I love the way Christine layers her long sleeve blouse under a tee. I don’t know why this layering style seems like the toughest to master– all the bulk underneath with the buttons, the pockets, the collar… Anyway, she’s inspired me to give it another go!
It’s hard not to love Nicolas. Not only is he a talented calligrapher, but his warmth, generosity, and sunny personality just make people want to be around him.
That’s one of the things that struck me the most — his ability to meet people and let himself be guided and inspired by those encounters.
That’s kind of the story of my own life, as well — after spending a year studying literature in college, I realized all my friends were artists, and that helped me understand who I was and to make the right choices. I’m also really touched by his passion for an art that’s been somewhat overlooked, kind of like illustration, which used to be all over magazines in the past, and is so rare today. Plus, we both come from similar backgrounds, and if there’s one thing that means a lot to me, it’s being able to say that no matter where you come from, or where you started, there are no limits when you follow your passions.
Now I’ll let you read the interview with Nicolas!
What was your dream job as a child?
When I was a child, I wanted to be a butcher. I don’t know why exactly.
Where does your family come from? Where did you grow up?
I was born into a middle class family. My father is from Algeria, he was born in the mountains. My mother comes from the South of France, in the Pyrenees. They are both mountain people and they left their families at a very young age to settle in Paris, which was really hard at the time.
So I was born into a little family in Oberkampf. Now, it’s a super trendy neighborhood in Paris, but before it was not like that at all. I went to a private school, but I started doing graffiti and things like that around that time.
What do your parents do?
My mother works in administration and my father is a locksmith. But I always had an artistic upbringing because my parents love cinema and theater. They learned everything completely on their own. They were never part of the intellectual crowd–they just read all the time. We always visited galleries and museums together.
Were you a good student?
I was a good student at school because I didn’t play with the others kids that much. I was kind of lonely. I went to religious private schools. My parents would let me do anything as long as I had good grades.
I graduated from high school, then went to business school because I didn’t know what else to do. I did an internship at a bank, but finance didn’t suit me. That’s why I decided to start working at a gallery–because it had always intrigued me. So that’s what I did.
I met César Pape, a big collector with a lot of money. We opened our own gallery right behind the Académie Francaise, and that’s how I started to meet people, like Pierre Bergé, for instance. I was in my twenties at the time. Before that, I didn’t know anyone in the art world.
What did your parents think about that change?
My parents trust me completely. For them, if you start something on your own, if it’s your choice, then you should make it work. And if you’re not happy, it’s your fault because it was your choice in the first place.
What exactly did you do at the gallery?
At the César Pape gallery, I managed all of the financial aspects of the gallery; I was the businessman. I made lists of all the collectors I was meeting; I created a system for managing the stock. All of the art we displayed was by artists who were already dead, and we had some real estate property as well.
So, were you always interested in art? How did you learn about art and art history?
I knew the sculptures at the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and was familiar with New Realism and the major schools of art because I used to go there often with my parents and that’s what interested me. I got that culture from my parents. After that, I developed my own culture by meeting people at the gallery.
It clicked when I went to an Andy Warhol show, one of the first ones organized in Paris. There were a lot of drawings of shoes. I was waiting for a meeting and I started copying everything I saw in the prints and labels in front of me.
Why didn’t you stay at the gallery?
The problem is that big collectors have a hard time separating themselves from their things, so I started to realize that I was working in a museum rather than a gallery. Since I was the one who had organized everything from the start, I decided to leave and do something else.
That’s when I met Jean-Gabriel Mitterand, the owner of JGM Gallery. There, all of the artists were still alive and I was able to meet all of them. I could see how they progressed in their studios; I was able to organize exhibitions internationally. With all of these exhibitions, the gallery started to gain recognition, and we were able to move into a hôtel particulier.
I met aristocrats, politicians, usually at private dinners. It was important to me to find collectors with totally different backgrounds and experiences. And I always felt like we were bad at welcoming them. That’s how it all started.
It clicked when I went to an Andy Warhol show, one of the first ones organized in Paris. There were a lot of drawings of shoes. I was waiting for a meeting and I started copying everything I saw in the prints and labels in front of me. I was on the phone, and I started writing things down on envelopes—I’ve always had nice handwriting. And I thought, “This just took me 5 seconds to write and it looks really good.”
So that night I decided to spend the night at the gallery alone, with a bottle of wine and music, and I wrote out the entire list for our next show. What I didn’t realize was that the guest list had 1,800 people on it. I loved it. I left around 4am, I decided to walk back home and all along the way I felt so happy. I said to myself, “Fuck, I love this.”
The next day, we sent all the invitations and 98% of the guests showed up to the opening. Within an hour, everything was sold..
A week later, we organized a dinner to thank everyone for coming and I did the same thing. I had never received illustrations done by a calligrapher before, but Jean-Gabriel had. I had never even thought about doing it before.
How did you start to become known for your work?
It was mostly word-of-mouth. People were asking Jean-Gabriel who was writing his envelopes. I started to make seating cards for dinners with different lettering for each guest. I realized that everyone was taking the cards with them when they left. It was awesome.
I thought that it was something special. After that, we noticed that people were coming to openings with their invitations. Usually you don’t bring it with you, it’s just there to give you the information you need.
At the gallery, I met the artist Nikki de Saint Phalle. We became really close friends because I went to visit her in her studio in Guadalajara quite a few times. I was so impressed by her handcrafted work.
I decided to go to Brazil and left the gallery. I didn’t know what to do with my life anymore. I was fine, but I was working way too much. I was making a good living, things were going really well…it was like a teenage crisis, I guess.
I met a lot of people there, but I spent all my money in 2 weeks–shopping, partying, taking samba classes… I was totally broke, so I called my parents and asked them to buy me a plane ticket back, but they told me to figure it out on my own. So I stayed and became a French teacher at the Alliance Française to pay for my room.
In Brazil, I met the director of Les Enfants du Coeur, a children’s foundation. She invited me to dinner at her house, and that’s where I met Patricia Carta, the editor-in-chief of Vogue Brazil at the time. I worked as her production assistant, then in PR, because I was trying to work on projects on the side to see if there were any opportunities with big brands.
Then I met Dominique Borromei, an incredible painter. She was totally insane and fascinating. We shared an apartment in Rio and she taught me how to draw, with her craziness and alcoholism, and how to use a paintbrush, She taught me how to express everything I had inside of me. I was really sad, but I couldn’t express my emotions and feelings because I was too shy.
When she died of cancer, it was heartbreaking. On her deathbed, she made me promise to keep making lines and rhythms; she told me that that was my work. So I had to keep my promise.
How did you end up back in Paris?
I went back to Brazil, and started working again, but Pia de Brantes (a friend of mine who was involved with the JGM Gallery) and Jean-Gabriel asked me to come back to Paris because they needed an in-house calligrapher and couldn’t find anyone who wanted to do the job in Paris.
What really excited me was finding a specific lettering for a specific person, and to look at what the person loved. I liked trying to create lines that corresponded to a person, a personality, that’s what I found exciting about the art of writing.
So I went back to Paris after spending more than a year in Brazil. I met up with Pia, and we started working together the very next day. She was very reassuring and told me that we would take our time, because I didn’t know anything about calligraphy. Zero. I didn’t know anything about it, but I had always been interested in typography. That always interests me whenever I travel. And I write constantly.
Soon after, Pia put me in charge of writing out 250 invitations for a wedding she was organizing at the Chateau de Versailles.
Who else was doing calligraphy in Paris at the time?
At the time there was only one woman doing calligraphy, and she only did three types of writing: English, gothic, and manuscript. Very simple. There was also another company who made invitations, as well. But that was it.
So the trend of sending calligraphy invitations started with you?
Yes, the trend started 7 or 8 years ago. Before then, it was all printed or on labels.
I first remember you from the Rick Owens show…how did you get involved with fashion brands?
After doing the Rick Owens logos, I started building my business one step at a time; it came naturally. I started with Prada. Madame Prada and I decided to create handwriting for Prada–a sort of college, British boarding school type of writing–very simple, very clear. I loved the idea of creating our own world with brands and people. That’s how it happened.
