Sunday, 15 August 2010
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
London and grey have long been friends. As have London and rain. Whilst I was tapping away in the office, the clouds thundered, the rain poured and the cool grey lighting scheme that London favours over all sunshine, reigned the skies. I'd like to say it was all very Dickensian but in fact it was just a bit depressing. (I had to shut the windows and change my (skinny) frappucino to a cappucino). Luckily something pinged into my inbox from Paris that made me realise that grey doesn't have to mean all doom and gloom... grey is the new gay darling.
Just look at this gorgeous smokey smock dress that says 'between seasons' with style:
Designed by Parisian boutique Mardi Jeudi, this French brand has captured to a T the perfect effortless sexy chic of French women who don't try to look sexy, but who are actually jaw droppingly, heart racingly sexy in a I-can't-take-my-eyes-off-of-you of a way.
I think the word this Poodle is looking for is allure. Mardi Jeudi are definately taking some inspiration from our home grown Alexa Chung, with their toussle-haired models and thick woollen tights. She really should model for them - the craft of Paris's designers and the Chung celeb de Londres would be a match made in fashion heaven.
Mardi Jeudi use high quality materials, their knitwear range for Autumn/Winter 2010 uses a mix of angora, cashmere and mohair - and their commitment to relaxed shapes and thick tights really makes knitwear wearable and sexy - the elusive combination. And of course, their A/W colour pallette revamps grey into delicious oyster, matt silver, smoke and stone as well as blemishes of dark navy, dark tartan and camel browns.
At the moment you'll have to head to Paris to get hold of their collection - and if going to Paris fait expres pour faire du shopping isn't a good enough reason, then what is?
Luckily, Mardi Jeudi are coming to London for Spring Summer 2011, with another irresistable collection of silks and light jersey materials, in more Parisian understated styles - the Paris Poodle can't wait!
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
OK. I am a bad, bad, BAD blogging Poodle for not blogging nearly enough lately and for letting my Poodle friends down. I hate to think of you looking elsewhere for your usual fashion and beauty blog fix!
But I am here to fix that, c'est clair. Indeed.
So....where to start? It's been a hectic time for the Poodle and unbeknown to you, I've been finding a new job in a new city, and although it breaks my heart not to be permanently in Paris, I am dealing well with this new situation.
Yes, I have moved. To the city of London! (Cue cockney accent) From this side of the Channel life looks considerably more dreary and wearing, less romantic and more red brick...but the British eccentricity and forward thinking fashion are present on every street to remind me that being back in Blighty aint all bad.
Besides, I love my new journalism job which involves frequent trips to Paris - the headquarters are on the Champs Elysees no less - so there really is no time to shed tears... (maybe just one - Paris is heartbreakingly beautiful after all).
Short lived as my Paris days were, it's actually nice to be able to drink tea at any time of day, in huge quantities and not have anyone raise an eyebrow when you add milk.
And there is also the advantage that my beloved X Factor will be enjoyed in full this year.
London has so much to offer a beauty and fashion obsessed pooch like me - fabulous markets, vintage stores and pop up shops. There's never a dull moment and there are of course great perks to being a journalist - cue goody bags laden with Lavin fragrances. Oui, la vie est encore belle.
I feel I must also address the small detail of my blog title too, now that I'm only a part time Parisian.
As a London Poodle, it's clear that the alliteration I so love to adhere to, is completely lost, so for the purposes of perfection, I'm keeping my Paris Poodle title, as in my heart I'll always be a Frenchie. C'est vrai. (Let's face it- this fashion and beauty blog isn't going to work with 'British Bulldog').
So....where I have been being a lousy blogger in the last month, you're gonna have to cut me some slack. I have acquired real life things in the real life world, as oppose to my virtual blogspot bubble. I now have a new job, a new flatshare (and as my new flatmates are Scottish and Californian I'm confident I'll have some new stories to share with you all pretty soon) and a new summer trench coat - cheers Bay Trading!
