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12 Excellent French Makers on Etsy

Looking for the best French gifts on Etsy? Voilà.

While I’ve been an Etsy shopkeeper for forever, I’ve only recently become more of an Etsy shopper, and I’ve bought more excellent stuff on Etsy this year than anywhere else. (Like: vintage maps of Europe, an Animal Crossing-themed print for a friend, and a vinyl Bruce Springsteen sticker, because for 2021 I decided to be the sort of person who cares a lot about stickers.)

A couple quick things, as we begin our search for the best French gifts on Etsy (noting: no vintage, no clothing, as those are separate searches!!). As someone who ships from France to the U.S. literally all the time, it’s actually very straightforward and fast: Look for shipment via service called Colissimo, which is the national post carrier’s shipping plan. From Paris to the U.S. it can take as few as four days, though usually it’s closer to seven. And there shouldn’t be customs charges for any of these products (as they’re under the price that would incur them.) Keep an eye on shipping timeframes, and note that the prices shown here can fluctuate with the exchange rate, as the shopkeepers listed them in euros and I’ve provided them in U.S. dollars.

There are Etsy shoppers all over the world, and with a lot (a LOT) of looking around, you can find work that’s unique to a different place — like France. Here, you’ll find some excellent, truly French gifts on Etsy — all from independent makers, from across the country.

Affiliate links below.

1. Extremely Gorgeous Indie Jewelry From Paris

I find these earrings just extremely and stylish — they’re porcelain hand-painted with gold, with sterling silver backs. I love his entire collection, designed in Paris and made by hand in Oaxaca.  I know this image isn’t like DRAMA but I think it falls in line with prevailing ideas about jewelry, where simpler is chicer.

2. Graphic Wall Planners and Desk Calendars

I love these super-graphic, super-Memphis-y calendars and planners. They remind me a little of Papier Tigre but not too much, if you know what I mean. The desk planners are available in English and French; this one has both.

3. Extremely Special Stuffed Marine Animals

Obviously I think this is adorable, even if when I first saw it I was like, $170 for a stuffed whale seems like kind of a lot???? But then I saw that more people have this “in their cart” than anything else, so — “¯\_(ツ)_/¯“?

4. Designer Map of Marseille (and Other Cities)

Lord knows there are plenty of fancy Paris maps on Etsy, but Benoit Cesari seemingly spends just as much if not more time on the country’s other destinations — including Lyon, Montpellier, and Avignon — as well as more thematic offerings, like wine and regional cuisine maps of France.

5. Ridiculous But Lovely Origami Animals

I don’t know how to defend the ridiculousness of these $120 origami animals, but I also love them. This is the paradox of French handmade goods: They are often absurdly expensive, and they’re rarely like a showstopper piece, but they can be these tiny, lovely things that you can’t stop looking at. That is how I feel about those penguins, anyway. (They also have wolves, dragons, unicorns, and more, plus the deer shown at top; here’s their Instagram, which is extremely cute.

6. Cat Teepee

french gifts on etsy - cat teepee

Sometimes giving to yourself means … giving to your cat, specifically a teepee with a pompom door opening and double-sided pillow, with faux-sheepskin to keep them warm in winter? And this is just slightly unbelievable but you can accessorize your cat teepee with a matching banner with their hand-embroidered name. C’est incroyable!

7. Cool French Enamel Pins

french gifts on etsy - french enamel pin

BUY IT HERE: Garde la pêche pin, $13

“Garde la pêche” translates to “stay strong” more or less (here’s a long discussion about that), and having it in French pin form I think is quite cool. They’re all sort of just like ever-so-slightly risqué, like “Morue Forever” (“morue” (lol) often means “cod” but can also mean “woman held by others as retaining a vulgar and discourteous disposition.”) You can decide which pin is most appropriate to your personal vibe.

8. Périgord Walnut Cutting Boards

Part of me says $90 is too much to spend on a cutting board, but the more financially astute part of me says this is less than I am going to have to pay my landlord when he realizes I’ve been using his countertops as a place to smash blueberries. (We have a complicated relationship.) I don’t personally need a fancy cutting board (see above), but I know a lot of people who’d be delighted to get this.

9. 1930s Colorimetry Chart

french gifts on etsy - color chart

As someone who loves color, I love these vintage colorimetry charts from the 1930s, and I have a similar one. You can get them cheaper in France (about €10, rather than $30), from the bouquinistes along the Seine … until you factor in the airfare. These prints are usually pages from a book or manual, so expect to frame it once it’s home.