What is involved in your work, exactly?
I do everything that has to do with calligraphy. I can do embroidery or engravings on precious stones with an architect, with lots of sentences. I also work with the State a lot because they have institutions that need inscriptions like “No Smoking”. I work a lot with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and with jewelers doing calligraphy on the inside of the actual diamonds.
I also enjoy working with designers in the new digital world. I love that they ask me to work with them even though I am a calligrapher—it’s pretty incredible. People working with digital really want to move toward something timeless and to be able to give people something they will always need.
What do you work on the most? Invitations, fashion weeks?
I only do invitations for fashion shows during Fashion Week. It’s a big season, very intense, very commercial. But the majority of my work is very diverse. I conceptualize logos, I recreate logos to make them more modern, I do tattoos, rebranding for companies, museums. All of this is based on calligraphy.
And what does your work as a brand ambassador for Louis Vuitton or Mont Blanc entail?
I am a consultant, so every time they want to launch a product, they ask for my opinion. For example, right now they are releasing the “calligraphy trunk” and I’ll be there to provide support when dealing with the press. I like the idea of bringing heritage back to life, and making it more modern, understandable today. As a calligrapher, it’s hard to have credibility. I’m an ambassador but I don’t belong to one brand. I like to work with everyone because calligraphy is an art with endless possibilities. Everyone can inspire me and give me ideas.
I’m very disappointed by the idea that people have of calligraphy, which is very negative. They see it as something dusty, antique. It’s hard to change people’s minds, so I decide to show them instead of trying to convince them.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I take photos of everything. I have a really good memory, even when it comes to things that you don’t want to remember. I love reading–I have huge libraries of books. I do a lot of research. One day I gave this lecture at a graphic design school and I told the students that for me, calligraphy is a way of life more than a thing to do. Like a ballet dancer, over time, you get better. You have to practice, 8 hours a day, even. It’s not like riding a bicycle; it doesn’t come back just like that.
Do you teach?
What I really like is interacting with people. I love when I can learn from someone else, but especially if it goes both ways. If I’m in dialogue with someone, I will obviously give a lot in return. I’m very disappointed by the idea that people have of calligraphy, which is very negative. They see it as something dusty, antique. It’s hard to change people’s minds, so I decide to show them instead of trying to convince them.
I was an Arts teacher every Wednesday for children in 1st grade. Children are a big part of my inspiration. They have this sweet craziness; they have no control over what they do. When a child takes a pen, when he looks with his big eyes, he creates things he doesn’t necessarily understand, with no preconceived ideas. I really like that. So I include children in my work very often. I also work with people with physical handicaps, people with Autism, and people with Down’s Syndrome. We work on the specific emotions that create particular lines. It’s really motivating and emotional because they never thought they could do it. They also don’t have any limits, and that creates a really strong connection.
Did you ever train or work as an apprentice?
No, not really, other than 7 years ago when the owner of the pen company Bic asked me to do a collaborate with a Chinese calligrapher who was 102 years old and create a sort of happening together. I went to China to meet this incredible man, and I was super impressed. I watched him work, his posture, his breathing, everything was fascinating. I taught him how to use my instruments, my pens. We exchanged brushes and now I bring the one he gave me everywhere I go. When I used his brush for the first time, I immediately knew how to use it by instinct.
Instead of staying 3 days, I stayed for 3 weeks, I lived with him and we exchanged without talking. The only form of communication we had was through calligraphy. That’s the only intense training I had. I would wake up early in the morning and work all day, without eating anything. He taught me how to take up space when you want to produce something on paper. He taught me how to open each vertebra so that your movement comes out exactly the way you want it to. He taught me how to try to work without leaving anything to chance. When he works, he is either on his knees or standing up. He also taught me how to make my own materials and ink. But it was all a collaboration, we learned from one another. That was what he wanted before his death. It was really beautiful.
Do you work alone?
I started alone but now I have a team. It’s like a movie director, you have the ideas but you need a team to assist you. I’m currently training two young girls who are making very promising work. I really believe in them. I have a few assistants that help my work to be more fluid. They take care of administrative tasks: they pick things up for me, etc., so that I can focus on my writing.
My graphic designer lives in Haute-Savoie and she takes care of scanning for me and imagines a whole world around all of my projects. We are in constant dialogue with each other. She has an eye for things. It’s a real work of deconstruction. She sees all the little details and faults. You need to capture everything in the scans, the texture, the layers—all of the subtleties…or else there’s no balance.
Sometimes I call upon architects, home designers, because I need to consult with them on colors, trends, etc. All these people help me, provide me with feedback, and see what I don’t see.
Even though you have a team now, do you still consider your work to be solitary?
First of all, when I come up with an idea, there are only a few people who can understand the functionality behind it. The conversations I have with my team are very important. The people around me give me their opinion of my work, I ask them what they think.
But yes, solitude is an integral part of calligraphy. I have to be in my own world. I can stay in my studio for months. There are things that I have a hard time getting out. I lose all sense of time. Even though I’m surrounded by people who love me, I will always have this inner solitude. I can be totally disconnected.
You need to know yourself in order to take a pen and put your feelings down on paper.
How did the team form?
These are all people that I met by chance, on trips, like when I met Elodie in Corsica. She has a singer with tattoos all over her body and I immediately liked her. David Giroire, my press agent, is my best friend. I’ve known him for 15 years. Alexis Le Tan, my agent–I didn’t even know he was an agent because we met at a party—he’s a musician. We became friends and one day he asked to represent me. It was so spontaneous and natural, so I said yes. I’m all about family. I really like having my team, my cocoon. Kind of like you, actually. I like when I can have discussions, when I have direct contact with others.
How do you handle criticism of your work?
I really accept criticism because it’s super important in the construction of my work, even though most of the time I don’t change a lot of things. I listen a lot to what people have to say. What is the most exciting part is seeing people’s reactions after they receive the final product, seeing the experience that they are going to have with it.
What do you think of the evolution of technology and the internet. How did it impact your work?
I like it because it’s immediate. It’s nice for me to be able to show my ideas to people right away so they can get an idea right from the start. Because you immediately have an opinion of someone when you see them write. It worked pretty well for me. Now I’m a calligrapher!
Do you think calligraphy will disappear because of technology?
It’s true that I had this moment when I told myself that yes, calligraphy is beautiful, but you don’t need anything to do it. Because to make a logo, an image, you need a lot of materials. I was in India 3 years ago when L’Officiel Hommes commissioned me to do some illustrations for their special edition on aristocratic families and I was able to make some ink with water and soil. I cut a reed in half and wrote with it. I had this old notebook, so I erased everything I had written previously and I basically started doing calligraphy with dirty soil. I said to myself, “You can’t send a photo, you don’t have wifi.” Instead, I sent the notebook through the post office. Simple as that.
I’m saying all this not because I want to show off or show myself but because I want to show that calligraphy is necessary. We will always have to write. For example, when a child has to correct his mistakes after writing it down on a paper, he has to do it by hand. He has to think before writing. He has to get to know himself in order to avoid making the same mistake again. I hate that we don’t teach kids how to write on paper anymore. They learn on a computer right away.
Yes, now kids are learning how to use a computer or iPad…
Yes, but I’m sure that’s going to change. It’s all going to come back one day. We can’t do without the world of pens because writing things by hand brings out our imperfections. If you grow up without seeing your mistakes, you won’t know how to handle failure. All these mood boards, Tumblr pages etc. today don’t really belong to anyone in the end, there is no longer a sense of property. Whereas writing shows who you truly are. You need to know yourself in order to take a pen and put your feelings down on paper. There are difficult phases in every lifetime and I think it’s important to take the time to sit down and be alone sometimes.
I write 8 hours every day. With calligraphy, you are eternally unsatisfied.
Would you consider calligraphy to be a kind of sport, a physical activity?
