Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Why Did You Wear That: American Girl in Paris, La Dernier Chapitre

kirsten smith blog why didIf you’ve been keeping up with my Parisian escapades (parts deux et trois), you’re probably wondering what became of this romantic journey.  Well, unlike most fairytales, this story didn’t have the happy ending that little girls dream of (or massage parlors promise).  However, it did have the life lessons that grow sweet little girls into strong wise women.  In short, what some might have chocked up to be a trip from hell, I was able to extract some very, very important universal truths.  I didn’t fall in love with a handsome French man.  I didn’t buy the perfect vintage coat in Le Marais.  I didn’t even see the top of the Eiffel Tower though it was quite literally a baguette’s distance away.

People then ask, “Well, what did you do?” and I can’t really answer that.  There was no Mona Lisa at the Louvre, I never ate escargot.  I didn’t lock away my love on the Pont des Arts.  I did have lunch at Colette, drank champagne while chatting up a couple of artists at Cafe de Flore, and took a spin on La Grande Roue de Paris.  I made new friends, I reconnected with some I had lost touch with.  Most importantly, I was smacked in the face with my own little life lesson: if you don’t take the wheel, someone else most certainly will.

When you board a bullet train, keep in mind it can be derailed just as quickly as it can get you to your destination.  My friend arrived on the morning of my birthday.  We started the day off without sleeping and a bottle of champagne (champagne tastes better on an empty stomach).  By the end of the day, we had a cute French boy singing “Happy Birthday” (Joyeux Anniversaire) with his guitar and buying me a birthday card from a pharmacie with an age on it that might not be my own.  The evening included dinner at L’Avenue (which we lucked into as we hadn’t made an earlier reservation and Paris was still empty) and cocktails (read: more champagne) at Le Bar du Plaza Athénée.  There was no cake, there was no singing and this was the beginning and prologue to a very long week.

To fit all that occurred into one or two more paragraphs would not do the journey justice and ironically, some parts of my personal life should probably stay private.  A few notable moments did include spontaneously regaining a grasp of my French, learning that you can bring your dog just about anywhere (including the grocery store), champagne showers at couture week after parties at Hotel Costes, and actually losing weight while eating bread.  By the end of the week, I was exhausted both physically and emotionally.  The universe did me a solid by canceling my flight home due to Juno (sorry, New York) allowing me a few more days in Paris on my own.  While the only physical souvenirs I arrived home with were some French books from the airport and sweets to share with friends at home, the real gifts were the lessons I learned about myself.  (And Hemingway was right).

I didn’t go to Paris with someone I love as I’d always imagined, but there are some mornings I find myself longing to awake in the golden morning light of that magical city.

what to wear in parishow to wear a romper paris blog

kirsten smith why did blog

paris fashion blogger

paris kirsten smith blogger why did

why did kirsten smith blog parisRomper: Cameo the Label Man Down Romper, Tights: Emilio Cavallini, Shoes: Sam Edelman, Bag: Malini Murjani, similar by Salvatore Ferragamo here, Lips: Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Natural in No. 50 Aubergine


Why Did You Wear That: An American Girl in Paris, Part Trois

whydid kirsten smith blog

Right before I left for Paris, one of my favorite clients (I moonlight as a social media and branding consultant) read my chart for me.  I had never had someone read my chart and finding out what time I was actually born from my parents was harder to find out than unearthing my ex boyfriend’s grandmother’s maiden name.  As she informed me that I couldn’t be more of an Aquarian if I sold all my belongings and moved to an ashram, she also mentioned something that I’d heard a time or two before in horoscopes for my sign.  She told me that the man for me would be foreign or that I would most certainly meet him while traveling.  She also mentioned he’d be a little older and then she suggested something I’d never heard– he, too, should be an Aquarian, because as I’ve experienced, very few men can even begin to understand me and it might take meeting someone just as free spirited and strange to fully appreciate all of my quirks.  I still figured all signs pointed to Lenny Kravitz and carried on with overpacking and planning for Paris.

