Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

10/24/22, Sunday Fun

Posted on October 24, 2022

Hi Everyone,

When my youngest, “coolest” daughter came to visit me in Paris recently, she came armed with a list of “cool” stores to visit. She has had shocking pink hair for years, knows and owns every cool sneaker ever made, from every collaboration of shoe designers with famous brands. She was wearing Golden Goose sneakers with silver sparkles, and she loves Balenciaga streetwear.

She took me to a store named Kith, which I’d heard of and never been to, and she has visited in several cities (LA and NY), and I didn’t know what to expect. I expected the usual fashion forward clothes I couldn’t wear, and was prepared to wander the store aimlessly while she checked it out. I was surprised by the address, in a posh location, and recognized it once I got there. The location was previously a small chic boutique hotel, with a popular restaurant: Pershing Hall. I recognized the two story high wall of intertwining leaves that was previously in the restaurant, and is now at the heart of store. Past 3 security guards at the entrance, the entire interior is white marble (with gorgeous marble benches), and the inside of the ‘store’ is spectacular. Their gift shop has jewelry, custom Rolex watches, size 17 glass high top sneakers to be used as vases, and others in the same design are candles. Designer bears and decorative items, and upstairs walls of rare, unusual sneakers, men’s and women’ clothes. And in the center of the ground floor, the restaurant Sadell’s , my favorite brunch spot in NY (fabulous pancakes, and delicious salads). Next stops on our list Supreme and Off-White. Shopping with my coolest daughter is a LOT of fun!!!

I hope you have a great week, with some frivolous moments, and some fun!!

love, Danielle

2/22/22, Shoes!!!

Posted on February 22, 2022

 

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day last week. I had an unexpectedly lovely one with a friend who came to lunch. And I got to use the heart plates that one of my daughters gave me for Christmas, and new napkins I had just bought with embroidered hearts on them—-and the glasses with hearts on them that two of my daughters gave me last year. It was an unexpectedly day. And three of my daughters sent me roses and anemones.

 

I have been working non stop for the last two months and have hardly taken any days off. I finished one book in the morning, and started the next one that night. I don’t usually work quite that intensely and normally take a few days or a week off between books, but the weather has been lousy, cold and rainy, and the Covid numbers high, so I decided to stay home and really dig into my work after the holidays. I can go from one book to the next like that (although it is exhausting, because the writing is physically demanding because I work such long hours day after day so as not to interrupt a book) because I spend months working on the outline, and by the time I’m ready to start a book I have all the details lined up, the plot worked out, have written pages and pages about each character, and I outline each chapter in detail. So when I start the book, everything is lined up, although I adjust some details as I go along, and add a few things. So I have been working hard.

 

And one of my favorite things to do when I’m not working, for fun, to unwind and relax, or if I’m down, is to go shopping. I love fashion and pretty clothes, and fun things to wear (when my youngest son was little, he loved little cars (now he likes real cars!!) and I bought a jacket to wear when I went out with him, that had little match book cars sewn all over it. I still have the jacket, it’s amazing). Shopping is not a deep intellectual pursuit, but I really have fun shopping. I try not to buy impulse buys and buy things I will really wear—particularly when Covid is over. I have lived in jeans (particularly my favorite ones with the hole in one knee) and the cashmere nightgowns I wear when I write (with the holes in the elbows) since Covid started. And more so with each lockdown. I feel like I haven’t gotten dressed up in two years. When the first lockdown happened, I tried to look ‘cute’ every day to keep my spirits up. And I didn’t see anyone for 3 months. By the 4th lockdown. I was no longer looking cute, and dressing for myself and my dogs had lost its charm. (My dogs really don’t care what I wear). I haven’t been to a restaurant in two and a half months, in the recent Omicron surge where the numbers were terrifyingly high and the contagion extreme, so I haven’t had a chance to get dressed up since Christmas—but today I went shopping, and my favorite thing to shop for are shoes. My father said that my first word was ‘shoe’. I don’t know if that’s true, but I certainly enjoy them. There are rumors that I have thousands of pairs of shoes. I don’t, but I do have a lot of them, and have so much fun shopping for them.