Yes, but when I am sore it means that I forgot about my posture, I forgot myself. Good posture is mandatory. Also, I shouldn’t overdo it. During Fashion Weeks, I’m used to it now and I’m an insomniac, so it works out, but 3 hours of sleep per day for 2 weeks really isn’t good. I can see that my work towards the end is less beautiful.
How do you train yourself?
I write 8 hours every day. With calligraphy, you are eternally unsatisfied. The idea is to not write anything and everything. You get an idea, you start over, you change it. You create a path for yourself that comes from within. Like sport, it can demanding and requires endurance.
Do you take care of your hands?
Yes, I get a lot of massages, I love it. It reminds me of vacation.
When you’re on vacation, what happens if you don’t write everyday?
Oh, I have to. Even on vacation, I still work on my calligraphy. I’m always writing, I have notebooks everywhere. There are words that I like for their meaning, and they’ll move me to find a line that represents the rhythm of the word and its meaning. Or sometimes it’s the opposite. If I I’m trying to think of something, in order for it to be clear,I need to write it down. I need a pen.
It’s really like an extension of yourself…
Exactly, it’s my second language.
Are you sometimes scared of being in an accident? I know that I stopped snowboarding, for example.
Yes, absolutely. I love to snowboard too, but I can’t do it anymore. I have contracts for important projects; people are counting on me. My hands are fully insured, in fact.
What can’t you do?
Snowboarding, skiing, even though my parents live right next to a ski slope. So now we go to the beach, where it’s sunny. Last time I was in New York, I don’t know what got into me but I wanted to rollerblade. I rollerbladed until I was exhausted, but I was super cautious, and didn’t push myself too hard. I’m careful. I knock on wood. When I get pins and needles in my hands, and my hand feels numb, I get really scared. My worst nightmare is when I sleep on my arm and it falls asleep. It’s horrible.
What kinds of instruments would you advise young calligraphers to start with?
A pen you feel really comfortable with. It could be a Bic, a fountain pen, the tip of a compass.
That’s what calligraphy is all about. Other than that, I recommend starting with a paintbrush; it’s so delicate that it teaches you balance. After that, you can go straight to working with a fountain pen.
There’s no specific technique. The only technique you need is to tell yourself that anything is possible.
What do you dream of doing in the future?
I have a few specific wishes. I love the Woolworth building in New York, for example, and the other day while looking at it I had this idea to create a metallic embroidery using calligraphy. I like the idea of working metal into the concept of heritage. I would like to work with Plexiglas or glass more and try to make them just as important as a diamond. Everything I do is a constant work in progress. Right now I’m working on a conceptual piece involving ceramics and I won’t give up until I’ve found a way to create exactly what I want. I’m very stubborn.
What would be your best advice to pass along to aspiring calligraphers?
There are people who have helped me throughout my life, and I am grateful to them every time I work.
And when I have to make a decision, I always ask myself if this is going to keep me moving forward, if it’s going to make me travel…
Check out other career posts:
I love mirrored glasses. They immediately make it feel like a summer vacation – even in the middle of New York City!
So, we decided to give you a tour through our lenses. Click on the arrows to see all the images!
Holiday, a travel magazine published from 1946-1977, featured a cool group of writers and photographers (think Hemingway and Slim Aarons) taking readers on a trip around the world. The magazine has been revived (think Josh Olins, Glenn O’Brien and Inez & Vinoodh) with a new issue out now. I love the extra large format of the pages and the feeling of the paper. It’s one of those magazine that will never leave your coffee table!
Here is a little look inside the Holiday world…
Click on the arrows to see more images…
Don’t laugh– I know we should be wearing tee-shirts by now, but it’s so cold in New York that my idea of a perfect outfit would be to be able to wear a big soft sweater SANS COAT. PINK, TOO.
Here, we don’t talk about the weather, it’s so crazy. Last weekend, one of our only nice weekends, people on the street were so elated I think we might have a baby boom just because of that.
Big (cold) kiss !
…Worn by Alex eheheh.
I had sort of a huge crush when I first saw them. A ton of images came back to me: My mom in the 80s with her rhinestones, Elvis, Madonna, Liz Taylor…
And a ton of thoughts like: It’s the kind of shoe you don’t even need to wear. You can put them on your desk and there, it’s a sculpture. They’re so crazy that they’ll never go out of style. They would make any outfit look cool and thought about. So, I was already sold on them when…
Scott walked by and offered them to me. Merci ;)
Do you like them ?
I don’t know at what point in history shopping became its own activity entirely — yesterday I tried to watch The Paradise*, which takes place during the Victorian era in London, and even back then, we see young women swooning over fancy lace and spending all their money** on perfumes, and some are even able to use their clothes to up their social status.
This doesn’t surprise me. There’s a particular pleasure in shopping — it’s both intimate and social. It’s a way to enjoy yourself and communicate something at the same time. That’s especially true today, and it even goes far beyond that…
Today, you can build an entire career based on shopping.
Don’t take my word for it. Careers are rare. But let’s take a look at some recent phenomena…
There are more and more of them all the time, they are getting cuter and cuter, and their wardrobes are always overflowing. And also – it’s like a sport : as Alexia said in the comments on Monday — some girls never wear the same thing twice.
They look like they have dream lives*** running from plane to plane, taking three photos of copious breakfasts with Valentino Studs in the foreground and the Eiffel Tower in the background.
They aren’t technically stylists or models. I’m not even sure they could dress anyone other than themselves.
They are…experienced shoppers.
And it works! Most of the time, they’re really good at mixing brands, inspiring, and promoting young, local designers we wouldn’t have heard of otherwise, which is great… Some of them make real careers out of it. Why not?
But at the same time, does this shopping hysteria correspond in any way to reality? The answer is clearly no. I get dizzy just thinking about how all the changes and clothes organizing (getting it, sorting it, folding it, hanging it, trying it on, sending it back****) every day.
But it’s great eye candy, and as long as we don’t find ourselves freaking out when we look at these blogs “but why don’t I have a different pair of pumps every day and the Eiffel Tower behind me!?!?!” I’m totally ok with it.
I love what Victoria Beckham does, and she explains it really well herself: After so many years of shopping, she knows exactly what she wants to find when she goes shopping.
So she created her own brand based on her experience. And she does a great job of it. She puts her whole shopping philosophy to work in her career. When she launches her line of handbags, they’re perfect. You have to admit she has plenty of experience with perfection given her 100 + Birkins.
I can’t wait to see what her stores are like.
I don’t know if we can really call it shopping (But at the same time, she really shops — remember when I ran into her at Isabel Marant? She was trying on clothes and showing everything to Kanye… No stylist in sight), but she’s worth mentioning because she’s the most recent example of rehabilitation by clothes and only clothes (okay, a little bit of Kanye as well) — and that alone turned her from reality tv star (“Boooh!!!”) into a Vogue cover model (“Aaaaah!!!”)
Because really, unlike some celebrities who change their image to mark a career change, Kim didn’t change anything but her clothes. Whether you like it or not, she is using her private life to create an empire, and she still uses her name to sell all kinds of things, chic or not, to her fans.
But now she knows how to dress, and our opinion of her (oh la la, you guys got SO mad at me when I said I liked her new looks!) is going to change.
A year from now, she’ll be on Vanity Fair’s best dressed list, and one day we will have completely forgotten that Kim Kardashian used to show off her booty in Hervé Léger. We’re going to think she’s chic. We’re going to start talking about her irony-free. Without having to apologize or explain like everyone does these days why-she’s-actually-cool-if-you-really-think-about-it.
We’ll start describing her as an experienced business woman with flawless style.
No, seriously! You’ll see!
And all of that will happen just because she is a smart shopper.
It’s funny, don’t you think?
Ok guys, I’ll let you go. I have some shopping to do!
*It’s on Netflix. Not great so far. Have you seen it?
**Well — they spent all their family’s money, anyway. It’s not like women worked back then*
*No, they didn’t work, they plotted. Or at least that’s what all the films would have us believe. All the men were at war, and all the women were sitting around plotting schemes. Pfffff.
