Girl in the Black Beret

Fur, Faux pas?

Posted in Uncategorized by la vie de emie on December 20, 2009

Michael Kor’s recent pre-Fall 2010 runway show featured models in furs of various dye colors. Originally serving a a source of clothing for hominoids including the Neanderthal, fur has become a stable in modern society.  However, the fashion of wearing fur is something that I have wrestled over for the past decade.

Before the turn of the 21st century and at my young age, I primarily associated fur with R&B artist “J-Lo”, with her seemingly excessive and over the top lifestyle.  Lopez’s heavy gold jewelry, white based outfits and heavy furs certainly did not suite my fancy, for instead I was a frequent flyer at the innocent yet over priced Limited Too.  Needless to say, the pop star was not an inspiration for anything on my Christmas list at the time.

Years later I began watching old films and realized that I had at come to link fur with a contemporary famous person, rather than the women who epitomized classic glamour.  Dripping in diamonds and oozing in gumption, actresses like Ingrid Bergman and Katharine Hepburn sported fur shawls, coats, and wraps.

My deep seeded bias of a mink coat as a R&B style has internally battled that of America’s mid century leading ladies.  The other day, while fighting the holiday crowds and feverishly skimming through the racks of Forever 21, a relatively affordable (faux) fur vest caught my eye. I whipped it out and held it in front of my beige lace top. Goodbye gaudy, hello chic!


Affordable Fashion Goes Francais.

Posted in Uncategorized by la vie de emie on December 17, 2009

During my ventures online looking for Christmas gifts, it was hard to ignore the plethora of French- inspired clothing.  Everything from cute berets (ha) to a french phrase written in script across a plain white T shirt. Ruffles galore, bows, and street chic inspired wear, I am in love. Currently Forever 21 has an entire section of their web site devoted to a style ‘de francais’ called “Tres Paris.” However, when I went to click on each of the clothes displayed, they were all sold out! The enormous popularity is sure to inspire more pieces of the same sort.

Also in this french boutique craze, is the third most popular chain store, H&M.  They recently collaborated with French fashion designer, Sonia Rykiel.   A Swedish born company, the family business showcased their latest designer collaboration at the Grand Palais, in Paris.  With a catwalk resembling the Champs-Elysees and a shimmering mini Eiffel Towel, the new show offers that of a historical moment in affordable fashion history.

Men’s Fashion, Meet the 1950s.

Posted in Uncategorized by la vie de emie on December 17, 2009

New York Times Thursday Styles article titled “Dressing For Success, Again” by David Colman says that men in their 20s and 30s have and will continue to wear more stylish get ups.  The author suggests the new found rebellion of baby boomer parents’ “lax” style is a repercussion of the hit series “Mad Men.”  The wardrobe resembles a Kennedy- era New York, and slightly mimics a manly version of “Sex in the City.”  The gap of generational style is between men of the hippie movement, who are now in their late 40s and 50s and the younger 20s to 30s population.  Rather than crediting a European influence, one might notice the fashion is more an old school minutiae of dressing well from pre-Vietnam. Companies such as Brooks Brothers and J.Crew, who have struggled in the last two decades of casual wear dominance, must be quite pleased at the young male population’s acceptance of 1950s runway revival.  I suppose that men have come to the realization that acquiring individuality in a pair of sweats is a rather difficult task. However, you put on a pin stripe suit and hello, personality.

Girl, Turn Your Records On, Tell Me Your Favourite Song.

Posted in Uncategorized by la vie de emie on December 14, 2009

(Picture not reality.)

The girl who’s room I am subletting is leaving her record collection and player. She gave me permission to utilize them all I want. Oh Joy!!

Love is Alive, I am a Bystander.

