Thursday, October 27, 2016

My Paris Dream by Kate Betts

My Paris Dream:
An Education in Style, Slang, and Seduction in the Great City on the Seine
by Kate Betts
narrated by the author

Find out more about this book and author:
Twitter @katebetts

Release date: 2015
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Genre: France, Memoir
Hardback: 256 pages
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
In the summer of 1982 I discovered Paris for the first time. I was on a high school graduation adventure with my boarding school roommate, Maria, and her sister Johanna.

A charming and insightful memoir about coming of age as a fashion journalist in 1980s Paris, by former Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar editor Kate Betts, the author of Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style

“You can always come back,” my mother said. “Just go.”

As a young woman, Kate Betts nursed a dream of striking out on her own in a faraway place and becoming a glamorous foreign correspondent. After college—and not without trepidation—she took off for Paris, renting a room in the apartment of a young BCBG (bon chic, bon genre) family and throwing herself into the local culture. She was determined to master French slang, style, and savoir faire, and to find a job that would give her a reason to stay.

After a series of dues-paying jobs that seemed only to reinforce her outsider status, Kate’s hard work and willingness to take on any assignment paid off: Her writing and intrepid forays into la France Profonde—true France—caught the eye of John Fairchild, the mercurial fashion arbiter and publisher of Women’s Wear Daily, the industry’s bible. Kate’s earliest assignments—investigating the mineral water preferred by high society, chasing after a costumed band of wild boar hunters through the forests of Brittany—were a rough apprenticeship, but she was rewarded for her efforts and was initiated into the elite ranks of Mr. Fairchild’s trusted few who sat beside him in the front row and at private previews in the ateliers of the gods of French fashion. From a woozy yet mesmerizing Yves Saint Laurent and the mischievous and commanding Karl Lagerfeld to the riotous, brilliant young guns who were rewriting all the rules—Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang, John Galliano—Betts gives us a view of what it was like to be an American girl, learning about herself, falling in love, and finding her tribe.

Kate Betts’s captivating memoir brings to life the enchantment of France—from the nightclubs of 1980s Paris where she learned to dance Le Rock, to the lavender fields of Provence and the grand spectacle of the Cour Carrée—and magically re-creates that moment in life when a young woman discovers who she’s meant to be.

My two-bits:

This memoir describes a young american's experience of living and learning Paris. Loved the behind-the-scenes feel of this story with its viewpoint on the magazine and fashion scenes - makes one more alert to what to observe in the fashion world.

Got a sense of the people and the culture which adds another dimension to the city.


* part of Audiobook Challenge

* part of October Paris virtual book event (schedule)

Paris Inspired Treats

Ferry Building Marketplace
San Francisco, CA 94111
Monday-Friday 9-7 | Saturday 8-7 | Sunday 10-6
mail order option for some items available - website

=====> There are a few local eateries inspired by Paris by food and/or decor. I visited a couple this week to get into the Parisien mode. If you have a favorite in your town, tell me about it in comments.

I enjoyed a chocolate (coffee buttercream frosted) cupcake and halloween goodie (sour bats) at miette in Larkspur.

Miette: A Video from San Francisco's Most Charming Pastry Shop from 4SP Creative on Vimeo.

b. patisserie
2821 California St. @ Divisadero St.
San Francisco, CA 94115 | 415.440.1700
website | instagram
Tuesday-Sunday 8-6
Monday closed

=====> Croissant dipping into a yummy mocha. b.patisserie has a granola blend that is magnifique!


* part of October Paris virtual book event (schedule)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Paris Sketchbook by Fabrice Moireau, Mary Kelly

Paris Sketchbook
illustrated by Fabrice Moireau
text by Mary Kelly

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2001
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: Art, Illustrations, France
Hardback: 96 pages
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
Everyone develops his or her own personal relationship with Paris. It begins with a visit, a book or a film but then it seems to take on a life of its own.

Paris is seen through the eyes of artist Fabrice Moireau, with sketches in watercolor and pencil perfectly matched by an introduction by Mary A. Kelly. These residents of the world's most romantic capital city are the perfect guides to its streets, monuments, gardens and delightfully hidden corners.


=====> Shakespeare and Company is a MUST go-to spot for book lover ;-)

My two-bits:

I loved looking through this book of watercolored sketches. This collection of illustrations brings about a cozy feeling with its use of warm subtle colors of old architecture and street scenes.

Some of the sights get into the nooks and crannies of the historic centre, Northern Paris, Eastern Paris, Southern Paris and Western Paris. Each scene includes a brief description of the location and some with trivia bits.

This is a good travel book as well when planning a trip to Paris. I found that there are still so many places and things to see in Paris. Southern Paris with its Hong Kong-style eateries is an area that caught my attention in the book. I plan to visit one of its noodle shops on Tolbiac and Porte de Choisy in the 13th arrondissement.