 

Last week, I bought a super fun pair of summer sandals, and the heel is a bottle of red nail polish. Soooo fun!!! Sometimes I like silly shoes, and sometimes I just like really pretty shoes. I like loafers and ballerinas for comfort. I’m not a huge sneaker fan, although I have a few. I bought some cute red clogs last year and am afraid to wear them, because I’m afraid to step on my dogs’ tiny feet in them. I like heels when I get dressed up, but not crazy high. And I like simple pumps. And I will confess, today I went wild. I bought a pair of loafers, a pair of black patent leather short boots, I bought a pair of dressy black suede flats, and the same ones in white for the summer, and a pair of simple black patent leather high heels. (for some reason, I love black patent leather, maybe because it reminds me of when I was a kid and I loved wearing my black patent leather mary janes, and getting a new pair was always exciting!!) Last week, I had a bad day, and bought the nail polish sandals to cheer myself up, and today I was just celebrating the end of a book, and rewarding myself for working hard. It’s a harmless past time and I work hard…and if it makes me happy, why not??  And shoes are a pretty harmless vice to have!!

 

So that’s my guilty secret—-and I don’t even feel guilty about it. I came home with my loot, and was happy as can be. Sometimes it’s good to indulge yourself, and spoil yourself when you can.

 

I have a sign in my office in California that says “Do what makes you happy”—-I’m a dutiful person and always do my “homework” before I let myself do something fun. I did my homework, and now I had some fun!!

 

Do what makes YOU happy, whatever that is. getting your hair or your nails done, going on a hike, or to the beach. Seeing a friend, reading a book, or spoiling yourself, a hot fudge sundae, shopping. Whatever it is, we all need to spoil ourselves once in a while, when we can. Today was a big treat!!!  Have a great week!!

 

love, Danielle

 

 

7/20/20, Vanity Fair

Posted on July 20, 2020

Hi Everyone,

I thought this would be fun. It’s little vignettes of my Paris apartment, from the most recent edition (July/August) of Vanity Fair:

DSteel Vanity Fair

 

Have a wonderful week!!!

love, Danielle

Filed Under Art, Dogs, homes, Paris, Shopping | 2 Comments

1/21/20, Happily Ever After, or…?

Posted on January 21, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

 

The trend in some stores these days is for attentive salespeople to say “How’s your day so far?” It always irritates me, because you know they really don’t care or want to know. How’s my day? I’m always tempted to say something like ‘ let me tell you, I had an argument with one of my children, I scraped my car on the way out of the garage and my husband will have a fit, there’s a leak under the kitchen sink, and the dog threw up all over the new rug. So that’s my day, how’s yours?’  Instead, of course, I just respond “Fine.” So I am tempted to say to you slightly tongue in cheek, “How’s your year so far?” We’re three weeks into it, and mine has been okay so far, but somewhat a mixed bag, like everyone else’s life. Some days are great, and other days are not so great. But 2020 seems pretty decent so far.

 

I’m pretty much a traditionalist, and enjoy certain fantasies. I’ve always been somewhat intrigued by the British monarchy, all the pomp and ceremony and traditions. There is a fairy tale quality to it, although we’ve all read about the bumps and heartaches in the Royal family, from the tragic death of Diana, leaving her two young sons without a mother, to the romps and romances of various young royals, Prince Charles marrying Camilla counter to their traditions about not marrying divorcees, and his waiting an entire lifetime to become king, and steadfast Queen Elizabeth, 93 now, still on the throne and going strong. It is kind of fascinating, and must interest a lot of people since the Netflix series “The Crown” depicting all those dramas and dramatizing and fictionalizing them, has been hugely successful. It feeds into our Cinderella fantasies, with Cinderella marrying the handsome Prince and “they lived happily ever after”. Although in real life there seems to be a lot less ‘happily ever after’, and as many dramas as we all live with. That was the one thing that stood out to me in the series “The Crown”, the royals seemed so unhappy so much of the time, weren’t able to marry who they wanted to, and were bound by restrictive rules and traditions constantly. It sometimes seems very poignant. So being a prince or princess does not appear to be a guarantee of happiness.