10. Printable Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe

I just find this a super-charming and not super-high-cost addition to a holiday card: a recipe (printed in both English and French), for this classic, hearty, very holiday-seasonal meal. She also offers recipes for French onion soup, pot au feu, coq au vin, and more. Sometimes the best French gifts on Etsy only require downloading and printing, versus shipping, and that seems like a bonus.

11. European Soccer Poster Feat. Zinedine Zidane

french gifts on etsy - zinedine zidane

BUY IT HERE: Zinedane Zidane’s uniforms poster, $38+ (depending on size/customization)

Soccer — er, “football” — isn’t my thing, but if I knew someone who liked the European version, I might very well consider this poster showing off all of French soccer icon Zinedine Zidane’s uniforms.

12. Règles de la Maison Print

french gifts on etsy - printables

BUY IT HERE: Rules of the House from La Poupette Pailette, $15.85+ (depending on size/customization)

I think this “House Rules” print is extremely cute, even if the directive to “être heureux chaque jour” sounds a little stressy. But how adorable for a home with a little language-learner??

The 21 Most Beautiful Paris Apartment Interiors on Instagram

These are the 21 most beautiful Paris apartment interiors on Instagram — which, all things being equal, is a pretty good place to look for them. Note: These get increasingly more fantastical as we go on, so while we start with this lovely, regular-person space — with the nice cat sleeping on the nice rattan chair — we definitely do conclude with, for example, the Hotel de Soubise (the construction of which was partially funded by an affair with Louis XIV) and additional castle-like spaces.

The good thing about Paris apartments that not everyone knows is that (thank you, Communist Party) rents are kept down pretty assiduously by law — so while Paris rents are expensive by French standards, they are a fraction of what they’d be in, say, San Francisco or London. Dream big!

Best Cozy Corner in History (
Can you even? Those plants, that cat, all that rattan?

Best Giant Gilded Mirror in the Service of Holiday Cheer (@jackiekaiellis)
Fact: A gilded mirror is worth having all year round, but possibly especially right next to a Christmas tree.

Best Extremely Well Set Up Bar System
Confinement is definitely not a problem when you have everything you need without going downstairs.

Best Classic, and Utterly Humungous, Kitchen (@abkasha)
So this is what a kitchen looks like without cabinets!

Best Kitchen With an Utterly Kanye-Level Amount of Marble (@stephenjulliard)
Here’s a look at another extremely marble-centric Paris kitchen, also designed by Studio Charlotte Macaux Perelman. What I love most is the comment that reads “So restrained!” and it’s like, Yes??? But also — definitely not??

Best Example of That Thing Where You Put All Your Magazines Below a Window

Best Zillion-Dollar Sofa Under a Zillion-Dollar Chandelier (@mr_briq_paris)
That is not a sofa suitable for snacking.

Best Totally Unnecessary Ceiling Ornamention (@suzannetuckerhome)
This is basically the opposite of a cozy cat corner (obvs), but if you’re going all in, might as well get some exquisite, calligraphic details on the ceilings.

Most Completely Excessive Garden Right in the Middle of the Fifth (@proprietesparisiennessir)
All the best Paris apartments are tucked away behind walls, which is why the for-sale listings are so permanently revelatory.

paris apartment interiors walls

Best Floors That I Would Just Sit Around and Stare at All Day
They might look a little extra IRL, but from a distance I love the extremely wild approach to parquet flooring. Also note that wonderful, circular rattan chair in the background.

paris apartment interiors moldings

Best Vibe for When Netflix Just Gave You Like $400,000,000 or Something (@deluxe.confidential)
The newly rich gotta live somewhere, right?? Might as well cash out on all those moldings?

Best Entire Wall of Books (@design_east_)
Also, those parquet floors! Get another look at the shelving, designed by architect Benoit Dupuis for his own apartment, here.

Best Staircase (@nicolas4matheus)
Also: best blue paint, and best semi-metallic storage unit. The way those two blues come together reminds me about the color difference when you see two different seas meet.

Best Round Walls (@emilytaubert)
Nothing says luxury like walls that are round when they could have been straight (not kidding!!). Also: bonus points for those herringbone-style floors (fast fact, that pattern is called point de Hongrie here).

paris apartment interiors fireplace

Best Pink Fireplace of All the Paris Apartment Interiors in Paris (@marieclairemaison)
Now that looks expensive.

paris apartment interiors windows

Most Ridiculous Use of Curtains (
That is just not a realistic way of living but also very beautiful.