*** Ok, I mean, it’s the Internet dream life. Let’s not fool ourselves!
**** No, they’re not all rich, some of them just really know what they’re doing. And, uuuum, sending back clothes they ordered? Which is? Not a good idea. It’s always when you decide to do that, that you end up with a coffee that decides to spill itself (oops!) on your $10,000 dress.
Translated by Andrea Perdue
“Morning: My mum, Satya Lall, is a facialist and has engrained a cleansing and toning regime in me since I was 15. I wake up and wash my face with Decleor foaming mousse, and that’s just with water. Then I like to put an oil on and then a face cream, Hydra Floral from Decleor.
For makeup, casting wise it has to be kept quite natural. So concealer by MAC, a little bit of eyebrow gel and sometimes, if I’m up for it, Maybelline Colossal mascara. Then some Lucas Papaw for a natural gloss. If I’m really going out I’ll add some eyeliner and some blush or a bronzer. I’ve got this really nice palette from Soap & Glory. I use tinted moisturizer from Laura Mercier. That’s if I’m going out or having a bad day and just want to even out the skin tone.
Day: I carry Caudalie Eau de Beauté, L’Occitane Hand Cream, Soap & Glory Hand Maid Cleansing Gel and Lucas Papaw.
Night: I remove it all with cleanser and toner from Decleor. And I like a night balm and then some eye cream.”
You know it: I loooooove white shirts. I love them, I never get tired of them and last season, when I saw them popping everywhere on the runway I was all: get ready this is going to be my season. (There was also a lot of cropped tops on the runway and I was all: this is gonna be a tough season).
Here are three most important facts about the white shirt that make it awesome:
- It’s versatile and can be worn from a lazy Sunday to a red carpet ( if you’re Sharon Stone, all right?).
- It works with everything and even with nothing – a little bit longer, and it’s a perfect dress!
- It’s perfect to cover up in in the summer. My shooting outfit for summer is always an oversize white painters shirt: it protects my arms from the sun (not 100%, I still have to put sunscreen!) and I stay cool.
So, now everything I’ve see on the runway is in the stores and it’s time for action – we made a little selection of our favorites.
Mine is definitely the Junya one with the fringes. Which one do you prefer ?
In the photos : Stella McCartney , Maximalist Junya Watanabe, Bracelets Aurelie Bidermann lace cuff and lasso cuff, Earrings Aesa , Downtown Acne , Sneaker Adidas x Topshop , Delicate The Row, Tomboy Alexander Wang, Shorts No.21, Earrings Bing Bang , The Classic Equipment , Necklace Aesa, Ring Jennifer Fisher
It’s really an adventure keeping a blog in the 10’s. What started out as a simple journal got bigger, and it evolved as the internet has been revolutionizing our lives.
At the same time, print magazines that we all love so much had a hard time adapting to the unsustainable pace of the internet, and we’ve seen a lot of the old systems around us crumble.
The reader (me, you!) who used to feel somewhat distant from the press, journalists, and fashion, now understands that everything is within arm’s reach. We have access to behind the scenes, and understand the relationship that has developed with advertisers (you give me an ad, I’ll give you an article) and money — the key motivator behind it all, because it’s a matter of survival for magazines.
And not the measly four dollars we pay for the magazine, weren’t we stupid to believe that.
The internet is free, open, fluid, and shared — it’s different.
Then e-shops come on the scene. Amazing!!! People buy things online. We never would have imagined it. In the beginning, advertisers are careful, trying to see how to reproduce the comfortable system that had been in place with magazines.
Times have changed, but people — they’re the same.
And it works, of course. The problem with a free, fluid, global system, is that there aren’t any rules. Some people with blogs have tried to mobilize (Independent Fashion Bloggers) to keep from falling back into the same system that made us lose confidence in print. But that hasn’t really worked.
Not having any rules means that we are free to say yes to any business opportunity.
But it also means we can say no.
Then a new generation arrives — a generation who has grown up with smartphones in their hands, and a totally different way of thinking than the previous generation. They read through these commercial systems in a blink and they can navigate them with no problem at all.
It’s perfectly normal to take a selfie every three seconds, perfectly normal to broadcast your engagement (especially if you’ve rented out an entire football stadium for the occasion), and it’s perfectly normal to be paid when you talk about a brand.
A totally different frame of reference.
As for advertisers, the cogs haven’t stopped turning. After a few years of playing with the internet, they’re ready to pounce. Since there aren’t any rules, it’s their time to occupy the territory. We can do so much more online than we could on paper!
People share information for us, and it goes so much further than we could have imagined! And this new generation is having fun with it! Let’s do it. Now’s the time.
So every day, I get emails offering to pay me for publicity. I don’t mean ads in the sidebar, too easy. I mean, I’m asked to advertise in my editorial content, and in my social media networks, with no clear distinction between the ads and the content of my articles — and that completely shakes my value system.
You see, I’m not against money. It allows me to do lovely things for my blog. Better design, more beautiful photos, nicer stories. I’ve explained to you how I work here, and it’s still the same today. I say no a lot. Too much, sometimes.
That said, I like to explore what modernity has to offer.
And I like the brands I work with. They offer me great projects, they provide an amazing outlet for my creativity, and they allow me to do things I wouldn’t have been able to do without their financial support. The brands I choose to work with respect my readers. I meet people in the industry who are passionate about what they do — in short, there’s no reason to make them the bad guys, especially if you can choose them according to your own tastes.
Every day, with my agent and my team, we talk about the best way to respect our blog, and to respect you — our intelligent and educated readers who’ve got it all figured out (I know this because I meet you as often as I can, and I read all your comments)(speaking of meeting you, last week I taught a class at Yale! See photo “teacher G” up there), while also adapting to this world that’s changing every second.
After putting a lot of thought into trying to understand this new publishing world, and taking a look at how other people work, whether their blogs are fully sponsored or not — I decided to take a thoughtful, honest, and simple approach.
Any content on the blog that is done in collaboration with a brand is clearly indicated. No posts will have a hidden sponsor — we will continue to adapt to the world that’s changing around us, but you will always be clearly informed.
For everything else, if I don’t say anything, it means the content doesn’t have any particular financial backing.*
We do work with affiliated links, which is one of the simplest and most open ways to work (no direct contact with stores or brands, and no editorial pressure). Brands like Zara or Céline, who are not part of any affiliated networks, (yep, on the total opposite end of the spectrum, some brands have things in common!) continue to appear on the blog — very often, in fact. We don’t choose content based on our affiliated partners.
Everything else is simply a matter of confidence and communication between you and us.
Having strict rules hasn’t stopped the press from getting involved in a complicated, dependent relationship with advertisers — and it’s exactly this lack of flexibility and honesty that’s bringing the press down today.
It’s too bad, and I really hope that magazines will be able to weather the storm.
As for me, I’m excited to be a part of this new era and to redefine what it means to be a blogger today.
It looks like this constant state of revolution is what the future has in store for us. To thrive in that kind of environment, you have to stay simple, authentic, and adaptable. Make up your own rules. Stay faithful to yourself. Listen to feedback. And above all, don’t be afraid to question the way you do things.
And that goes for a blog just like it does for a career — or any aspect of our lives.
We never get bored, eh?
I’m here this morning if you have any questions. Hugs and kisses!
*For example, when I published the film I made with L’Oréal on Thursday, they obviously called me and paid me to make the film, but they did not pay me to post it on the blog, and it wasn’t guaranteed that I’d share it (Some people say, “You’re crazy! You should have sold them the ad space!” But it is what it is) I just posted it because I love it.
Can you see a lemon in the photo (???), a photo of me as a Professor at Yale with a perfect Schott x Edith A. Miller jacket, an old pair of Zara jeans, and my beloved Common Projects (I brought heels, but they aren’t very into heels at Yale), my Krysos + Chandi rings, a WXYZ bracelet (it’s not mine, but it’s super beautiful anyway), my MAKE eyeliner, and my Diptyque lip balm (I love their new beauty line — it’s sublime) and I’m saving the best for last — MY MIU MIU SHOES THAT ARE INSAAAANE — I’LL TALK YOUR EARS OFF ABOUT THEM SOON. I love them so much. Kisses!
