Cashmere in summer

Eric Bompard alley 2

Before a sweltering heat took over Paris, a rather chilly summer lingered in the city. This episode seems rather distant now, doesn’t it? Wrapped in cashmere, I would brave the winds and rain, taking comfort in the soft and warm fabric.

Eric Bompard dress sitting

It’s interesting how the touch of clothing can soothe your mind. In my case, it’s cashmere and the Eric Bompard store on the Champs-Elysées has seen me quite a few times. Their quality sweaters and scarves last me for years. Inès de la Fressange loves the brand too: she mentions it in her best-selling book Parisian Chic as the official supplier of many Parisian woman.

Eric Bompard dress top

I love the simple design and electric blue color of this dress (on sale here). I dressed it up with my Hermès scarf for tea at the Plaza Athénée and a ballet at Opéra Garnier. I could also wear it dressed-down over skinny jeans.

Eric Bompard whole look

I shudder at the thought of wearing anything more than shorts and a T-shirt in Paris now, but I can not wait to be clad in cashmere again. I just need the temperatures to come to their senses.

Eric Bompard dress, Balenciaga purse, Tiffany Bone cuff, Lanvin ballerina flats, Calvin Klein watch

Pictures by Ludgero Filipe

Tiffany Bone cuff Balenciaga purse

Il fut un temps où l’été à Paris n’était pas si étouffant. Cet épisode semble bien lointain, n’est-ce pas ? Emmitouflée de cachemire, je bravais la pluie et le froid. C’est intéressant comme un vêtement peut vous réconforter et vous apaiser intérieurement. Dans mon cas, ce sont mes pulls et écharpes dans cette laine douce et soyeuse, et Eric Bompard est l’une de mes marques préférées en la matière. Inès de la Fressange la mentionne d’ailleurs dans son livre La Parisienne. Leurs pièces de qualité me durent pendant des années et leur boutique des Champs-Elysées offre une très large sélection de modèles aussi bien classiques que trendy. J’aime beaucoup la coupe simple et le bleu vif de cette robe (en solde ici). Je l’ai habillée avec mon carré Hermès pour un après-midi au Plaza Athénée et une soirée au Palais Garnier. Je la porterais bien par-dessus un jean slim pour une tenue plus décontractée. Je frémis à l’idée de porter une couche de vêtement autre que mon short et mon T-shirt maintenant mais j’ai hâte que les températures reviennent à la raison pour m’emmitoufler à nouveau en cachemire.

Yves Saint Laurent exhibition in Denver

The highlight of my week-long business trip to Denver was the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective at the Denver Art Museum. It is the same exhibition that took place in Paris two years ago (and which I blogged on here). Once again, it was a great opportunity to remember Saint Laurent’s genius and wonder at his elegant, chic and oh so Parisian collections.

The retrospective starts with designs Yves Saint Laurent created when he took over the head of Christian Dior in 1958 after the passing of the great designer. Can you believe Saint Laurent was only 22 then?

Yves Saint Laurent then established his own house with his business and life partner Pierre Bergé. Some of his designs have become iconic and largely imitated though they were quite revolutionary at the time.

The suit for women is the most famous example. I remember being told of Saint Laurent’s friend and muse Nan Kempner wearing one to a restaurant in New York City. She was denied entrance because of it and decided to lose the pants so that the long jacket would give the illusion of a dress.

A room is dedicated to Yves Saint Laurent’s friendship with Catherine Deneuve and their collaboration on several of her films. I love the dress he designed for Belle de Jour in 1967; one would never suspect Séverine of hiding such naughty secrets with her strict and elegant look.

The 1971 collection was scandalous in its time. Critics called it vulgar and of bad taste, which I find ironic now that most designers dream of reaching this level of elegance.

Although Yves Saint Laurent rarely traveled abroad apart from Morocco, he was influenced by exotic lands like Africa, China and Russia. Likewise, his love of art reflected in his designs with dresses inspired by Mondrian and other artists.

The most impressive display is the tuxedo room showcasing the multiple variations of one iconic design over several decades. Yet the part of the exhibition that really took my breath away was the final one with the ball gowns. The picture below is only a small part of the display and not true to how elegant and beautiful it was. I wish I could have snapped away but – alas – a guard was glaring at me.

I truly believe Yves Saint Laurent will go down in history as the greatest designer of the 20th century. I wonder how Hedi Slimane, now head designer at Saint Laurent Paris, will use his heritage in his upcoming collections, if at all.