Passion pour la Lingerie; Passion pour la Vie.

The Pink Bra Bazaar was held on 25 Mar which turned out to be such a fantastic event held in Paris at the Esplanade du Trocadéro.

It is a charity uniting women and the world of lingerie involving shops, manufacturersdesigners and media to overcome breast cancer. Funds received supports researchpreventionscreening and early diagnosis of breast cancer.

The image is beautiful and powerful symbol. The sky of Paris, near the Eiffel Tower, has shone in bras. Members of the Association Pink Bra Bazaar had summoned the Parisians.  Such a great cause event at a beautiful venue.  Beauty and humanity goes hand in hand.


Travelling à la Provençal

If you've never been to Provence, it will be familiar to you in one way or another: you've read Peter Mayle's books or seen Jean De Florette; you will have drooled perhaps over improbable images of lavender fields; and, of course, you have been transported to a cafe in Arles or a starry night on the Rhone by the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh.

There is no more sun- and celebrity-rich part of southern France than this iconic wedge of glittering coast, mountain retreat, Roman temple and gastronomic art de vivre.

So prepare for heart-and-soul seduction. Travelling à la Provençal means sensual sauntering past scented lavender fields and chestnut forests; through fresh apple-green vineyards and silvery olive groves; around markets, Matisse-designed chapels and medieval hilltop villages impossibly perched on rocky crags. Be it with two wheels or four – on the back of a bicycle or with roof rolled back in a vintage Citroën 2CV – no region better begs lazy days out, interrupted only by copious alfresco lunches.

Yet Provence and the Côte d’Azur is not all Zen-paced rural chic. Roughly wedged between rough-cut Marseille with its urban art scene, and megalomaniacal Monte Carlo with its skyscraper skyline, this hot spot on the sky-blue Med also screams action, glamour and just a hint of the ridiculous. Where else do cowboys herd cattle while Roma blaze flamenco beneath flamingo-filled skies? Where else does the world flock to watch film stars strut the red carpet into a concrete bunker? Where else can you canyon fast white water in the morning, crack open sea urchins for lunch, see fabulous 20th-century art in the afternoon, and bunk down in a tree house, old Celtic hamlet or wine-making château come dusk?  Living is stylish, landscapes are lyrical. Provence is an old-fashioned love affair that never dies.

Provence is alive with charcuteries and patisseries selling glorious local produce.  Ah, Provence, the most glorious pleasure garden of the world. 



24 hours in Paris!

What do you do when you have 24 hours in Paris?  What are the places you have to go and see, appreciate and soak in, meet the locals and dine?  What times are the best?  The video below shows some of the popular must-go places in Paris to note.  The majestic Le Meurice, as well as cute arrondissements you can discover.  Travel with an open mind, and you'll have nothing but a good time and life's greatest lesson.

By: concierge.com


Le Meurice; The Hotel of Kings

A five star hotel is no longer fit for a king when visiting Paris, bien sûr! In France, they have a one-up on the hotel ratings called the Palace Distinction. It is earned after achieving the five stars requirements, and then some. Le Meurice Hotel in Paris was the first to achieve the discerning distinction, although this emblematic avant-garde Parisian hotel seduced me in other ways. My stay at the paramount Le Meurice was nothing less than a palatial experience, while I desperately tried to coax Meurice into divulging some of his stories of famous personalities, past and present, who have left their notch on his bedposts.

Le Meurice is known as “The Hotel of Kings” for three reasons. The obvious being that it has been the preferred place to stay in Paris for international royalty since the beginning of its establishment in the nineteenth century. Secondly, because the hotel has earned this reputation as the king of all Parisian hotels for its incomparable service, style and savoir-faire in hospitality. Lastly, Le Meurice has been blessed with the official Palace Distinction in hotel establishments by the French government; in the luxury world, that is a step above the blasé five star ones.
If only these walls of Le Meurice could talk, they would whisper to me the secrets I so desperately want to know! The visits from the King of Spain, the Shah of Iran, the Grand Duchess of Russia and a slew of other aristocrats from all over the world. The stories of patron Mata Hari, the exotic dancer executed for espionage during World War I. I wonder how Ginger Rogers and Elizabeth Taylor would spend their time in Paris while at Le Meurice? Rockefeller, Roosevelt, Coco Chanel, and Picasso are yet a few other majestic names worth mentioning frequently seen at the reputable hotel.
And then, there is Dali! Artist Salvador Dali would take up residence at Le Meurice for an entire month every year, for over thirty years. For this, permanent tributes to Dali grace Le Meurice throughout; starting from the moment you enter the lobby. “The 18th century mirror is an old evocation of Le Meurice history,” Anne Vogt-Bordure, Director of Communications, explains of the large frozen mirror leaning against the wall upon entrance to the palace. Coolness emanates from the mirror with no reflection. “Frozen because Mr. Dali didn’t drink alcohol at all. He used to drink water, so it is like a historic tribute to the hotel and to Dali.” People often come up and draw their names with their finger in the frost, as did I. 

Suite Dali
The emphasis at Le Meurice during its renovation in 2007 was in “trying to create some bridges from past to present,” states Vogt-Bordure, “to keep the history, but also to move forward.” I believe the same can be said of Paris as a whole.

“We thought Dali was the right person to give a little bit more fun and glamour and humorous image of Le Meurice, to make it a little less serious,” explains Franka Holtmann, General Manager of the palace hotel since 2007. “I still have members of my team that know all the anecdotes of his visits here,” she says of Dali with a sheepish grin. 

It was Holtmann who commissioned renowned designer Philippe Starck during Meurice’s make over as, “I thought he (Starck) was the only one who could conserve the heritage of Le Meurice, and at the same time make it more modern and glamorous.” The innovative and daring French designer Starck has once again accomplished remarkable work. He recreated Dali’s Leda chair and a Dali lamp you cannot miss when you enter the restaurant appropriated named Restaurant Le Dali. Almost immediately, your eyes are captivated by the art draped high above. Ara Starck, the designer’s own daughter, is the artist of the theatrical scene painted on canvas over the entire ceiling in the room. 

Near the ancient symbolic mirror frozen in time, prominently stands another piece of art in the lobby. However, this one is contemporary. “The Kiss” by Zoulikha Bouabdellah was the first recipient of the Meurice Prize for contemporary art 2008, a competition established by Holtmann to support today’s French artists. Holtmann also headed the revamping of the hotel in 2007, where, “in only 5 days and 5 nights,” the main areas of the first floor were renovated. “My goal was, in a way, to wake up the sleeping beauty,” Holtmann says of the hotel, which took a total of two years work of renovations. “Le Meurice was always anchored in art and culture. I wanted a timeless hotel but at the same time really create a liaison with the past and to wake it up!” The Kiss has awakened this sleeping beauty.

Royal patrons and stargazing is not only a thing of the past at Le Meurice. During my stay I recognized the Olson Twins, royalty in the world of fashion, seated next to me at Restaurant Le Dali. Visitors are still as eclectic and diverse as the hotel itself. One escorted entourage of well-known hip-hop rappers, made their way through the hotel as confidently as sophisticated nobility.

I must mention that this palace is perfectly located across the picturesque Tuileries Garden, and flanked by Place de la Concorde, The Louvre and Place Vendôme. The rooms and suites are extraordinary, as you would expect of a palace hotel, flaunting marble and the finest of all furniture and fabrics from only the very best craftsman and designers in France to Italy. Head Chef Yannick Alleno, a three star Michelin award winner, of Restaurant Le Meurice states, “my cuisine is like my city, and my city is Paris.” The opulent restaurant houses a wine cellar with over 600 of the worlds finest wines,” Vogt-Bordure boasts. 

Restaurant Le Dali
My stay at Le Meurice came to an unfortunate end, however with an appropriate farewell gift from Vogt-Bordure. A book titled French Genius for the Art of Living (published by Le Meurice Hotel, 2009), which romantically describes the rich fascinating history of the hotel. “To recall the history of Le Meurice is akin to telling the story of Paris,” author Sabine Roux states. “The years and even centuries have passed, and crowned heads, captains of industry and the iconic figures of art and culture from around the world have come and gone at Le Meurice,” Roux illustrates, “adding new legends to its History each time.” And that, my friends, is the art of living à la française at Le Meurice!

Thank you Anne Vogt-Bordure and Franka Holtmann for their grand hospitality, personal tour of Le Meurice and for my gifts!

By Slavica Monczka


Le Jour du Macaron!

It was Macaron Day yesterday and as you can imagine, Paris was full of love during this macaron fest.  For 7 years now the arrival of spring is celebrated by the Macaron Day.  A day of delightful French macarons on every table in cafes, homes, picnics and walks around the City of Love including the world.

To this day of celebration, shops like Pierre Hermé Paris and confectioners Relais Desserts, offer a tasting of macarons and invite customers to donate for a noble cause.  This year's Macaron Day takes action in aid of autism, recognized 'Great National Cause' and supports the association Autistic Without Borders in Paris.

Original flavors and a home full of good humor awaited all participating outlets.  An additional reason for all gourmets to succumb to the temptation of the delightful macaron.

You can also find the same in New York: since 2010, François Payard, chef of François Chocolate Bar and François Payard Bakery in New York, organized the first annual Macaron Day in NYC. Macaron Day NYC is inspired by and coincides annually with the Jour du Macaron in Paris, created by la Maison Pierre Hermé Paris in association with the Relais Desserts.  We hope you had a fabulous Macaron Day yourself, if not, it's never too late to celebrate today!



Musique du jour: Chill out in Paris

A bossa nova mix by George V eatertainment, Buddha-Bar.  

George V Eatertainment à l'image de son créateur Raymond Visan est un groupe novateur, en perpétuelle recherche de nouveautés. Visitez ici.



Les Parisienne

Cool and sophisticated at the same time. Always electric. Take a moment and enjoy this video below of Garance Doré's video, Les Parisienne.


Marc Jacobs remains in LV and Hedi Slimane returns to YSL

Fashion updates in the French luxury brand empires

Louis Vuitton

It is set to be a big year for Louis Vuitton. A major exhibition opens on March 9 at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, called simply 'Louis Vuitton - Marc Jacobs', spread over two floors, each one devoted to the life and work of each man.

Jacobs also firmly laid to rest rumours that he was to move to Christian Dior to replace John Galliano. "It's a great honour to be considered, and Mr Arnault is a super intelligent man and a very smart man and it was certainly a very great honour for him to know that I was capable - and not only capable but that I am someone that he would have wanted for the job. But I am very happy to be here. There is so much more left to do and building Louis Vuitton into a fashion company is something nobody else can say they really started."

Yves Saint Laurent

The return of Slimane has been enthusiastically welcomed by an industry that reveres him as a cult figure. Slimane, 43, has been absent from fashion design since leaving Dior Homme in 2007, and has been pursuing a successful career as a photographer in the US.

Paul Deneve, the YSL chief executive, praised Slimane's "understanding of the spirit of Yves Saint Laurent" and said he looked forward to "a promising new chapter in the story of the maison". Francois-Henri Pinault, PPR chairman and CEO, said the "formidable potential" of YSL "will be successfully harnessed and revealed through the vision of Hedi Slimane".

Slimane's first designs for YSL will be seen when a "resort" collection is shown in June.

By: Tamsin Blanchard & Jess Cartney-Morley


Food & dining: France in Melba

There are many dishes that are considered part of the nation's national cuisine today.  A meal often consists of three courses, hors d'œuvre or entrée (introductory course, sometimes soup), plat principal (main course), fromage (cheese course) or/and dessert, sometimes with a salad offered before the cheese or dessert.  French regional cuisine is characterized by its extreme diversity and style. Traditionally, each region of France has its own distinctive cuisine.

In Melbourne alone, there are several French restaurants that are exquisite and serve signature French dishes that takes you away.  Some has also incorporated clean, modern touches which would remind you of Heston Blumenthal's brilliant methods in cooking.

On this topic, besides other French restaurants we have visited in Melbourne, we love Embrasse Restaurant Nicolas Poelaert's approach to the presentation of food.  Awarded as FoodService Australia Chef of the Year 2011 and many other awards and outstanding reviews  such as The Age Good Food Guide 2010, 2011 and 2012; this is one restaurant you have to dine in.  

View the video above of Nicolas Poelaert and other talented chefs about elevating food to the realm of art.


Out Now: Le Style Digital Magazine - for the smart, busy modern woman

Le Style Digital Magazine is now released to the world!  It has since been received many great reviews and love from readers and companies in the industry in France, US and Australia.  Besides the state of excitement and gratitude, Le Style will celebrate this unique publication in yet another stylish French event that will be revealed to subscribers exclusively.

The first issue is specially for the smart, busy modern woman who wants nothing more than a luxurious life.  Featuring photographic beauty of Paris and parts of France with a clean look, including insights on travel and fashion buzz.  Other surprises like Magnifique Men and Luxe contents fill this unique digital publication with readers wanting for the next issue already.

A quarterly published e-magazine for each beautiful season in Melbourne, it showcases French style and news from around the world.  Enjoy it now here!


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