All-Time Best View (@bossardarchitecture)
Tough to beat those windows, even if the interiors are actually a little meh.

partis apartment interiors castle

Best Second House in the Country (@parisouestsothebys)
Guaranteed: There is a horse immediately to the left.

paris apartment interiors soubise

Best Fantasy Space Mixing an 18th-Century Mansion With Some Very Futuristic Seating Units (@theglitteringunknown)
This isn’t quite a Paris apartment, but an exhibition space for Maison et Objet, the big Paris design show, at the Hotel de Soubise, which is better known as the site of the Museum of the National Archives, as designed by Pierre Gonalans. (Here’s another look — it’s beautiful!)

paris apartment interiors meaux

Best Home Office (@icondesignit)
Speaking of, from Pierre Gonalans’ home in Meaux: “a big Anglo-Norman house full of contemporaneity. Louis XIII furniture and Chinese antiques.” Even if these interiors are not strictly Paris apartment interiors (Meaux is about 40 minutes outside of the city) … wowzers.

Looking for more? Here’s a previous edition, with more rich people making their houses look extremely fancy for the photos.

I Sort of Dated an Emily in Paris-style Gabriel, and Actually, It Was Pretty Terrible

I didn’t meet Francois in my building, like Emily met Gabriel, her not-single chef: I met Francois, my not-single restaurateur, in an even cuter way: His parents sold me a vintage desk lamp at a garage sale.

The desk lamp was adorable, and his parents, equally so. Along with the lamp, they gave me a card for their son’s restaurant, which happened to be a 10-minute walk from my apartment. “Stop by!” they said, in their perfect English. “Talk to Francois!” I did. He looked not like Lucas Bravo but like Eddie Redmayne, which for me, was a win. I told him to thank his parents for the lamp. He gave me a basket of something like cheese biscuits(?). He told me to let him know if I had any problems with the lamp — so when it stopped working a week later, I emailed him.

This time, instead of meeting at the restaurant, we met at the apartment above his restaurant. I looked for any signs of a partner — he was just moving in, he said. There were none. He fixed my lamp with a screwdriver and electrical tape, which I thought was admirably handy. He had a terrace with a small jungle of plants on it and a vintage globe, and we played that game you play with old maps, where you try to guess what year it was made based on whether it has Russia or the Soviet Union, South West Africa or Namibia, Suriname or Dutch Guyana. I won. (If nothing else, I always win this game.) We sat on the terrace. I was going back to America soon, I said, so would he watch my plants for me while I was gone? He would. I delivered them.

When I picked them up a month later, he mentioned that he had a baby. A what?

“Le petit Joseph,” he said.

That was weird, I thought, but people have babies all the time(!). I had actually never met anyone who had a baby while simultaneously not acting very much like a new dad. I had seen his apartment — there wasn’t a baby in it. Where was all of this happening? How did these people live their lives?

This went on or a period of months: I went to his apartment with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream ($9), which we planned to eat on his terrace. (That terrace!)

As we discussed our plans for the summer, he mentioned another baby.

“Are you making this up,” I said.

“Le petit Mathieu,” he said.

What can I say? I feel like sometimes the thing about living cross-culturally is that your brain just wants to fit people into familiar boxes: I’ve had plenty of friends who were new dads, and it would have been impossible to imagine them staying out until 2 or 3 a.m. every morning, to spend all these hours chatting with me in a terrace evidently far from wherever the baby might live. And I assumed that because I had not seen that phenomenon before it could not exist. But of course: There are (obviously) (obviously!) fathers whose partners (let’s call his Camille) have recently done them the huge and impossible-to-return favor of bearing them children, and those fathers will spend significant amounts of time away from them, on their own frivolities.

I hope his Camille had a series of lovers, or a gigantic garden all to herself, or whatever frivolity she wanted for herself.

As for me: I think this, better than any other relationship I have had in France (including much more serious/intimate ones), is my metaphor: The French say that Americans are not realistic in our ideas about love, in the idea that one person can be “our everything.” But I think they are too cynical. I know more divorced Americans than French ones, but I also know more happy American couples than I do French. And if that aligns to ideas about how American culture is binary — good! evil! wrong! right! happily married! miserably married! — and French cultured is constructed on an endless succession of nuances (there is no good or evil, only variations….), I am … not surprised.

As for Francois: I picked up my ice cream, and instead of going to a reading by the American author Ruta Sepetys, immediately went home, and never spoke to him again.

