Archive for the ‘France’ Category

Summer safari in Paris

This tousled-haired blonde works a safari-inspired playsuit on a Paris Velib bike.

via Vanessa Jackman

Perfectly Parisian

The back view of a perfectly Parisian cyclist.

Black tailored jacket, black cuffed jeans, black loafers, a neat chignon and an eye-catching studded belt. All on a Velib bike.

via Vanessa Jackman

We are in awe

…of Catherine Baba, stylist and the most exotic creature we’ve possibly seen on a bike. Like a bird of paradise, she rides off to her next fashion show during Paris Fashion Week.

via Citizen Couture

J’adore Comptoir des Cotonniers

One of my favourite clothing labels is the French high street chain Comptoir des Cotonniers. It’s so easy to capture the easy chic style of French women in their clothing and in fact one of my favourite jackets, a bright orange swing coat (seen here), was bought on sale in Paris.

Now I love them a little more because their Winter 2011 catalogue showed a couple of cycle chic images. Oh, tres chic!

Parisian elegance

Images by Vanessa Jackman during Paris Fashion Week SS2011. We are very partial to her cycling cape!

Meet Feyza Demirtas from Ikabags

After receiving kudos on her sewing abilities from friends and family, Feyza Demirtas decided to start selling her handbags. The success of her line and her husband’s heavy travel schedule allowed her to take the plunge into making her hobby a full-time venture. Here’s a little chat with Feyza, who makes the wonderfully chic La Pomme Bike Satchels.

Tell us about your previous working situation.
I worked as an an office director and production planning manager at Koleksiyon Furniture Company. I was working with fabrics, as well as wood and leather. After I was introduced to the SAP system and received the training required for it, we started working abroad as expats for the SAP. Because of my husband’s frequent business trips and the positive value of returns with my bags, I decided to resign from the job in order to establish the bag company.

How did you originally get into making bags and embellishments?
What started as a mere hobby (the embroidery, wood and glass painting works) moved to a new level after the year 2000. After the birth of my second son, I began to spend more time at home and had more opportunities to develop new artistic insights. The positive feedback I received from my friends motivated me to move on to a professional level. Purchasing a Pfaff sewing machine enabled me to make embroidered linen coasters and bags. In time, this has turned into the production of more versatile, sporty, colorful and eco-friendly bags.

Walk us through your typical workday.

  • My day begins at 6:30 in the morning with getting my kids ready for school.
  • After taking them to school I take the packages I prepared the previous night to the post office.
  • After I get home I check my email.
  • I take a short coffee break, walk in my garden and then check the bags to be made that day in my Excel file. Then I start making them.
  • I do this until I pick up the kids from the school. Then I make new items to list. In the meantime, dinner is prepared.
  • After dinner I talk to my kids about what they did at school and help them with their schoolwork.
  • During breaks I chat with my friends and share new ideas. I continue writing our family diary, which I started after the birth of my first son.
  • After the kids go to sleep, I continue sewing and prepare the packages to be posted the next day, as well as respond to emails.
  • I become a very happy mother on weekends since I get to spend more time with my kids. We usually take walks in the woods, play tennis, swim and bike. We enjoy visiting brocantes near our town. We read together and do hobby-works, which my sons love. We go downtown to Paris as a family two times a month to look for new fabrics. I also shop at the organic market twice a week.

What do you enjoy most about not having a day job? Is there anything you miss?
Not having a day job allows more time for my creative ideas. On the other hand, I miss my friends in the office, as I sew alone in my home atelier.

What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
The hardest part of the business has to be looking for and testing the fabrics and supplies I use. I spend a lot of time finding the best quality materials.

Paris, the home of style

Parisian women are world-reknowned for having a wonderful sense of style, whether they’re on the metro, clicking down cobblestones or going out to the local boulangerie for their daily baguette.

So naturally they look great cycling.

Photographer Gil Garcetti has compiled a photo series to stylish Parisian women on their bikes. Ooh la la!

You can see the complete series here.

Pop Up Tour de France

Happy Bastille Day Francophiles, and if you’re watching the Tour de France from the Southern Hemisphere, hope you’re getting enough sleep 🙂

Thanks to Bike Blog NYC we were tickled to discover that there is a Tour de France pop up book for kids.

Created by Pamela Pease, ‘Pop-Up Tour de France: The World’s Greatest Bike Race’ presents a history, guide and celebration of the 200 cyclists in the Tour de France. With pop-up cyclists! And pop-up mountains!

The book allows kids to follow the Tour competitors through the French countryside, up into the Alps, those 13km of bone-crunching cobblestones and then Paris for the finish line. There’s a simple map of France overlaid with erasable acetate so you can plot the route and then wipe it clean in time for next year’s tour.

Along the way they can learn about cycling history, fun facts, basic rules of the race, a glossary of French terms and strategies for winning the Yellow Jersey.

You can purchase an English version from Amazon or the official French version here.

DOYOUVelo? Oui, bien sur!

We have been dusting off our schoolgirl French and lusting after DOYOUVelo’s trench coats.

This French company mainly produces high-end (we’re talking up to around $350) trench-style raincoats for men and women made from waterproof, breathable, and reflective fabric. Each coat has extra pull-out armband reflectors and a roomy hood which might even fit over your helmet.

DOYOUVelo’s range also includes rain hats and messenger bags.

DOYOUVelo is currently available only in Paris and Lyon and through the DOYOUVelo’s French language store.

But us a ticket to France! Je parle francais un petit peu…

PS DOYOUVelo are also developing a light and compact helmet in a ‘honeycomb’ design. Thanks to our friend @howard61 for pointing us to this tres interessant post.

Impossibly chic

I loooove this photograph. So Parisian, so polished, so glamourous.

But on closer inspection, I think it might be impossibly chic.

While I often ride around in stiletto heels, I’ve never yet managed to ride in a pencil skirt without splitting the back seam in a very unladylike way. You’d better hope that the models’ skirts were extra stretchy.

Still, it gives me a bit of inspiration for some movie-star makeup and 40s elegance for my next cycling outfit.

What do you think?

Photograph by Tomas Kauneckas

We want to be Miss Dior

Oooh the swingy pink coat! The leather gloves! The Christian Dior parcels loaded onto the back rack!

And here she is in her pretty pastel glory frollicking in Paris.