Saturday, July 04, 2009

TWO THINGS...

Two things the French do particularly well are eyewear and underwear. [O.K., also: floristry, shoes, cooking, interior design, bread products, hairdressing, swimming costumes, yoghurt, wine, bicycling in heels, scarves (obviously), small dogs, cafes, and beauty products.]

Let's just stick with two for a minute. Glasses: When I was looking for my first pair of prescription glasses I kept noticing aviator style ones in pictures online, but not in any opticians in London. The following is a verbatim conversation I had with my best friend and recently fired eyewear advisor:

Me: Hey, I really think that normal glasses with aviator style frames in black or tortoiseshell are going to be the glasses everyone wears next.
BFARFGA: What, you mean those massive pilot sunglasses that cover half your face with clear prescription lenses in? No one would wear that, you'd look totally ridiculous.

Fast forward to Paris and wherever I look anyone who's anyone is wearing clear lensed aviator glasses with black or tortoiseshell frames. The manager of the used book cafe at Merci has grey hair, red lipstick and quite heavy black aviator shaped frames and looks amazing. In fact I see many ordinary/respectable/older people wearing really quite kooky specs and carrying them off with aplomb; no doubt thanks to the well trained eye (Haa!) of their opticians. That night I watch Jaws in French and both Roy Scheider and that other bloke in it are wearing aviator spectacles. If that's not a sign I don't know what is. Even The Schwartz (the ultimate barometer) has clear lensed metal aviators. Sigh.

In lieu of getting another pair of prescription glasses when I've just spent a fortune on a pair I'm ambivalent about - and after working out that proper aviators get stuck on my sticky out cheekbones, I plump for a pair of Persol 0649 sunglasses. And in my search for a photo of them online I randomly find out that apparently Jay Z wears this style, as did Steve McQueen (edit: and Marcello Mastroianni! I had no idea.) The lenses are quite light - the woman in the opticians (in Paris) insisted I take the tortoiseshell ones with light lenses when I wanted the black ones with dark lenses. And she was absolutely right.

Underwear: I have a certain style of bra I prefer, that I usually buy in France (sorry if I just alienated my one male reader). For the past couple of years I've been relying on Comptoir des Cotoniers ones: slightly sheer cotton, thin straps, no underwire, but the construction and seaming makes it possible to wear them if you have, you know, boobs. (In England you can only get scratchy push up things or sporty bra-lets that offer no support.) Princesse Tam Tam does the right style but they've gone a bit over flouncy and off the boil recently. Enter Vanessa Bruno underwear, which I'd never really noticed they even did until it was right under my nose in big boxes marked down by 50%. I got one set in really pale pink/nude (which is actually veering into purely decorative bra-let territory) and one in pale pink/nude mesh with black tulle around the ribcage. Here, now I will show you my underwear:



My pictures don't do them justice, but I think we would both feel a little uncomfortable and perhaps slightly violated by a self portrait of me in them.

12 comments:

Madelene said...

I had no idea Vanessa Bruno does underwear, seems divine. I have gotten so much use out of all my clothes from her, it's one of my favorite labels. For underwear, I actually really like Calvin Klein's perfectly fit serie and - what a cliché - Agent Provocateur.

erica said...

VB underwear, how lovely! sad to say, i wear patagonia underwear. not very pretty, but fairly practical...

If Jane said...

oh yes i remember the manager at merci...the red lipstick and the aviator glasses...yes she did carry them off well.
persol has some nice sunglasses.
i had no idea that VB had underwear...(how did i miss that??)...and your purchases are lovely.
i usually get princesse tam tam underwear in france and otherwise buy Calvin Klein...although did buy some cute pj's at monoprix and some underwear (not 100% keen on the quality though...)...

dukeandlarn.com said...

ohhh will def be checking out VB underwear, good find!

d&l


x

Stephanie said...

love persols! i am looking for eyeglasses and i think i might get persols. i just went on a bit of a lingerie shopping spree- i got a lace set from wolford and a really cute silk set from d&g. i am sooo not a d&g fan, but this set was really really cute! some of my personal fav's are princesse tam tam, kiki de montparnasse and eres. araks has some cute soft bras too. i will have to check out the vb stuff! looks comfy!

Lola Is Beauty said...

stephanie - I so love araks too - they have the best still supportive soft bras but they're a bit expensive here - like £100 for a bra - too much for me. so nice to have gorgeous underpinnings though

Lola Is Beauty said...

erica - patagonia underwear? - like patagonia who do outdoors stuff? or am I getting it confused?! Anyway you have impeccable taste so I'll check it out...

jennine said...

ah, as much of a francophile as i am... the english also do the best lingerie... i'd go as far as to say even better than the french. this, though is absolutely exquisite...

Iheartfashion said...

Lovely bras!

Joanna Goddard said...

BEAUTIFUL bras! so gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Hello, in the similar style (and without a price tag:)you may find a lovelies at the Bodas (one in the Spitafields market is particularly good) and in COS.

Lola Is Beauty said...

Uh oh, I've had bad experience with Bodas bras - their sizing is really weird - doesn't fit me at all - a B is too small and C is too big. I had 2 bras from there and they lasted about a month! But yes Cos, good idea!