As I walked home with my Parisian pal, he questioned why I had opted for a slicked back bun, barely a trace of makeup, and a somewhat buttoned up look.  I explained to him that getting gussied up was the easy way out.  Almost any woman can pour herself into a tight dress and push up bra, layer on liquid eyeliner and hide beneath a bonnet of big hair.  As a matter of fact, that used to be my go to going out attire.  Eventually, I realized that this look attracted a certain type of attention and many of the men who I had attracted were totally confused when they realized that I was a lot more of a challenge than removing a bandage dress.  My friend digested this statement for a moment and then nodded in understanding.  If I’m being completely honest, a little bit of my appearance was due to jet lag, dirty hair, and an uncertainty as to what was appropriate attire for a Monday night in Paris.

After crossing the Seine and strolling down the Avenue de la Bourdannais, he swore we’d get into a bit more trouble before he had to fly back to New York for another job on Thursday.  My girlfriend would be arriving very early the next morning and I wanted to be well rested to greet her, though I would have liked nothing more than to linger in the moonlight and golden glow of le Tour Eiffel.  Right before the sweetest kiss goodnight, he informed me his own birthday was only a few days away.

kirsten smith

kirsten smith paris fashion blog

kirsten smith paris whydid blog

kirsten smith

kirsten smith blog

 

why did blog paris kirsten smith

paris perfect chambertin

dress: Kimchi Blue Bethany Linen Apron Dress, tights: similar by Falke here, boots: Pour la Victoire, similar by Proenza Schouler here, bag: borrowed, similar by Whiting and Davis here, lipstick: Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Natural in No. 50 Aubergine


Why Did You Wear That: American Girl in Paris, Part Deux

kirsten smith paris why did blogErnest Hemingway, my sometimes emotional doppelganger, has been quoted as saying, “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.”  Well, this is lesson one in WhyDid’s Guide to Paris.  Years ago, when I was dating my first boyfriend in New York and first real love as an adult, he took me away for my birthday to Puerto Vallarta.  I was nervous, but excited because while it’s one thing to spend time together over fancy dinners and attend occasional sleepovers at each others’ apartments, it’s another thing entirely to be bound to one another in a foreign country.  While there were some mishaps along the way, a meltdown over a missing watch, a diverted flight leading to a night spent exploring Mexico City, the experience was an overall positive one– thanks in large part to my easy going nature, and ability to keep calm in a “crisis.”  He deemed me the ultimate travel companion (I’d nominate Smitty) and from then on, I’ve had similar experiences… except for that one trip a couple of summers ago…

While being “go with the flow” has its obvious benefits, in a city like Paris, it is important to come in with a game plan or else you’ll find yourself still in the apartment past noon and wondering where all the time went by the end of the week.  Upon arriving in Paris, people spoke to me in French, which I’ll take as a compliment, until the look of disgust appeared upon their faces as I butchered the phrase, “Anglais, s’il vous plait,” while sipping my champagne and batting my lashes.  Madame Cook, my highschool French teacher is somewhere mortified.  Most people in Paris do speak English, but if you even attempt to call and make a reservation at one of the upwardly trendy restaurants, they will without fail respond with, “Booked.”  We found it easier to show up and luck our way into a table, but I can’t guarantee that would work everywhere or for everyone.  When attempting to tell someone the address of your destination, just show them on your phone because they will pretend they have no idea what you are saying.

In any case, during my first days wherein I was alone because I couldn’t be bothered booking a flight that wasn’t direct, I wandered the streets of the 7th arrondisment, where we were staying, and as luck would have it, a Parisian friend from New York, happened to be on his way to the city of light as well.  He picked me up one evening and we went to the Park Hyatt, which is allegedly a celebrity favorite, for a drink and to catch up.  He was surprised to see the place so empty, and when another friend of his, a model, of course, who lives full time in Paris arrived, she informed us that it had been quite quiet following the Charlie Hedbo incident.  She also added that it was unusually cold for Paris.

