Archive | November, 2010

Brigitte Bardot

25 Nov

I gave my beauty and my youth to men. I am going to give my wisdom and experience to animals.
~ Brigitte Bardot

It is better to be unfaithful than to be faithful without wanting to be.
~ Brigitte Bardot

Arguably film’s first sex symbol, Brigitte Bardot is an acclaimed actress, model, singer and dancer revered by men and women alike. View an incredible Bardot collage of pictures while listening to her sing La Madrague.

Bardot became an aspiring ballet dancer at the age of 5, and by 13 she danced at the prestigious Conservatoire Nationale de Danse. By 14, her astounding beauty readily apparent, she had already been photographed for the cover of Elle magazine. At 15, she met her future first ex-husband Roger Vadim. They married when she turned 18 and divorced five years later.

In 1952, she progressed from modeling to acting. She appeared on-screen for the first time as Javotte Lemoine in Le trou Normand. Two more films followed. It wasn’t until her provocative role as a 17-year-old nymphet, in her then-husband Roger Vadim’s controversial film And God Created Woman, that she was thrust into stardom and became an international icon.

Bardot played quite a role in the sexual liberation movement of the 1960s. She was one of the first women to wear a bikini, and later she and her friends would be the first to sunbathe topless on the sunny beaches of St. Tropez. Her explosive sexuality was electric and took the U.S. by storm—millions of American men were awe-struck and hopelessly in love!

A tormented soul like so many famous stars, Bardot attempted suicide a multitude of times. “I really wanted to die at certain periods in my life. Death was like love, a romantic escape. I took pills because I didn’t want to throw myself off my balcony and know people would photograph me lying dead below.” On her 26th birthday she attempted her most publicly known suicide attempt, swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills and slitting her wrists.

Bardot retired from the film industry in 1973 to focus on her love of animals and political activism. During her film career she starred in 47 films, recorded 80 songs and performed in numerous musical shows. Interestingly, she was awarded the Legion d’honneur in 1985 but refused to receive it.

In 1986 she founded the “Brigitte Bardot Foundation”, which advocates for animal rights across the world. She has been outspoken to the point of causing international offense on the behalf of animals, and in recent years has been fined by the French government for “inciting hatred” with her books.

Brigitte Bardot, a sexy, complex and controversial woman will always be the ultimate sex symbol who stole the hearts of men around the world.

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Monaco International Clubbing Show (MICS)

19 Nov

Monte Carlo, the principality of Monaco, sits a-top the majestic rock of Mont Des Mules, overlooking the pristine Mediterranean Sea. Luxury, sophistication, opulence and grandeur define this famous destination. 

What better location than the world capital of luxury, to host the first ever exclusive event dedicated to nightlife and fashion: The Monaco International Clubbing Show (MICS) and the Monte Carlo Fashion Forum (MCFF).

MICS, was held on Thursday, November 11, through Saturday, November 13. The magnificent Grimaldi Forum, a state-of-the-art cultural exhibition center, was transformed into the world’s largest nightclub.

From 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. the Grimalid Forum hosted 12,000 square meters of exhibitions, activities, conferences and networking events related to nightclubs, bars and restaurants. Each brand and venue showcased the latest and greatest nightclub innovations to an international panel of buyers. In order to meet every clubbing establishment’s needs lights and sound, architects, premium alcohol and energy drinks were present to provide answers and innovative solutions.

Located at the heart of the main exhibition was the “Premium Club.” Over 100 of the most prestigious alcohols, international nightlife brands and venues created intimate settings to network and sample their avant-garde cocktail concoctions. It was a provocative scene, the most illustrious brands mixing with the omnipresent buzz of dance music in a club-like setting.

The mini venues were awe-inspiring and chic. Whether floating away on a white cloud in the Belvedere and Moet & Chandon cloud room or sipping vanilla rum in Pink Pigeon’s feathery haven to drinking a smooth martini in Greygoose’s swanky blue room or stylishly sipping Fashion TV’s vodka there was something to tantalize every clubgoers and music-lovers taste buds!

And that was only the beginning! Every night from 9 p.m. to sunrise MICS transformed Monaco into the center of the clubbing universe. Renowned DJs from all over the world including the United States, Ibiza, Dubai and Russia took you on a magical journey from dusk until dawn. Bob Sinclar, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Chuckie and Boys Noize amongst others had the crowd on their feet with their heart-pumping beats all night long.

A nightlife extravaganza, an avant-garde fashion forum and an international jetsetter location, MICS you put on an extraordinary event!

Check out the incredible pictures taken by Maarten in’t Groen of GreenPictures.

Monte Carlo Fashion Forum (MCFF) – Interfest of Luxury Fashion & Design

18 Nov

The Monte Carlo Fashion Forum (MCFF), the first ever international fashion forum, was held in conjunction with MICS on Thursday, November 11, through Saturday, November 13.

The avant-garde fashion shows were held in the luminous 2,000 square meter glass atrium at the exquisite Grimaldi Forum. The fluidity of the building inspired a breathtakingly ethereal setting. As the models paraded down the runway the luster of natural light captured the sheer elegance and craftsmanship of each piece.

Each visionary designer brought a unique and one-of-a-kind perspective to the runway. Valentin Yudashkin, Beach & Cashmere Monaco and Christophe Guillarme showcased their talents on day one. Alexandra Icart, Ulle Pohjanheimo, Izeta and Jiki displayed their incredible workmanship on day two. Jean-Marie de Saint-Ange, Atelier Russe & Laris Egorova and Maria Lafuente completed the forum with a stunning presentation on day three.