Translated by Andrea Perdue.
During fashion week, my friend Elisa presented the jewelry collection she created for Gripoix, in the wonderful hair salon/apartment of David Mallett.
It was beautiful, packed, and I’m super happy that Elisa, who started her career in fashion as a designer, is finally able to show us her talents. And her mastery of colors, but this, we could have guessed ;)
Today, I would like to share a video with you that I made for L’Oréal Paris. I’m super happy with it.
The L’Oréal Paris team called me a few months ago to talk about Mousse Absolue, and when I told them it was a product I was already using, they couldn’t believe it – It hasn’t even come out yet in the US!
True, but it’s already been out in France for a year, and since I’m not the kind who likes to spend hours at the salon, I rushed to try it right away — and loved it.
Of course, it’s a lot easier to do something fun and creative with a product you love. I wanted to show you my way of coloring my hair, and I got the idea to do it with polaroids. So I called my friend Matt, who we’ve worked with in the past, and we spent a whole day in a dreamy loft* taking millions of polaroids (around 400 — we have mountains of them in the studio!!!)
The next day, we put it all together on film at the studio with these gorgeous hands** and here are the results!!!
I hope you like it :)
PS: The funny thing is, in France, we’re all super used to coloring our own hair, right?
I have tons of memories of doing it with friends (some turned out better than others, as you can imagine!)
Well, in the US, it’s really rare to do it yourself. People here typically have a professional do their beauty things for them. I think that’s a good thing, but I admit it’s hard to find the time for your manicure, your waxing appointment, your hair color appointment, and so on.
Plus, you have to have room for all of that in your budget!!!
So, I actually do a lot of those things myself. My nails, waxing, hair color, and probably lots of other things that seem so obvious to me that I don’t even think about them. It’s just the way I learned !
Do you prefer to go to a salon or do you like to do it all at home?
* Not my loft, unfortunately.
** Not my hands, unfortunately.
*** Right, because I’m worth it!!! Ok, I’m far from being a L’Oréal Paris ambassador, but I’m telling you, that’s kind of a moment ;)
Translated by Andrea Perdue.
Advance Warning: My 10 Spring Failures.
Here are 10 activities (among others, since I had to pick and choose) I’m planning to start this spring with a great big heart, motivation on high, and absolutely no memory of the fact that every spring…It’s the same story. I decide to:
“Noooo, hang on a second, you don’t get it. This is Pilates, ok? It’s not the same! It’s the perfect sport for me because my problem is my midsection, really. I’m starting tomorrow. I mean, the day after tomorrow. Tomorrow I’m busy.”
“The sun in the city is awful. Alex, could you maybe talk about it on the blog so we know exactly what we should be doing?” Yes! Ooh la la la, this post is so good! Now I know EXACTLY what to do! I’m starting tomorrow. Mmm, yeah, I really didn’t have time this morning. I was busy.”
Not too far.
Not too hot.
Not too close.
My phone? Totally off. Too bad it’s the perfect time to Instagram, though. Because honestly, when you’re not traveling and you’re working on your book every day in bed or on the couch, I’m not sure what there is to take pictures of, other than taking selfies… Well, ok. Just one Instagram per day. But no checking emails!!! …Well, ok, just two per day.
It has to be a couple’s vacation, but with time alone. You know what I mean?
But with margaritas starting around 6, though.
Plenty of exercise, and total relaxation.
In the sun.
But in the shade.
See what I mean?
I’ve been saying this for two years now. Oh yeah, definitely: it’s as dumb as it sounds and I still can’t do it.
Tired of being a tomboy! This season, I’m going to be so feminine!!!
Scott, you’re gonna like this.
*Buys three skirts*
*Tries them all on at home*
*Loves it all, go to bed with dreams of a total fashion makeover in my head*
*Has a dream where she’s on the cover of Vogue Paris: Garance, her style, her art*
*Wakes up feeling ready to take on the world!!!*
*When the time comes to get dressed, grabs a pair of jeans and sneakers.*
“Oh my god, I really want to have a party!!! Come on, let’s have a party! Come ooooon, an amazing party!”
I’ll make a playlist. Do you like hip hop? I have a place picked out and everything. We can have it at my friend’s roof top, okay it’s in Brooklyn but it’s going to be so cool. I’ll make some things to eat – all gluten-free, paleo, and vegan, of course. Yep. And macarons. And everyone can bring something to drink, and oh la la, I have the PERFECT cocktail recipe, it’s got fresh fruit in it.
And yeah, obviously – we’ll only invite our real friends, so we can all finally get together for once. Aaaah, it’s going to be so cool!
Ok, so what’s a good date for you? Just let me know! Can you tell me by tomorrow? Ok, cool. Don’t forget, ok? If you don’t remind me, I’ll forget.”
… Or just sit around reading magazines all Sunday morning?
The answer is in the question.
Yes! It even has a name: Spring Cleaning – the activity that moves Garance to go into her closet, wave her arms around, saying: “It’s unbelievable how much stuff is piling up, no really, how is this even possible?” put on some loud music, dance a little, and sort things into four piles:
- give away
- get altered
- put in the garage
- throw away
Then she remembers she doesn’t have a garage, and has to jump over the four piles all weekend until she gets sick of seeing them and throws it all into one big bag on Sunday night. Only to re-sort the piles the following weekend. And not know where to take the things to give away. And not know where to sell them. Or where to get them altered. Only to finish Spring Cleaning at the end of the summer. Just in time for Fall Cleaning.
Ahahahahahahahah, come on, stop! It’s too much! I haven’t started Pilates yet – my abs are going to explode from laughing so hard!
Voilà. You get it now. Secret of my life? Never change a winning team.
So, what are your plans this spring?
Translated by Andrea Perdue.
Sneakers have become a staple in our wardrobes here at the studio. Without fail, one of us is in a pair everyday. And I’ve noticed they are getting…can we say… fancier? These in the photo are by Feit (they are leather and handmade–really cool) and definitely take the classic sporty sneaker to another level. What do you think of the new fancy sneaker?
I love Andi’s look because it speaks to me about a femininity that I don’t see so often in the streets of New York.
Okay well, my New York… Maybe I should go uptown more often?
What speaks to me is this chic and certain femininity, which is so sexy – a little bit Italian style.
It’s funny, because I bought a skirt that looks a little bit like that the other day; you can wear it only with heels, and the moment I saw myself in the mirror I was taken back by the added femininity it gave me. For me. who mostly wears jeans and shirts, I though that if I was to dress that way more often, my perception of myself would totally change and you know what? I’d like that.
Then I remembered I like to walk everywhere.
Pffff, life is full of unsolvable contradictions.
Do you find that having really feminine style is tough to keep up in everyday life?
The hint of sun this week has me wanting to wear lighter layers and show just a little leg.
Wouldn’t these pieces be great for the start of Spring?
I can’t believe a week has already gone by since the Open Studio!!!
Here are a few photos to share with you the atmosphere – you’ll see Nicolas who did calligraphy for three hours, the letters that were written at our writing station, Anna trying to organize the space through the day and a lot of other cool moments :)
Thank you again for being with us, IRL or through your screen!!!
Click on the arrows to see more images…
PS: You can shop my collection at Garance Doré Goods!
And now, you have the answer. Those pretty much perfect jeans I am wearing in the photo above? The Paris jean from MiH. I really haven’t taken them off since I got them last week, and I’m planning on stocking up in all the colors. They’ve already turned into one of those things I end up wearing for three months straight… Vive le jean!
I love the way Ngoné mixed up prints in this photo– it’s inspiring since I’m always caught wearing a matchy-matchy outfit (laaaaame!). And that cropped sleeve leopard coat is perfect for easing into spring weather (yeahhhhh!), just layer with a long sleeve tee or sweater and voilà!
I love the way Ngoné mixed up prints in this photo– it’s inspiring since I’m always caught wearing a matchy-matchy outfit (laaaaame!). And that cropped sleeve leopard coat is perfect for easing into spring weather (yeahhhhh!), just layer with a long sleeve tee or sweater and voilà!
