Friday, July 25, 2014

Bon Weekend: 25 July 2014

I only have a few more weeks left in Paris so I'm trying to pack it all in before I go. I still can't believe I haven't made it to all the museums yet.  I'm also headed to London on Saturday for five days to meet up with a friend who will then come back to Paris with me.  As soon as she leave, designer Tommy Smythe comes to visit and I can't wait to visit chateaux and shop for antiques with him. Until then, here's a little of what I've been up to lately. 

The top photo is a bit hazy because it was taken through the glass at the Centre Pompidou.  It's a terribly ugly building but I was shocked at how run down it's looks now.  It is in serious need of a little TLC but at least the art inside still looks good. 

I have been wanting to visit the Musée Carnavalet for a long time and finally made it this week.  It's the free museum in the Marais dedicated to the history of Paris.  The garden and the artwork inside are equally beautiful. You can read about my other small museum suggestions other Paris related articles in my eBay Guides too. 

I also had a lovely lunch at Ralph's at Ralph Lauren on Boulevard Saint Germain.  It's always filled with lots of French people which is a good sign. The outdoor terrasse is beyond gorgeous too. New York will finally get our own Ralph's later this year when the new Ralph Lauren store opens on Fifth Avenue. 

Everyone keeps asking me what women are wearing here in the summer.  The young girls wear sundresses and K. Jacques sandals. The older women wear black dresses with a little sleeve and sandals like this woman.  I loved her chignon and the puff of her sleeves and her shoes.

She was even better from the front too.  She was carrying an Hermès Kelly purse and a pink bag from Monoprix.  This pretty much sums up Paris.  I wish her cane has been wooden but if it had I probably would have passed out from the perfection. 

I'm not trying to offend anyone by saying this but honestly the men in Paris dress better than the women.  They all wear slim tailored suits and great shoes.  Most have a motorcycle helmet slung over their arms but this is the only one I've seen with real driving gloves.  This is definitely what I'll miss when I go back to New York. 

Speaking of Monoprix, I just love their packaging.  My friend bought some cute kids clothes as a gift and their home section is pal mal too.  The one near the Opera has better stuff than mine on rue de Rennes but c'est la vie. 

I will also miss shopping at Le Grande Epicerie and seeing their beautiful egg display.  I just found out that eggs in France are not washed thus preserving the outer layer that keeps them fresh and able to be left out.  American eggs are washed and must always be refrigerated. 

I also live near the amazing Hermès store on rue de Sevres that is located in the former pool of the Hotel Lutetia.  It is worth a special visit since it's never as crowded as the rue de Faubourg Saint Honoré store and they sell the petit h products.  

The Hermès store on rue de Sevres also has a cafe and a little bookstore.  I love these little illustrated sketchbooks by Philippe Dumas that are only 8,50 euros each.  I bought a whole set of the nine for myself and plan to bring them back for all my friends.  Hope they're not reading this post. 

I also stopped by the Village Saint Paul in the Marais this week.  I've already bought flatware this trip but I was serious tempted to buy more looking at this table. 

Last week, I visited the Musée des Arts Decoratifs to see the Dries Van Noten exhibit and ogle the view from the upper floors.  Even if you don't have time for the museum, definitely pop into the gift shop. They have so many great items including the plate that I bought that you saw in a previous post.  It's called Plan de Turgot by Site Corot Limoges. 

I also finally saw the Paris Plages, the beaches the city has set up along the Seine.  It wasn't exactly beach weather on the day I walked past but people were still having fun. 

Bon week-end ! 


Photos by me via iPhone 5 and Intagram.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Chic in Paris: Atelier Brancusi

I love that two months into my stay in Paris, I am still discovering new places.  But I can't believe I've not seen one person or article that has ever suggested visiting the free Atelier Brancusi exhibit next to the Centre Pompidou.  The artist Constantin Brancusi bequeathed his studio along with the entire contents to the French State on the condition that it would be reconstructed as it stood on the day of his death in 1957. 

During his lifetime, Brancusi spent much time rearranging his sculptures in his studio and even photographing them.  He often refused to sell his work in his later years so as not to disturb the unity he had created in his studio.  When he did sell a piece, he would replace it with a plaster cast. 

The studios and display of his tools make it feel as though Brancusi has just stepped out and might be back at any minute to continue his work.  The whole space seems almost a cross between a shrine and a chapel.  It's quite moving and definitely worth checking out on your next visit to Paris. 

Atelier Brancusi 
Place George Pompidou
near rue Rambuteau 
75004 Paris
Hours 2:00-6:00pm 
Closed Tuesdays and May 1st
Free Entrance

Photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sponsor Spotlight & $1000 Giveaway from Gemvara

One of the other occupations I toy with trying is jewelry designer.  Since I don't have the time or energy to take jewelry making classes, I get to indulge my fantasy on Gemvara. Each piece of Gemvara jewelry is customizable in over 20 different natural gemstones and nine different precious metals. Once you've designed your piece, it's handcrafted by one of their artisans in New York City and delivered in less than two weeks with free shipping.  You can even return an engraved piece with their 101 day return policy. 

I've been seeing rose gold everywhere in magazines and in jewelry stores so I chose the Gemvara Puzzle Ring in rose gold.  It actually looked a little like a ring I saw in a store window in Paris. The Puzzle Ring can be worn fitted together or even apart for a different look.  They even sent it to me in Paris with no trouble.  It's a fun memento to remember my trip too. 

The best part is that Gemvara is offering one lucky HC reader a $1000 credit to their site to create your own unique piece. Just click on this special Gemvara link, sign up your email address and then leave a comment here with your name and the url of your favorite piece of Gemvara jewelry. One entry per person will be accepted until 11:59pm on Wednesday, July 31, 2014. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated so they might not post right away.  Do not leave multiple comments or email me directly to enter. 

As an added bonus, Gemvara is also offering HC readers 15% off their order in the next 72 hours by clicking this special Gemvara link.  The discount will automatically be applied to your order.  No promo code is needed. 

Here's a few of the fun pieces I customized on the Gemvara site while playing jewelry designer. I warn you that creating pieces by mixing the gemstones and metals can be addictive! Above is the Gemstones by the Yard Necklace in 14K Yellow Gold with Aquamarines.

One of the only things I thought they didn't offer was a grey pearl but they have those too! Flowering Pearl Ring with Tahitian Cultured Pearl and Diamonds in Rose Gold

You can also custom design your own engagement ring so you make sure you like it!  I love this Adele Ring with Diamonds in 14K White Gold

This post was sponsored by Gemvara but all opinions expressed are my own. 
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