Monday, February 18, 2013

Thierry Mugler for 4 Euros, I kid you not

I'm throwing my style cap into the ring with the chic chickas over at Patti's Visible Monday as I can hardly contain my excitement over my latest thrift find. The Grunge Queen is baaack! The story is like so many others: I was browsing the rack at the same thrift store I found the faux fur from last post, not expecting to unearth anything, and voila, a lush green velour-like fabric popped out at me like a spring flower peeping through the crappy brown snow. Took a gander (and a whiff) and discovered an amazingly constructed, non-smelly jacket. Tried it on and it fit beautifully.* The best part? It was 50 percent off 8 Euros, yip yip!

*Ok, I can't do up the bottom button of this Thierry Mugler jacket, but who cares? I will in the future, and for now, I'm happy to wear it open, as you see here.

Just look at the buttons! I have no idea how much something like this would cost resale. I've seen vintage Thierry Mugler online for a couple hundred up to a thousand bucks.

I can also do it up military style. I'm thinking the jacket is 1980s, possibly 90s. The shoulders look slightly puffed as someone has cut out the shoulder pads, but I think the poufiness adds to the dramatic effect. Aside from two slits in the exquisite green lining, which can be easily sewn (by someone else), this jacket is in pristine condition.

More (adjustable) button detailing at the back, for when I have a waist again.

I used to be the thrifty statement-piece blazer queen, often wearing them with tight skinny jeans, cashmere turtlenecks and high-heeled booties (alas, the days of tight skinny jeans and high-heeled booties are gone). My other great French designer blazer find was a Tara Jarmon for $4.99 (I know, this post from almost a year ago says $6.99, but I looked back into the archives at the original post and see that I actually paid $4.99 CAD ... too bad the pics aren't viewable)!

I find it funny that the same thrift shop that's selling real fur coats for 50-150 Euros, which look like they morphed from granny's closet with a few mothballs attached, would let an iconic French designer's piece go for 4 Euros. But as we all know, this lack of designer knowledge often works to the scavenger's benefit!

This outfit is 100 percent thrifted, save for the rings and earrings: Thyme maternity skirt thrifted in Toronto before I was married (let's say I had a hunch); Italian boots thrifted in Annecy; ribbed turtleneck thrifted in Toronto; Italian-made doctor's bag, Etsy.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Isn't it romantic?

Happy belated Valentine's Day to you! I was busy spending the day with hubby yesterday before he jetted off again, but I just had to show you the cappuccino he made me yesterday morning. Quite by accident, the foam magically shaped itself into a heart. Cuteness or what?

It stayed until the bitter end, and became even more heart-like.

Hubby and I decided to have a low-key Valentine's, with no major gifties (I'm still marveling at my Cartier eternity ring, an anniversary and a pre-baby giftie). But I thought I'd try my hand at a handmade Valentine from the heart, just like the kind my sis and I used to make when we were kids.

I'm not crafty in any way, and I agonized over this imperfect Valentine for hours, but hubby was touched beyond belief and even wanted to pack it in his suitcase this morning - big awww!

We joke that we're the most unromantic couple as we went out together to pick out my roses (hot pink and orange, my fave). But hey, he just came off flying a plane, and I sure as heck didn't mind.

I'm wearing my "new" vintage faux fur coat I picked up for 20 Euros at the local thrift shop. The label is Michel Alexis, and it's made in France. It's a touch big but it will accommodate my growing bump; plus I think you don't have to be so picky with size when it comes to a swing coat, non?

What I thought was a misunderstanding at the cash ended up being ok when I investigated further today at the thrift shop. I thought the woman was telling me that only real furs were not subject to the 50 percent off sale, and I knew this decidedly wasn't fur and was expecting to pay 10 Euros for it. It turns out that all furs, real **and** fake, weren't included in the sale. In the end I was ok with paying 20 Euros for this coat, especially if it means I'll be able to do it up when I'm really big!

Nesting mode must be kicking in, as I sweated and swore and stressed for several hours last night making hubby beef stroganoff, my very first attempt. I almost called the beef stroganoff hotline (ie: Mom) several times, but managed to make it through ok, producing a **pas mal** repas. I made oodles so we've got some in the freezer. Must start stockpiling easy meals! (Note: I never wear aprons, probably because I'm not much of a chef, but this was a gift from my UK thrifting pal extrordinaire, Sheau, whom I dearly miss - sweet, isn't it? I've been cooking more in recent weeks so it will come in handy).