 

In that vein, I’ve been intrigued by the struggles of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex now, who appear to have caused an earthquake in the royal family, giving up their titles and royal duties, moving to Canada, and breaking with tradition. We’ll never know the inside scoop on that, and only what we’re told in the press, but just from what we do read, it seems safe to assume that it must be a major upheaval, and I wonder what the Queen really does feel about it, to have her grandson break away, and move away, with his wife and infant son, to start a very different life.

 

As a mother of some young married children, I know it would sadden me if one of my children were to move a continent away, and abandon all of our traditions. In Prince Harry’s case, I am reminded of the late Duke of Windsor, who was briefly king (King Edward), and abdicated and gave up the throne just so he could marry a divorced woman, which was strictly forbidden at the time. I wonder if he thought it was worth it, he always looked sad in photographs from then on, or most of the time. What a huge step that must have been, to give up being king. And since the woman he left everything for was also American, it does remind me of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, although current British laws made it possible for him to marry Meghan, even though she was divorced.

 

It does seem sad to me, and unfortunate, if he is leaving everything to satisfy his bride. It would seem that if one marries into an institution as established and powerful as the British monarchy, one would expect to live within the restrictions of their rules, rather than fight the system, or break away and leave. It must be a tremendous pull and upheaval for the prince, and every member of his family. I’m sure the adjustment was tremendous for an American wife in that very restricted setting, under constant scrutiny, but it seems sad to me that they are leaving, rather than staying and accepting the structure like the other royals.

 

Families are not easy even in ordinary circumstances, and must be far more complicated for the royals. I’m sure all of them are impacted by it. Prince William has said publicly how sad he is to see his brother leave. And they must be particularly close, having lost their mother at an early age.

 

Anyway, no family is exempt from its challenges, and changes. Even the Royals!!! It’s just a little more intriguing when the people involved are wearing a crown!!!

 

I hope you have fun projects up ahead. I’m busy working on a new book. And my latest book “Moral Compass” is doing really well. I hope you read it soon, and that you love it. And in the meantime, I wish you ‘Happily Ever After’ in all your ventures and romances. And I hope your year so far has been great!!! Have a terrific week!!

 

love, Danielle

 

1/13/20, Mickey Madness

Posted on January 13, 2020

 

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope that all is well with you. After the seriousness, stress, and rushing around of the holidays, and the solemnity of not only a new year but a new decade…..a bit of fun.  Sometimes fashion is just plain fun, frivolous, and can even take us back to the innocence and silliness of our childhoods—-maybe with a new twist. Mickey Mouse is the hot new craze at the moment, with a vintage look, brought to us by Gucci, which is all about fun and how imaginative fashion can be.

 

Gucci has done a whole new collection featuring a vintage looking Mickey Mouse, in collaboration with Disney, or licensed by them in any case. And not just for children, but for men and women too. Set for specific release on January 6th, Mickey appeared in the Gucci stores a week ago, and the spark of excitement over it has turned into a roaring blaze. The Mickey collection has the cut and quality and flawless eye for fashion of Gucci clothing and accessories, with a REALLY fun touch. Jeans with a Mickey patch on the back pocket, T shirts in many colors, round neck sweatshirts and hoodies, sweaters, denim jackets and skirts, silk pajamas you can wear out, purses, shoes, jackets, in pastel colors, vibrant ones, or their signature nut brown motif with Mickey Mouse all over it, even watches. And admittedly, with the high quality of Gucci, a serious eye for fashion, and the irresistible Mickey image, it’s not cheap. In fact, it’s pretty expensive. Not as expensive as some recent fashion trends like Chanel’s collaboration with Pharrell last year, which had people lining up in the streets overnight to buy $6,000. hoodies, which were sold out within hours when Chanel stores opened. Gucci hasn’t gone that far, but the entire Mickey Mouse collection is priced at the high end of a luxury brand you can always count on to deliver high quality, and takes full advantage of nearly a century of the world’s love for Mickey Mouse. The collection takes us back to our childhood, while being undeniably fashionable, and the hottest trend in years.

