Monday, April 30, 2012

Places in France: Jardin des Plantes

I am finding that school Holidays in France require a full itinerary. The luxury of just being outside in the garden playing is just that, a luxury. Even if the itinerary entails trips to the park, there still has to be thought put to the trip. Decided to fill my childrens' days full of museum trips during the last school holidays - the weather was unfortunately not as cooperative, but we did manage a few tips out.
They loved the Jardin des Plantes, and this is truly one of the best places to visit for children in Paris. There was a little bit of everything for everyone.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Meeting the face behind the faces

Gregos. I am curious as to what his full name is. He lets me in, but  am sworn to secrecy - well at least to not putting it in print. The first time I spotted one of Gregos' faces was on a meander in the 18th almost a year ago. A month ago I spotted another face, again in the 18th, and realised there may well be an entire collection. There is. In the most random of places around the 18th arrondissement.  Admittedly they are becoming harder to spot because he now places them in higher, more obscure and harder-to-reach places because people are taking them down.
It was an afternoon of initiation into the world of street art for me. We met at his quartier general as he calls it, his headquarters, at Le Saint Jean on rue des Abbesses. After which we walked around the neighbourhood as he pointed out various other artists' works, and before long I start to notice the signatures, and spot them on my own.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Places in France : Deauville in Spring

It's not summer yet, but one can see the potential of the throngs of people that will gather once the weather warms up. As it was, on a chilly spring mid morning - the scarves, foulards and heavy jackets were all telling of the weather outside. We arrived just before lunch, after a toss up between staying in the apartment and watching the Golf Masters on TV,  or making the two hour drive to Deauville ; a beach resort in Western France. Deauville won out and it was well worth the drive.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Conversations: Anna Getaneh - MD & Creative Director of African Mosaïque

Photo courtesy of Anna Getaneh
A month ago, breezing through a Ralph Lauren store, a whimsical dress in a mud cloth-inspired fabric caught my eye. Could it be? I thought. Had another African inspiration, other than Vlisco, the Dutch-made wax fabric, ubiquitous in much of West Africa and beyond made it to the design studios of Western designers?
I literally stopped in my tracks and went over to touch the fabric. It had a supple silk feel but the design on the fabric was definitely African.
I then remembered a designer that had introduced me to this Malian cloth; Anna Getaneh. At the time, almost five years ago, she was working out of her home-based studio.  I had made  a few trips to her to have my boubou, a very fashionable and simple design, enhanced with this fabric across the midriff- making it both easy-to-wear and timeless - it still hangs in my wardrobe. Now here was Ralph Lauren, years later.