Time to bid farewell to 2013 and wish you a Happy New Year my darlings! I don't believe in New Year's resolutions, but I do believe in kindness, gratitude, enthusiasm, elegance, passion and determination. And most importantly, I believe in dark chocolate, friendship and champagne, but not in that exact order.
I raise my glass to you all, I wish you a fabulous New Year and I look forward to seeing you around very soon!
I would like to extend my very best holiday wishes to all my readers and supporters. May the holiday season bring you comfort and joy, plenty of sweets treats and laughter, sparkling celebrations and most importantly good times with your loved ones!
Montreal-based designer Michel Desjardins was gracious enough to offer three readers a chance to win a luxurious shantung scarf (a value of $125 each) from his latest collection along with a private visit of his atelier.
Enter to win by following ALL of the following rules:
1. Leave a note in the comment section below or send me an email at email@example.com
Did you know that North American women prefer floral fragrances while European women have a strong preference for oriental ones?
That is one of the fascinating things I have discovered at the recent launch party of the new eau de parfum, Tristan Elle. Created to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Canadian brand, Tristan Elle wasdeveloped by Ruby Brown, perfume creative director and founder of Essence Workshop. The former model is one of the rare French-Canadian to have learned the guiding principles of the art of perfumery in Grasse, the world's perfume capital located in the South of France. How excited was I to meet a real nose in person for the first time in my life!
Brown explained that Tristan wanted to a bring a "timeless, elegant and subtle" essence to their loyal customers, in keeping with the brand's core values. After a year of olfactive adventures, a unique floral fragrance was born last November. In the floral family, Tristan Elle "feels like an explosion of pink berries, lemon and pepper" said Ruby Brown with great enthusiasm. "Its heart notes are a mix of rose, jasmin and magnolia, which create a very feminine trail" added Brown.
Indeed, Tristan Elle is quite the sensual and classically elegant fragrance and it compliments well with Tristan's contemporary aesthetic. It's also a very modern product since its entire packaging is made from recycled materials. I personally find the wooden bottle cap to be very stylish against the essence's peachy hue. What a chic little box to put under the Christmas tree!
It's this time of year again! With only two weeks before Christmas, I thought I'd give you some last minute inspiration for your gift shopping. Whether you are looking to make a big statement (with a gorgeous statement necklace) or you need some stocking stuffers ideas, here is my Christmas guide for all the wonderful ladies in your life.
My Interview with fashion designer Michel Desjardins
It's not every day that you meet someone who has studied fashion design in Paris, nor it is everyday that you meet a designer who was taught by Hubert de Givenchy. Michel Desjardins is one of these rare individuals.
I first discovered the work of the Montreal-based designer at an event a few months ago. I had heard of him before but had not yet seen his work. Made with precious and sumptuous fabrics, his latest collection is a modern day fairy tale for the eyes. It's not surprising that Desjardins uses "to seduce, not to provoke" as his motto since his beautifully tailored creations are all finesse and subtlety. I knew right there that I had to meet the man behind such mind pleasing aesthetic. Here is what I learned about him when he recently invited me to visit his atelier: What was your dream career when you were little?
I knew from a very young age that I wanted to design for women. I have always enjoyed drawing sketches. I was also greatly inspired by what the women wore during the holidays or at weddings.
How would you define your own style?
I design fashion for occasions, for special occasions. I don't think I design fashion for everyday life. That being said, I think every day can be an occasion, it all depends on what you make of it. I find it disappointing when people say: "But, when will I wear this? I don't go to the concert nor the opera." Elegance is about dressing up for ourselves in the first place, it's an attitude. It's not only about dressing up to impress others or for special occasions. And it's also about being spontaneous in everyday life and celebrating something out of the blue. It could be the middle of the week and you decide to wear a beautiful dress at night with your husband simply because you feel like it. You dress up because it makes you feel good about yourself. It's important to be spontaneous because one should never stop to seduce.
What brought you to study fashion design Paris?
