Mode du jour - Power skirts trend at Paris fashion week

Dior Haute-Couture 2012 show 
Paris Fashion Week 
Salons Christian Dior in Paris, France

Talk of Paris fashion week - Power skirts

If catwalk front rows offer the most accurate long-range fashion forecasts, then the next few months will be about the power skirt. It can be any shape but to qualify as a power skirt it must distinguish itself by the fabric, a print or an embellishment.  At Dior, knee-length skirts were made from individual squares of ostrich skin stitched on to an organdy base, while at Armani, standout skirts came in shiny reptilian green.  For Kate Phelan, the creative director of Topshop, skirts aren't the new "It" bags, "they're the new trophy jacket. Whether embellished, sequinned or just plain colourful, the power skirt has replaced them."  View the gallery here.

Front row beauty - clean and simple

Paris Fashion Week for spring/summer kicked off with a bang, with big names like Versace and Dior showcasing their couture collections on the first day. Celebrity attendees at the Dior and Versace shows were so on-trend they almost looked strapped into a uniform. But one trend they were all sporting that played to their individuality was a clean, minimalist style in hair and makeup. Is this a new beauty trend for 2012?  What's not to love about this look - beauty, elegance and confidence.  Perfect for 2012 and Valentine's day.

By: Imogen Fox / Pascal Le Segretain


Musique du jour

These people are artists. These people are musicians. They're taking it out and trying to express it that way. - Marilyn Manson


Tiffany True Love

Jeweler Tiffany & Co. is bringing true love to life in the latest installment of its What Makes Love True microsite and application where photographers and eventually consumers are uploading candid photos that signify what true love means to them.

The Sartorialist and known street-style photographer Scott Schuman and his girlfriend Garance Dore have been taking candid pictures of couples in New York and Paris and posting them on the website to embody true love. Starting Jan. 25, consumers will be able to upload their own pictures and are encouraged to filter them using the Instagram application and with in-store photo booths.

The jeweler also marketed What Makes Love True through its website, social media pages and additional iPhone and iPad apps.

What Makes Love True intertwined Tiffany and the idea of true love, likely allowing the brand to increase sales on its most famous product – the engagement ring.  Visit the website at What Makes Love True.

By: Rachel Lamb


Joyeux Nouvel An Chinois!

Chinese New Year in Paris has become one of the city's most popular annual events. Paris has a large and thriving French-Chinese community whose cultural influence grows stronger all the time. 

Parisians of all stripes eagerly crowd the streets of South Paris each year to witness a cheerful procession of dancers and musicians, vibrantly-hued dragons and fish, and elegant flags embossed with Chinese characters. Boisterous Chinese restaurants are packed to the brim with locals and tourists, and the night set may include special theatrical or musical performances or even film festivals. A truly memorable experience. 

Chinese New Year in Paris: Street Parades in 2012:

In 2012, Chinese New Year falls earlier than in most years, beginning on Monday, January 23rd and culminating on Sunday, January 29th. 

Main Parade in Paris: Sunday, January 29th.
The first major parade is scheduled to kick off at 1:30 pm and starts at or around 44, Avenue d'Ivry in the 13th arrondissement (metro Tolbiac). The second parade falls on the same day and will be held in the Belleville neighborhood, beginning at 1pm at Place Frehel (Metro Pyrenees or Belleville).
Parade Highlights: Chinese New Year parades in Paris are famed for their elaborate decorations (red lanterns, grinning dragons and tigers, bright orange fish) and for their noisy cheer, which usually includes firecrackers.

By: Courtney Traub, Paris Travel Guide


Maison DuJour: Le Plateau Mont-Royal Montreal


 1929 Sir Mortimer B. Davis YHMA Building completely restored in 2010. Sought-after address, rare and immense apartment located in trendy Plateau Mont-Royal, steps from Jeanne-Mance Park and the Mont-Royal. Large unit occupying the entire floor in order to adjust the space according to the needs to the moment. 


