I spy with my little eye... cha cha cha Chantelle.

When it comes to lingerie, I am very picky. So picky I actually can't remember buying a single piece of lace in Dubai in 3 years. The only underwear I can handle in the UAE is the everyday Marks and Spencer bras, I realise how sad that sounds coming from a Parisian, but this is the blunt truth. I refuse to wear cheap lace and I have declared war to ugly big flowers, therefore I am still on the hunt for high waisted panties and art deco lace, but I haven't given up yet. Hence my surprise when Chantelle sent me their new catalogue: there is some good stuff in here!

So let me show you my favourite piece!

Starting with Mouvance. Love the Art Deco vibe with the suggested shells, and the subtle grey.

In the same vibe, I liked the Vendome ensemble which made me think of burlesque 1920's performers with these big stars and golden touch. I paired it with the book I'm currently reading, and my beloved Kate Spade lipstick!

In a less retro theme and more of an everyday baroque style, this Palazzo burgundy ensemble caught my eye. For some reason I like triangle shapes, and small patterns, this model manages to be both simple and a sultry at the same time.

Finally, our cheetah Lino had a crush on the Graphic bra, looks like he has simple taste when it comes to lingerie!

I spy with my little eye... Good Magazine's blogger of the month!

Guess who's Good Magazine's blogger of the month?

I spy with my little eye... Roland Mouret for Banana Republic.

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to be part of a bloggers photoshoot for the Roland Mouret for Banana Republic collection. We're talking of a French designer, and a fun afternoon with my lovely fellow Dubai bloggers, of course I said Oui!

So on a Saturday afternoon, we met at Chinawhite for some shooting and laughing. I absolutely love these projects since you get to see how each blogger adapts the same collection to her own style. Dubai does not have a distinctive identity yet, it is still (and I hope it will stay) a Babel Tower of trends, cultures and languages, resulting in a wide range of styles, and I like the idea of a fashion safari!

So let me introduce my partners in crime, from left to right:
Dee from streetstylesavvy.com
Tina from tinayums.com
Stephanie from mademoiselleadubai.com
and Natasha from redlipsandlace.wordpress.com

I will admit I felt a bit shy when I discovered the collection. My outfits are usually pretty flimsy, the only feature highlighted being the waist, so I am definitively not used to bodycon dresses which is what Roland Mouret went for. It took me a while not to feel naked in this navy blue dress, despite the fact that it was very covering and classic, it was simply out of my comfort zone. So to balance that, I paired the dress with my favourite vintage accessories: a vintage hat, doctor's bag, red Louboutins and my red lipstick!

I hope you like what we did with this collection? Oh and there is a video (yes, you are used to reading us, but we do talk too)!

I spy with my little eye... Dubai sun, Friend and Foe.

As you probably noticed if you follow me on instagram or twitter, I am back in Dubai! And back on my usual bipolar relationship with the sun: I can't live without the light and warmth, but I also like the idea of not looking like a overripe peach at age 40, and I always find that pale skin tone works better with red lipstick, call me Snow White.
The answer to this universal dilemna as Baz Luhrmann puts it, is sunscreen. And I was lucky enough that it came with my August Glambox: two 100 spf Bioderma testers that are fantastic. Non greasy, transparent, easy to apply and with maximum protection. Like this 1956 french sun lotion ad mentions it, after Coco Chanel started the sun-kissed trend in 1920 (after she got sun burnt on the french Riviera, true story), it is important to hydrate your skin as well as protect it while sunbathing. And one more thing I can confirm after years in the desert: the spf degree has nothing to do with how much you will tan, just how much you will burn. Wear sunscreen!

And for more information about Glambox, check their website www.glambox.me

I spy with my little eye... la Dolce Vita in the South of France.

Last post about our holidays in France: after the wedding in Normandie, we drove (let me rephrase that: the Gentleman drove and I tried to tame the GPS) for 10 hours to reach Albi in the South, where we have a family house. Life in Albi in pretty simple: pool, wineries, beautiful middle age city, rides through the countryside, lots of flea markets and cheese. 

Lil'bro was there as well, smoking, playing the piano and discussing the future of our world instead of writing his thesis. It doesn't get any more french than that to be honest... "Easy, I'm enjoying, smoking my glass of wine".

The one reason I miss France is for all of the vintage markets. If I hadn't refrained myself, I would have bought enough stuff to furnish a whole mansion.

Hats make me happy!

 1940's skin treatment, anyone tempted?

 Look at that wooden horse!

Posters, chairs, you name it, they have it!

I was very very close to buying this Art Deco "coiffeuse" (make up table).

Eventually we did something else than shopping and eating (it was difficult though). We visited beautiful Cordes sur Ciel. It's difficult to believe that people actually live in that doll little village in the middle of the sky (as stated in the name of the village itself).