If you like coffee table art books, this is one to get that should be left open to random pages to enjoy when you walk past.


* part of October Paris virtual book event (schedule)

Waiting on Wednesday - 10.26.16

Waiting on Wednesday
sponsored by Jill at Breaking the Spine (details)


I'm waiting for...

Paris for One
by Jojo Moyes
-Short stories, Contemporary
Release date: October 18, 2016
Amazon | Goodreads

Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She's never even been on a romantic weekend away—to anywhere—before. Traveling abroad isn't really her thing. But when Nell's boyfriend fails to show up for their mini-vacation, she has the opportunity to prove everyone—including herself—wrong. Alone in Paris, Nell finds a version of herself she never knew existed: independent and intrepid. Could this turn out to be the most adventurous weekend of her life? Funny, charming, and irresistible, Paris for One is vintage Moyes—as are the other stories that round out the collection.

=====> Looks like a good one for snippets of things french.


* part of October Paris virtual book event (schedule)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Paris Style

For Parisien fashion and style I am getting some inspiration flipping through this...

Love x Style x Life
by Garance Doré
Amazon | Goodreads

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The guardian of all style” (The New York Times Magazine) shares stories on life, love, style, and career, from Paris to New York, and inspires readers to cultivate an effortless chic that is all their own.

Garance Doré, the voice and vision behind her eponymous blog, has captivated millions of readers worldwide with her fresh and appealing approach to style through storytelling. This gorgeously illustrated book takes readers on a unique narrative journey that blends Garance’s inimitable photography and illustrations with the candid, hard-won wisdom drawn from her life and her travels. Infused with her Left Bank sensibility, the eclecticism of her adopted city of New York, and the wild, passionate spirit of her native Corsica, Love Style Life is a backstage pass behind fashion’s frontlines, peppered with French-girl-next-door wit and advice on everything from mixing J.Crew with Chanel, to falling in love, to pursuing a life and career that is the perfect reflection of you.

Here is a new book for some imagery to color in. Love the whimsical element to it.

Paris Street Style
by Zoe de las Cases
Amazon | Goodreads

Adult coloring gets a makeover with these charming, fashion-forward illustrations from the world's most romantic city.

Wherever you’re off to, take Paris Street Style with you. Transport yourself to the corner pâtisserie, and give life to the stylish essentials laid out from your suitcase. Beautifully detailed outfits, accessories, and hairstyles complement the equally ornate cityscapes. Embellish whimsical, full-page patterns and classic dresses with your own style. Window shop the elegant stores of Paris while you give life to playful fashion.

Like a high-end journal, this sleek package has an elastic closure and a satin ribbon marker so you can dip in and dip out of your own French fashion week. With nothing more than some colored pencils, you'll be on your way to a stress-free, Parisian-chic day.

AND this one comes out November 8, 2016 and looks like a good one for the current trends. Definitely want to check this out for the eye candy ;-)

The New French Couture:
Icons of Paris Fashion
by Elyssa Dimant
Amazon | Goodreads

With more than 175 color high-fashion photographs, this stunning, comprehensive, and authoritative handbook on modern French couture, covering the finest Parisian houses of couture—including Chanel, Dior, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Lanvin, and more—and the creative directors who are redefining their legacies for the twenty-first century.

While trends emerge from New York, London, and Tokyo, the fashion capital of the world remains the City of Light. From Coco Chanel to Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Dior to Raf Simons, Hubert de Givenchy to Riccardo Tisci, the evolutionary arc of French fashion and its most revered houses grows richer with each season and with a continuous infusion of imaginative new talent.

The New French Couture identifies the fashion leaders whose longstanding ateliers have endured, and the creative pioneers who continue to reinvent and reinterpret their signature iconography, including Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, Raf Simons at Christian Dior, Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy, Alber Elbaz at Lanvin, Alexander Wang at Balenciaga, and Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent. Though haute couture remains the exclusive domain of a few houses, the Parisian fashion panorama is rife with gifted luxury establishments who specialize in hand-craftsmanship, exquisite design, precious materials, impeccable production, and a celebrity clientele.

The New French Couture provides a dazzling tour through the advertising, editorial, runway, and behind-the-scenes lives of these exclusive ateliers, revealing the evolution of each brand, their definitive looks, and fashion “moments.” Here, too, are profiles of those who have made Paris their home, reimagining contemporary French luxury more independently of the fashion conglomerates, such as Hussein Chalayan, Jean Paul Gaultier, Azzedine Alaïa, and Phoebe Philo for Céline.

Breathtaking in scope and vision, beautiful, sophisticated, and informative, The New French Couture provides a comprehensive glimpse at the breadth of the Paris’s impressive and abiding fashion authority.


* header image source: Black Hat

* part of October Paris virtual book event (schedule)

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu