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Paris: Unboxing Victorine’s Fashion Haul

Let's Rendezvous with Victorine at Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris (The Railway, Édouard Manet, 1873, National Gallery of Art)

Let’s Rendezvous with Victorine at Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris (The Railway, Édouard Manet, 1873, National Gallery of Art)

Hello guys! I’m Victorine-Louise Meurent: Artist. Model. Musician. Singer. Tutor. Paris Lifestyle Blogger. Welcome back to my back-to-the-future sartorial site, dear fellow time trekkers.

This week, I’d like to share my recent clothing haul from Zara at the Passage du Havre, kitty corner from the Gare Saint-Lazare. Actually, there are now four Zara shops in the Opéra ’hood, ideal for shop-hopping. Some call it crazy luck. I call it heaven. Seriously, this is how this busy “V to the L-O” gets it done during the big summer sales.

Built in 1845, the Passage du Havre was given a supreme makeover during the 1990s (Photo by T. Brack)

Built in 1845, the Passage du Havre was given a supreme makeover during the 1990s (Photo by T. Brack)

So what’s piping hot this season?

The blouse. No retro-infused style of sleeve got left behind, from the angular pagoda to the puffy bishop, choirboy, and leg-o’-mutton. Truth unfolds: This 19th century foxhound-toting fashionista felt quite nostalgically at home.

Of course, we have beaucoup designers and fashion houses worldwide to thank for re-igniting our love affair with the puff and the frill. A big merci goes out to Dior, Saint Laurent, Miu Miu, Balenciaga, Isabel Marant, Lanvin,  Kenzo, Balmain, Sonia Rykiel, Prada, Gucci, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and Jeremy Scott—just to name a few.

With buoyant heart on sleeve: It was difficult to stop at one top. So don’t lose your head.

What's New Pussycat? Cutting to the chase: Tops with ribbons and bows galore (Photo by T. Brack)

What’s New Pussycat? Cutting to the chase: Tops with ribbons and bows galore (Photo by T. Brack)

Or throw caution to the sin

Got passion for fashion? Cuckoo for a steal? I hear you. Nothing gives me more pleasure than finding flattering garb at a discount price. So let’s launch our unboxing with two favorite fashion Holy Grail items: Black lace-up ankle boots, styled with one fitted frock coat. Never a thumping bore, add a fan and parapluie, and you’ll be good to go—rain or shine.

Suited and Booted to the Nines: Fitted coat, parapluie, and a choker (Photo by T. Brack)

Suited and Booted to the Nines: Fitted coat, parapluie, and a choker (Photo by T. Brack)

Like sequins in the sky, the deep and wide décolletage is also shining brightly this summer, according to fashion plates in the know. Totes, I say! Especially with a black choker flirtatiously slashing the neckline. Triple threat: A look not just reserved for stage actresses! No, monsieur! So get with the program, guys. The revel is always in the details.

Frankly, the collier had me at “Bonjour.”

Not since the 1830s have sleeves chill-axed such an air of  breezy outrageousness (Photo by T. Brack)

Not since the 1830s have sleeves chill-axed such an air of  breezy outrageousness (Photo by T. Brack)

Anchors Aweigh

 Okay, let’s get to it! First find!

Flaunting a crisp seaside Deauville vibe, the blue-striped blouse’s sleeve details woo like sirens. Decked out in an upside down crayfish-like pouf with gathered puffs in all the right places. Not since the flirty thirties (1830s, that is), have airy sleeves flaunted such an air of cray-cray outrageousness. Plus, the mile-long wraparound straps nip at the waistline.

Tip: If you’ve missed the sales, fret not. I peered into my magic ball, and it appears that  seafaring stripes and floral patterns are here to stay, along with chokers, corsets, and overblown sleeves too. At least through the Winter 2018 season. So there’s still time to pump up your own bandwagon. Giddy up!

Encore! The massive wings of desire popped up again during the 1890s (Photo by T. Brack)

Encore! The massive wings of desire popped up again during the 1890s (Photo by T. Brack)

Feeling Myself

Shall we squeak more about the size of this season’s sleeves? Indulge me, SVP. Why, they’re bigger, longer, and sassier. Again, we haven’t seen such massive wings of desire in decades. Not since the days of the New Romantics, most likely. Inspired then by medieval myths and fairytale bliss, today the otherworldly bubble is still double trouble. I haven’t been able to live without this “Juliet” pouf, styled up with all the trimmings: a bell-shaped skirt and ballet slippers.

