Tag Archives: Paris

Paris Fashion Week


Paris Fashion Week starts today!

Some of my favorite looks come from French designers— Dior, Hermés, Chanel. Paris is a global fashion capital, second only to New York for ready to wear (prêt à porter) and holding the top spot for high fashion (haute couture).

In addition to stunning and sometimes crazy fashions, French women are also known around the world as having a knack for putting together amazing looks, seemingly effortlessly, with very few articles of clothing. I’ve heard that later in life, Coco Chanel had only three outfits. Trois!


This concept is elusive to most American fashionistas. It is referred to with almost reverential awe as a “capsule wardrobe,” “five piece wardrobe” or “ten item closet.” The idea being that a handful of quality, tailored basics can combine in myriad ways to serve as a backdrop for striking one-of-a-kind accessoires to make dressing easy and classy.

This basic wardrobe has long been my style, even before I knew its affiliation with French women. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong country.

A few must-haves I’m on the lookout for this week:

le sac à main parfait… the perfect handbag

un foulard de soie… a silk scarf

une nouvelle robe noire… a new black dress

un collier bleu… a blue necklace

Need more fashion? Check out Mode á Paris‘s listings of upcoming ready-to-wear shows by your favorite designers.

J’aime la mode!


Le chat noir

The black cat.

Le Chat Noir was a popular Parisian cabaret frequented by many famous artists in the late 1800s, the period known as La Belle Époque.

We know the cat in the poster is male by the spelling of the word chat. A female kitty would be la chatte. A black female cat = la chatte noire.

In french, adjectives usually follow nouns. So the literal translation here is “the cat black.”

There are exceptions. For example, “the small cat” would be le petit chat, or la petite chatte.

Why? Are there rules or clues for knowing when to put the noun first?

Je ne sais pas. I don’t know!

Only a few adjectives precede nouns: good and bad, big and small, young and old. A couple of others. The list is relatively short, so we can memorize it. The rest all come after the noun, so when in doubt, remember “the cat black.”

Merci, chat noir!