How did you end up in Paris?
I arrived here over 10 years ago as an exchange student. I've always been passionate about France, and starting in secondary school I was very eager to learn French. In the years when I was not taking classes I would practice my French by myself while jogging or running errands. To me, it was really like a game to see what I could or couldn't figure out how to say in French. Arriving in Paris was a dream. It's such a beautiful place. You vaguely know it from magazines and TV, but there's really nothing like experiencing it. I instantly felt at home... I have lived one of the American dreams, which is to go to France, meet a Frenchman and get married and live in this romantic city. When I say it, it sounds like a Hollywood movie, but that is my life!
How did you start your blog?
Very naturally. My blog is for all people passionate about Paris. Many of my fans and readers live here, but many of them don't, so they enjoy daydreaming in front of my restaurant reviews and fashion shows.
What do you like about Paris?
I love living in Paris. There is so much this city has to offer. Sometimes I can hardly believe it is my home! When you see sun though those beautiful tree-lined boulevards, when you walked along a snowy Louvre Palace on the banks of the Seine in the morning, when you see the sun setting over the Bir Hakeim bridge... those are precious magic moments, and I feel so lucky that they're a part of my everyday life. Sometimes, of course, I grumble like any Parisian, but I always try not to complain too much, but I think a little bit of "arguing" is healthy in any love relationship! I realized many French people are as much in love as I am with Paris, which was surprising to me at first. I thought it was a tourist or foreigner thing, but it turns out they also LOVE this city too!
What do you most blog about?
Definitely Paris. Definitely fashion! I go to quite a few fashion shows because I like to see new trends and enjoy the art of fashion design. But fashion here is everywhere and on everybody. French women seem to be effortlessly chic 24/7, from a very youthful age to old age. For an Anglo-Saxon, at first it's a bit discouraging because you feel you are lacking that certain je-ne-sais-quoi element — let's call it French fashion secrets — that could help you obtain a similar result, but over the years I feel I have found a way to be chic without maximum effort at least part of the time! I may never become truly French, but I like looking the part when I can.
What are those little secrets?
I think it's mostly subtlety. In the Anglo-Saxon world, subtlety is not always used in styling; when we accessorize, we wear 10 items, and they all match. When we go out, we tend to put on a lot of make up. On the contrary, we can go out in pyjamas to buy the papers in the morning. For a Parisian woman this is just unthinkable! They wear a little make up all the time. I learned things the hard way. For instance if you wear very bright red lipstick, you cannot possibly have dark smoky eyes, it's just too much, just as a short skirt with a deep V neck is not ok. I got insulted on a square on a very hot summer day because this was my precise outfit! I could almost feel now why it happened to me, and I notice how my tastes and style has changed when I am shocked by tourists in shorts so short they cover less that underwear would and a cropped belly shirt. I wonder if it means I'm becoming French?
What kind of fashion shows do you go to?
I tend to write about designers I love and who don't get a lot of press. When I don't like a show, I just don't write about it because I don't like posting negative articles. I did it only once, because I felt insulted by the show: A show that began with a sketch that basically was saying that the designers work was art and therefore should not be judged by us lowly un-feeling fashion critics. I felt that it was pointless for that designer to be at fashion week, and have stopped attending their shows.
Do you like boutique shopping?
I love it! I go a lot to vintage shops. My first post on my blog was about a vintage shop! I love pieces that you can't find anywhere else, and this is always the case in vintage boutiques as well as in boutique shopping and on Shoptiques! I sometimes make my own accessories or buy them from small designers not distributed in France yet.
For boutique shopping in Paris, I think the streets Rue du Cherche Midi in the 6th district and Rue Henry Monnier in South Pigalle, are both excellent for quality and unique items... I saw that you have two boutiques on rue Henry Monnier on Shoptiques: Cancan and Vanina Escoubet. Well done!