I Heart Paris
I guess you could call me a francophile. I love all things French or seemingly so. It begins with the beautiful sounding words, the understated and seemingly effortless style, the most perfectly roasted chickens (my favorite thing to eat in life), bearnaise sauce, magical potatoes in all forms #frites #roasted #whipped #duckfat #gratin, heavenly baguettes, fromage, beurre, earthy Bordeaux wine and the most beautiful flower arrangements of all time-- just for starters. I simply love everything Parisian. In my view, Paris is the most beautiful city in the world. I fall in love with it every time I go and when I leave, it’s with an understanding I’ll return as soon as I can. Some of my proudest professional moments occurred in the city of light. I was fortunate to travel there twice a year, while fashion director for Bloomingdale’s and stay for seven to nine day stretches (for a full decade). I traveled with mentors and even a best friend. We laughed a lot on these trips, worked hard and ate pretty much everything that wasn’t nailed down! Our days would begin early and end very very late. When I would get back to my room on the right bank, I spent evenings at my laptop thinking through how to synthesize three weeks worth of fashion into a succinct one pager. This recap served as the opener to our seasonal trend report which was created and delivered in Paris the last morning of the trip. These trend reports were labors of love and something I felt deeply passionate about. Delivering the findings to the buyers after nearly three weeks on the road was always exhilarating and also felt like giving creative birth when it was all done :-) It was satisfying, thrilling and utterly exhausting at the same time.
I created a tradition for myself on the road, to reward myself for a job well done :-) I think this falls under the umbrella of #beyourownbestfriend?. This gift to self had a few simple requirements. 1) From a french fashion house so I could have the memory of buying it there 2) Had to bring joy 3) Does not need to be logical
My very first gift was a heart shaped pendant from the Lanvin boutique on the Rue St Honore. This piece has become a Brooke Jaffe signature item. I love it. I’m always happy to see it and when I wear it, it feels like my unique special piece. My fashion exclamation point. I go through phases where I wear it daily and sometimes monthly and have even been told I wear it too often! I have always been drawn to heart motifs and this one is just me. Wearing a heart shaped pendant on my chest is a good metaphor because I do wear my heart on my proverbial sleeve/ chest and I’m proud of that.
On my most recent trip to Paris, my reward present was a novel fashion trench from Paul and Joe, a contemporary french label. It made me smile. Period. I think buying something that brings you joy is healthy. It’s nice to reward yourself sometimes!! This look is an ode to French Girl Chic and punctuated by my signature Lanvin pendant and Paul and Joe Coat.
This Saturday I’m headed back to Paris and I just can’t wait. I have a feeling that even though I won’t be delivering the trend report to a team of buyers I’ll still find reasons to shop :-)