 

And yes, I fell in love with it, and bought some for me, my youngest daughter who loves it too, and even some gifts. If you love Mickey Mouse, you will love every bit of it. The entire collection nearly sold out on the first day, as fashion aficionados and fashionistas waited, panting, for the promised release.

 

Simply put, I love it!!! It’s impossible to resist, and I love the childlike imagination of it. I don’t usually buy ‘trends’, but this one got to me, so I’ll be wearing my Mickey Mouse jeans and T shirt, and even a sweatshirt this season!!! A little levity does one good. So the race is on, and Mickey is winning by a mile this season. It is a super fun start to the New Year!!!

 

Have a fun week!!!

 

love, Danielle

 

10/28/19, Trick or Treat

Posted on October 28, 2019

 

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you’ve had a good week, and some good things happened. I actually had a very good week. I finished a new book I’m REALLY happy with, it was challenging to write and one of those books that just flowed (which you can never predict!! The ones I think will be easy nearly kill me, and the ones I dread just roll out like a red carpet sometimes). This one really spoke to me, so it went well and I really enjoyed it. (And if you want to see me typing, check out the short video on my Instagram (at ‘officialdaniellesteel’). It’s a funny little video of me pounding away on my vintage typewriter). So the book went well, I spent a really lovely evening with a friend after I finished the book, and I treated myself to a day off on Saturday. It was a beautiful sunny day, I went for a walk, and then did some Christmas shopping I was happy with, then went to my favorite restaurant with an outdoor terrace, had a virgin Mojito and a snack, and enjoyed the people watching. It’s a busy restaurant, very trendy, with amazing people coming and going, in either very chic or very far out outfits. There was a very good looking Dutch couple on my right, we chatted for a little while, and two Russian girls to my left. The restaurant draws a very international crowd, and I love the outdoor terrace, dogs, people, sexy young women, tall beautiful models, the men they’re with. Lots to see. And then inevitably, I went home that night and did a little more work on the book I finished. It was a fun day.

 

On a more serious note, I am disturbed and worried and sad about the fires in Sonoma in California. The area was ravaged only last year, with so many homes lost and thousands of acres burned In Napa and Sonoma, and now there they are again. I hope the fires are contained soon. It’s becoming a yearly occurrence at this time of year, and tragic for so many.

 

And today begins one of my family’s favorite weeks—-not in a serious, meaningful holiday way like Thanksgiving or Christmas. But—it’s Halloween this week!!! And my family has always thrown themselves into it with delight and great creativity!!! We’ve had the usual witches with green faces, all the SuperHeroes, dogs, bears, bunnies, ghosts, they’ve gone as Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator, Prince, Michael Jackson, rock and rap stars, Spiderman, Smurfs—–there’s no limit to what they’ve come up with, all the way into their teens and adulthood. Their Halloween costumes were a Major Topic of conversation for at least a month before. My favorite costume of mine was a Whoopee cushion costume (which will be on my Instagram this week). And one of my daughters really made me laugh a year or two ago when she dressed up as me for Halloween—-and she looked more like me than I do, in black turtle neck sweater, jeans, bracelets on both arms and two pairs of glasses on her head, her hair in a ponytail like mine, except hers is blonde not red. I thought it was very funny (and I’ll put that on my Instagram this week too—-as well as my Chihuahuas in costumes!!!)