The other day, I was sitting there relaxing in the operating room (ok, not exactly relaxing)(I was about to get anesthesia and I DO NOT like the idea of that at all)(it was for a really harmless operation, I assure you) when suddenly, the anesthesiologist, who was putting an IV in my hand, tells me “Oh, funny – the skin on your hand is very, very supple.”
I sat up in my bed suddenly, and said to her: “Wait a second – suuuuppple? I mean – good supple or bad supple?” And she answered: “Just supple, more supple than most people. You know – tender! It’s not good or bad, just more supple.”
So I said: “Do you mean droopy? Stretchy? Flexible?”
To which she responded: “Alright, here we go – count backward from 10 – 10, 9…”
That’s when I remembered I was in the operating room.
Well, for about ten seconds, anyway, before the room around me faded away and I fell asleep.
Ah, there’s nothing like vanity to help me forget my fear of anesthesia!
A half-hour later, just after waking up (and feeling great – seriously, what do they put in those anesthetics?) I looked at my hand and realized that I was witnessing the arrival of something strange called… Drumroll, please…
Yeah, that’s a fact :
We I are am pretty dumb, and it happens at every age. Let’s take a look back at how my complexes started…
Some of them started all by themselves. Like my feet, for example. I don’t like them very much. I guess that’s kind of typical — one out of two people doesn’t really like their feet*, and this started when I was about nine years old and was starting to become aware of my body. So there you go. Ever since, I’ve put up with my feet, being extra careful not to wear shoes that reveal their flaws.
Some of them started from being made fun of. Aaaaaaah criticism.
We get made fun of in primary school, then in junior high, then in high school. I got away with not having to deal with it much, for the most part – my acne attack was manageable as long as I had eight tubs of Clearasil and 300 tubes of BodyShop Concealer** close by. But actually, I did go through a horrible episode of being made fun of that left my soul pretty bruised. When I was about 11, my breasts decided to jump about three years ahead of the rest of my body (and my mind!) and grew fully formed all in one go.
I can tell you that group of little brats in junior high didn’t spare me – they made fun of me and stuck me with a complex that I’ll probably have all my life.
Let’s just say being 11 ?
Wasn’t the easiest year of my life.
Some complexes come from friends. A lot of times, it starts with a sympathy complex. Your friend says:
“Uuuuugh, I hate the cellulite on my thighs!!!”
“But you don’t even have cellulite on your thighs! Where!? What are you even talking about.”
“Yes I do, right there. When you pinch there – right THERE, see?”
“Oh, come on, I guess if you pinch it, sure, but I HAVE THE SAME THING (see the sympathy complex rearing its ugly head?) do you think I should be worried about it? Do anti-cellulite creams work very well?***”
And there you go. A new cellulite complex that didn’t exist two seconds before is born right before your eyes. Ah, girlfriends. They’re the worst about handing out complexes.
Some complexes start with a photo.
WHHHHAAAAT!!! Show me that photo again? Is that really my nose / my butt / my shoulders? Nooooo, stop. Do I really look like that? Tell me, tell me the truth! You’re myfriendwhotellsmeeverythingandIcancountonyouthroughthickandthin: Does this photo really look like me? WHAT!? YOU THINK IT LOOKS LIKE ME!?” and so on…
We’ve all had complexes start with a photo. And with Instagram these days, you have to admit: We’ve all had a moment of utter terror seeing ourselves on someone else’s Instagram (and of course, THEY look perfect in the photo, the jerks!!)(Untag me right now, no seriously, untag me or I’ll unfollow you forever, I’m telling you!)
Some complexes come from the beauty / fashion industry.
Those complexes bother me because I don’t even know where they pull them from.
I swear, a few years ago, people were just fine having pores. And suddenly, we all decided we absolutely had to get rid of our pores and buy tons of beauty products to make them just as invisible as they are in overly airbrushed photos.
That one started so many complexes around me that I decided I just wasn’t going to participate. I decided to take a vacation from having complexes, and that I’d accept my pores and wouldn’t even sympathize with my friends who were obsesssing about them.
I’ve already got a good 10 to 15 complexes to deal with as it is, and I just adopted a new one that I didn’t even ask for (what!? the droopiness of the skin on my left hand – that counts!!!) (“But he said supple, Garance, supple – it’s not droopy!!”) and I’m sure there are more complexes just waiting to move in as the years go by, right?
So voilà. Now that we’ve completed our (in depth!) analysis of how complexes are born, do you think we can decide to get rid of them?
I’m trying to.
*And it’s not a matter of being objective, ok? I know a girl with feet that I think are, uuuuhhh, well – not so great – average at best (ok, I admit, I’m a little weird about feet)(and plus, the entire rest of her body is absolutely sublime, so don’t get mad!) and she won’t stop Instagramming her feet, that’s how much she loves them and thinks they are amazing.
So there’s just nothing objective about it! The important thing is that she likes her own feet, right?
(Ok, but I did kind of have to unfollow her, though – with summer coming, the foot storm was getting to be unbearable.)
**Bodyshop was SO my thing at the time – do you remember the White Musc perfume? It was a whole era.
***Answer: of course not.
Translated by Andrea Perdue
The Première first came out in 1987 and has since been reintroduced in more colors and sizes. I like the classic version, gold and black, simple. It’s the kind of watch you can wear every day and never want to take it off. I love how the chain makes it feel so much like a bracelet… which is my excuse for wanting to wear one, because I’ll always check my time on my iPhone ;)
But but but… a Coca-Cola sweatshirt!??
What is this? Trendy, ironic, cooler than cool or way too much?
Ok, first of all, I have to tell you: I’m a fan of sweatshirts. I wear them pretty often, and right now I even prefer to them to wool sweaters. I like the way they look, I like their cool side, and my favorite is by Isabel Marant for H&M. I put it on every time it comes out of the machine, and I wear it until it’s time to wash it again (we all have clothes like that, right?) I like really simple sweatshirts, but I also like ones with inscriptions — preferably vintage, even though I’ve also seen some new ones that caught my eye…
But…a Coke sweatshirt, really? Where did that come from?
Well, I really don’t know. I mean, I know! I know where the idea came from — it’s from the amazing Marc Jacobs collection that came out this summer, and frankly I want to buy it all — even the sweatshirt with the reclaimed Coca-Cola logo on it.
The thing is, if it’s Marc, we all know it’s ironic — he’s making it his own, making a statement about our society. That’s what he’s always done, and I love him for it.
Seeing his show really makes you understand his vision. It was like the girls had come out of a storm, wearing whatever they had found in the wreckage… It was sad and poetic and beautiful.
But this sweatshirt isn’t Marc’s. It’s from Topshop. I don’t doubt they were inspired by the idea and decided to take it even further. Keisha was wearing it the other day at the Studio, and I thought it was a really fun piece. A little ironic, a little iconic. You know what — I actually think I like it.
What do you think?
Translated by Andrea Perdue.
The thing I heard the most this weekend during our Open Studio was from readers who came over to say: “I’ve been following your blog for years, it’s so great to see how it’s evolving…!” and nothing could make me happier than feeling that empathy.
It’s fantastic, because it always reminds me of how I started — not even talking about it, being almost a little embarrassed to have the audacity to imagine that I could have a blog, or that I had this micro dream of doing something of my own.
Back then, I didn’t tell anyone about it — only my three closest friends, actually.
In a matter of two weeks, we launched our newsletter, a new version of our store, and our first Open Studio all at once. To be honest, we hadn’t realized that everything would fall at the same time. These were all just dreams we’d had for a long time that finally came to life at the same moment.
We couldn’t be happier with the results.
The newsletter has been well received and you’ve sent us tons of emails telling us how much you liked it. The first special event related to the newsletter was just as cool and intimate as I had imagined* (sending kisses to the readers who came to breakfast on Friday and vive Prêt-à-Manger croissants! ;) — As for Garance Doré Goods and the Open Studio, oh la la… I’ll have to write an entire post all about it because this weekend surpassed everything I had hoped for it, to the point that at this very moment (that is — Sunday at 1:46, just after spending the morning taking down the Open Studio) I still haven’t completely come down from it.