Posted in Uncategorized by la vie de emie on December 14, 2009

“Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love”

– Albert Einstein

My summer/ autumn occupation consists of me synchronized serving and catering to the every need of wedding guests at a local five star Relais & Chateux.  I was a fly on the wall to the first dance, the toasts, as well as the other cherished moments of a bride and grooms’ first evening together as husband and wife.  I have seen a sister of the bride allow her beer tears to take the front seat over her seemingly well-written speech for the crowd, concluding with her giving up and sitting back in her chair.  I have witnessed a best man ramble on in his thick British accent for forty-five minutes about his drinking experiences with the groom, while referencing sex, drugs and rock n’roll, to the elder’s demise.   I have also seen dozens of speeches where the father of the bride, voice stuttering and fingers trembling, constantly loses his place and reads over the same paragraph several times, while the guests cringe or weep along with him.

Despite the light hearted and sometimes rather comical moments of a wedding party, there are others, which lead me to bite my bottom lip and mentally remove myself from the picture, otherwise I would be balling my eyes out- perhaps more than the guests.  It is a strange thing to be faced with people absolutely in love with each other on a constant basis, meaning, every time I go to work.  You watch the way they gaze into each other’s eyes and whisper sweet nothings into each other’s ears.  The couples rub each other’s backs and pull their chests in close, with no reservations every time they want the other partner near.  They smile and sway, looking longingly out across the deep blue sea surrounding the Chalet, as the orange sun sets in the distance.  I stand there, keep in mind, looking absolutely un-chic in my penguin suit tux with my long blonde curls pulled back tight into a bun and feeling quiet un- in love.

Yet, as much as the words exchanged between married families are personal, I find myself completing engulfed in their emotional moments on a regular basis. It is the next minute when someone turns to me and hands me their dirty napkin.  Sometimes I wish I could go to the bathroom, throw on my satin blue party dress, slip on a pair of heels, let my hair go, and join the celebration.  For a girl in her early twenties, who has experienced her share of heartache, heartbreak, and heartlessness, these weddings represent something that I had come to deny on previous occasions.  Love is alive and well.

Park the Car in the Harvard Yard.

Posted in Uncategorized by la vie de emie on December 14, 2009

When I mentioned that I am beginning a new chapter in my life, it is in the lively hub of America’s oldest College, Harvard. A major cultural melting pot for the most brilliant, artistic people in society, with a square at the center of it all.  I am making this move at a funny time of year, the end of December.  The ground will be blanketed with a fresh layer of newly fallen snowflakes, the twinkle lights flickering on the trees, the golden warmth from boutiques lit around me, the electricity in the air from the holiday bustle.  I excitingly anticipate the life I am about to live. I am actually more enthusiastic about moving to Cambridge, than receiving any christmas presents this year.

Every time I think about the fact I am moving there, I feel this tingling in my chest and my cheeks turn rosy, the same sensation when I visualize the face of a new love interest.  I cannot wait to being my affair with the streets of Cambridge.

Le Français.

Posted in Uncategorized by la vie de emie on December 14, 2009

Shall we begin with me emphasizing my love for the french language, culture, mannerisms, fashion and Paris itself.  It can be interpreted as a guilty pleasure I suppose, because no one truly knows to the extent it fills my heart with joy.  Besides my rather european- esque style, my ability to read and communicate in french quite well, and the large print of the eiffel towel that hangs above my bed, I hold these feelings in semi captivity.

As an English major, I always been told to write in my voice.  However, amongst the poetic and seemingly well-structured sentences I can create, I tend to by mistake add foreign phrases.  It is quite silly in fact.  Threaded in my thoughts and feelings are random French phrases.  Anyway, what is someone’s ‘voice,’ is it just their inner-consciousness? Je ne sais pas.  Such as how I think. Perhaps it is my subconscious reminding me that at one point in life I became engulfed by the Parisian culture and romanticism of their language.  Ten years of the French language and all I have to show for it are the bits and pieces that exist only in my mind at the most peculiar moments.  Last night I played a game of Scrabble with my family and I kept only coming up with french words. It was getting to the point of ridiculousness because I would have been a high scorer, if only my mother wasn’t a slave to the official rules.

