Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Inspiring Holiday

I just returned from a winter holiday in Paris and Florence.  I always forget how inspiring these cities are...in every way.  I come home with tons of ideas for new things to make at the bakery/rosticceria, ways to redecorate the house and garden, and best of all, new clothes!

There's still nowhere like Paris.  It didn't disappoint.  Our first trip was to study baking back in 1980--gads, that seems like ancient times.  We traveled to France thereafter every year for about 20 years.  It's been so long since Joe and I were in Paris together.  We had a blast.  We rented a lovely apartment, Grand Marnier, from a company called Paris Perfect.  I highly recommend this company.  They are professional, friendly, helpful and have the most beautiful places to stay!

We walked until our feet screamed, drank wine for lunch AND dinner (something we NEVER do at home), bought a museum pass so visited more museums than usual, and ate everything we could lay our hands on.

I, of course, shopped as much as I could squeeze in, considering I was traveling with a man.  But it was enough.  I managed all three Noriem stores where I found two tops (see below) and Manuelle Guibal, where I found a Sophie Digard scarf I couldn't say no to (also see below).  And I found a great new pair of glasses at my favorite eyewear shop, Les Opticiens du Bac.  

On to Florence where we met friends for a two week stay in an ancient palazzo.  Gorgeous but chilly!  We managed though and had a great time with them.  They love food as much as we do and they both like to shop!  Bonus!!

We pretty much did the same things in Florence we'd done in Paris, just a few less museums.  Joe hit every studio he could find; Dante, Michelangelo and others I can't remember because I was off shopping with our friends!

Breaking News!!!--I found a new Noriem store in Florence.  I just stumbled on it.  It's not on their website nor is it on the map.  It's so beautiful, possibly the most beautiful one I've visited.  Of course I found a vest (see below).  

I'm not sure if I was lucky or unlucky that it was winter and most of the clothes were wool.  I'm allergic to wool, sort of.  I can wear it if I have lots of protective garb underneath but California weather is never that cold so I just don't buy it.  Hence, I only found a few things to buy...good or bad, you decide.  But, oh, those wool garments were gorgeous.

I did a couple of things on this trip I've never done before.  I decided that since I was going in winter my clothes would not be so important since they would be covered up most of the time with a coat.  So, 1. I bought myself a great coat, and 2. I only brought 4 remade cashmere sweaters (see below) and two pair of pants to wear.  I brought 7 scarves though, and they helped make me feel I was changing outfits.  This plan worked out well.  I didn't focus on clothes so much and I think it was good.  
The coat I chose is huge.  And I use that term only because I can't think of a better word to describe how big it is.  It's a Rundholz I bought at Mio in San Francisco.  It has two HUGE pockets that I used as a purse.  I hate wearing purses in cities and winter clothes don't lend themselves to fanny packs.   It worked so well!  I only had my phone with my credit cards in a little attached case and a small cloth bag with lipstick and other essentials.  But I had room for an umbrella, hat and gloves when I needed them.  I looked like a squirrel who was packing it away for winter but what the h___.  I'm going to use this method again. 

I did need to modify the pockets before I left and I'm so glad I did.  I sewed in two smaller polartec pockets inside the huge ones so my hands would have somewhere to rest and stay warm.  I couldn't even reach the bottoms of the big pockets without pulling up the coat from the bottom!

So now on to what I made to wear.  I apologize for the ratty photos, the winter light in the bunkhouse isn't so great for photography.  This is a black cashmere I made from three previously worn sweaters. Simple design, different weaves for accent, asymmetrical hem.

A slightly better photo of the back.  Hand stitched patch on upper back

This one of multiple grey, previously worn cashmeres.  Slim line with fun peplums at either side.

The collar was hand stitched on with an exposed seam at the shoulder.

This one was fun to make and wear and super comfy.  Several grey, previously worn cashmeres with mostly exposed seams.  It's hard to tell but both sides are different.  One has an open flounce (shown below) and the other side has a little design shaping.

This is the side with the open flounce.

A pretty straightforward design using many scraps from previously used red cashmeres.  

A bit of an assymetrical hem.

Apologies to Sophie Degard, the color of this scarf is SO much better in person.

One of the Noriem tunics.

Another Noriem tunic.  Love this one.

And the Noriem vest purchased at the new store in Florence.

So there you are.  I'll post a few more times on different aspects of the trip as I get back into my life.  But for now, my fondest wishes for a healthy and fulfilling 2018 to all.