23 February 2013
La Deuxième Partie - Parisian Skys and Markets
Bienvenu! I hope the previous part to this blog post gave you an idea of why Paris is worth a visit. Not only does it have stunning architecture, breathtaking views, a dramatic history and fabulous food, but it is a creative hub for fashion, design, art, writing (novels, poems and songs), and performance. So with all of that happening arround you, I always advocate a list. To concentrate your attention, when you don't want it to be diverted of course!
This most recent trip was pleasure as well as work (which is always a pleasure of course). A gig at Café de la Danse, (what a venue might I add! Nowhere is too far for Conor Oberst) a museum or two and of course far too much pastry, cheese and wine, were sandwiched between market visits! To add to my collection is always a great bonus, and boy did I add this time around!
A Sunday in Paris my favourite haunt (and possibly my favourite Parisian market) is marché aux puces de la Porte de Vanves. A circuit (almost) of temporary stalls stretching (depending on the weather) along a residential street on blankets, barrows and tables. Here you will find genuine antiques and beautiful vintage items, from Lalique and Baccarat, to bottles and bottles of vintage dusty wine, the glasses to match and designer french brands galore. Lancel, Hermes, Chanel, and YSL to name but a few. Curios such as walking sticks, Photos of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin (why oh why didn't I buy all of them), old wool bobbins stamped with french place names and a fab selection of vintage and antique jewellery.
Some of you may remember from my previous posts a fantastic West German Mondernist Candlestick in Orange (the colour of the glorious future!) I picked up in Berlin . Well didn't I just go and find a French sister piece, a jug in the identical glaze! This is perfect as I never have a vase tall enough for Iris's and purple and orange sit so well together! It is so nice to pick up something unusual that is made wherever you are.
I also have a sneaking love of tat. Tourist tat. Those 'I heart London', magnets and giant pencils with Edinburgh Castle emblazoned all over. A thimble with a dubius moulding of Stone Henge or a spoon with the White Cliffs of Dover on the top. Totally useless - but kind of fabulous.
To satisfy my urge for such things - without turning the flat into a junk shop, I try to pick up brooches.
I have an early victorian tailors dummy in the bedroom, covered in lovely sparkly, antique, retro and vintage brooches from my travels. Some are added just simply because as a magpie I find it hard to pass up the allure of Aurora Borealis crystal, or a seed pearl and turqoise (classic) combo. Others I buy because they are the tourist tat of the past and this sits much better with my arts and crafts sensibilities, than buying the new mass produced ones of today! I have pottery cloggs from Amsterdam, a black Bohemian Glass Charles Bridge mourning brooch from Prague, and many many more. This little Eiffel Tower brooch was picked up here at Porte de Vanves on a previous trip, and the 50'S blue crystal one (bought this time) was meant for a friend to complete her wedding dress.
I'm so sorry Michelle, may be it could double as your 'borrowed' and your 'blue', but basically I need it back! A little bit of sparkle makes me smile, and it catches the light so beautifully that I cannot fail to be cheered by it. Many of them I will never wear, but does it matter? It is a sweet souvenir, a little piece of history, a great bedroom design piece and quite simply I love them. ALL of them. You can't have them, however big the occassion! They're MINE!