Travel Notes from a Fashion Lover, Part 1

I have been traveling a lot these past two months.  I am fortunate to have a husband who travels to London on business every 6-8 weeks, so I finally tagged along in both May and June. I have a lot to share, from fashion observations to multiple fashion related museum exhibits, both from Paris, London and Bath, so hang in there readers! Over the course of the next few weeks, here’s what I will be sharing with you:

Pt. 1 – Paris and London fashion observations/comparisons

Pt. 2 – London fashion exhibits at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Design Museum

Pt. 3 – London Shopping 

Pt. 4 – Bath Fashion Museum

Pt. 5 – Resources, including travel blogs, fashion documentaries and sewing related shopping in Paris & London

Ready?  Let’s go to Paris…

We decided to preface my husband’s work week in London with a vacation week in Paris. This was our second trip to Paris and very different than the first one, 15 years ago, with our 10 year old daughter along. Her priority was a trip to Euro Disney and there was a lot of grumbling over the leisurely meals.

On this visit, we checked into Hôtel La Perle, a lovely boutique hotel in the Saint Germain des Prés quarter of Paris. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the Tilton sisters (Marcy and Katherine, Vogue pattern designers) were in our same hotel for the week with their Paris tour group! I enjoyed seeing what these fashionable women were wearing each morning at breakfast, especially the garments they had made themselves.

Paris is a very compact city, making exploration on foot easy and our preferred mode of transportation for window shopping and street style observations in between garden gazing, museum going, and sipping wine at sidewalk cafes. It’s hard to get good photos through windows (most shops frown on photos inside), with all the reflections, but here are some of my favorite window fashions:

Keeping in mind the temperatures were in the high 60’s, low 70’s while we there, here are my notes on fashion trends from what I saw in boutique windows and on the street:

§-  Dresses in pretty florals or sheers

§-  Platform tennis shoes in metallic or with a lot of “bling”

§-  Raw edge or high waist jeans worn with crop tops or silk blouses, often with big ruffles

§-  Midi length full skirts, in sheer or silk fabrics, worn with loafers and a jacket and always a scarf

§-  Embroidered fabrics

§-  Ankle length pants in bright colors, especially red and cobalt blue, worn with heels or ballet flats

§-  The Chanel style jacket is alive and well, worn by women of all ages

§-  Architectural and oversized garments

§-  Dusters are big this spring

Overall, Parisian women are dressing more casual than I remember from my previous visit, although they are never “sloppy”. They still put thought and care into the way they dress. I did not take any jeans with me on this trip and enjoyed dressing up a bit more than I do here in Portland. I found I felt really good about myself when I had taken some time to pull together a nice outfit. We are lucky here in Portland, in that “anything goes” when it comes to fashion. For me personally, I intend to “up my game” a bit after this trip!