What It’s Like to Travel to Paris Right Now (October 2020)

Wondering what it’s like to travel to Paris right now?

I would say: not great.

Last week, I traveled from New Jersey to Paris. I either had to come back or give up my residency visa, which expired the day after I arrived — believe me, I wanted to stay where I was.

Here, then, is how I made it to France:

Step #1: The groundwork
I called around to clinics near me — some would only offer tests to those who believed they’d been exposed to someone with covid. Most, though, could only offer a hazy timeframe of “2-4 days” for the results, which wouldn’t work. The good news, I guess, was that these tests were all free — but since I didn’t want to (a) miss my flight or (b) show up in France after my visa expired, I couldn’t take the risk. It took a couple weeks of sifting around the internet — I have no idea why this wasn’t easier to find — I saw a recommendation for Excell on, of all things, the French Consulate’s website. They offered a paid ($130) test with results in 48 hours.

Step #2: The covid test
I went to Excell Clinical Laboratory in Edison, and 10/10 would recommend. I arrived at 9:30 (they open at 9), was told there were four people in front of me, went out and sat in my car for a half-hour, and came back. About half the people in the office (“¯\_(ツ)_/¯“) were wearing masks, which I wasn’t excited about, but I also didn’t interact with them.

The test itself was no big deal: I was prepared to be uncomfortable, but it was really just like a gentle swab — so gentle that I said, “Are you sure that’s enough? I don’t mind if you need to go higher?”

(Apparently that’s not necessary! Who knew!)

I received my results exactly 47 hours later, the morning of my flight.

Step #3: How to get to the airport
This might sound like no big deal, but I was perplexed. Car service? Train? Parking spot near the airport? I was literally so confused that I polled my friends on Facebook, and let me just say that the results were all over the place, with car service edging out the parking spot, and both of those options well ahead of the train.

Ultimately I felt like I wanted the control of driving myself, without having to worry that my driver’s a Trump-voting anti-masker wearing his on his chin for the hourlong drive. I found a monthly spot at a hotel near the airport on Spothero.

I took an Uber from the hotel parking lot to the airport, and TBH it made me happy that I hadn’t taken a car service to the airport.

Step 4: Document check
Since I couldn’t check in for my flight online, I had to check in at a kiosk — a process interrupted halfway through for a physical document inspection (residency card, covid test). My residency card had “expired” officially in April, but was automatically extended six months. The United rep told me she had to take it out to get checked.

“If there are any problems I am 100% sure that it is valid so please involve me in that conversation,” I said, like a Karen.

I spent the next five minutes, while she was gone, trying to pull up the documentation of the extension on my laptop, since my phone was dead, but when she came back she said I was OK to go.

Step 5: Baggage drop
I only mention this because I’ve never seen such a stressed-out crowd — everyone was in a bad mood, and the woman at the baggage drop desk was yelling at everyone, but I got it, because everyone was acting like we’d never seen a boarding pass before. It was rough.

I’ll also take a moment to mention the dude who asked the guy in front of him to let him cut in line because his flight was coming up. (Their flights left at the same time.) Then I see him eyeing me, like he is definitely about to ask me the same question, and I say, “My flight leaves 15 minutes before yours.”

“Did I ask you? Did I ask you?”

(I hate this guy.)

Then he spots a pack of men between us and is about to ask them, and the main guy over there is like, “Don’t even ask me, we’re on the same flight, what’s wrong with you?” and the first guy is like, “Did I ask you? Did I even ask you?”


Step 6: Document check #2
Newark was basically empty. I’ve never seen anything like it — not even those very early morning flights. It was eerie and depressing — I can’t imagine what it was like in May.

Before boarding the flight, we stood in a separate line for another document check, and I showed my covid negative test for the second time. The girl in front of me was denied boarding — apparently she’d flown to Newark from San Francisco, and to make the timing work had gotten her covid test a day too early, putting her outside the 72-hour window. She was French, crying, and far from home (France or San Francisco). I don’t know what happened next but I felt for her. I thought they’d be more lenient with the Frenchies but I guess not.

Step 7: The flight
In my economy window seat, I had two rows ahead and three in back of me that were completely empty, plus that middle tier of three columns of seats — also empty. I couldn’t remember if they’re serving food on flights but they did on ours (it wasn’t bad, actually).

The flight attendants were nice in that normal flight attendant way and I just wonder now how many of them were furloughed last week.