 

I used to let each of my kids bring some friends (when you multiply that by 9 kids, that’s a LOT of kids), we had dinner first with “eyeballs” and glow sticks, and all the scary decorations, and then we headed out with their trick or treat bags, and walked our neighborhood, with all of them in their costumes, and then they would finally come home with their trick or treat bags full. And of course we did a haunted house in one room of our house every year, and they loved screaming their way through it. Really fun times!!  I’m not sure if any of them will dress up this year, or if they’re going to Halloween parties, they all have grown up jobs now and may not have the time for it. But we really had fun with it.

 

 

I hope you have a fun week—-that’s all treat and no trick!!! Have a great week!

 

 

love, Danielle

 

7/22/19, Summer Clean Up

Posted on July 22, 2019

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you’ve had a good week, and are getting some real vacation time in. I had my one week holiday with my kids, and as soon as they left, I went back to work. It’s been a week since they left, and the vacation already seems like years ago, I’ve been wading through my work, and I’ve taken a few breaks to clean out my closets……again!! My last big clean out was two years ago when I moved to a new apartment, and I always feel virtuous and victorious when I purge my closets. I get rid of the fashion mistakes, the things that really don’t fit right and never did, the things I’m sorry I bought, and some old favorites that are long past their expiration date. I always give up the things I think I’m going to lose five pounds to wear, even if I lose 5 lbs., it never comes off the places that will make that piece of clothing fit, so I finally get rid of it!!! I’m not really an impulse buyer, but sometimes I do buy some silly stuff. I’m a less conservative shopper than my daughters, and they warn me when I’m about to commit a huge fashion mistake, and most of the time, I don’t listen to them, and go right ahead and buy something they warn me I’ll be sorry I bought….and most of the time they’re right.

 

It’s a terrific feeling pulling things out, and getting rid of the dead wood in your closets, and occasionally I wonder what I was thinking when I bought something (and I DO keep some of the outrageous stuff even in a clean out!!!) It’s not too outrageous, but I’m reminded of a ‘mature’ quite a bit older friend whose mother was visiting her, and my friend was rushing out to go somewhere, while her mother watched her dress. My friend looks great, has a great figure and particularly great legs, and loves wearing miniskirts (that’s one sin I’m not guilty of—-I don’t have the legs or the courage for miniskirts. I commit other fashion sins!!). As she was about to rush out the door, she looked at her mother and said “I have the feeling I’ve forgotten something…” Her mother looked at her and said, “Yes, your age.” That happens to me occasionally too, something looks like so much fun (and I do love fashion, and have a sense of humor about it), but when I get it home, I think “What was I thinking? I can’t wear that!!!”—–and if I do, my daughters are quick to scold me.

 

I find that when I’m feeling swamped by life, and not in control of all the challenging situations in my life, I dive into my closets and start getting rid of things and putting everything in good order, my closets are one thing I can always control and do something about. It’s therapeutic for me.

 

So right in the middle of summer, my closets are looking impeccably neat, all the old stuff I don’t want is weeded out, and now I can see what I have, and wear the right stuff, and not fight my way through old stuff that doesn’t fit, or fashion mistakes. I always learn something about myself too, of what I really like and works well for me. I find that the stuff I get rid of is usually the same brands, that aren’t comfortable, don’t suit me, or never fit right, eventually I get rid of them, and shouldn’t have bought them in the first place. Some brands of shoes always hurt (too stiff, heels too high, and just not wearable), and if they’re pretty I buy them anyway, and of course they don’t fit— they hurt, and they go out in the next big clean out. The truth is that I am not going to get taller, even thinner than I am, or younger when I bring a piece of clothing home, so it had better look good when I buy it, because it won’t look any better later by some miracle.

 

I find that if I have to ask the salesgirl, a friend, or one of my daughters “Do you think I’ll wear this??”—–that’s the kiss of death and I never will. When I hear myself say that now, I think “uhhh oh”, no, I won’t wear it, and I try not to buy it.

