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A few weeks ago I went to my first exhibit in Paris at Les Arts Decoratifs. The exhibit titled, "Les Années 1990-2000," was a retrospective of one of the best decades of fashion. 150 awe worthy creations from designers such as Lanvin, Martin Margiela, Balenciaga, John Galliano, Chanel, Prada, and Vivienne Westwood were on display. TV screens played nostalgic runway shows featuring supermodel legends Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangalista walking in the prime of their careers. It was a beautiful exhibit and it really reminded me why I find fashion so artful and captivating.  Here are some of my favorite pieces from the exhibit.

Hair Coat by Maison Martin Margiela.  Margiela makes a unique statement with his play on the classic fur coat. 

Dress by Maison Martin Margiela 
Dress by Tom Ford for Gucci during Gucci's best years.  Please come back Tom Ford, you are sorely missed!

Dress by Adeline André. I love the simplicity of this dress and the cinched waist that shows a tasteful flash of skin. It's an immaculate combination of sexy and elegant. 

Suit by John Galliano.  The use of leopard print in this piece really brings life to an otherwise conservative grey suit. This suit evokes a powerful woman without sacrificing her feminine side.  

Gown by Vivienne Westwood. Westwood pushes the boundaries of femininity by including bedazzled nipples in this piece. 

Dress by John Galliano for Christian Dior.  The proportions of this dress are so intriguing; the shape reminds me of a human flower. I wish I could see the back because I still am puzzled by what is connected the top portion to the bottom. 

Dress by Jean Paul Gaultier. I love the unconventional choice of denim and ombré coloring used to create this flowy gown. Denim has never looked this luxurious.  

Dress by Balenciaga. This is definitely one of my favorite Balenciaga silhouettes.  The bodice and skirt 
of this dress are very contrasting but together they create a harmonious and beautiful piece.  

I bought these at the museum's gift shop. I am keeping the postcard as a memento because it is too nice to send! The magnet is a perfect expression of my undying love for Naomi Campbell. 



One of my biggest qualms about going to Paris for 4 months was having to find a new hair salon.  When you've finally found someone that has transformed your hair from a stringy damaged mess to long flowing healthy locks over the last 2 years, letting them go without separation anxiety is an impossible feat.

 Trusting a hair stylist is a new concept for me.  I have been going to salons since I was 13 and I've been let down by almost every stylist in the form of botched bangs, damaged hair, or unpolished roller sets.  It was only when I started seeing Jasellynne at my NY salon, Antonio Prieto, that I was finally able to relax in that black leather salon chair and trust someone to give me exactly what I wanted.

When I began desperately searching online for a Paris hair salon I felt like I was back at square one except this time proved to be more difficult. Many salon websites had limited information or pictures and Google France lacked the myriad rave reviews that are found on websites like Yelp or City Search.  Offline searching wasn't much more successful. Most of the black women I've seen here wear weaves and the black owned salons seem to cater to that market.  I continued my search online and after wading through the millions of Jean Louis Davids I finally came across Herbert Bauer Coiffure. The website looked professional, it had press clips, high quality products, and I was able to find more than 5 good reviews. I was sold.

Before making an appointment I went in person to check out the salon. I loved the relaxing vibe and the modern decor. The owner, Herbert, was very friendly and he spoke English which made it easier to explain what I was looking for. I made an appointment for a blow dry using Shu Uemera products (the salon also uses Bumble and Bumble products).
When Saturday arrived I was extremely nervous for my appointment. I arrived early and Herbert greeted me with a warm "Bonjour" and took my coat.  A few minutes later the appointment started with a quick consultation. I showed him a picture of how I normally wear my hair and he summed up my wishes in 3 seconds: Straight towards the top, volume, and waves towards the bottom.

We headed towards the sink and he began shampooing my hair with Shu Uemera Full Shimmer Shampoo. I was excited to try this line of products because my NY hairstylist told me the products are great and I have never seen them in the United States.

While I enjoyed a relaxing scalp massage, Herbert told me about his hair styling career. He is from Austria, and started styling hair when he was 15. He worked in the Canary Islands for some time and  3 years ago he moved to Paris and opened his own salon.   Herbert and I also spent a lot of time discussing the differences between Paris and New York. As he put a Shu Uemera mask on my hair I was surprised how much time had past already. "Here, we take time to do the hair," he said.
After the mask was applied I sat under a hooded dryer that sprayed hot steam onto my hair. A cup of hot tea, a piece of chocolate, and a few page turns of a French Vogue and I was ready to be rinsed out. Herbert blew out my hair with a round brush and used a curling iron to create loose waves throughout my hair. When he was finished I was left with beautiful voluminous waves that quickly dissolved any anxiety I had when I walked in.  My hair felt very moisturized and soft to touch. It was a little less silky than normal because no flat iron was used (I didn't want to be too demanding on the first visit!) but Herbert was very flexible and I know he wouldn't mind using one to create the waves next time.  
Was going to Herbert Bauer worth coming out of my comfort zone? Definitely. He exceeded my expectations, his products were high quality, and his friendly demeanor was very refreshing. I am excited to come back in a few weeks.

My friends are excited as well. One scheduled a blow dry and another is coming in for a haircut! I know they will absolutely love it.



Bonjour mes amis!

I am finally settled in Paris and ready to document my time in this beautiful city. Yesterday I moved out of my temporary hostel room and into my apartment in Le Marais, which has been described as a "trendy gay" neighborhood in the 3rd arrondissement. I live on Cité Dupetit Thouars, a quiet little dead end that is near many inciting restaurants (I've already had the pleasure of eating at 2 amazing ones!). At first I was apprehensive about living in what would be considered an ally in America but my fears quickly diminished after my landlord opened the door to a serene and well decorated apartment. 
The doorway is covered by this floral tapestry. I love the light fixture that hangs above the entryway it is one of the many antique touches in the apartment. 
This is the kitchen table. It is bursting with light and has gorgeous exposed brick and wood beams.  
I love the clock and the light fixture covered with fake ivy.  (My roommate said the ivy reminds her of the craft store Michael's haha. I agree, but it works!)
 The kitchen has everything you could possibly need and more. Dishwasher, Stove/Oven, a washer and dryer all in one, slow cooker, even a fondue pot that I'm dying to test out! 

 The bathroom  has an antique mirror, a wooden sink top, and these cute lantern style lights. The tub has handles for chaud and froid and the shower head rests on a hook that reminds me of an old rotary phone.  
This is the living room. It has beautiful big windows and a quaint fireplace. I really like the ornate frame on the mirror in this room.  The bookshelves have a lot of books that I'm interested in reading even though my french is not very strong. 
The master bedroom feels very peaceful. It also has large windows and tons of natural light. The dresser has this interesting abstract statue made of marble.  The curtains are a vibrant orange color which always catches my eye when I walk in.  
Here is my room. Even though it is the smallest room I knew it was the one for me as soon as I walked in.  The bright purple color makes me happy especially after living in so many dorm rooms with drab eggshell walls. The room has tons of storage including two closets (one is covered by a purple curtain) a dresser, and under the bed drawers. On the dresser I put some of my favorite nail polishes from home and my new favorite perfume.   The landlord also gave me these white woven baskets which are so useful for my many toiletries.  I love the chandelier's hanging crystals; it gives the room a luminous glow. The bed is  very comfortable and can be pulled out to make a larger bed. All of the rooms are connected so I am happy that I was able to get a room on the end and I don't have to walk through anyone else's room to get to mine. 

Hope you enjoyed the grand tour! I am getting ready to start the day at 430 PM, I can't wait for this jetlag to go away. Thanks for reading. There will be more to come, I promise :-).