Stage Struck: Today the otherworldly bubble is still double double trouble (Photo by T. Brack)

Stage Struck: Today the otherworldly bubble is still double double trouble (Photo by T. Brack)

O, Romeo! This cobalt gem is the super star of my été collection. It’s like “Victorine” in a blouse, I swear! With my hand on the cover of the summertime issue of Journal des Dames et des Modes magazine, even my red tresses are super über pumped.

Isn't it Roam-antic? Donning this go-Everywhere Blouse, I float like a queen (Photo by T. Brack)

Isn’t it Roam-antic? Donning this go-Everywhere Blouse, I float like a queen (Photo by T. Brack)

Strings Attached

My milliner mother taught me to appreciate the embellished detail. “Shine on!” she’d say. More bangles and spangles, please! And let me tell you, this pea green confection does not disappoint, from top to bottom. Look at the cords, my Lord. Donning this, I float on my little cat feet. So pretty, feminine, and refined, but yet quintessentially modern.

Shape Shifters: Adjust the tightness of the fabric with the cords #Sizeupordown (Photo by T. Brack)

Shape Shifters: Adjust the tightness of the fabric with the cords #Sizeupordown (Photo by T. Brack)

How to wear this go-everywhere blouse?

Tip: The sleeves are held in place by cords sewn to the sleeves. Adjust the tightness of the fabric with the strings. Fitted or loosey-goosey? It’s up to your mood du jour. If this wide flattened silhouette every goes out of style, I will just sigh.

For modeling gig, I'll wear Marie-like puffs, gathered cuffs, and a frilly neckline (Photo by T. Brack)

For modeling gig, I’ll wear Marie-like puffs, gathered cuffs, and a frilly neckline (Photo by T. Brack)

O.O.T.D.

As you may know, I’m preparing for an upcoming modeling gig with my good friend, painter Édouard Manet. For the session, I’ve picked out this baby blue top with the gathered “Marie” puffs, ruffled cuffs, and a peek-a-boo frilly neckline. Most likely, I’ll style my outfit of the day again with my trusty frock coat, boots, and the pup.

Sneaky Peak: By the way, Manet plans to take the painting “live” at the Paris Salon later on this year. I’ll post updates on Instagram. So stay tuned.

Times are a-changing: The choker is a look not just reserved for stage actresses (Photo by T. Brack)

Times are a-changing: The choker is a look not just reserved for stage actresses (Photo by T. Brack)

Flower Power

Next item! You guessed it! Another floral number, styling and profiling with its sleek and edgy black choker! Wristlet bow ties also tempt, I’d say.

Closet Staple: The Kimono-inspired wrap is another timeless piece (Photo by T. Brack)

Closet Staple: The Kimono-inspired wrap is another timeless piece (Photo by T. Brack)

Because one floral is never, ever enough

The Kimono-inspired wrap could very well work at one of the bals on the hill. When I saw this blouse, I fainted like a stage diva. Jamming both tops, my posse will be most jelly.

With its flounces, flapping in the summertime breeze, I was the Belle of the park (Photo by T. Brack)

With its flounces, flapping in the summertime breeze, I was the Belle of the park (Photo by T. Brack)

Frisky Summer Breeze

Final chemise with shimmy! Guaranteed to turn heads like the windmills in Abbesses. Plus, it made me a flamenco dancer. I’m not going to lie to you. I’ve worn the blue cotton wrap top beaucoup times since the shopping spree. And how could I not? With its lightweight layers of pagoda-shaped flounces, flapping in the breeze, I was the Belle of the park.

Oh, the thrill of the garden path. Peacocking never gets old, not in my book!

Donning pagoda-shaped wings on fire, I will either fly or sigh trying (Photo by T. Brack)

Donning pagoda-shaped wings on fire, I will either fly or sigh trying (Photo by T. Brack)

One more for the road

Paint your palette blue and grey: A floral print, inspired by Van Gogh’s sunflower series. Launched in 1887 during his stay in Paris. At the time Van Gogh was living with his brother Theo in a third floor flat at 54 rue Lepic. Trekking to Paris? Do pay homage if time permits, especially on a summer’s day. Pack a hankie. A plaque marks the spot.

