I sometimes worry that my family are not really all that sure where I live: for my birthday this year my mother gave me a book on Paris.
Actually, to be fair, it’s a book on Paris style, an inspiring read wherever you are based – which was my mother’s sentiment. ‘Parisian Chic’ is a style guide by Ines de la Fressange (above) and apart from listing all the hard-to-find-havens all over Paris, it also has an amazing on-line section (chapter 7); obscure Parisian treasures are now, suddenly, available to everyone everywhere – including us Singapore dwellers – at the click of a mouse.
…Who knew that the St Tropez shop, famous for it’s beautiful leather thong sandles made by Monsieur Rondini, sells its gear online? Sure, it may be chic-er to sashay down to the store in St-Trop where M Rondini himself will dust the shoes with talc, pre-try on, but as my yacht is not moored in the harbor, online will do for me (I think the single thong ‘Salomé’ is their best shoe; I have it in silver…sorry…I mean ‘argent’).
Paris style, or indeed any style, is absolutely not about big brands; it’s about tip top artisan quality and shopping with flair, independence of mind and confidence. Small, offbeat boutiques and hotspots reign supreme.
Page 100 details the perennial Paris must-have: the Upla fisherman’s satchel in almost any colour you can think of (leopard print, khaki, French navy, dove grey…you name it). I have just ordered a small canvas one in navy with black leather…and am excited already.
Flip to page 102 for details of the awesome Parisian glove maker Causse (handmade not factory made) and worn by Jackie Kennedy. I’ll be buying some for my forthcoming UK trip (although their style may be slightly wasted on the people of Dumfries; perhaps I’ll reserve them for London use only).
And page 90 holds details of Emmanuelle Zysman’s beautiful creations including their hammered silver (or gold) gilt bracelets fastened with a cotton tie. On my Christmas list.
When you factor in what it would cost to fly to France from Singapore, whatever you spend online feels like a veritable bargain.