Blushing Brides Make Guests Blush with an Hayari Couture

By Slavica Monczka

Among all the finer things in life produced in France, fashion tops the list. Not only the simple ready to wear, but more importantly the jaw-dropping haute couture. If there is ever a luxury in fashion worth splurging on, then that would be a dress by Paris based Hayari Couture. Nabil Hayari designs spectacular wedding and evening dresses for women with discerning taste, and a desire to impress all with such sensational gowns.
Hayari’s clientele are international woman of wealth and prestige yearning to be sexy and glamorous for a special occasion or for their very own wedding. Women from Russia, China, and the US call upon Hayari with a request to transform them into a princess for a day. Hayari Couture carries the official “haute couture” certification by the French government, ensuring and upholding the authentic and artistic quality of this talent. For these reasons, it is typical that the dresses run well into the tens of thousands of dollars and often takes an average of five months to complete.

At my recent visit in his atelier in Paris, I asked designer Hayari, why do people go to the expense and time of haute couture? Why not simply indulge in a high-end designer brand? “It is a woman’s worst nightmare to show up at an important event wearing the same thing as another woman,” he reminds me. Nabil is very familiar with the fact that a woman would rather set fire to her own hair than to arrive at an event wearing the same dress as another. Oh, the horror!

“All the details are very important,” Hayari explains. “We embroider by hand, and use noble fabrics,” states Hayari of the significance in his designs. “La doublure fabric inside (lining) is silk because when it touches the skin, it is very agreeable!” These hand placed details are time consuming but it is what makes them so exceptional.
“The red dress, the fabric is silk taffeta and all the flowers are made by hand. It took more than 800 flowers made by hand,” Hayari proudly claims in his sweet French accent I so love. Fine French lace, feathers, and Swarovski crystals are some of the extraordinary details that adorn these elaborate gowns. With each dress, Hayari completes the look with complimenting accessories.

New to Hayari Couture is their fragrance Only For Her, which will be making its debut here in the states at this year’s Golden Globe Awards available exclusively for nominees and presenters of the event. Created by Hayari in Grasse, France, the eau de perfume features “oriental florals and is evocative of Hayari’s childhood memories of jasmine growing in his own gardens.” It is a lovely floral scent that compliments his feminine dresses.

Hayari and partner Alard with Mrs. Russia, Alisa Krylova

A great big merci to Nabil Hayari and partner Hugues Alard for their gracious hospitality while in Paris, and for my very own bottle of Only For Her. Now, when my Hayari dress comes off, the scent still lingers.

“A dress makes no sense unless it inspires men to want to take it off of you.” –Francoise Sagan


Le Style digital magazine

Le Style e-magazine exposes French fashion, lifestyle, food & dining with special features from around the world. It brings people together through technology, style and creativity.

We welcome submissions to info@lestyle.org.  Le Style digital magazine launches in autumn.


Luxury presidential suite at $26k a night in Paris

The Latest Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Paris
By Slavica Monczka

The latest and greatest addition to Paris, France in luxury hotel properties is the Mandarin Oriental; a modern Parisian “that is infused with a subtle air of exoticism and romance.” Yes, they grabbed my attention here as well.  If not for those words, then a visit to their presidential suite would most certainly lure anyone. As a recent patron of the establishment, I can attest to this romantic and modern attribute of Paris in everything from the décor, to the amenities, to the cuisine of their restaurants. For a segment in my upcoming televised show, Seductively French, I was graciously welcomed by the hotel’s General Manager, Philippe Leboeuf, for a personal tour of the grounds and discuss its sophisticated elegance. With refined luxury at its core, this Mandarin is seducing guests far and wide, as celebrities and the most affluent people in the world are flocking now to Mandarin Oriental, Paris to experience what they call “a new Paris.”
My experience in the crème de la crème of all presidential suites, The Suite Royale Mandarin, was so over the top I (half) jokingly told Leboeuf I was never going to leave. “We want our guests to feel this way,” he reassures me with a charming smile. However at 20,000 Euros a night, I was able to at least enjoy the moment as an invited guest. For those curious, that would be over $26,000 US dollars in today’s conversion, per night.