Starry-Eyed for this Petal Pusher, a nod to Van Gogh's Sunflower Series, launched in Paris in 1887

Starry-Eyed for this Petal Pusher, a nod to Van Gogh’s Sunflower Series, launched in Paris in 1887

Meshing Art and Fashion: Another Shot of the Van Gogh-Inspired Top #Becasueoneisneverenough

Meshing Art and Fashion: Another Shot of the Van Gogh-Inspired Top #Becasueoneisneverenough

Two Cut Sunflowers, Van Gogh, Paris, 1887, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Two Cut Sunflowers, Van Gogh, Paris, 1887, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Okay! Farewell for now! I hope I’ve inspired you to find a treasure or two of your own. Splurge, I urge. Just do it. Because life grooves right on by, pretty darn fast! Bisous!

(BTW: This post was not sponsored by Zara, Fancy Feast, or Bugs the Cat.)

 

 

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40 thoughts on “Paris: Unboxing Victorine’s Fashion Haul

    • Merci, Mélanie! Here’s more info about Victorine-Louise Meurent. I’m completely hooked.

      Winding it back:

      So yes, Victorine was one of Édouard Manet’s favorite models. She appears in his Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe, Olympia, and The Guitar Player—just to name a few.

      Manet’s Gare Saint-Lazare painting (The Railway) was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1874.

      Now, Victorine’s work also appeared at the prestigious Salon. Self Portrait was the first, accepted in 1876. Then, A Nuremberg Bourgeoise in the Sixteenth Century and Palm Sunday followed.

      During the early 1900s, Victorine was admitted to the Société des Artistes Français.

      Impressive, eh? Have a wonderful weekend!
      Theadora

      Like

    • Thank you! Stay tuned for a Part Two. Ah, there’s so much gossip online about Victorine. Heck, even the Metropolitan Museum of Art misspelled her last name.

      I completely enjoyed creating the post, imagining Victorine M. as a brilliant Fashion Blogger.

      Enjoy the weekend!
      Theadora

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What fun and so great to “see” you, T. I’ll take one of the shirts with the cats for our younger daughter. 🙂 Comment allez-vous? 🙂 Just practicing my little bit of French on you. I’m using Duolingo to try to learn a bit before going back next time.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merci, Janet!

      The chemise with the cats is pretty darn adorable. Head-over-paws, I tumbled flat. In fact, I purchased two! It fits like a swing coat. I LOVE it. Have you tried the puffy sleeve? It’s quite the statement piece!

      And how was your trip? I’ve been enjoying your Instagram photographs. Gorgeous. Gorgeous.

      Inspired, I think I’ll add my new blouse to the mix: A blouse with Sun Flowers—a corny nod to Vincent Van Gogh.

      Enjoy the day!
      Theadora

      Liked by 1 person

      • The trip was great as usual, T, and I’ve been blogging about it almost every day since I got back. I’ll be at it for another week or so, I imagine. Then I’m heading off to Wyoming, which means no blogging for about three weeks unless I slip one in now and then. That’s both to take a break and because the internet there is super slow!

        I haven’t tried the puffy sleeve, but the sunflower blouse sounds lovely.

        Cheers!

        janet

        Liked by 2 people

    • Your eyes did not deceive you, Alexander! I shot the new blouses smack dab on top of my favorite marshmallow-laden apron, hand-stitched by Zélia in Abbesses.

      And no! I created the post for guys and gals. Puffy Shirts are back in action. Have you seen them? The perfect statement piece. Conversation, too!

      And speaking art and fashion, for Janet, I just added my new sunflower top, inspired by Van Gogh’s Sunflower Series, launched during his Paris stay in 1887.

      Enjoy the weekend! And do let us know if you spot the Puffy Shirt or another fun trend in your part of the world.
      Theadora

      Liked by 2 people

    • Ah, thank you, Rhonda. You made my day. My week!

      I also enjoyed researching the sleeves. Ballet also pushed the movement. And such great names! I think the top with the pagoda-shaped flounces is my favorite.

      During your next jaunt to San Francisco, do keep your eyes peeled for the poufs and the frills, too. Let me know if you spot the look in the vitrines around Union Square.