After people watching for a while, we decided to liven things up by heading to Hotel Costes.  Known for being a place to be seen and to bump into the beautiful people, we were surprised to find the soundtrack that evening being provided by crickets.  In hopes that it was just still a little bit early, we camped out in a corner table and had another cocktail.  Things never really picked up and true to form, I fell asleep sitting up, which I blamed on jetlag, but anyone close to me knows this is a rather common occurrence.  After toasting to my birthday, it was after midnight in Paris afterall, we decided to fold and my friend walked me home and that’s when the real adventure began.

kirsten smith why did blog

kirsten smith whydid blog

paris vespa fashion street style

paris street style fashion blog

paris kirsten smith why did blogsweater: UNIF Lisa Funnel Neck Sweater, jeans: 7 for All Mankind, shoes: Adidas Originals Stan Smith, bag: Balenciaga Classic Velo, sunglasses: Chloé, coat: Andrew Marc

Setting the Mood: Finding Normal

normcore fashionYou’ve probably heard the term, “normcore” being tossed around from time to time in the past twelve months- maybe over a rye whiskey or while scanning the latest Urban Outfitters catalog.  The first time I heard it was after visiting Dr. Kenet‘s office where his wife explained to me that their teenage daughter was on the forefront of the minimalist, dare I call it, trend.  The name “normcore” is the combination of “normal” and “hardcore.”  From what I gather, it’s the art of looking aggressively normal.

After a bit of research, it became clear that normcore is more than just a fashion movement, it’s an actual mindset.  When you are walking around and you spot mom jeans on a girl whose reproductive organs probably just started functioning, you may feel a little confused, but don’t.  You’ve just spotted normcore.  The “movement” began in a fit of defiance against the fashion industry.  People wanted to make it clear they weren’t buying into the trends or falling victims to the hype.  In theory, that’s great, but once you make a statement against a statement, you’re making a statement.  The irony, for one, is lost on me.  To me, normcore is the new wave hipster.  I’m more of the mindset that wearing what looks good on your body and makes you feel fancy is always on trend- and there’s nothing wrong with that.  In the off chance you’d like nothing more than to look like Jerry Seinfeld or Monica on season one of Friends, here are some normcore essentials to get you started.  Full disclosure, I own my very own pair of Stan Smith’s.

normcore style

 

Nike Benassi Rubber SolesFrame Denim Le Boyfriend Supima Cotton Jersey T-ShirtBDG The Mom JeanJ. Crew Collection Cashmere SweaterAdidas Stan Smith Leather Custom Shoes

xx,

WhyDid

Gift Guide: Gifts for the Fitness Fanatic

fitness holiday gift guide(note: this is not a yoga pose… unless you want to call it the “twisted dancer.”)

Oh, hey, newsflash: fitness is having a fashion moment right now.  Finally, Americans have realized you have to do a bit more than exercise your thumbs to keep in shape these days.  With Barry’s Bootcamp, Power Yoga, Crossfit, and all variations of Pilates and spinning studios popping up faster than Starbucks in Brooklyn, the activewear market is benefiting from a major boom in sales.  I, personally, have a hard time shelling out a hundred bucks a pop on pairs of yoga pants, but one can’t stroll into these sleek studios wearing ratty sweats risking the possibility of a crotch hole mid happy baby.  Spoil your sporty friend with something she can sweat all over this year.  She (and her inner thighs) will thank you for it come swimsuit season.

best fitness holiday giftsBench Bradie II Stand Collar Hooded Knit Jacket, $119, Day Birger et Mikkelsen Day Gweneth Metallic Sport Bag, $130Yurbuds Sport Armband, $24.99S’well Crocodile 17oz Water Bottle, $35Alo Goddess Ribbed Leggings, $92Nike Roshe Run Printed Shell Sneakers, $80Zella My Run Layer 2 Half Zip Top, $64koral activewear Double Time Tank, $86La Vie Boheme Yoga Phoenix Yoga Mat, $83Spiritual Gangster Varsity Crop Muscle Tank, $48

xx,

WhyDid

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