Step 7A: Document check
I forgot this one so I’m adding it here! My covid paperwork was checked a third time, when a French official asked to see my results and then asked me when it had been taken(??? it’s on there???). I was really glad, btw, that I’d printed this out, since I didn’t have to worry about my phone dying (maybe other people are better at keeping their phones charged).

Step 8: Arriving to France
When we got to immigration, non-EU travelers went to one window, while the French/EUs went to another. There were about four(!) people on our side. Nobody chatted, but the guy in front of me entered as a student.

Step 9: Getting to Paris
I had already decided to take a cab from CDG to my apartment (somehow this was a less fraught decision than the one about going to Newark — I guess because I didn’t have many choices.) A friend told me to insist on a cab with plastic protection between the driver and the passenger — which I would have done, but totally forgot to do. I did remember to double-check with the driver that he wouldn’t mind if I opened the window, so I basically hung my head out into the rain for the entire 90-minute drive to Paris, like a dog, but at least a dog with fresh air.

I’m sure I’ll be less stressed about it when I make the same trip in reverse in late November — I don’t even think I need a covid test, though I should definitely be required to get one by my stupid government.

I wouldn’t have traveled if I hadn’t had to, and I’ve been dismayed at Parisian attitudes toward masking and social distancing. But it wasn’t impossible, and I generally felt safe(ish). In sum: what it’s like to travel to Paris right now is … pretty meh. I would have been happy to avoid it.

Here’s hoping for better in the months to come.

How Can I Decorate My Home Like a Parisian?

If you’ve ever wondered: How can I decorate my home like a Parisian?

I have good news: It’s easier than it looks. It’s true that Paris apartments often have beautiful bones — it’s a small city, with much century-old housing stock (though plenty of new as well). In general, though, it’s not that hard to find a beautiful apartment with beautiful moldings and parquet floors.

That said, a Parisian apartment can be procured the old-fashioned American way: by buying it. Parquet floors can be laid by hand. Oil portraits can be purchased on Etsy or Selency. A grand, antique mirror is only as far as 1st Dibs.

Generally, I think that there’s a native way of styling apartment that’s unique to wherever you are — a Brooklyn apartment wants to be a Brooklyn apartment while a Miami apartment wants to be a Miami apartment, and ditto in San Antonio or Seattle: All of these places have different amounts of sunlight, sun intensity, color temperature, and local vintage stock. In that sense, I’d say that if you’re really asking yourself “How can I decorate my home like a Parisian?” — the answer may very well be to just move to Paris. (And oh, hey, here’s a post that explains how to do exactly that.) But if you’re looking for a couple grace notes, here and there, these below will get the job done.

1. White walls
Like everyone else, Parisian apartments are hugely impacted by their environments — which means that sunlight is always at a premium. (We’re so far north that we’re equivalent with Nova Scotia, not New York.) During the winter, the sun doesn’t rise until after 9 a.m. — and from November through March, gray skies are the norm. That means a preference for light-reflecting white walls, just like you’ll see in Scandinavia. Seen above: An apartment in the Marais

parquet floors paris

2. Hardwood floors
I don’t think I’ve ever been in a French apartment without hardwood floors — the older the better. There’s nothing — nothing! — more beautiful in the world of Parisian interiors than wood parquet floors. These can be hard to replicate on anything like a budget, but there are DIYs all over the internet. Seen here: an apartment in the 16th

How can I decorate my home like a Parisian moldings

3. Moldings
Castle-chic! Nothing says “royal interiors” (uh this may or may not be your intended look???) like moldings — even better if they’re all in a single color. I always thought moldings were something you either had or didn’t have — a “bones of the space” kind of thing — but turns out you can get them at Home Depot. Who knew?? Pas moi. Here’s more info on the different types from Bob Vila.

paris mirror

4. Grand mirror
So — here’s an example of some flashier moldings, but that’s actually not why we’re looking at this image. Forget the moldings (I love them but forget them) — we’re looking at that huge antique mirror. If you don’t feel like heading to Paris for a full range of options at the Clignancourt flea markets, a platform like 1st Dibs offers plenty — like those seen here. (I searched for French antique mirrors from through the 19th century.)

5. French vintage botanicals
Authentic French vintage botanicals are both easy to find and relatively inexpensive — a small one like the one pictured can cost under $10. If you’re looking for something bigger, French botanical posters are a lovely option as well . The best selection is on Etsy.