This suite totals over 3200 square feet, includes a bar, dining room, a study, private gym and steam room. Moving up, picture this: Vast 360 degree views of Paris from the suite’s rooftop patio. I see Montmartre, the Louvre, Beaubourg, and no view of Paris would be complete without the Eiffel Tower, flirtatiously twinkling at me that special night. Dashing décor adorn with fine marble, silk, and art everywhere. “Every piece of furniture has been designed for this suite,” describes Leboeuf. It charmed the pants right off me (the suite, when I was alone, not Mr. Leboeuf) so I took a bubble bath with their luscious toiletries, and sipped champagne while watching the Eiffel flirt with me, again.

The Mandarin is modern in design and décor but Leboeuf states, “we wanted to still be very Parisian, and romantic. We have our savior-faire and Oriental heritage but we want to portray to be very Parisian, hence all the couture elements.” The one couture detail that blew me away was the headboard in the bedroom featuring silk hand embroidery of artist Man Ray’s Neck by the legendary Maison Lesage that took an unbelievable 650 hours to complete. These truly artistic and glamorous interiors Mandarin describes as “haute couture decoration, distinguished by extreme attention to detail.” Would you expect anything less from the French anyway, or from a Mandarin Oriental for that matter?

The Mandarin Oriental, Paris is not what you would imagine for a typical Parisian hotel. It is not flamboyant and fussy, nor overly ornate and grandiloquent. It is however, elegant, inviting, and pleasing to the eyes from the time you enter the lobby and throughout. “I think the ‘Wow’ effect from visitors is certainly what strikes me the most,” describes Leboeuf of the reaction he gets from a visitor’s first time at the hotel. “People want to see something new, something different in Paris.” Evident, as it is the place to see and be seen at in Paris, according to all the celeb sightings in just over their one-year anniversary. Some names of visitors I can mention include Liam Neeson, Queen Latifah, Maggie Cheung, and French classical pianist Hélène Grimaud. During my time spent there, my celeb sighting was the lovely French actress Catherine Deneuve chatting over drinks with friends in the garden.

Ah yes, the garden. To me, it is a Zen-like escape from the big city with an abundance of vegetation seemingly transporting you to yet another paradise. The restaurant Camélia is a “continuation of the indoor landscaped garden,” and is one of two under Executive Chef, the awarding winning Thierry Marx. I very much enjoyed my dinner there of scallops in “the essence of white truffle,” but can you hardly be surprised? The dish was a sort of East meets West (much like the hotel itself) where Marx’s intent was to blend ingredients common to French cuisine to that of the culinary traditions of Japan.

Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx is the restaurant not to be missed. I don’t know if I can say I was more impressed with the fare or the stunning design. The space is entirely white, as it is “the ultimate symbol of timeless elegance.” If you can get past the impressive design décor to enjoy another sensory pleasure, be sure to try the Soya Risotto, and the L’Oeuf Éclat. Feel free to send me a thank you for this suggestion any time after your visit.

All in all, it is an exquisite place to stay while in Paris, as it is also centrally located, near the best shopping and site seeing. It is a symbol of what they refer to as “a new Paris” with an eclectic touch from the art it houses, to the cuisine they serve, to its Oriental aura. Leboeuf stresses to me that quality service is the “very essence of hospitality,” and at the end of the day this is exactly what a visitor wants from a luxury hotel.

Thank you to Philippe Leboeuf and staff for all their generosity and warm reception. Until we meet again Mandarin, where I can wallow in your “subtle air of exoticism and romance,” I shall visit you in my sweet dreams.

And you can visit them at www.mandarinoriental.com/paris/
For more from Seductively French, to go www.seductivelyfrench.com/home

Something old, something new
Another treasure on Saint-Honoré, rue
The Mandarin Oriental brought to you
A Parisian gem, a Paris anew.
-Slavica Monczka




A great new year party it has been..

Bonne année et bonne santé!  We hope your beginning of 2012 is as wonderful and fabulous as ours has been..


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