I even got to wear a Valentine's napkin scrawled by hubby at the last minute, lest I dribble sauce over my thrifted Theory cashmere sweater (bought years ago for $6.99 in Canada but with a Holt Renfrew pricetag of about $600, if memory serves!). I don't look so hot in red but at that price, I snapped it up and haul it out every year for occasions such as this, where red is befitting.

This is the last time you'll see my shaggy mop. I was semi-beaned today at the hairdresser's, despite telling him that I didn't want to go short. Maybe my French isn't as good as I thought?

Hope you had a lovely Feb. 14 and a great weekend!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hot pink cure-all

When she's got the winter blahs because Annecy is perpetually grey in the winter (mountain weather?), what's a gal to do?

If it's super mild, which it thankfully has been most of the winter and def was last week when hubby snapped this shot, well, she goes out to frolic in the snow (translation: went on a grocery run) wearing her NEW previously-loved wool colour-block cape (courtesy of Etsy).

Bright colours are a tonic for the blahs, I find, and I was so thrilled with this cape (especially since it was on sale and super inexpensive for what it is) that I threw it on when really I should have worn a longer coat to protect me from the wet snow, which melted the next day, yay!

The cape is by a company called Coloratura, which started in Boston, USA in the 1980s but has since moved to Pennsylvania. It specializes these days in artisanal-made capes with a bit of a Native vibe, which look very different from the one I have, a thick blanket-like 100% wool open cape that I can phwing oh so artlessly over my shoulder and pretend I'm glamourous when really I'm starting to waddle like a duck. I just love the little pointy hood too; it makes me feel like a little gnome.

I don't wear the colour much, but ever since discovering a nubbly crayon of a certain hue in the crayon box when I was a kid, hot pink - and yes, neon pink too - has been an emotionally-charged colour for me, and always happy happy happy.

I found this 1980s wool dress, with batwing sleeves and floppy funnel neck, on Etsy as well - in fact it's from the same seller as the cape, and it was a screaming deal. Not sure if I'll show you the look **sans** thrifted Windsmoor coat as I look rather like a pink blob in it at the mo, but it's cozy and satisfies my hunger for brights.

I'm wearing it with a vintage Kangol angora hat gifted to me by a vintage pal, my thrifted Kenneth Cole Reaction boots, my new "Pippi Longstocking" striped wooly tights, and a vintage 1980s statement piece necklace made of multi-hued Lucite-like chunks.

Ok, let's throw in the beat-up leather purse I found a few weeks ago at the thrift shop in town, which had a **braderie** outside that day, meaning everything on the table was a Euro each (!) - finally, I found something for a Euro in France!! It was fun to rummage; I found a few things, another purse and some clothing for bebe, which I'll show you another time (the lovely all-wool men's scarf underneath, which I'm using as a table runner, was found at the same shop this weekend for .75 centimes).

On the subject of France, my French lessons have taken a back seat these last few weeks to intensive baby research (cribs or bassinets which meet European standards, trying to find out what the hell those standards are etc). I realized last night after a particularly late Internet session that I'm just a week or two from the beginning of my third trimester, and we've done next to nothing planning-wise - AK!

Back to the pink: I've had this sheeny quilted silk down-filled Hilary Radley jacket (which I bought new but on sale) for years. I tried to give it away to a homeless woman I used to talk with all the time in Toronto years ago, but sadly I couldn't find her. In the end it suits the alpine life in Annecy, and the jolt of my fave happy shade cheers me when all I see is a sea of black coats on the streets. It also matches my face, which has recently broken out in dry, red blotches - mind, if that's the only pregnancy complaint I have, I'm doing well!

You can see I've fully internalized the alpine style ethic with my new fur hat. I thought the studs jazzed it up, and it was a screaming 50 percent off (but still not a deal by any means ... we're in Annecy, afterall). Though it's not minus 20 degrees C like it is in my hometown in Canada, I still find it cold here - perhaps it's the damp mountain air? - so this hat makes a real difference, especially on my daily lakeside ambles. Hubby has one too, a totally different style, but I still fear, with his new lace-up boots that are similar to my new Uggs, that we may start looking like one of those couples that wear the same thing - scary!!

