Tag Archives: Travel

Paris, I miss you.

Just a few more miscellaneous photographs from my most recent trip to Paris.

Top to bottom-left to right:  Notre Dame, just after the storm – Young girl playing with a sail boat in the Luxembourg gardesn – A traditional Parisian breakfast – The Canal at Versailles – Lighting in the Jardin du Palais Royal – Place de Concorde – Mixed jars of food, location unknown – Artazart Design Bookstore – Garden in Versailles – The Canal St. Martin

All Photographs by: Lauren Gries

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Scanning the globe for inspiration

I’ve been back home for only a few days and I’ve been really restless trying to figure out what it was that I “discovered” on my trip to Paris.  Last year it was the color red being the “red thread” but this year I was really unable to put my finger on something.  Spending time in a city where the world’s best trend forecasting companies are home based is a little intimidating, because I almost feel as though it is imperative to bring something back with me.  I found a few trends popping up, the vintage military jackets, straw hats, and of course the over saturation of the striped shirts, but overall the only creative feeling that I could gather from this city is the concept of minimalism.  Not the kind that you would imagine from the 90s era of fashion or the minimalist art movement, but more of the un-satisfaction of over-consumption.  In Paris clothing and styling is more simple, store windows are more simple, the attitudes of the French are more simplified.  Maybe this is something that has always existed in the Parisian culture, but it just feels like a return to naturalism . . . but in a modern sense.  Although I can just put myself in Sofia Coppola’s film “Marie Antoinette” when she so well visualizes the return to naturalism. But of course that came about after years and years of over-consumption, hence the revolution.

Photo from film found: weddingsinparisi.com

I think this minimalistic character is what I really like about Paris.  It’s so different from New York in that matter, even in NY we’re trying to be more natural and organic but it becomes a big deal and in a way unnatural, and like everything else in American culture the idea of being natural and organic is flaunted and commercialized, making the concept ironic.  Now I know I am generalizing here in many ways, but I am to trying to explain this feeling that I get from Paris, and essentially it’s really hard to.  With that said, I think I’ll lighten up and try present a few odds and ends of trends, (design-wise) that I captured while being in Paris.

1. military jackets: I saw so many women and men wearing these jackets, from young to old, and thin to thick (even though there aren’t a lot of thick women in Paris).  The most important styling detail of these jackets, you must roll up the sleeves!  When I tried mine on, the girl at the counter insisted on it and even motioned me to roll then pushing my sleeves up.  It was funny.

Chictopia.com has a little segment on this jackets, showing where you can buy them.  However, I know that Madewell was selling them at the end of last summer, because a lot of their designers use Paris as an inspiration, and they definitely just bought a bunch of those jackets in bulk and shipped to the states to sell for hundreds. I’m thinking one should just hit up the army navy stores for a better deal.

These jackets have oddly become the ‘it’ item of Paris and the best part is that they’re really cheap.  I bought one at “The King of Frip” which was actually below the apartment we stayed in.  This store had an entire rack dedicated to these jackets, all selling for only 10 euros a piece!  Now I was silly and forgot to take a photo of the front of the store but, The King of Frip is found @ 33 Rue du Roi de Sicile • 75004 Paris, France • 01 42 78 33 72 .  I found a beautiful photograph taken by the street blogger/photographer, Yanidel.

photo found here on Yanidel’s Blog ‘Street Photography in Paris’

2. Straw hats: while all the stores in the US are selling these hats, people in the States are not wearing, in Paris however, they are in full force and those ladies look effortlessly chic as they avoid sunburns and skin cancer.  That is something my boyfriend & I had a laugh over a few times, there were so many singed and burned Americans. Please put on some sunscreen!

Thank styleinthecity.com for these photos, and um that’s Karl Lagerfeld in the background of the pic.

3. Color: I saw a slight influence of the color turquoise in design in Paris, not as big as it is in New York.

More so I noticed the color combination of yellow and white popping up in design.  The image on the left is from the Givenchy 2010 Fall collection, the image on the right is a window display for a jewelry company, and the below image from Apartmenttherapy.com, a Parisian apartment.

More to come soon. . .

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Bonjour!

So I’m back from my trip to Paris and of course it was wonderful. Filled with lots of laughter, inspiration, adventure and of course fatigue.  I took so many photographs, I think upwards of 2,000 and probably will only keep about 1,000. That’s still a ton of pictures to go through! So I would love to post a bunch and separate them into categories, interiors, window displays, monuments, food, and of course the odd and random beautiful things one can discover that wonderful city.

Our apartment was in Le Marais, which is the an older part of town with many boutiques and thrift stores.  The culture is composed of young artists, Jewish families, gays and lesbians.  I love that neighborhood because of the cool little unique stores that you can find while wondering along the small streets.  Unfortunately our apartment was also outside of a loud restaurant/bar that was literally open everyday from 6 am to 2 am.  We weren’t the most well rested travelers, that’s for sure.  But coming from NYC, it wasn’t the worst to have a  loud apartment,  we enjoyed being in the thick of the city and being able to walk to many monuments easily.