The French. What is it about their sweet words that sound as if a poem is being rehearsed from their lips, or their innate ability to look ‘chic’ on a constant basis even if they haven’t showered in days? Their style gives the impression that it took them five minutes to put it together, yet looks effortlessly fabulous.

Sitting here in this corner coffee shop in a little historic village in New England, with the light jazz soothing my ears and the scent of cinnamon coffee beans at the tip of my nose, I find solace.  I can close my eyes and let the surrounding senses rouse inside of me. I let my mind drift to the quaint cafes of Paris’ Latin Quarter and butterflies fill my stomach.  The kind of unsettling feeling where I anticipate my someday return to the twinkling city with its winding Rues, and the otherwise forgotten realization that in this point in time, it is quite unattainable. Either way, my unwavering optimism leads me to shun the inability to accomplish anything in life. For now, I will visit it in my dreams.

An Absence of Color.

Posted in Uncategorized by la vie de emie on December 14, 2009

I sit here contemplating why I have allowed myself to become to attached to a little black hat. The other day I left it on my seat at a restaurant and when I realized, my heart starting beating a mile a minute and I rushed back to retrieve it.  Perhaps it has some deep symbolism for who I am as a person? Okay, maybe I am getting carried away.

I type ‘ black beret’ into flickr. Everything I adore appears on to the screen: the rainy streets of Paris, beautiful black and white photography, dark shadows and sunny mornings, indie female guitar/ vocalists, the runway. I suppose my look does define me/ my interests.

In terms of black, ah, I do love it. There’s got to be an unwritten law somewhere out in the universe that it is the absolutely the most flattering and stylish color that exists.  Well, to be artistically accurate, the absence of color. I’ve been told plenty times before that I wear a lot of black.  Where one might question their psyche or perhaps sanity, I find no issue with this statement.  Besides the fact that it always looks lovely (and takes off about ten pounds), I can pair a black dress or shirt and slacks with my bevy of European scarves, array of knit hats, mishmash of clutches and not to forget, my shoe collection. Also ,with black associated with beautiful, chic, iconic women such as Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn, there must be some truth behind its loveliness.

Ello World.

Posted in Uncategorized by la vie de emie on December 14, 2009

My morning begins with the soothing aroma from an antique tea cup balanced within my fingers and the monotonous beating of freezing rain upon my ears.  I take the Sunday Styles portion of my beloved New York Times off my lap and place it on to the coffee table near by. I pick up my macbook. Hm.

As a recent English grad with a concentration in Communications, new media is right up my alley.  I absolutely love the english language.  For a while now I have wanted to begin a blog, but could never decide what to focus it on.  This difficulty in scope exists not due to a lack of interests, instead quite the opposite. I love fashion, nature, literature, foreign films, indie folk music, travel and much much else.  I am in a constant state of inspiration because life is changing right before my eyes.  At the ripe age of 22, I am about to make a life changing move to an unfamiliar city by myself.  So many dreams and thoughts, I am constantly questioning the world around me . I have this voice in my head urging me to forget all reason not to and just write.  Then I thought, why not just do it? Write about everything and anything. Yes this is a lofty task, but i am willing to try.

I sat with the wordpress sign up on the screen.  A blog name. What do people associate me with or define me as? Pretty intense, for that’s not a typical question I would ask myself.  Then, a lightbulb goes off.

Ah, my black beret. It is me.  In my beret, I have made close friends and lost touch with others, explored europe, cozied up in my room, strummed my guitar, strolled through autumn leaves, cried, laughed, sang, and loved.  The significance of this article of clothing first became apparent to me, when my Chekov- worshipping modern drama teacher met my father and said “aha, she is my little black beret girl.”

Preferring relative anonymity,’Girl in the Black Beret’ seems just as fitting, for the two of us go hand in hand.