Life is sweet once more - and with plenty of French fashion shows, beauty launch events and Maison du chocolat tastings to attend, I'm searching out whatever Paris there is to be had in little old London and will be reporting back to you! It's Paris, but not as we know it.
I for one am looking forward to the results! Watch this space ...
Monday, 28 June 2010
Introducing your new friend:
Usiku Body Oil by Jo Wood Organics, is a multi award winner and at only £10 you can't go wrong - your skin will love you for it! With organic calendula, echinacea and vitamin E, this is a melody of lovely, natural, essential oils and plant extracts to slaver on your sun parched pins! Enjoy!
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Ergh. It's raining, its June, it sucks! It really is a Poodle hair 'mare trying to keep your locks under control in temperamental weather conditions. My mane has been going through a whole spectrum of disasters in recent days, from sun frazzled to rain frizzed to wind beaten lank! I've had enough, and have decided to sniff out the products that will get me through an undependable summer... hopefully these will also bring you some hair happiness too!
First things first, what summer hair requires is control. I like to slick my hair back for work days to keep smart and groomed but to ensure hair style endurance you will need L’Oreal’s Elnett which you can get online via Boots at a reduced bargain price of £4.89. This is the ultimate in hair sprays and it doesn't have such a good press for nothing! It is simply one of the most reliable, firm holding, easy to brush out, overall amazing hair miracles.
Another good one is Aussie’s Dual Personality Hairspray - Hi Shine +Hi Hold, which is good value and adds brilliant shine whilst holding your locks in place for a good few hours – see it online at http://www.aussiehair.com/.
Next up, is conditioner, as hair in good condition will be easier to manage, maintain and will undoubtedly behave itself much better! Which conditioner is best for your hair will depend on a few factors… your hair type, its current condition and if you have coloured your hair at all. A brilliant all rounder that works wonders on flat hair is Charles Worthington’s Full Volume Conditioner from £4.55, whilst curly hair will ring with health after this daily conditioner for curls from John Frieda – Curl Around, promises to help protect hair from frizz producing weather conditions, with its magical silicone formula Frieda promises you soft, smooth, defined curls – check it out here http://www.johnfrieda.co.uk/products_frizz_ease_condition_curl.asp.
Finally, a summer shearing is always a good idea. I’m soon booking in for a new relooking as the French say. A trim off the ends will make your hair feel and look a thousand times more healthy and will take some of the weight off that can make your hair look flat, dull and lifeless. Whenever I get my locks lopped in Paris, I head for Camille Albane where the staff are always polite and the cuts are always just right http://www.camillealbane.com/, but if you’re Thames-side, I thoroughly recommend celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton’s own salon in Covent Garden’s Henrietta Street http://www.andrewbarton.tv/ . I believe that Chanel once said that a woman who has a hair cut is about to make important changes in her life. So whether those important changes relate to your shampoo and conditioner or your career or even your love life, a little snippy snippy can make a whole lot of life changing wow!
With love from
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
The excitement caused by the ritual of going to see SATC2 was probably more exciting that the film overall. Although it was utterly fabulous in terms of fashion, the story line forgot that the film was supposed to be about the series Sex and the City and the friendships, hardships and female issues our famous four face together. As soon as the girls left the sanity of New York for the sun of Abu Dhari, the characters and the plot seemed to loose it in the heat of the Middle East. The script barely had time to squeeze in conversations between Miranda and Charlotte on the trials of parenting, and Samantha's menopause mania made her into a caricature that didn't look too convincing or empowering...Yam paste on face? Hmmm. Not a good look. Or message.