How can I decorate my home like a Parisian oil painting

6. Vintage portraits
Nothing classes up a joint faster than a vintage portrait — it’s basically the royal treatment. And even if the artist is unknown (or the painting unsigned) rather than, say, Goya painting the Spanish royal family, original art is a fantastic way to add character to a space. (And a Parisian vibe to any apartment.) I love the selection at Selency, though the sellers in France aren’t always (or usually) willing to ship to the U.S. — otherwise, Etsy has a great range, though it’s often much more expensive than Selency.

How can I decorate my home like a Parisian rattan

7. Rattan
Here, it cross-pollinates with the whole Jungalow look, but in France, rattan from the ’70s — a.k.a. rotin — was commonly used for chairs, mirrors, shelving, and more. For mirrors, the new ones can be a little cheesy; be sure you get a vintage one, but equally be sure that all the bits aren’t damaged. On Etsy, it can help to search for the French keywords (“miroir rotin”) as they often will ship to the U.S. and the prices are often equivalent to those in the U.S., even with shipping included. I also love rattan in vintage bookshelves and planters — and for those asking “How can I decorate my home like a Parisian specifically in the 1970s?”, here’s your shortcut.


jeanne damas sunglasses

Jeanne Damas Sunglasses: 21 Perfect Pairs

Jeanne Damas sunglasses! There’s no easier way to French style than finding your own best take on the uber-influencer’s lunettes.

If you haven’t bought her book — In Paris: 20 Women on Life in the City of Lightit belongs on the same francophilic bookshelf as How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are. If you are looking for near-daily photos from what seems like an perpetually stylish vacation in the South of France, you will absolutely want to follow her on Instagram. And if you are interested in taking a look at her style — a primer on how to do that Frenchy-styley thing — you are bienvenue.

You might want to begin with a wider look at her style — cropped sweaters! wide-legged denim! straw bags! — here. You may be most interested in her shoes (these are my 19 favorites), which seem to alternate between espadrilles (I mentioned the neverending vacations???), designer heels, and one pair of go-to booties. Or! You may be most interested in her wide array of sunglasses, in which case you are 100% in the right place.

Here, I’ve collected the best of her sunglasses. Once you start looking, you start seeing patterns. Let’s begin with this pair, which I thought was Karen Walker’s One Astronaut but definitely isn’t and I wish I knew who it was but “¯\_(ツ)_/¯“. They do remind me quite a bit of them.

After this, we’ll see a recurring brown pair with with an ivory inlay design, and then what seems to be her favorite shape — a really horizontal vibe, and not a cat’s eye, as I would have guessed. If the brown ones aren’t these from Rouje, they are very, very close.

If you don’t feel like playing guess-the-designer, you can find Damas-approved lunettes chez Rouje — especially now, given the ongoing collab with Jimmy Fairley.

Jeanne Damas sunglasses … in pink

jeanne damas sunglasses pinkjeanne damas sunglasses pink 2jeanne damas sunglasses retro

Jeanne Damas sunglasses … in brown (Rouje?)

jeanne damas sunglasses summer jeanne damas sunglasses cat's eye

jeanne damas sunglasses jeanne damas sunglasses paris

jeanne damas sunglasses paris

(I love this one oversized pair)

jeanne damas sunglasses oversized

And then, all the squashy ones

jeanne damas sunglasses cafe

jeanne damas sunglasses drive

jeanne damas sunglasses cafejeanne damas sunglasses horizontal  jeanne damas sunglasses summer  jeanne damas sunglasses brown

jeanne damas sunglasses bikinijeanne damas sunglasses summer

If You’ve Been Sad About the State of the World/Country/Etc., The DNC Roll Call Is the Medicine You Need

The DNC roll call is wonderful.

We are in for it, these next 76 days: If it’s not the pandemic or the murder hornets or the fire-nadoes or the sharks or the miserable inability of approximately 43% of this country to channel any sort of empathy or the spotted lanternflies or the assault on our arctic refuges or the assault on our post offices or the actual assaults on actual people by other people, sworn to protect them — well, if it’s not any of that, it’ll be something else. Myriad other disasters surely await us, in the double-overtime run-up to what could very well be lights-out, in many ways that matter, for this young nation of ours.

It is a bitter pill to swallow, all that, but there is a remedy, and it is the DNC Roll Call.