Let's banish that disturbing thought. It's been snowing all day today - the first major snowstorm where there are several feet of the white stuff on the ground - so I'll leave you with some lovely shots from around the lake on my walk today, whose icy bleak beauty rather counter the pink parade. How all the snow makes me think of Ottawa, Canada! This is the wee man-made island on the lake, which is a bird sanctuary, I'm told.

Mammoth droopy willow beside the lake in the Jardins de L'Europe, a lovely English-style landscape garden park filled huge trees of every type.

Looking from the gardens over the Pont D'Amour to the other side.

I'm joining all the lovely ladies at Patti's Visible Monday, because, amidst this greyness, my pink surely stands out! Like me, Patti is wearing a gorg hue in her post today, and a sweater dress to boot. And if you're groovin on the hot pink, I must credit my muse for today, Sarah, whose stroke-able hot pink velvet wiggle skirt egged me on to do this post (though, alas, I will never look so hot in MY pink!).

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Packages pour moi et bebe

Lest you think I've run off to film Sultana Bran commercials, I'm here to show you some lovely gifties that have been posted to me since I made my baby announcement. A talented blogger who preferred to stay anonymous sent me a package with this pretty blue wool jumper inside (yup, all you UK folk, in Canada a jumper is something like this or a one-piece pantsuit. What you call a jumper, we call a sweater).

There's lots of room to grow here thanks to a handy adjustable strap at the back. I thought it would look funky if I stuck to the blue theme, so I wore it with blue tights and turtleneck (polo neck in the UK? I love these differences), and my thrifted Kenneth Cole Reaction booties. A handmade statement piece necklace finished off the look. Love!

The same blogger sent me a pretty sleeveless black dress that will do wonderfully for the summer and post-baby, which isn't pictured here as it was difficult to photograph, and this beautiful hardcover book, Flea Market Baby, which features inspiring photos of all the creative baby things you can do with second-hand flea market finds. I used to have coffee table books galore featuring thrifty decor ideas, and boy, do I regret getting rid of them. I was so touched by this package, from a blogger I hardly know - I am so hanging on to my maternity stuff so I can pass the goodies and the good Karma forward!

Speaking of terrific ladies, the indomitable Curtise also sent me a package, containing, among other things, this beaut of a floral knit tunic/dress that I've been all but living in lately. That style dame nailed it with this baby - it's just so very ME. I'm wearing it with leggings and a necklace found at a Vide Grenier for a couple bucks, but I also wore it as a dress with sassy crochet tights.

She also sent this summery top that, again, will be perfect for spring and post-baby. Isn't it swish? It'll rock with everything from leggings to a black skirt. And on that subject, Curtise also sent me a black knit skirt, which is perfectly fitting into my pregnancy wardrobe philosophy, but, like the black dress, it didn't photograph well, so you'll have to trust in its marvelousness.

I just love the card Curtise sent - and she was so right, there were plenty of butterfly-like movements going on in my belly at that time, which have now turned to perceptible kicks!

Last but not least, my wonderful twin sis, Kendra, sent me this Kimono-style maternity top that I'll be sporting once the warmer weather comes. Like Curtise's top, I think it could also do as a nursing top. I can't find a lot of nursing clothing here, so I'm making the (perhaps mistaken) assumption that French women just pull their boob out of their top to nurse. I would have no problem doing that if I had to.

Kendra is an art and graphics design prof in Toronto, and has been a practising and showing artist since she was in her early 20s, if not before - you can check out her amazing drawings, paintings and other renderings on the blog portion of her website, Needless to say, I was thrilled to receive this book. I thought it was such a creative idea to turn a sketchbook into a book, and, since the tome chronicles her family's life in addition to showcasing her talents, I wanted one.

Guess whose wedding flowers she featured in the book?

Sis also sent me, upon request, a Dollar Store liquid eyeliner, the same kind I used to buy at the end of my street in Toronto. Makeup here is VERY expensive - try 18 Euros for a lipstick or a mascara ... that's 24 Canuck bucks, epps!

Thanks to all you lovelies for sending me such gorgeous, thoughtful gifties that will be so used and enjoyed. I'm linking up to Lakota's Ta-dah! Tuesday because I think these items are definitely Ta-dah! worthy! And special thanks to Jill, who has kindly featured the dress that you all loved so much, from a few posts ago, in her How I Wear My Date Night Look post today!