After my fashion training in Montreal, I was more confident in my abilities to create, but I was not entirely satisfied. I felt something was missing. At the time, Paris was the only emblematic place to study fashion design. I felt I had to live there for a while to get my fashion benediction, to use a religious expression! In my mind, Paris was a mandatory stepping stone in order to perfect my trade. So I eventually moved there and knocked on every door with the hope of getting an internship. But without good connections, it was quite a difficult thing to achieve. At that point, I decided to pursue my technical training at L'École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, which is specialized in haute couture. I learned a great deal about le moulage, which is the technique used to tailor garments on the mannequin. It is the essence of tailoring.
How did you end up working at Givenchy?
At the end of the school year, one of my teachers heard of an opening at Givenchy and submitted my name. And thanks to her recommendation, I was selected. So after a year at L'École de la Chambre Syndicale, I went on to work with Hubert de Givenchy on ready-to-wear and haute couture collections for a year. I was one of the many stylists who had the honor of working closely with him. I remember there was a German man, an Italian one, a British lady and many others from different parts of the world. We were all there to support him in his endeavour and to bring him various perspectives. We would draw all day long in the same room as him. We would see him draw or answer the phone right next to us. By the end of the day, we would hand over our sketches to him while hoping he would pick one of our ideas. I was lucky enough to see some of my inspirations turn into real clothing. It was quite a thrilling experience!
Sketch from the Michel Desjardins 2013 Fall-Winter Collection
What is the most important thing you have learned from your experience at Givenchy? My internship at Givenchy made me realize the importance of being true to what you believe in. When you are in Paris, a place where fashion is made, where the latest styles come to life every day, it is easy to get lost by following every single new trend. One day, Givenchy reminded us: "You are at Givenchy, you make Givenchy". That is how I learned how important it is to follow the fashion codes, the tradition established by a Maison de couture otherwise you will loose the essence of it. Isn't funny to think that the purpose of studying fashion design in Paris is to learn all the latest trends while, in fact, the most important lesson when designing fashion is to stay true to what you believe instead of deliberately following all the trends? In the end, it's about defining your own style, it's not about following all the trends. Who had the most influence on your thought process as a designer?
I would say, Giorgio Armani. He always comes up with simple yet striking details. It's never flamboyant, it's very subtle and chic. At the beginning of my career, I visited an Armani boutique in Milan and I had a major revelation. Suddenly, I understood that style was about selecting gorgeous fabrics and creating clean lines with very little detailing. That was a pivotal moment in my career.
What is the wardrobe essential every woman should own?
A strapless little black dress that Grace Kelly would have had in her wardrobe. It's chic and timeless.
What advice would you give to a woman on how to wear your clothes?
Don't be shy to mix the elegant with the more casual. For instance, you should try wearing a lace skirt with a black turtleneck or a tweed jacket with a great pair of jeans. This way, the chic piece will stand out much more.
What are your favorite fabrics?
I enjoy working with a texture that is why I love tweed, silk shantung, organza and chantilly lace.
Who are your favorite designers?
When I studied in Paris, I was a major fan of Claude Montana and Karl Lagerfeld. And nowadays, I admire the work of Alber Elbaz at Lanvin and Raf Simons at Dior.
Where would you like to go on your next trip?
I would gladly return to New York City, Paris or Rome. I need the energy, the enthusiasm, the architecture I find in these cities. Put me in the wood or in the country and I will be completely lost!
What is your guilty pleasure foodwise?
Chips! But more seriously, I have as much pleasure eating chips than I do eating foie gras.
What are you most grateful for in life?
To be doing what I love every day. I see so many people from my generation who are anxiously awaiting for their retirement and I find it so sad. My work is my passion, I wouldn't see myself doing anything else that designing beautiful clothes and to make women feel elegant and stylish.
Michel Desjardins was gracious enough to offer three readers a chance to win a luxurious shantung scarf (a value of $125 each) from his latest collection paired with a private visit of his atelier.Here are ALL the rules to follow for a chance to win:
Just a little Sunday post to let you know that I have discovered where to buy some Fauchon gourmandises in Montreal. 5 Saisons, the gourmet food emporium located on Green avenue in Westmount, now offers mouth-watering chocolate ganache cakes and heavenly pies from the French gourmet food company known for its chic fuschia packaging. Chocolate lovers rejoice!