feel it’s so important to support new, aspiring, young designers.  For us, it’s essential to house a range of designs to cater for all tastes. We have one rule: If it is beautiful, then we have a place for it in our boutique!

au grenier de lucie
Marché Vernaison, Allée 1 stand 25, 99, rue de rosiers, Saint-Ouen

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