 

My closet is looking great now, and not only am I enjoying it, but it’s going to make it so much easier now for my daughters to cruise my closets and find what they want to ‘borrow’!!!!….have a great week,

 

love, Danielle

 

 

4/8/19, “I had a blast in LA!!” Again!!

Posted on April 8, 2019

Hi Everyone,

 

I just had the great pleasure of spending a weekend in LA with one of my daughters, to celebrate her birthday. Unfortunately, with my rushed life of travelling between the two cities where I live, between writing deadlines, and another city where I spend about two months a year, I only get to LA about once a year, for my daughter’s birthday (and I see her in the cities where I live the rest of the year). Each time I go to LA, I remember what a fun city it is, and how much I enjoy visiting my daughter there, and I promise myself to visit there more often. But somehow with publishing 7 books a year, and all that goes with it, I never manage to get to LA more often—but wish I did. What a fun, lively, exciting happy city it is. The weather alone is enough to cheer you, when it’s still dismal winter everywhere else. I love the way the city looks, and the people always seem upbeat to me.

 

San Francisco has a certain casual austerity to it. Maybe it’s the weather, with gray foggy weather and a chill wind so much of the time. And New York is brutally cold so many months of the year. I love the way cities have a look, feel and personality all their own. LA just seems like a happy place to me—or maybe that’s just the fun I have with my daughter, which predisposes me to loving the place. The restaurants are great, and people REALLY try to look great—-maybe that’s due to the proximity of the film industry—but there are an awful lot of pretty people there. Lots of jeans, but bright colored shirts and clothes, women in sexy high heels running around town (and not just flip flops, or Uggs, or heavy snow gear, or just functional running shoes and yoga clothes all day long/ did they REALLY go to the gym or just wear the clothes?.) Lots of glitz and glamour, a lot of younger women with carefully done wild colored hair, many shades of pinks, some gorgeous mauves and purples, occasionally blue. The women wear makeup, and the men seem to pay more attention to how they look too. I always end up shopping there, and often buy things I can’t wear in very, very casual San Francisco, serious New York, and which they’d never understand in Paris. This time, I bought a wild shocking pink dress, a giant black suede purse, a great pair of combat boots I can wear in all my wintry cities, some good jeans (with a strawberry on the back pocket!!), and I wore a pair of light blue iridescent sequined jeans I haven’t been able to wear in any other city. The shopping is great in LA—the cultural side of life too. I had some interesting meetings, exploring film and TV options for my work. And the meetings in LA are fun too, and very creative.

 

I’m fascinated how different the cities are from each other. Las Vegas is a source of absolute fascination, with great shows and all the excitement around gambling (I’m not a gambler, but the people watching is unique!!). I’ve only been to Boston a few times, and liked it, it seems very traditional, historical, and solid. Miami always seems like a combination to me of LA and Las Vegas, double fun. San Francisco was long ago a very conservative, formal city, but The Flower children in the 60’s changed all that, and now it’s the most low key, informal city I know, and it’s still home for me for a few months a year. I’ve been to Chicago twice and loved it, it seemed like a mini New York, very chic and sophisticated and cosmopolitan. Washington DC has the underlying current and electricity of politics in a beautiful little city. I do love L.A.,  it seems light hearted (except for some very serious film work and opportunities there!!) and at times it feels like Disneyland for adults. And there is so much hope there among young people working in the film industry, or hoping to get in. And it is very different from Paris.

 

There are so many parts of this country that I haven’t seen and would love to visit. I’ve never been to Texas and would love to. I’ve only been to the South a few times, other than Miami. I have a deep love for Wyoming where I used to go with my children every year, the mountains there are magical and deeply spiritual, it is powerful and peaceful in a very special way.

 

I hope I get back to LA again soon. It was a very, very fun three days, and energized me to start a new book!!!

 

Have a great week, wherever you are!!!

 

much love, Danielle

 

8/28/17, Early Bird

Posted on September 4, 2017

Hi Everyone,

Say goodbye to August….and summer. We did it!! Hopefully we all got a little vacation time, relaxed a little, and had some playtime. All in all, I had a good summer, even a very good summer this year, although a very busy one, and got two separate vacation weeks with my children, which made it a great summer for me.