Ultimately the girls or women as they now are, were all on form in terms of trend, harem pants, maxi dresses, statement shoulders and tropical textiles, but the story line lacked the depth to keep its fans animated. We didn't really feel that convinced by the Aiden kiss- as Samantha says, 'it was just a kiss' it wasn't important. Yes Carrie felt bored, yes she had a kiss, felt bad, cried, had a moment of realization, but it did feel like they were just avoiding the real issue in all of our heads... Are Big and Carrie going to have babies??? Where was the pregnancy scare?
Where was Miranda's cynicism?
So... the SATC fans are a demanding bunch. We want fashion, drama, tears, tantrums, disasters and most of all, happy endings. But in this film there was monogamy and monotony, cack-handed dealings with muslim traditions and Samantha's bag of condoms. I still love the girls and I take my Poodle hat off to them for their devotion to style, but we wanted more than a fashion show, and a luxury holiday to SATC land, we wanted a taste of their reality and the real issues facing women in their 40's; not Irish boob fluff and yam paste.
As the movie drew to a close, I couldn't help but wonder if SATC should have stuck to the small screen....?
What do you think? The Poodle wants your thoughts???
Saturday, 15 May 2010
The Poodle's super quick, tres vite guide to identifying the English and ze French is as follows:
French Style: Typified by classy, subtle interpretations of the cat walk and pret a porter collectionsEnglish Style: LOUD AND IN YER FACE LOOK AT ME IM WORKING THE LOOK - ITS CHIC, IM CHIC GODDAMIT!
Of course, even the Poodle has indulged herself in the odd statement T shirt in the past. These include the following:
- Love, Peace & Lipgloss (turns out, it's not suitable for an office environment)
- Love Surf since 1985 (not strictly true as I hadn't been created then)
- Femme Fatale (as if the hot pink of the Tshirt didn't give it away)
- J'adore (I clearly couldn't afford the J'adore Dior version)
So out of these, two statements are french, and it seems that splashing the French language across our chests is once again all the rage. And why, not, it is a beautiful language. Just don't expect anyone French to be wearing one!
But the English love a bargain and if it mean's buying a piece of Paris for £6.00 then we anglophones are all ears! Thank Britain for Asos!
Monday, 10 May 2010
The story line was sold to me as a romantic poignant story of first love and coming of age. Which it was. It was also the age old story of "nice young girl gives nasty smarmy older man benefit of the doubt along with her virginity, only to regret not studying harder".
Jenny is a vulnerable, albeit clever 16 year schoolgirl who has hopes of attending Oxford (if only she can pass her Latin classes) who is seduced by an older, dishonest, disconcertingly charming man with a sports car and a large wallet (David). Naive, she is taken in by his flashy lifestyle and Pre-Raphaelite loving friends. Nonetheless, she soon realizes that her older man is in fact a serial bastard, with a wife, child and a history of illicit affairs. Quelle tragedie! By this point she has lost her 'innocence' but luckily, is not in the 'family way' as one might say in the 1960's.
During their brief doomed affair they visit the Poodle's spiritual home and enjoy a Seine side snog with a bottle of red, and wander through its charming cobbled streets. I couldn't help but notice that today's Paris doesn't look all that different from the chic and sleek Paris of yester year.
The 1960's Paris presented in An Education could have been from yesterday, as ladies are still wearing coiffured chignons, cinched waisted dresses and classic stilettos. It made me wonder if Paris is actually stuck in a timeless time warp?? In some ways perhaps it is - the buildings are traditional, there are no Gherkin's, Millennium Wheels or Oxo Towers to be seen, and the fashion is elegant, classic... there's a je ne sais quoi about the place. That is Paris magic! It offers time travel without the butterfly effect and who doesn't want to go back in time?!
In terms of what Paris has given the Poodle as far as 'education' goes, it is without doubt the perfect location to learn, think, reflect and debate. And also the best place to get a quality French manicure, along with the world's finest fragrances. (Chanel' Coco Mademoiselle)!
To conclude my musings on the film in question, I would say that this is definitely worth a look, if only to remark upon how lovely and smart school girls in the 60's used to be, and the gorgeous vintage cars, dresses and impossibly perfect hairstyles that all used to be an everyday 60's occurrence. The moral of the film is of course, to try harder with your Latin homework.
