Near-misses with Paris in sight

When I know I'll be visiting Paris, I always end up shopping twice: first locally. My size, a French 46, isn't easy to find, so I cannot depend on running out to pick up something I need. The second shop is there, mostly for accessories, though a glance at the exchange rate is sobering.

Things I was tempted to buy
this past weekend:

1. Black cashmere short-sleeved sweater coat, (shown in olive, left) Eileen Fisher, $475
Looked great on, but I walked into Holt Renfrew (for those non-Canadians, that's our Saks)
wearing a honeycomb-weave black cashmere shawl (an Eric Bompard purchase a decade ago), and what's wrong with that? I have a reflexive aversion to EF, though this was not recognizably hers.
Second thoughts: Dents Paris budget and nearly same use as shawl. This is pricey for me these days, but swept off my feet, I'd do it.
Update: On Monday I visited a department store and found a Jones New York Luxe black cashmere sweater coat in a much more interesting shape- quite Japanese- for far less, on Thanksgiving Day Sale, $120. The cashmere is not quite as thick, but that's fine. Sold!

But I'm pining for the Eric Bompard boutique, ever since the new catalog arrived. (Includes a CD, so you can see the pieces on dancers, and breathtaking shots of Paris... marvelous!

2. Black tabard-poncho-cardi-thing, an Eskandar knock-off, $400
Pretty cool
. Buttons like a cardigan but is cut in a huge square. Odd, funky, useful as a light layer.
Second thoughts: Le Duc doesn't like me in big boxy clothes and I'm not drawn to the Eskandar look, which here is mostly worn by mature, rather severe-looking women, the kind Simon Doonan dubs Existentialists. Not sure it would hold its allure.

3. Arche ballet flats, black leather with
charcoal gray detail, $300
Still crushing on the Rabotin sequined flats, and going to Paris in one week. Can find Arche there, if I can't get the R
abotins. Or something.
Second thoughts:

4. Jo Malone Vintage Gardenia cologne, $60
I enj
oy the heady burst of gardenia and tuberose, and since the sole perfume boutique that carried it locally losed, I've no source for my favourite version, Fracas. But no discernible scent lingered 20 minutes after applying tester. There oughta be a law!
Second thoughts: Maybe I didn't apply enough? Maybe I just can't smell it on myself?

What I bought: This LBD by Rundholz, in a soft yet substantial stretch cotton jersey. Perfect for Paris trip, day or evening, $175 on sale. And I can wash it!


materfamilias said…
Funny, I do that same "two shops" approach with a Paris visit. And I recognize that second-thought process -- you've described it so well. You're a wise and savvy shopper and you seem to have been well rewarded with that sweater coat (that price!) and dress (perfect, I love it, and again, that price!)
Carlene said…
You are not mistaken about the Jo Malone. Her stuff is famous for its lack of staying power.
I really hate perfumes that refuse to stick. My favorite L'Artisan perfumes disappear in minutes. He-weasel loves me to wear Donna Karan's Black Cashmere. When I put that on it stays almost 24 hours. If Donna Karan can do it, L'Artisan and Jo Malone should be able to figure out how to extend the scent longer than a half an hour.

Love the black dress and love it even more after learning you can wash it.
WendyB said…
I agree on avoiding the Eskandar look.
Julianne said…
I bought the Jo Malone Amber and Lavender frangrance when I was in Chicago. It does not last very long. I was quite disappointed as it is not inexpensive. The body cream lasts a little longer. I prefer perfume because of this. I loved the fragrance, but will not purchase again.
Anjela's Day said…
I would wear Eskandar right now if they sent me some free clothes. I love the gigantic white shirts but couldn't wear it at home - They wouldn't get that look. Once, I went hame with jeans that had tears and they thought I had no money- down on my 'luck'
But I do love some of the pieces- Look great for work- or in New York... creative and 'cutting edge' I am always amazed they can get so much for what had to be, originally, a cutting floor mistake!!j/k
I agree about EF-Eileen could do so much better. Her clothes are nice for just lounging about or travelling. I looked at that sweater/coat too. I left one of her cardigans at home in Ireland last year. I still grieve for it- it was over $300 and the seams were on the outside- got a bit tired of people saying "Darling, your cardigan is inside out" "Well, err no, that is the style- the design"
Love the dress.
Duchesse said…
Julianne and Carlene: Aha! Thanks for your reply. Staying power is essential.

Anjela: When I see the clothes in person, the fabrics are exceptional, especially the supple wools. But the unfitted, generous look does not flatter me. Suspect it works on thinner women. Those who like it are passionate about it.
Anonymous said…
I'm usually a lurker on your site, a reader, not a writer, but I have been forced from my cover by this post. Eric Bompard- how could you put a link like that without a (financial) health warning! Simply delicious...
Duchesse said…
isabellissima: lurkers welcome! I've been wearing Bompard for about 20 years, and washing it myself... good value.
Duchesse said…
belette: I've been reading Chandler Burr and Luca Turin on both the chemistry and the industry. Yes, it can be done. I wear Norrell for the same reason you wear Black Cashmere.
My mother used to wear Norrell. I love that scent. That and Joy will forever send me into lovely memories of her. She wears Chanel 5 now. But, I think I might get her a bottle of Norrell for Christmas. She'd love that.

And, thanks for affirming what I thought had to be true. It is just unacceptable for an expensive perfume not to last.
Anonymous said…
The Jo Malone does evaporate fast, that's why it's cologne and not eau de parfum...But I used it several times a day and then spray our sheets with it at night. I can't get enough of the Black Vetyver Cafe scent I bought in London. It's going fast!!!
Anonymous said…
duchesse, I absolutely love the Rundholz dress. A real passe partout! It's a great label, always unpredictable and interesting.

Regarding Eskandar, they are a bit on the severe side I agree. You may prefer Shirin Guild (for whom Eskandar used to work) who has similar clothes, but with a more feminine slant. Some of her sweaters are a play on classic knitwear in beautiful colours. Somehow they possess the sex appeal that Eskandar lacks. Anyway Shirin is very successful in New York, Paris and Italy which is, I believe, a good sign.

Enjoy your trip!

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