It is wonderfully homemade. It is the hand-sewn quilt that emerges after decades of Pottery Barn chenille throws. It is your grandmother’s favorite soup after years of Olive Garden minestrone. Mics are visible in essentially all of the shots. No one is identified, so each presentation arrives with an If-you-know-you-know decryption key only available to residents: How many people not from the state of New Jersey could identify our governor, Phil Murphy (happily looking hale and hearty) and the significance of where he was standing — in front of Asbury Park’s Paramount Theatre, obviously a venue closely associated with the actual king (parallel government) of New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen?

dnc roll call - northern mariana islands

How could you not tear up (I’m tearing up) at the sight of would-be-but-can’t-be voters from the Northern Mariana Islands? The meatpacking plant worker from Nebraska who’s the only reason any of us are having barbecues this weekend, unless you are growing your own cattle? The YMCA-level assortment of essential workers flanking the speaker from Nevada? The polka-dots so bright they can be seen from space from New Hampshire? (Guys, is that wildly gesticulating man your governor?) The beautiful moment with State Representative Derrick Lente from New Mexico?

dnc roll call - north carolina

The seriously most emphatically thumbs-up dude in the world, also from North Carolina? Vibing with “Josh,” the IBEW guy from Ohio and his lament that “it seems like every time working people believe in a Donald Trump promise, they wind up getting screwed”? Remembering those lost in Tulsa in 1921 and not leaving the job to HBO? The two Oregonian kids figuring out how to show off their signs in Oregon? Bob Casey and the “Scranton <3 Joe” sign from Pennsylvania?

And that is just states beginning with the letters N-P. Just wait for the As and the Cs and the Ws! The D! So many other lovely vistas! So many weirdly specific fried shellfish dishes to pitch! So many train platforms and tunnels and bridges and other infrastructure to recommend!

The next three months are going to be a shitshow, likely of epic proportion. It is wonderful how the DNC roll call reminded us, however briefly, that this country is home to hundreds of millions of people proud of where they’re from, doing their best by their families and communities, working hard to protect all of us. It can be easy to forget that, given the current circumstances. But there is no better recent proof that all across this country, we are more alike than we are different than this video: You may not be an immigrant from the Caribbean, like the delegate from New York — but you might be a nurse or a union member. You might not be a meatpacker like the woman from Nebraska — but you might have a lot of giant plastic containers in your garden. You might not have Pete Buttigieg’s L.L. Bean-model good looks, but you maybe have convinced your family to stand like that, all exactly six feet apart in what looks like a set from The Matrix, for your holiday cards. There’s something for absolutely everyone here, and it is an America I am delighted and relieved to know still exists, persists, resists—and votes.

The Best Luxury Paris Apartments

There are plenty to choose from — but these are in my humble opinion the best luxury Paris apartments. And their chandeliers. And gilded mirrors. And parquet floors. And more.

One good thing about Paris is that thanks to stringent rent controls, it’s not impossible to find an apartment there for under $1000 a month. Will it have an elevator? Oh mais non. Will it be bigger than a bed? Only maybe. Will you need to use a communal bathroom in the hallway? Probably not, but I’ve seen it.

Of course, on the absolute other side of this equation: No one knows how to do grand apartment interiors quite like them. Here, a selection of the best Paris luxury apartments and their interiors — some, but not all, owned by a billionaire. Of all them, the thing I want most is Morgane Sézalory’s tan leather couch: Mon dieu! Et so on.

For more — and more accessible, and no less creative — Paris apartment interiors, see this piece on the 19 Things I Learned About Home Decoration from Amélie or this post (one of the most popular ever) on five things to buy (wherever you are) for the Grand Paris Apartment vibe.

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1. If you’re curious about what non-hipster chandeliers look like, please take a peek inside this $40M Champs Elysées apartment. Those windows! See more

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2. Cup of Joe did a tour of Morgane Sézalory’s apartment, which you may not be surprised to know looks an awful lot like the inside of a Sézane store. (Think: velvet and brass.) See more

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3. For something more art than commerce: Inside Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas’s rue de Fleurus apartment. See more

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4. This is an incredibly comprehensive look at Yves Saint Laurent’s apartment on rue de Babylone. See more

6. This W story on the home of swimwear designer Leslie Amon has sentences like “she turned 30 and has taken up yoga and boxing” (also, she actually got married at Versailles), but if you can get past all that, there are some bananas textures in there. See more

best Paris luxury apartments

7. This apartment, home to designer Timothy Corrigan, is seen in the photo at the top of this newsletter, and it is incredible, if you like that sort of grand, French, over-the-top thing. See more

best Paris luxury apartments

8. “A Parisian Apartment With the Soul of Serge Gainsbourg” is, I swear, how half of these stories could be described (aside from the castle-y ones). This one is owned by the guy who’s one-half of Air. See more

best Paris luxury apartments

9. Speaking of castle: This is what your apartment might look like if you’re a $2.9 billion-having beauty heir. If we only consider the first portrait, it’s definitely made entirely from gold. See more

How to Move to France

If you’ve ever dreamed of moving to France, I want you to know: You can do it.

