Saturday, July 25, 2015

Crowd-Sourcing July's Ile Saint Louis Map

It seemed a natural.
I live on Ile Saint-Louis
So obviously my next map should be rue St.-Louis en L'Ile. Easy peasy no? NO.
I live on an island full of ice cream-seekers (even though Berthillon will close it's shutters on Monday 27 July for vacance, there are many other providers of their excellent glace to dish it out. Le Figaro says Berthillon has the absolute best Vanille in town, in case you're womdering which of the 57+ flavors to order. I say go with the benchmark.
Ha. I saw this poster at the Sunday marché Bastille.
The title of this months map, 'the lure of the ice cream cone'
I do enjoy gazing at the long lines.
Meanwhile back to drawing maps. I belatedly discovered I prefer drawing round shapes (apples, cherries, tomatoes, DESSERTS )
To the straight lines you find on most maps. In fact I am allergic to straight lines.
I picked up this wonderful book, A Map of the World, while researching/procrastinating drawing my Ile St.-Louis map.
Usually I'm dependent on the boys at the copy shop for art feedback.
One frown from them and I'm back to the drawingboard for a redo.

This time I decided to 'crowd-source' for instant feedback. 
I put my horribly busy, desperate map sketch on FaceBook and asked, SOS!
One more thing I was dreaming of including on the map was Berthillon's wonderful Salon de Thé.
Bear insisted
I asked for opinions. Mostly everyone felt as Bear did. They loved tea salons. Fortunately one voice in the wilderness (Felicity) said keep it simple (commonly referred to as KISS).
I skirted the issue by adding La Seine.
A side note, while procrastinating I read Audrey Hepburn was so nervous about meeting Cary Grant in 'Charade' she spilled her wine on him. They added it to the movie but turned the wine into ice cream.
So I added in an homage to Audrey and Cary...sort of.
Adding blue water helped bring me closer to the finish line while still dithering over tea salons. Yes, I know it should be LA not LE Seine.
Finally Felicity's comment on Facebook and doggies saved the day.
Enfin!
Finished after weeks of blood, sweat and too many ice cream cones.
Your JULY PARIS MAPS went out yesterday subscribers.
So that is How The West Was Won and rue Saint-Louis en l'Ile was conquered.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

YSL 1971 Collection, Loulou de la Falaise, Lights Out, Paris Under the Occupation Context Tour

Why is it if I don't see any exhibition the day it opens (press day) I end up procrastinating
Till the last day rolls around like last Sunday?
I made a mad dash to catch the YSL 1971 Scandalous Collection at Foundation Pierre Berge
Admittedly I was driven by the must-have Loulou de la Falaise book.
Have you seen it? A great, endless source of creative inspiration. What an ebullient spirit!
"Loulou was the chichest person on two legs. She had built-in elegance"-Grace Coddington
"Loulou and Yves belonged to the same planet and she acted like a light at his side"-Violetta Sanchez
"I was hit by her beauty and fragility and how romantic she was. When Loulou moved, there was a lot of noise around her because of the necklaces, bangles and cuffs".- Clara Saint
By the way, faite attention: be very careful buying books impulsively at rue de Rivoli chic bookshop, GALIGANI. The sample book open on the table was in English. When I got home I found my copy was in French. Believe me, the comments and text by her friends and family are a big part of this book's joy. You'd think it would be an easy exchange. Nothing is ever easy at Galigani. I must pay 15€ more for the English edition! No way. So now I have a credit to use up. No refunds ever. :(
On to the YSL exhibit. Interesting it begins with this sleeveless tailored jacket
Roundly panned as hideous by NYTimes fashion critic Eugenia Sheppard.
"Yves started the whole powerful uglification trend in fashion, probably because he is the youngest of the Paris made-to-order designers...." bla bla
YSL's collection references the fashion styles women wore under the German occupation '40-45
The famous kelley-green fur shorty coat Yves sent over to Loulou as soon as he  met her with piles of other pieces from the collection. They were about to embark on a grand collaboration.
She became his collaborator (not his muse as both the book and Pierre Berge point out)
I've always loved YSL's fluid sketches.
As a ravenous art collector, with his partner Pierre Berge, it's no surprise he referenced graceful Greek vase line drawings somewhat like his own.
How witty to turn the drawings into fabric
And place them on a fluted, pleated gown..a double entendre.
The first sample of the famous embroidered red lips
Later to adorned this coat dress, not in the show but in the YSL retrospective 5 years back.
40s style sling backs with a splash of red.
From the Loulou book, Yves, sporting a flash of red in the red socks and bow tie with his two 'sisters' during the 70s
If you're a French WWII history buff, I highly recommend the Context 3-hour tour, 'Lights Out, Paris Under the Occupation' with history expert, Thierry Heil. Completely fascinating!
And if you're due to renew your Paris Sketch Letters, a bonus YSL watercolor doodle awaits you.
Be my guest ;)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Afternoon Tea at the Peninsula Paris

I'm late, I'm late
For a very important date...
When am I not late?
Solli is madly emailing me...when am I going to get an iPhone?
We start our grand tour of the newly renovated Peninsula Hotel at the top
The terrace has spectacular views and a fabulous L’Oiseau Blanc rooftop restaurant
Artworks everywhere...most of it French.
Love the glistening, polished hallways
The bar Le Kleber, was once the site of the signing a treaty - The Paris Peace Accords, negotiated by Henry Kissinger and bringing the Vietnam War to a close, was signed in 1973 in the salon. And in 1928, George Gershwin wrote "An American in Paris' while staying at the hotel.
Sadly we did not get to dive into the pool pre-tea. Why not?
I used to stay at the Hong Kong Peninsula months at a time when I was in fashion. The white-suited bellhops haven't changed.
Back in the day they'd send a Silver Arrow Rolls to pick you up at the airport. Dream on...
We take tea outside on Le Kleber terrasse. Always Champers to start at a French tea. I don't think it's the same for English cream teas?
One English cream tea and one French please.
The triple decker trays arrive with precise instructions - what to eat 1st, 2nd, 3rd.
Why didn't I get Solli's jasmine iced tea?
English tea sandwiches - light and delicate for a hot Summer day..
Are these the French or English desserts? I need a cheat sheet with diagrams included.These are all miniatures by the way. Just 2 bites and they're gone. We had to share too.
Don't miss Solli's far more beautiful post on our afternoon tea together at The Peninsula!!