Saturday, 15 May 2010

T Shirt Talk

This is the Poodle reporting for Blogger duty. Being in England at the moment has its problems when it comes to blogging about Paris... or so I thought it would when I boarded the eurostar. However, all across England it seems that Paris has been splashed across T-shirts and magazines, as far as the eye can see. Every shop I go into welcomes me with a 'Paris je t'aime' slogan emblazoned across the chest, or a 'Je suis la plus belle' written in swirly letters. Some keep it simple and state PARIS next to an Eiffel Tower image that is decorated with glitzy gemstones. Its so English. Of course, I get it, it is trying to be French, but in the most English, insanely obvious, LOOK AT ME fashion, that is the trend this side of the channel. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the British eccentricity and outlandish approach to dressing, its just even more apparent when trying to be chic involves screaming 'J'adore Paris' across handbags, dresses, tops and jewellery. And that is the difference between us Brits and ze French. I think subtle is the key word here.

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 collections

New Look £14.00 say it loud and clear

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!

Ce n'est pas tres cher, mais quand meme, c'est chic!

Monday, 10 May 2010

An Education

The Poodle is back in the UK at present and in order to continue to feel Parisian in Blighty, last night I settled down to watch a DVD I had been meaning to see for a while - An Education. Starring Carey Mulligan and Olivia Williams and Peter Sarsgaard, it is mostly set in Twickenham, Oxford and London's West End, so I was a little disappointed. I had been expecting more scenes of 60's Paris. Nonetheless, the dialogue had the occasional French mot, chanson or phrase, and of course included a short lived romantic weekend away in gay Paris.

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.