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Mireille's Musings

MIREILLE’S MUSINGS: Spring/Summer Fashion 2011

I feel dizzy from what I have seen in New York, Antwerp, Amsterdam, a few shopping malls in Abu Dhabi hotels to get my walks, and Paris...

I'm tired of the low end (and so are my Parisian friends, young and old, who are figuring out that it's time-consuming to shop, and when things look good but don't last it becomes a drag)...alas the world is filled with H&M, Zara and some a bit more expensive but not high quality either like Maje, Sandro, etc. It's a lesson to look for a little step up and maybe buy just one piece a season and feel good about it. Maybe/maybe not? If shopping is your addiction, by all means keep going. For me, however, I look for the new but the original, the quality, the stuff I found in a few Paris boutiques. When I see something I know I'd like to wear this evening, the "coup de coeur."

Here are a few looks that remain on my mental short list. I'll share them with you:

Lanvin, Mouret, Alaia, Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten still remain high on my list this season. I like almost everything they do. Can't wait for the sales. The Italian Krizia also had a few lovely summer tops.

Vive Akris
, 49 Avenue Montaigne, 8th, montaigne@akris.ch
These last few years I've warmed up to Akris (a Swiss brand), but this year it's definitely my favorite summer collection (the Japanese influence may have something to do with it). I just adore their shirts and dress shirts, and if you look at the collection on akris.com I favor # 3, 4, 8, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 (these are simply sublime and so are the printed dresses 20 and 26), and for those of us who love handbags the trapeze-shaped Ai are stunning. Their second line Akris Punto is equally enticing.

Among my new discoveries in the small is beautiful mode, here are a few designers/boutiques discovered these past weeks:

Louise Della, a Lyonnaise who is having fun with "maille" and color. Love her stuff. In Paris, she has one boutique at 55 rue des St Peres, 6th. Her summer light cotton knit jackets are the stuff to give you a Wow look, and you won’t see that outfit on anyone else, guaranteed.

Margareth & Moi, at 16 rue de la Sourdiere, 1st, is another small gem with gorgeous summer jackets and coats, blouses and unusual skirts.

Divine Parisienne, 19 rue Guisarde, 6th, is by the picky Patricia who knows a bit about fashion and does not sell items everyone wears. She looks for trends and specific pieces by designers she loves like Patricia Pepe. She also has a limited shoe, hat and bag selection

Carven opened a small shop on rue St Sulpice near the church...fabulous selection.

More Japanese:

High end:
Yuki Torii, 38-40 rue Vivienne, 2nd (in passage Vivienne) has an exquisite summer selection, especially tops.

Affordable:
Indigo, 23 rue de Grenelle, 7th, just opened. It’s Japanese like Yuki Torii, but whereas the former is "dressy" the latter is "casual," and both represent the best of Japan in quality and style and the staff is charming.

Inexpensive but oh so fun:
Yumi•Mazao, 7 rue Auber, 9th

Lots along rue de Rennes, but 108 rue de Rennes is Christine Laure, fun, well-made and affordable (similar to Yumi)

If you’re in Paris before July 24th, a treat is at Musee Bourdelle in the 15th, where glamour according to Madame Gres will give you thrills without spending a dime...50 years of couture from the mother of minimalism with so much sensuality (after all she dressed Lauren Bacall and Maria Casares) and a way to liberate the female body the way Yves St Laurent did a few decades later. A must see for those interested in Parisian glamour and seduction.