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
The best thing about summer is that for blonds, it really is their season to come into the spot light and work that sunkissed beauty look aka Brigitte Bardot. In Paris, blond femmes are seen strutting importantly with pastel Furla handbags, and beige Phobe Philo skirts, with a waterfall of silky natural looking blond, shimmering over their designer clad backs.
This blonding shampoo uses light reflective mother of pearl extract to give blond locks more lustre and shine, whilst the secret formula of nutritional agents helps to ensure hair is kept soft, and the colour fresh looking. Dessange are a reliable French brand who excel in affordable hair care- a 250ml bottle is only 4,93 euros.
With these key three products, you have everything you need to avoid looking like Cousin It! Blondettes from London to Paris can get ready to have the thick summer lovin', shiny locks they dream of! Even the Poodle is thinking it could be time to lighten up!
What are your blond perfecting must haves?
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
Call me hopeless, but as I have been researching the different policies and listening to the various election arguments, I couldn't help but draw a similarity between this, and the way in which women choose their cosmetics.
Each beauty brand has a different perspective and philosophy whether it is a dedication to ethical, animal friendly products (Body Shop), a dislike of all things preservative (The Organic Pharmacy) or a passion for science (Skinceuticals). Each one promises radical results and change (Botox), or promises to make you feel differently (Aromatherapy Associates). They are all campaigning against each other, promoting their ingredients policies as the most failsafe (Liz Earle) or their figures the most reliable (Boots Protect and Perfect anyone?). But who are we to believe when it comes to the state of our skin?
There are so many conflicting points of view, whether you believe in the power of plant oils, or prefer results proven formulas developed in the lab. Whether you prefer your skincare to be straightforward or fancy or expensive or cheap. Some women believe that, like the 3 main parties in England, that all the skincare creams and brands are practically the same thing, just in different packaging. It's no wonder we spend so long trying to figure out what makes one bottle of serum better than another. They all promise to fight against the signs of aging, free radicals and fine lines (which are probably all caused by high taxes, pollution and not enough holidays), and equip themselves with the tools required for the job - antioxidants, dermatologist jargon and celebrity supporters.
Of course, the only way to find out what works best, is to try. Which is where choosing a skincare system becomes a lot easier. Unlike political elections, when you choose a certain skincare brand over another, you don't run the risk of having to commit to it for 5 years to see if anything will really change. You can simply keep trying different products until you find your winner who you can stand behind with confidence, knowing that your chosen brand perfectly delivers the results you are looking for. Here's a hint - it's probably Botox!
Who would you vote for when it comes to your skin? Tell the Poodle!
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
Like this one:
Even those French ladies with pinched sharp noses, slick pony tails and obnoxious oversized handbags share the same secret with those same French women with fuzzy moustaches and frizzy manes of untameable curls...that unmentioned secret that French women are the ones who really hold the cards. At least, when it comes to hair management, it is the women who make the final decision on what has to go.
Despite being a Paris Poodle, I am of course, still undeniably English. And for that I have never allowed myself to see my armpit hairs, as I employ the Daily Shave Prevention Measure. Nonetheless, with my musings on the power that armpit hair has given to French women, I am for the first time tempted to grow wild and free and try to cultivate the advantages of the French Ladies Power Pit...
Saturday, 3 April 2010
Nonetheless my magnificent easter egg from Maison Boissier which I was lucky enough to be bought by the Lapin de Pacques - that's Easter Bunny to you and I, was so beautiful that destroying it for chocolately consumption didn't even enter my head for a good couple of hours! Of course temptation took over when my cup of tea needed a sweet companion and by the time I thought to photograph it for my blog, there really wasnt enough left to picture! However, these French chocolate easter bells resound with the echo of my chocolate Boissier egg!