My three favorite designers were: Beach & Cashmere Monaco, Ulle Pohjanheimo and Atelier Russe & Llarisa Egorova

Beach & Cashmere Monaco brought a sense of island leisure to the runway with vibrant colored swimsuits and playful beachwear with tropical twists. Ulle Pohjanheimo’s collection of glamorous and sophisticated evening wear spoke to every woman in the room. While Atelier Russe & Llarisa Egorova array of bold, sheer and billowing gowns radiantly lit up the catwalk.

MCFF put on an extravagant, captivating and elegant show. Check out the beautiful pictures below taken by Maarten in’t Groen of GreenPictures for Beach & Cashmere Monaco and Atelier Russe & Llarisa Egorova.

Galeries Lafayette Department Store

10 Nov

Whether you are looking for a prestigious brand of cosmetics, something in the culinary arts, that perfect pair of jeans or you just want to enjoy the holiday festivity and splendid window displays, Galeries Lafayette is a must see! Happy shopping…

Founded in 1893 by Theophile Bader and his cousin Alphonse Kahn, Galeries Lafayette positioned itself as a trend-setter in the Parisian fashion world from the beginning. Bader commissioned Georges Chedanne to design the layout of the Haussmann location. A glass dome and Art Noveau staircases were built in 1912.

Located in the heart of the Opera district, Galeries Lafayette is an architectural landmark that is one of the most visited sites in Paris. The splendid Neo-Byzantine cupola (glass dome) is a breathtaking historical monument that people from all over the world come to see. The terrace of the building offers a splendid panoramic view of the city.

This lavish department store is the fashion Mecca of Paris. It is home to multitudes of famous luxury brands, but also serves as a launching pad for young and upcoming cutting-edge designers. Offering close to 80,000 different labels, it is hard not to find something you will love in this grandeur palace of fashion.

Under its Neo-Byzantine cupola resides the world’s largest perfumery, filled with the most sumptuous fragrances from around the world. In the women’s fashion department, free 30-minute fashion shows are held every Friday at 3 p.m. A reservation is required so call (01.42.82.36.40) or e-mail for reservations. Additionally, there are services galore: travel agency, beauty parlour, hair salon, restaurants, bridal & birth registries, florist and gift ideas.

 

Location:

Address: 40, Blvd. Haussmann, 9th Arrondissement
Metro: Chaussée d’Antin, Opéra, or Trinité
RER: Auber (Line A) or Haussmann St-Lazare (Line E)
Bus: Lines 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29, 32, 43, 53, 66, 68, 91, 94, or 95
Telephone: + 33 (0)142 823 456
Visit the website 

 

Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution

10 Nov
 

A confirmed Francophile, many of the books I have recently read highlight Parisian history, politics culture and fashion. For those of you that share my same love, I highly recommend you read Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution, by Caroline Weber.

Caroline Weber is a specialist in eighteenth-century French literature and culture, with a particular emphasis on the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. She received her PH.D. in French Literature from Yale University and her BA in Literature from Harvard University. Currently, she is the associate professor of French at Barnard. Listen to the New York Times book review podcast with Caroline Weber.

Caroline Weber’s scholarly book, Queen of Fashion, is endlessly fascinating to me. In it, she describes the volatile interplay of fashion and politics during Marie Antoinette’s reign. She also demonstrates the importance fashion had on French politics and culture and offers insights into the role style and fashion played in Marie Antoinette’s fate.

Marie Antoinette , Joseph Ducreux, 1769

Queen of Fashion paints a rollicking account of a defiant queen, frivolous, politically audacious, and sadly, inevitably doomed. A queen whose illustrious fashions would bring the fabric of change before France. Weber does an excellent job of explaining the political controversies that Marie Antoinette’s clothing provoked.

Marie Antoinette’s refusal at 14-years old to wear her whalebone corset threatened the Bourbon-Hapsburg alliance. She was blamed for France’s moral decay, financial bankruptcy and the blurring of class lines. According to Weber, the paradox of her tragic story is that “fashion—the vehicle she used to secure her triumphs—was also the means of her undoing.”

Marie Antoinette’s flair for fashion ultimately led to her tragic and untimely death. As Weber so brilliantly said, “The queen’s fashion obsession wasn’t about narcissism and frivolity but self-assertion; even at the guillotine she controlled her image with a radiantly white ensemble.”

Marie Antoinette Taken to the Guillotine, William Hamilton, 1794

She embraced her death the way she embraced her life, courageously, valiantly and recalcitrantly. At the age of thirty-seven, stripped of all royalness, the guillotine waiting, Marie Antoinette in all white, triumphantly and gallantly marched to her death.



Salon du Chocolat 2010

4 Nov

Ignite your senses, tantalize your taste buds, visually stimulate your mind and be transported to a world of couture and chocolate. Salon du Chocolat, is the event for all you sweet tooth’s and fashionistas!

The 16th annual Salon du Chocolat was held from October 28 to November 1, at the Porte de Versailles in Paris. Over 400 exhibitors participated in this fabulous trade show. Salon du Chocolat is the official chocolate trade show of Paris, the rendezvous for all chocolate lovers, including enthusiasts, chefs, professionals, designers and anyone with a sweet tooth.

The extraordinary fashion show, known as “Chocolate Trends,” combined avant-garde designers, the precision of chocolatiers and the ingeniousness of many countries. The couture collections were visionary, scrumptious and most importantly benefited a worthy cause.

In collaboration with the Ethical Fashion show, the Salon du Chocolat combined biodiversity with organic chocolate dresses. The countryside chic meets eco-friendly fashion was truly innovative and inspirational. The fashion parade benefited an association promoting sustainable fashion: Universal Love.

Check out all the delectable chocolateness below…