And while leaping into September, and welcoming the fall (I love the weather, and the exciting feeling of starting fresh with new energy—I’ve felt that way since my school days)—–I also do a leap frog jump every year, thinking of the months ahead. True confessions: as I’ve told you before, I am one of those incredibly irritating people who start Christmas shopping in August. I know, it’s awful, and it drives people crazy. But the fall and winter months are my busiest writing time of the year, so I try to use any free time I have before that. And by August, I am itching to get started on Christmas. I did that two weeks ago. It also avoids my standing in long lines in stores in December, and no longer finding anything I want in the right sizes. So I am an early bird Christmas shopper. Very, very early. I started dragging shopping bags home a few weeks ago. And I have other bad habits related to Christmas (which I love!!). I rarely have time to shop, and I love shopping. Most of the time, I am socked away in my office, writing. So it’s really fun for me to get out and look around in the stores and shop. And when I do, watch out!!! First, I start seeing cute things for my kids and close friends that I hope they’ll love, and then a little something for me will catch my eye….hmmm…wow that red purse is cute!! Or a book, or a pair of shoes, or something for the house—-for my house!!! Uh oh!! The joke in the family about my Christmas shopping is “one for them, and one for me….okay, two for them, and one for me….uh oh….three for me, and one for them.”….at five for me, and two for them, I’m in trouble!! I start seeing so many fun things to buy for myself, and have to call myself to order, and focus on who I’m shopping for.

So, to confess all, I am up to my usual tricks. On my first Christmas shopping day two weeks ago, I was positively saintly. I found two things for one son, two things for another son (really fun stuff I hope they’ll love), and two things for one daughter….But on the second day, I started slipping. I jumped straight to finding one Christmas gift for three of my kids, and half a dozen things I loved for me: a pair of dressy pants, a fun purse, and two pairs of shoes. I know, that’s cheating. I came home with several shopping bags for me, and a skimpy catch for the day for everyone else. And of course, I felt guilty when I got home. So now, I’m trying to be good, and only buying Christmas gifts for the people on my list, and restraining myself. But I can tell you it won’t last. Something bright and fun will catch my eye (I bought a little red Chihuahua statue for my Paris office, and a little heart dish. I couldn’t resist!!), and I’ll be off and running again soon with the “3 for them, and 7 for me” system. Christmas shopping is just toooooo much fun!!!

So the Early bird is at it again. Christmas is starting at my house. The end result is that I feel ridiculously virtuous by November, when everyone is starting their Christmas shopping, and I’ve finished. But then of course, there are always the people I’ve forgotten on my list, and rush out to buy something for….so it’s Christmas in August at my house. While the rest of the world is wrestling with September, getting past Labor Day, and car pooling their kids to school, I’m Christmas shopping….it’s just toooo much fun!!! And the five for them, two for me system, or the reverse is just too tempting. The flesh is weak…mine sure is when it comes to Christmas shopping. So have a great week, and I’ll wait a few weeks before I wish you Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays.

love, Danielle

1/25/17, “Magic”

Posted on January 25, 2017

Hi Everyone,

I apologize for being two days late. I have been plunged in my writing for about ten days, and have done nothing else, glued to my typewriter day and night, with no break and no days off. But it’s Haute Couture fashion week in Paris, and I have seen three great shows. Really interesting contrasts, the three shows I saw were totally different, and I waited until today to write to you so I could tell you about them (I saw the last one four hours ago as I write this).. I had a ball seeing them, and wanted to share them with you.

