Day Seven in Paris (and some additional observations on style)
Our last day began with a walk from our apartment over to Jardin des Plantes, which turned out to be further than it looked on the map as we had to walk all the way to the far side to enter. But it was a very pretty botanical garden, though many specimens were past their summer peak and beginning to go dormant for fall/winter. (So far, Jardin du Luxembourg still holds title as my favorite public garden in Paris.) We strolled and explored the gardens for about an hour, but soon the rain began to come down fairly steadily, and we decided to move on to get lunch and pick up some wines to bring home. We stumbled onto a lovely little wine shop in the 6th and began asking questions in French only to find that the manager was from California! He gave us some tastes and recommendations and we left with two bottles of very interesting reds, and picked up a couple of champagnes at another shop.
The very best part of the day, however, was being able to meet the fabulous Tish from A Femme d’un Certain Age! We rendezvoused in the afternoon at Angelina for a cup of the amazing chocolat chaud and what turned into hours of conversation. Tish is every bit as gorgeous, stylish, gracious, erudite, witty, warm and charming as you would imagine from reading her blog. We felt as if we’d known each other for years, and getting to meet her was a real treat and privilege.
Dinner for our last evening in Paris was at Christophe in the 5th (right near the Sorbonne, the streets awash with college-age kids). We’d heard that the food was great and the atmosphere lacking, but we found the minimalist, zen decor serene and soothing after a week of so much sensory stimulation. Yes, the food was as amazing as we’d heard. Back to the apartment to pack and crash, and the next day, an early morning cab to CDG. Always too soon we must leave!
I found some additional style notes I’d jotted down, and had forgotten to include in my style posts.
–Bags: hardware is minimal and mostly functional, few metallics are seen and those are more muted and subtle. (Did see some metallic shoes…gold Pumas, bronze ballet slippers.) Most bags observed still pretty substantial in size and soft, outnumbered the smaller structured “lady bags.” Most of the more structured bags seen were croc-embossed (or real, peut-etre?). Did not see patent leather bags this time which were popular last fall, or flat square totes, unless cloth. Hermès Birkins still seen far more frequently than in the U.S. Some Louis Vuittons are seen, but more often the Damier canvas (my preference) than the more well-known “LV” logo design.
–Plain black tights far outnumber patterned versions, but occasionally the latter are seen, usually on younger women.
–Maquillage really is minimal and subtle, especially on les femmes d’un certain age. One doesn’t see many brightly colored lips, frosted looks or obvious goopy glosses. No “raccoon” eyes. (Check out Tish’s post from yesterday, enlarge the pics and you’ll see what I’m talking about.) Likewise, you don’t see the effects of very obvious plastic surgery or cosmetic procedures, (and if you do, the women are probably from the U.S., like the very loud and obnoxious American women who sat at the next table our second night at dinner discussing their various cosmetic procedures in more detail than fellow diners should be subjected to). No trout pout, unnaturally smooth or stiff skin, or cheekbones that could cut glass are observed among les Parisiennes.
–Not a lot of bling. I did see an occasional naturalistic rough stone or ethnic-inspired necklace, but one doesn’t see women dripping in diamonds and gold chains, even the obviously wealthy ones. Jewelry is minimal and subtle for the most part.
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