That is what we did a lot of too, walking, walking that caused for me, 4 blisters and a swollen tendon! Of course i chose the cutest shoes I own and not the most comfortable to wear, because after all it is Paris.  I also did not want to be the token American wearing sneakers and a backpack. Believe me there’s a ton of those! We were just as good as spotting Americans as the French.

The first day we arrived I forced my boyfriend to fight the fatigue by going to get the Eiffel Tower visit out-of-the-way.  This construction is truly a beautiful creation.

Being the cheap-ies we are, we also decided to take the stairs. . . . Yeah, that was pretty stupid. Fortunately, we got a different perspective of the architecture and construction as we ascended up the tower.  Getting up there was of course a great pay off, looking of the city and getting to see all the beautiful 2nd empire architecture makes me all warm inside.  It was also to great to finally experience this place with Jack, its awesome to be with someone who has so much common interest and appreciation of art, architecture, history and the overall  beauty that Paris holds.  He’s now hooked on the city and it seems like my plans to move there  someday are becoming a little more realistic.

all photos owned and copyrights to: Lauren Gries

 

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Extended Absence

Tomorrow evening at this time I should be on a plane, flying to Paris with my boyfriend!  We will definitely be taking tons of photos of our endeavors that I will share when I return.  Planning to visit the flea markets with hopes of taking at least one special something home.  So far the weather forecasts are sunny and in the 70s! Let’s hope its a safe and happy vacation!

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I’m back!

From Seattle!

This past week my boyfriend and I took a lovely vacation to sunny (yes! while we were there) Seattle!  We must have brought the sun with us because New England had the rainiest week in years.  Our visit entailed visiting all of the lovely shops that I’ve read about through blogs and eating tons of wonderful vegetarian and vegan food. I really couldn’t believe the amounts of veggie restaurants! Please see photos of our adventures below.

A typical bum or backpacker. We honestly couldn’t tell the difference.

These stones were near Pioneer Square I think.

Near Pioneer Square

This fabulous dog was hanging out in the store Baby & Co. Which by the way, had really awesome displays.

Seattle Public Library

In the Womb at the library

At Pike’s Place Market

Even though this place is very touristy, I love how it reminded me of the open markets in Paris.

Beautiful and Cheap Flowers!

The disgusting yet vibrantly colored gum wall.

Ports with the mountains in the background

Gasworks Park at night

I think my favorite neighborhood i Seattle is Ballard, it is the old port town of the city.  So quaint with great shops.  If you’re ever in the area, you should definitely check out Lucca, Souvenir, Dolce Vita, The Field House, and Blackbird and we had a great brunch at Señor Moose Café!  You can go down to the Locks to see the Salmon migrating and walk around the beautiful Botanical Gardens.

Dog treats!

This is the storefront of Souvenir, it mostly sells handmade cards and jewelry. The merchandise is so beautiful and so are the displays. The owner Curtis Steiner, makes everything himself. Great place for visual merchandising inspiration.

The Locks.

The Field House has a great concept and they do such a great job with defining their brand and customer. I love the displays and the styling, if I have the funds I would definitely buy too many good for my boyfriend from here.

I didn’t take any photos of the storefront and I can’t find any, but here is their cute little logo and signage that sits in front of the store.

Blackbird also has a great little candy shop at the corner of the block, you can read about its opening on here http://helloblackbird.blogspot.com/2009/08/second-born-blackbird-candy-shoppe.html

On our last day we made a trip out to Snoqualmie Falls.  Only 30 to 40 mins outside of the city there are mountains, waterfalls, and nature galore.

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Day 4: Museum of Decorative Arts and The Louvre

Yesterday we visited the Louvre. It is gigantic and I am prepared to return on Sunday to check it out again. when we went we only visited the usual touristy paintings because we new that on Sunday things like Mona Lisa and Winged Victory would be a mob scene.  I find it almost depressing how the Mona Lisa is so revered and placed on such a high pedistool (or behind a thick sheet of bullet proof glass and baracaded off about 15 ft from people).  I definitely think it deserves recognition, but most of the people who go to take a photograph of the painting (when they could just google a better image) do it without any understanding as to why they find it so important.

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This picture shows the scale of Mona Lisa and the bullet proof glass that she is behind.

We also visited the Decorative Arts Museum that is apart of the Louvre.  There was is an exhibition going on about the color red in design and art.  There overall concept relates to the difference between the two tones of Rouge within artwork.  Depending on the tone, red can represent royalty or prostitution. The only way to really tell the difference is understand that royalty is closer to the color of blood with an almost brown, warm undertone and the dangerous red would have a blueish undertone.  Such as Mae West’s famous red lips.

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Chair of Mae West lips.

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This is a super cute little kid that was wearing a shirt that said “Boys don’t cry” aww.

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perfume bottles

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old books

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glowing baby lamps

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homeless man with puppies. I wanted to take them.

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being ugly americans outside of the Louvre

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Day 2: Museum of Modern Art and the Marine Museum

I have arrived and have been jet lagged and visited:
The Eiffel Tower
The Museum of Modern Art and The Marine Museum (Muse de la Marine-Palais de Chailot for the exhibition ‘Les Marine Font la Mode’ (sailor chic in Paris)
The Museum of Modern Art
&
Le YSL Foundation

So far it is been really fun and tiring and inspirational to say the least. I have taken so many photos.

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To be continued . . . .

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