That’s how things are going for us as we grow.
I dream (or rather — we dream, since I’m not alone anymore and we totally love dreaming things up together, my team and I) and we work like crazy until we bump into the limits of our imagination. And when that happens, that just means it’s time to dream up something new.
Some people talk about creative visualization — it might be kind of like that.
It seems natural to me now. And obviously, it’s easier now to say things now like: “What if we set up a pop-up space where everyone would be welcome to come see the collection, meet the team, and participate in conferences and workshops with us? And get Tattly tattoos! And we could serve Ladurée macaroons! And share my favorite coffee! And invite the amazing Nicolas!!! And Lola! And, and, and…” than it was when I started and nobody knew me.
But in other ways, it’s still the same process. It all starts with a dream.
Because if we don’t let ourselves dream, that’s when life puts up a series of walls, impossibilities, and maybe later in another life.
Dreams carry us over those walls. They make us see new paths — things that maybe no one else had ever imagined before.
When I started, I never could have imagined that all of this was possible, myself!
That’s why nothing makes me happier than your enthusiasm for how the blog is evolving. I figure that if my blog, besides talking about style (and everything else on our minds), can give you ideas, encouragement, and a little bit of the audacity to believe in yourself, then that truly is a dream.
Big kisses! And have a great start to your week! :)
*It was great — we were all sitting around the table together, we got to chat and eat croissants, and I met, among others — my new Pilates teacher, one of our readers who does digital marketing and who is going to come give us a lesson at the Studio, and another reader who is a director and who might come help us on the next episodes of Pardon My French! I knew my readers were cool!!!
PS: In the photo — a Tattly temporary tattoo.
Translated by Andrea Perdue
Here is a photo taken yesterday, as we were closing the Open Studio!
It rained like crazy all say but it didn’t stop the Studio from being packed from 10am to 8pm (this might explain the fog on the windows), with a crazy moment in the afternoon when there was a line around the block (thank you so much for those who waited in the rain).
It was magic to meet you all and to share so many things, be it during our intimate breakfast on Friday or the super packed talk of yesterday.
I’ll tell you more about it later this week, but today, I wanted to thank everybody that came over, and I hope to do it again soon!!!
Love xxxx G
Here is a photo of the Open Studio just before we opened this morning!!
I really hope to see you today! Here is the schedule!
We are here at the Open Studio today until 8pm and tomorrow from 10am – 8pm! I hope to see you!!!
168 Bowery, Bowery & Kenmare
There is something so cool about a skater girls style…
Here’s a few things I think would be perfect!
And here is the program for our Open Studio, a pop up that will be open to everyone on Friday and Saturday!!!!
As I already told you, the idea is that Anna (who is the art director of Rifle) and her team and my (wonderful) team and I will be there to make the space really feel alive.
You’ll be able to come to have coffee, take a look at the collection, meet us but also come to our talks (Friday with Anna who is a wonderful illustrator about our creative process, and Saturday with Lola Rykiel who is the PR director of Sonia Rykiel and knows everything about etiquette and the art of a thank you note).
The amazing Nicolas Ouchenir will be here for a few hours on Saturday to do calligraphy and this is such a honor – I’m soooo looking forward to this moment !!!
Tomorrow, we’ll also do temporary tattoos (with my illustrations) and a letter writing station.
And there will be coffee from my favorite, Jack’s Coffee, all day long.
I don’t think I need to tell you more. Being able to open the doors to our world like this, is such a dream. I really, REALLY hope to meet you.
168 Bowery, Bowery & Kenmare
PS : The only event that’s not open to the public is tomorrow’s breakfast – it’s already fully booked because we announced it in our newsletter (which as I said, will be the place to have access to special events and meet ups!) but the pop up will give us many other chances to meet !
PPS : For those of you who won’t be here, the talks will be broadcasted on Google + and of course, we’ll take a ton of pictures !
PPPS : This time, we didn’t forget the hashtag and it is #garancedorepaper
It’s exciting announcement week (=we don’t sleep a lot)(= we have bags under our eyes)(=we drink too much coffee)!!!
It’s a totally new website where you will be able to find my posters and art prints, the entire stationery and gift line (iPhone caaaaaseeees) (they’re now all available) but also an edit of some of my favorite objects.
It will be updated everyday and I really see it as a website dedicated to all the beautiful things I see around me !!! Click here to check it out (and shop the collection…!).
BIG KISSES !!!
The skate shoe epidemic has hit the Studio in full force. I wanted to show you some of our favorites…and a few little styling tips!
Click the arrows to see them all!
In the photos: Blue satin slip-on, Céline; Zara; White leather slip-on sneaker,Feit; Canvas slip-on,Vans; Perforated leather slip-on,Common Projects; Zebra print slip-on sneaker,Rachel Zoe; Black quilted slip-on, H&M; Hawaiian print slip-on,Aldo; Pony hair slip-on,Schutz; Glitter-covered slip-on, Saint Laurent.
I was walking down the street with Elisa on Saturday night, and we noticed that the girls seemed to be really, reeeeally bare – like hardly wearing anything at all.
They all had on super tight, super short skirts or shorts – more like panties, really, and tops which were basically bras, and they all seemed terribly excited.
I don’t have to remind you that it was below 20°F: I think we’ve already established on this blog that the city of New York has returned to the ice age.
Anyway, we were freezing, even with our coats on. We couldn’t believe our eyes.
Obviously, for a second there, I wondered if we had turned into disapproving grandmas, to which Elisa replied: “Grandma yourself!”
The more we walked, the colder we got, and the flock of half-naked girls just kept on coming.
So we went on theorizing:
“Noooo, we’re just shocked because it’s cold out. In the summer, everyone in New York is dressed like that and no one gives it a second thought!!!”
“Yeah, it’s true – I’ve noticed the shorts in New York are really really short.”*
That’s when we arrived at Webster Hall and realized that was the final destination of all the skin-tight shorts. (I mean, not final FINAL destination, of course – the butts accompanying them would have to get back home one day, right?)(I hope?)
“Pfffff, that’s the Miley Cyrus influence – this is wrong”* I said, with a disapproving look (but not a disapproving grandma look – just disapproving!!!)
The crowd was there to see a group of DJs I hadn’t heard of*, the Bassjackers (is it just me or do I not know anything anymore*?) (have you heard of them?) – and everything would have been fine in the world of butt showing, except that as soon as I saw the crowd, this is what I noticed: the girls were half-naked, but the guys were all dressed totally normally.
“I mean, in the 70s, clothes were super tight*, but it was the same for guys. I have photos of my dad in bell bottom jeans to prove it!”
Honestly, I’ve always been pretty relaxed about half-nakedness. A little less so when it comes to vulgarity, but I guess vulgarity is a matter of perspective.
Side note: Don’t Fear the Nipple
Did you see what happened to Anja Rubik when she published a photo of herself wearing a sheer top (Not vulgar – beautiful, very sexy – but not vulgar) and Instagram literally shut down her page? I thought that was pretty unbelievable.
It’s fashion, it’s artistic!!! Some people might have said.
Yes, but breasts are breasts, it’s nudity – zero tolerance or it’s all doors opened to pornography!!! The People of Instagram might have responded (I don’t think they responded at all, actually. She just had to open another account), completely freaked out by the downward spiral into porno on Tumblr.
As for Anja, she opened a new account and made “Don’t Fear the Nipple” t-shirts, and I thought that was cool. Even if I don’t necessarily want to free my nipple right this minute.
Honestly, all of this is difficult – there aren’t really any clear lines.
That night in front of Webster Hall, the thing that bothered me was of course the trashiness of it all, but also the fact that only the girls were half-naked – that they thought to be fun and cool as a young girl, they had to show as much skin as possible, look as drunk / sexy / ready for anything as possible.