I absolutely wanted to visit a little thriftshop just outside of Albi. Last year I had discovered the place and the guy owning it by chance and the space was so incredible I didn't want to miss it! Au Chien Vert has no website, no facebook page, no twitter, it's owner sometimes even forgets to put out the sign on the road to indicate that he is open (which is exactly what happened to us: I literally had to go knock on the door to find him working on a 1970's car "oh yeah, I forgot to put the sign"), it's like he doesn't want you to find him. But once you do, it is a whirlwind of vintage! His warehouse is absolutely packed with stuff (there is no other way to describe it) he collected from deceased people or bought at auctions.

After that overdose of vintage which I really really needed, we obviously headed back to the sandpit, full of inspiration and new finds! 

I spy with my little eye... a rainy wedding in Normandie.

After a busy week in Paris, we headed to Normandie to marry off D. and S. I've known D. for 15 years, and I clearly remember the first time he told me about this girl he had met at uni and how he couldn't figure out whether or not he had his chances with her. It was the time of our sleepless nights, 6am walks in the countryside, stopping at the bakery for some warm croissants, and breakfasts on the beach, before going to bed at 8am, only to do it all over again the day after... All these memories were witnessed and allowed by C's mother who used to host us, and very kindly offered for us to stay at hers for the wedding. Oh how I love these beds under the roof of that little house in Blonville-sur-Mer. Thank you T. for allowing us to wake you up in the middle of the night, once more. I promise we really try to be quiet every time!

According to Normandie's  tradition, we arrived under a rainy sky. In France we have a saying that can be understood in 2 different ways: "the later you get married, the merrier", or "the rainier the wedding, the merrier". Surprisingly, the 2nd version is the most popular.That being said, Normandie is such a pretty region, it's easy to forget the rain. How cute is this townhall (that conveniently is a cinema too, see the sign on the right hand)?

The funny thing about Normandie is that, a little bit like England, you can have the 4 seasons in a day. Luckily for us, the evening was as sunny as the afternoon had been rainy! So we discovered the Champs Delaunay under a perfect light! The bride and groom had put a lot of effort in the decoration. It was gorgeous.

After the ecumenical ceremony, we all enjoyed the garden and champagne, perfect opportunity to catch up!
As you can see, the flamingos on my Alice + Olivia skirt were very happy to run free.

Happy Shiny people.

And then the dinner... I must admit, I had never eaten that well at a wedding, so a big Merci to D. and S. for organising such a beautiful day. And a big thank you to T. for hosting us. There are no pictures of the evening for the simple reason that we had to leave fast after dinner for a 10h drive the day after, all the way to Albi, in the South of France, stay tuned!

I spy with my little eye... Paris flea market.

When looking for vintage in Paris, you can just wander the streets of the Marais, look for "brocantes", auction houses, or go to the flea markets. There are two of these, one in the South (les puces de Vanves), and one in the North (les puces de Saint Ouen). I personally like the South more because it is more of a market, rather than established shops, and I feel like I can bargain more. But since you never know what and who you are going to find in the South and I really needed a big dose of vintage, it was easier to go North this year.

The Clignancourt flea market is like a little village with different markets. Each one is supposed to have their specialty but I never really got it. For me they are all the same, the only difference I could see is that at some markets, the sellers are nicer than others. I like the Serpette market because it is a maze of mess. I like antics messes, I like the idea that the next treasure is round the corner. And you will really find everything in here: furniture, garments, watches, art, toys, jewellery, china, designer pieces (Chanel, Dior, De La Renta, Hermes, Vuitton...) etc...

I will admit I never found any piece of clothing nor hat. One reason is that I never really tried, the other one is that vendors are not so inviting. They could work on being warmer and more welcoming instead of asking you not to touch the pieces nor take photos, I mean, what's the worst that could happen? You would copy a garment? They are a hundred years old so it's not like it hasn't been done before. 

The Gentleman got a little "silver stamping" lesson.

Very inviting shop, very uninviting prices. I was allowed to take a picture "only because you were nice enough to ask".

After a busy day of walking and unsuccessful thrifting, we met with lil'sis' for a well deserved steak at the very famous Bouillon Chartier. Created in 1896, this canteen is a parisian legend: a simple menu, decent food (don't expect 3 Michelin stars), very effective waiters, very low prices, and a decor that hasn't changed for 100 years. The initial concept was to win customers loyalty with cheap prices. The regulars would even have a tiny mailbox with a key to keep their napkin there.

Lately, it has become lil'sis'headquater but it was a first for me. I found and staff charming, and very effective, the place is full of its legend. Foodwise, the wine was good, the steak was decent but again, don't expect a gastronomical evening and don't expect to spend your evening there, within 45 minutes, we were done and out! It was quick and effective but it was worth it, I loved the retro feel!

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