It’s the question I get most often (uh, besides whether or not French guys cheat): How did you move to France? 

There are a million ways to do it, but I only know mine — and it’s worth talking about, because it’s the easiest (in some ways).

When I first went to Paris, I only expected to go for six weeks. Then I fell in love with my Airbnb host. (LOL, but true.)

Going back to New York was no longer an option. But as an American, I couldn’t stay in the Schengen Zone for more than 90 days out of any 180.


In my case, I needed a visa: a long-term visitor’s visa.

For this, you need a bunch of stuff — but really only two things:

– You need to swear you won’t work in France. What you do outside of France, they don’t care about. My professional life is conducted entirely in the U.S. I have a French bank account, but only because I need one for my visa and to pay my renter’s insurance. If you’re a “digital nomad” type, you can make this work.

– And then the other thing. You need a bunch of cash in your checking account, or you need someone who trusts you enough to put your name on their checking account. I’ve done both (thanks, Mom/Dad/and my sister). The amount varies from year to year, but that “bunch of cash” is equivalent to a year’s salary, based on what’s know as the SMIC (salaire minimum interprofessionnel de croissance). If you’re used to U.S. salaries, this number might sound on the low side: about 18,000€. (For a very long explanation of how this works, see here.)

If you can put that in a checking account (and they really do want it to be as close to cash as possible — a retirement account won’t work), you’re good.

And you can live in France, renewing the visa every year.

If that doesn’t work for you, come and study (and stay), or look into it more — there’s a path for everyone. This happened to be mine.

It’s not easy, but it can be done. And it’s as close to magic as an administrative process gets.

does sezane do sales

“Does Sezane Do Sales”, You Were Wondering

Does Sezane do sales?

Short answer: Yes, sort of. They’re called the “Archives.”

Here’s the long answer. Most French labels do go on sale — at least twice a year, every January and July, during the national period of les soldes, a fixed period of several weeks set by the government. Sales everywhere — up to 70 percent off. So what’s up at Sézane?

Sézane’s approach is much more limited. A few times a year — a quick look through my email from last year shows Archives events in January, July, and Christmas — Sézane offers a very small amount of previous-season stock and late returns for a limited-duration sale, with 10% of the proceeds donated to support philanthropic organizations. My experience is that these “sales” aren’t like traditional sales — these really do seem to be the blooper equivalent of a regular sale, with the odd pieces here and there. If when I say “sale” you think of a constant “9 thongs for $7” situation at Aerie, you’ve got the wrong company in mind. And you won’t see pieces you’ve had your eye on suddenly offered at 30% off.

It’s strategy, not accident. As creator Morgane Sézalory told the New York Times (p.s. after they identified her as “the gamin behind the Parisian label Sézane”), “Having something no one else has, I think that’s the true luxury today.” That means smaller production runs, which means limited availability. Or, as the Times terms it, the “so-called drop“, the same strategy behind brands like Supreme and Fenty: People want what they can’t have. That means things sell out, instead of sticking around to go on sale.

I was interested to read that Sézane’s drop strategy was originally a product of convenience. Sézalory was an eBay vintage seller before she started Sézane, and to cut down on trips to the post office, she would post all her new products once a month. It would sell out right away, which meant one massive trip to mail them, instead of lots of little ones.

“No excess” is also part of the brand mantra: As they say on the site, “We believe in responsible stock volumes and a lean production model. No overproduction & scrupulously considered pricing.” That’s a fancy way of saying they’re not making extra (or jacking up the initial price) in expectation of a 20-percent off sale a few weeks down the road.

For our (literal) money, Sézane is less expensive than most French brands, and most of my favorite going-out tops are from there. (The sweaters pill, so keep an eye on the materials; sometimes they go a little heavy on the synthetic fibers.) I don’t spend a lot of time with the Archives sale, since the selection is so limited. If you want to get a look, be sure to sign up for their newsletter, which will provide a heads up before the discounted collection goes on line.

In short: Does Sezane do sales? Yes, but. If you’re looking for ways to save money on Sézane, here are a few ideas (including one that’ll save you around 30%, depending on how much your plane ticket cost.)