Let’s ‘fly’ back to Paris after a little side trip with my Barcelona post this week.
The 6th arrondissement in Paris is my neighborhood. Although Le Bon Marche Department Store is, technically, in the 7th at 24, rue de Sevres, it is so close to the 6th arrondissement, I consider it a highly flavorsome piece of my neighborhood, in more ways than one.
I make it a point to shop the Bon Marche windows on a seasonal basis or on the occasion I am just in the mood for a ‘stop and stroll’ through to see what’s new in the store and maybe make a purchase….note the ‘maybe’.
I am also fond of the Italian restaurant, Primo Piano, housed on the 2nd floor near the librairie (book) and stationery department. More on that later.
So this post steps back in time to April, 2016. Take a peek at what I saw when I went to ‘lick the windows’ as the French say. Iris Apfel in full color!!, as she only knows how to do!
“There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self-expression and, above all, attitude.” (All quotes are Iris Apfel’s from a Harper’s Bazzar article.)
As an interior designer, I was always intrigued by the textures and colors of the ‘Old World Weavers’ line of textiles. But, until I saw this homage to Iris Apfel, I rather sheepishly have to admit, I didn’t know of her, let alone that she was the one behind the discovery of the coveted fabric line, Old World Weavers. But it makes sense once I know more about her. And, as you can see, she shifted into fashion.
“If you’re not interested, you’re not interesting.”
The Bon Marche windows did her justice, so much so, that I wished I knew the window stylists so I could give them my direct praise. How fun are these and such a great depiction of who she is, which, by the way, she’s 94. Yes, 94 years old!
“I don’t see anything wrong with a wrinkle. It’s kind of a badge of courage.”
“To lead the good life in New York, the two most important things for a woman is a chauffeur and a fur-lined raincoat.”
(And maybe a yacht!?)
“If you make a mistake in what you put together, the fashion police are not going to haul you into jail.”
(I think the window dressers did a fine job of ‘putting together’)
“If your hair is done properly and you’re wearing good shoes, you can get away with anything.”
(Do you think they have her wearing a fur-lined raincoat?)
“When you don’t dress like everyone else, you don’t have to think like everyone else.”
(And, of course, the park chairs are a delightful addition, along with the whimsical birds.)
“Fashion you can buy, but style you possess.”
“I don’t dress to be stared at. I dress for myself.”
If you are a shopper of the current aesthetic fashion, (including eats and drinks, for that matter) remember this address (#24 rue de Sevres). Between the department store and Bon Marche’s delectable Le Grand Epicerie de Paris, across the street, you can’t go wrong in getting a whiff and a taste of what the Parisians hold dear. And that includes Iris Apfel!
“You have to try it. You only have one trip, you’ve got to remember that.”
I like securing a window seat at Primo Piano, so it is often best for me not to arrive at prime time lunch hours. This is the view when not all the trees are leafed out. Across the park is the famed Grand Dame Hotel Lutetia, which was under renovation at the time this photo was taken.
It has since been completed and its Bar Josephine and Brasserie have been enjoyed, more than once, by me and some of my friends!
The view is so quintessential Paris. A campari spritz in one hand and a perfect Italian olive in the other to compliment it, and I am set!
It will be one of the first things I do when I am able to return to Paris again. What are the first half dozen things you head for first when you arrive in Paris?
More quotes from and photographs of Iris Apfel can be found here: https://www.bustle.com/articles/112761-15-iris-apfel-quotes-about-personal-style-finding-yourself-through-it