As you remember, ‘Haute Couture’ is different because you have to order the clothes, can’t just buy them off a rack, and EVERY single stitch in them is hand made. They are made to the client’s exact measurements, and you have two fittings, so they fit perfectly, whatever shape you are. Twice a year, in January and July, they show a fashion show of the samples for the next season, so people go to the fashion shows, and pick what they want to order. Very, very, very few women actually buy them, most people go to the shows for the glamour and excitement. The fashion industry is a BIG deal in Paris, and is kind of an art form. And there are few haute couture clients, and very, very few designers who still do haute couture, and have the trained staff and ability to make those clothes. Working in an haute couture workshop takes a 12 year apprenticeship, before you actually get to make the clothes—–as long as it takes to become a doctor. The main dress houses who still make haute couture are Chanel and Dior. Dior has a new designer, and Chanel is designed by Karl Lagerfeld, a truly brilliant designer.

The Chanel haute couture fashion show is a ‘scene’, as chock full of exciting things happening in the audience as on the stage. It is a major spectacle, a huge show, with about 70 outfits shown, worn by beautiful models. The show this time (for next summer—-all summer clothes) was very lady like, in pale pastel colors, kind of ice cream colors, with tailored belted suits in pale tweeds. The models wore high heeled silver shoes, they could barely walk in them, and each model wore a pearl anklet. (I loved them!! I want one!!!). Each model wore the same hairdo, with their hair smoothed back in a wide flat bun, and the evening dresses had a LOT of sparkle to them. And even when the clothes look simple, they’re not, with embroidery and tiny stiches, beading, and delicate details. The women in the audience wore amazing outfits, VERY extreme. Many of them wore Chanel from previous seasons. One woman wore a floor length white fur coat, huge fur hat, and gold boots. Others wore hats, veils, tons of accessories, it was almost an overload of fashion addicts going wild, and vying for attention, with techno music at the Grand Palais, an antique glass structure. The decor was all mirrored screens and shiny black mirrored floors, people with wild hair does, and men and woman all dressed up for the show. It was very traditional Chanel, nothing startling or unexpected, and the most beautiful dress in the collection was the Grand Finale, a an absolutely gorgeous pale pink wedding dress with huge balloon sleeves, a tiny waist, and an enormous ball gown skirt and train. A knockout for any bride and gorgeous in pink!!!

The second show I saw was DAZZLING!!! It was fashion as art at its finest, designed by an extremely talented designer, John Galliano. He previously designed for Dior, left the fashion scene for a while, and returned to work for Martin Margela. He was previously an haute couture designer, and this was his first couture show for Margela!! It was a MEGA WOW!!! Mr. Galliano is a supremely talented and innovative designer and no one knew what to expect for this first collection for this new house for him. It took my breath away, and in an artistic sense was everything a fashion show should be as an art form. Different, exciting, beautiful, special, creative, fashion forward. Not easy for everyone to wear, but the models were truly beautiful, their hair and makeup was all different and perfect for each outfit. The accessories were just right, the music was touching, the setting was gorgeous. The show was held at The Invalides, an old military fort, and Napoleon’s tomb, an important monument. The show was in a small narrow room, with an exquisitely painted ceiling, and I think that only about 100 people attended, fashion magazine editors, buyers, and international press. ALL of the people who showed up to see it were stylish, interestingly dressed, and wore fabulous shoes (enormous platforms, men in gold shoes, women in very trendy outfits. It was a show for the fashion experts, the select, and people in the know. It was REALLY exciting being there. It felt like history being made. I have rarely seen a show I loved so much.

And the last show was different in its own way too. Shown in a rented hall off the Champs Elysees, when we got there, five models were performing what looked like modern Dance. They came onstage wearing short floaty brown patterned dresses, with enormous brown paper coverings over them and brown paper hats, and they began by stripping the paper way. Eventually, they were only wearing the chiffon dresses, with the paper stripped on the floor. And then they began tearing the paper, and continued dancing. I had another engagement then and had to leave. But it was fun seeing it before I did.

It was a varied and exciting experience. Haute Couture is always special to me because it is such a statement to me about fashion, and such an incredible expression of beauty and art. I had a fantastic time, and now I’m back to writing again. Talk to you next week!!!! Have a great week!

much love, Danielle