love: merci

Merci is a fabulously hip boutique in Paris, 111 Rue Beaumarchais in the northern Marais. It’s vast and sort of ridiculous, but in a charming beyond-parody sort of French way. Behind a narrow little cafe that’s also a used bookstore, past the lunching models and the Japanese hipsters, it opens out into a courtyard dotted with sculptures like a ping-pong table made of Chinese waving-cat statues and a stocky red vintage farm truck. It stocks a men’s clothing line designed by John Malkovich, all kinds of fabulously expensive drapey t-shirts made of tissue-thin cotton, and has a whole lower level of kitchenwares, from enamel cups and wooden chalkboards to MoMA-design-store gadgetry.


And for three euros you can get an adorable little brass necklace in a paper pouch, with a little list-poem of what you might put in it.

your bracelet your medal
your lipstick YOUR BRASSIERE
your comb your desires
your necklace your books your barrettes
YOUR HEART your ring
your sun
glasses your eyeliner
YOUR IDEAS your atomizer
your earrings
your eyeshadow
your perfume
your night cream
your confidence your brush
your ballet shoes your eau de toilette
your cravat your mascara
your swimsuit your hazelnut
YOUR LOVE your hat
your conscience your toothbrush
your stockings your quill pen your gift
your friendship…MERCI


love: paris

Red bench, grey cobbles

1. The inspiration: the 2006 ensemble movie Paris Je t’Aime. From the silly to the sublime, there are 20 five-minute films, each set in a neighbourhood of Paris. I loved Walter Salles & Daniela Thomas’s ‘Loin du 16ème’ and Alexander Payne’s ’14ème Arrondissement’ which had me bawling.

2. Saveur Magazine’s French picnic menu. Summer in Paris is all about the pique-nique, on the Pont des Arts or the banks of the Seine.

3. Via Chocolate & Zucchini and Paris by Mouth, the announcement of the hotly contested top ten baguettes in Paris. Au Levain d’Antan, 6 Rue d’Abbesses in Montmartre, will supply the president with his daily bread for the rest of the year.

4. Inès de la Fressange’s new book Parisian Chic, bound in red leather and full of cutesy drawings, is the latest how-to-be-French guide for sad lumpen Anglo-Saxons. I snark, but I will admit to being a sucker for this stuff.

5. I absolutely love the Paris Color Project over at Little Brown Pen. I bought a bunch of their miniature calendars for friends last Christmas, and there are beautiful postcards and prints in their Etsy store.