I don’t know what guys go through as teenagers (I’m sure they have other difficult things to deal with) but anyway, I’m sure they don’t have the same pressure to exhibit themselves and to oversexualize their bodies. Good for them.
Now, what’s the dynamic between them and the crazy, half-naked girls?
No idea. But I don’t think boys “ask” girls to dress like that or that it’s a problem of inequality between boys and girls at all.
I just think that girls imagine that’s what they have to do to be cool and rebellious.
And frankly, it’s easy to judge – I had some big moments of stupidity when I was about 20. It wasn’t always glorious, but I learned from it.
So, all of this is just to say – I’m not really sure what to think. Do you think next time I should tell them to go put some clothes on* or should we just let kids be kids…?
* Oh la la, I sound like such a grandma! G, SERIOUSLY!!!
Translated by Andrea Perdue.
Pulling off socks and heels is a total science (Saint Laurent got it right last season). It’s all about the right shoe (not too strappy) and the perfect sock (not too bulky).
Since we are getting pretttttty sick of wearing boots, it could be the perfect combination for this almost spring weather, don’t you think?
Sososososo cool !
We had already announced this in our newsletter, but on Friday and Saturday this week, we will be having an Open Studio !!
For the New York launch of my stationery line with Rifle, I wanted to do an event where we could meet and exchange and we thought the idea of an open studio could be amazing.
I’ll give you the full program super soon, but if you are in New York: we organized talks, workshops with talented people we love and other fun events that will take place in our pop-up on Bowery.
Anna Bond, my team and myself will be there, as well as friends of the blog… You will also be able to purchase the collection, have a coffee, read a magazine, say hello to me, and a ton of other surprises that I can’t wait for you to discover.
If you’re not in New York, we thought about you too, the talks are going to be broadcasted on Google+ and we thought about many different ways to share this moment.
Here is the info and I’ll post a detailed program very soon !
Friday, March 28, 12-8pm
Saturday, March 29, 10-8pm
168 Bowery (Bowery & Kenmare), New York
I’ve always been a fan of rompers, and the season is now approaching (ok, that might be crazy optimistic since it looks like it’s going to snow this week in New York) (SNOW AGAIN!?) (WHAT, DO THEY THINK WE’RE IN THE MOVIE FROZEN HERE IN NEW YORK OR SOMETHING?!!!) where we can let loose with rompers again.
Because in the winter, under our coats, there’s no point (it’s hard enough as it is) and in the summer, when it’s hot, we end up tying things around the waist, which is… pretty nice, actually, don’t you think?
Anyway, I’m a fan of rompers
especially in this transitional period before-crazy springtime pathetic athletic mode mixed with heels (and big scarves), so I love this outfit and I can’t wait to copy it myself right away.
After the snow storm this week, that is. Let it gooooooo, let it gooooooo.
Translated by Andrea Perdue
See anyone and everyone’s first tweet.
Why there’s always room for a smart new women’s magazine.
Donate clothing. Earn gift cards. Support Charity. Everyone wins.
You’ve seen it done again and again online. This is what it’s called.
Mind the Gap.
The picture on your phone is now in your hands in seconds.
A weekly round up of the best links from Delphine & Wes Del Val.
I’m crazy about teas – especially Earl Grey, for that very specific bergamote flavor. I’m really not a connoisseur (and I really don’t like green tea) but I drink some everyday and my favorite is usually the green octagon box by Lipton.
But the other day, at the Mariage Frères store of the Paris airport (!!!) (not super glam), I found this new collection and I have to tell you, they’re crazy delicious. They’re supposed to be limited editions, but I hope they’ll be so successful that they’ll keep on making them.
Do you drink tea? Which are your favorites?
This new (and okay, delicious) bakery just opened in Paris and I couldn’t resist taking a photo. It’s as beautiful inside as it is full of tasty treats…
You must go if you are there!
Click the arrows to see more photos!
Gâteaux Thoumieux, 58 rue Saint Dominique, 75007 Paris.
The Parisian “esprit” is a sort of bourgeoise insolence, an unapologetic frankness, sometimes to the point of being slightly provocative. It’s a self-deprecating sense of humor that comes from being deeply confident in yourself and in your class.
Being neither Parisian nor bourgeoise, I might be wrong, but it was while I was reading the fantastic Betty Catroux interview —she’s primarily known for being Yves Saint Laurent’s muse—in the latest Vogue Paris that the Parisian state of mind popped back into my head.
It reminded me of interviews with Deneuve, Chanel and of course, Françoise Sagan.
Forwardness and audacity, always strike me and I find those qualities very alluring. Not necessarily as an example to follow, more as a way of expressing yourself freely.
So many women think they have to correspond to an ideal, that they absolutely have to want children, that they absolutely have to work, that they absolutely have to love fashion and share their life with someone…
I think it’s a wonderful palate cleanser to hear what Betty Catroux has to say about it:
“I don’t like any of the things a woman is supposed to like. Family, homes, shopping, cooking, gardening, clothes…all that bores me to death. I’ve always dressed like a priest, and I wear practically the same thing every day: it’s a severe look — black, leather. No scarf, and I never carry a purse. When I go out, I just grab a shoe bag and stick my things in it.”
“It’s embarrassing, but I don’t really know what real life is like. I’ve never bought anything, never worked, never paid for anything. One of my wishes in life was to not work.”
When people ask me who my idol is, I always say Françoise Sagan. I don’t know if she’s very well known in the US, I know she used to be — and she’s always the one I turn to for her sense of humor and self-deprecation that both inspire me and crack me up.
She had a life made of books, casinos, friends, alcohol, fast cars and complicated love stories and never apologized about it.
She (almost) always kept her sense of humor, like when she admits she hates to travel.
Yes, there are people who don’t like to travel. So what?
“Traveling makes me blind, deaf, and generally terrorized.”
“The few magazines who, counting on the fresh perspective of a youthful eye, paid to send me off to faraway countries, soon regretted it. To fill up the promised pages, I had to resort to epic stories that readers quickly disregard as nonsense.
I’ve given up on reporting, I don’t know how to travel, I don’t know how to look at things, I’ll end up going back to the same little spot that no one likes over and over just because I can get warm there. When I think about that—that realization of powerlessness, it breaks my heart. My lovely Parisian post with my little neighborhood, and a few trips to the sea, or to Normandy in the summer, and trips to Switzerland in the winter — that’s probably what my life will be like in the future.
Still forty years, maybe. It’s petty and totally comforting.”
We also have Coco Chanel talking about love and companionship, and she didn’t care about being understood or conventional.
“It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone.
It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … I’m neither smart nor stupid, but I don’t think I’m a run-of-the-mill person.
I’ve been in business without being a businesswoman, I’ve loved without being a woman made only for love. The two men I’ve loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.”
Catherine Deneuve, I’ve always loved her for keeping her life to herself. She does that very simply… And very directly :
“Journalist question (ambitious) : We’ve been wanting to get to know the woman behind the Deneuve legend for a long time, tell us about Catherine Dorléac [her real name]…
Catherine Deneuve (party pooper): I have to warn you, I’m definitely not going to talk about anything personal. I’m just here because I’ve got a film to promote.”
She also talked about things like…
“If I’m not interested in the person that’s in front of me, I don’t go out of my way. And because I am a pretty quiet person, I can look totally cold. Too bad, but I’m not going to change now. I’ve never been able to pretend. That’s the way it is.”
There are so many parisians of this kind. Chic, nonconformist, unapologetic. To me that’s such a critical part of style – a very personal way of thinking, unique and that never goes of style.
It’s something that would obviously be passed down from mother to daughter, but the great thing is, there’s always something new about it. The square is kind of like a canvas that Hermès (under the direction of Bali Barret) invites artists to express themselves on.
I’ve always loved scarves – I got this obsession from my mother, who collects silk scarves she finds second-hand.
Scarves are chic – they complete a look, and there’s something a little old-fashioned about them that I love. I wear them around my neck, in my hair, and sometimes as a belt (with washed out jeans, it looks great!).
What about you? Do you wear scarves?