      Enjoy the weekend!
      Theadora

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A very creative fashion show! You always inspire and I love bargains. I too think sleeves should be interesting and I never wear sleeveless. Thanks to you and Victorine, I can know what is hot in Paris even from my humble Briar Cottage by the Gulf of Mexico! Cheers, my dear!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Merci! I’m with you and Victorine! I plan to never, ever go sleeveless again. Perfect for day-to-night. houlder pads are also optional this season.

      Old “O.O.T.D.” fashion fads intrigue me. Hail that bandwagon, I say, even if the ‘passing fancy’ left the scene decades ago. The trend always returns. And that’s comforting.

      Enjoy your cottage! I’m sea foam green with jealousy!
      Theadora

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fabulous post on the sleeves, and prints. Great to focus in on one tailoring or style detail that criss-crosses many garments and build a fashion feature on that theme. Love pirate sleeves and, especially, their incarnation in the 1940’s! Fun to see many variations – you go, Theodora!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Merci! It was great fun to focus on just the sleeves. And it was also difficult to stop digging. Heck, I haven’t stopped. I’m now obsessed with sleeves. YES. The pirate sleeves and their AB FAB incarnation in the 1940s . . . Do you have any in your collection? Have you created a post? If so, do tell. We’d love to see it! ~Theadora

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, my. Just back to Headquarters from my rambles but, yes, I do have wide sleeves from the 1940’s as well as the 1980’s, both dressy and peasant. I can probably create a post later this week or so. Love your input so – Thanks for your comments and – stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, GREAT. I’m looking forward to your nod to the sleeve!

        Over the weekend, I found the passage below in Vogue’s September 1951 issue. I love the title: The New Paris Collections. Wearable. Pretty. Non-Eccentric. Just enough change to pique the Eye.

        Off the Cuff: It was all about the Balloon Cuff! YES. Bells were a-ringing.

        What about sleeves? The most exciting sleeve news is in the bell sleeves.

        At Fath and at Balenciaga, you will see great sleeves; shoulder-blade fans, and three-deep tiers at Fath; wide, three-quarters-length bells on heavy woolen coats at Balenciaga. Schiaparelli continues her last season’s sleeve emphasis sometimes through gloves with huge balloon cuffs.

        In a word, almost no simple sleeve in the Paris collections!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Theadora, the flea market at Porte de Vanves was on my list, as well as “les Puces de St-Ouen”. Unfortunately I got ill after 3 days and spent the next two weeks working the meanders of the French medical system (vastly degraded since my long-gone days in Paris) Eventually we had to cut the trip short, and get attention here. Daughter#1 is an MD. I seem to be out of the woods, but my Paris stay went down the drain. I guess I will have to come back in September. 🙂
        And the kind words are totally justified.
        Bon week-end.
        B.

        Like

  4. I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve, MissT. Swooning with delight at sleeves cuffed, gathered, tucked, cut and sewn into sublime silhouettes. Flinging my red soled shoes into the air I dived into my closet and pulled out my collection of vintage kimonos, Pulling one on I spread my arms wide and asked the mirror – “Do these sleeves make me a fashion maven?”

    Liked by 2 people

    • GREEN. GREEN. GREEN. With jealousy. A collection of vintage kimonos, Virginia? Lucky you, dear Fashion Maven. Yes, according to my recent digging, the love affair with Kimono-styled ensembles also launched during the mid-1800s.

      Oh, where, Oh, where did you find your treasures?!
      Theadora

      Like

      • Dearest Miss T. My daughter lived in Tokyo for several years. She fell in love with all things Japanese. She spoke, read and wrote Japanese fluently. She became a Buddhist and her dearest friend was Japanese. When she passed away I became the custodian of her Japanese treasures.XXOO Virginia

        Liked by 1 person

      • So moving, Virginia . . . I was recently given my mother-in-law’s gold kimono. I love it. I wear it with care . . . Storing textiles is tricky . . . I’m researching . . .

        Big Hugs,
        T.

        Like

  5. This is the third time I have returned to your post. I feel like I’m in Paris on a grand adventure with a dear friend. Thank you for adding beauty and joy to my day.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Fabulous post! There’s everything to love here. I wish it was as neat to shop here in Toronto, as in Paris. However, the shops are not very warm, everything is shiny and cold. Yet, there are some lovely things to buy when I do go out.

    Liked by 1 person

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