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Kaaren

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Portland OR 97688
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Blog

FashioNXT

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Well, that was a whirl wind of a weekend.  Layneau was honored to present our newest collection Three Kisses at FashioNXT in Portland, OR.  

Here is a little tease of a video thanks to a darling blogger Brittany Nicole Daoud: Thank you Brittay!   https://www.instagram.com/p/BLVHT48A0dg/

Stay tuned- there will be lots more images coming soon!

Little lamb, who made thee?

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Little Lamb who made thee
         Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed. 
By the stream & o'er the mead; 
Gave thee clothing of delight, 
Softest clothing wooly bright; 
Gave thee such a tender voice, 
Making all the vales rejoice! 
         Little Lamb who made thee
         Dost thou know who made thee
William Blake

Paris

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Paris!

I love Paris.  I truly deeply love wondering the streets discovering all sorts of divine places and people.  It is a city of secrets revealed only to those with the where with all to dart down the ally and open the door on the second floor. There is of course a word for it: Flaneuse- the art of walking in cities.

My love of the city of lights came on my first trip there.  It was at the end of two weeks in the countryside.  Yes, there had been a train strike and it had taken 7 hours to make a 3-hour train ride.  We were cranky, hot and exhausted. But determined to meet up with our friends we bolted up the stairs to Sacre’-Coeur.  Sadly we missed them by moments. (this was pre-cellphone!)

Hungry, we decided to wonder the streets back to our hotel.  A bit too early for most Parisians to dine, we found a little Pakistani restaurant open.  It was clearly a ‘local’ spot- not a tourist in sight.  The food was divine, the hospitality beyond gracious.  I still carry the little card they wrote for me with the Urdu word for peanut. 

On the very last day there we were wondering around a left bank neighborhood after looking at an antiques fair.  Lovely music wafted from a shop window- we stepped in to explore the source.   A charming man was painting and listening to beautiful gypsy music.  The boutique was filled with carefully curated women’s clothes.  We talked, we danced and we bought.  I still have the beautiful duster covered in lovely little roses I found there.  

This is how I know Pairs-

A few of my favorite places:

L’lbis Rouge

35 Boulevard Raspai

75007 Paris, France

33 1 45 48 98 21

My version of big game hunting.  I wish my closet looked like this…with enough trips perhaps it will!

La Cerisaie

70 Boulevard Edgar Quinet

75014 Paris, France

01 43 20 98 98

My favorite spot for dinner- It is tiny- make a reservation- shhh- don’t tell too many people.

Le Petit Pan

18 Rue Rosenwald

75015 Paris, France

33 1 42 50 04 04

Sit at the bar- eat everything- it’s all precious, amazing and as good as food gets without being fussy.

Librairie Lardanchet

100 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore’

75008 Pairs, France

33 1 42 66 68 32

A drizzly afternoon spent among the art books- HEAVEN.

E. Dehillerin

18-20 Rue Coquillere,

75001 Paris France

33 1 42 36 53 13

Best source for the copper skate pan you never knew you needed so much until you saw it -ever.

L’Ecluse Madeleine

15 Place de la Madeleine

75008 Paris France

33 1 42 65 34 69

Have the goose foie-gras in Loupiac wine- it is divine!

Where to begin- with the beginning of course.

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My great aunt Ruby was an elegant woman.  Always dressed in heels, hose, an A-line skirt and smart sweater set.  The jingle of her charm bracelets announced her even before her perfume.

She had been a physicians assistant- a smart woman smartly dressed, in a time when most woman were expected to be merely ornamental.

What impressed me most was her discerning eye.  She chose things carefully, and cared for them thoughtfully.   It wasn’t about having lots of things, but having a few beautiful things that would last. 

She and my uncle were far from wealthy- sold middle class Americans of a certain era.  But they lived with thought and grace.  She always dressed, as did he.  It was nice that they thought so much of each other that they dressed up a bit.  It was a form of respect- both for each other as for themselves. 

I used to love to stop in and have tea when I worked in her neighborhood.  Even though they were store bought, the cookies were carefully placed on a Limoges plate. - Teacups were heated, as was the pot, while waiting for the kettle to whistle.

Once the tea had brewed, cups were lowered onto saucers, which were placed on the table set with silver teaspoons and linens.   Conversation ensued.  She always surprised me with her frankness.  She was fond of making pronouncements like – be sure to change your bras every 6 months- your breast shape evolves! 

So much of my aesthetic was formed chatting away in her house.  I always felt so special after having tea with her.  It carried me through the day by standing a little straighter,  being a little kinder to those around me. 

When she deemed it time she reveled her trousseau to me.  I remember so clearly her carefully unfolding the packets of acid free tissue placed on her four-poster bed.

Her wedding trousseau had come from a chic shop in Portland and was handmade in Paris.  It consisted of a grand robe and gown, chemises,  tap pants and bralettes.  Constructed of the softest silks embellished with fine lace expertly applied, every seam was perfection defined.

 Each piece was carefully unfurled and discussed.  The particulars of its design detail, the materials and of course it’s use and care.

Much was made of when to wear each piece.  Wear the tap pants in summer under fine dresses- they are breezy yet keep you properly covered.  A slip should always be worn in the winter.  It offers a better line under suits.

From the first moment I saw them I understood what is was to be discerning.  The importance of true quality and the respect it implies. Respect- of one’s self, of the person who made them and their craft, even respect for those you live with. It is not a selfish thing to make an effort- rather the opposite.  It also drove home the idea that fine things cared for last.  These were not things to simply look at- they were worn and cared for.  That is perhaps the best lesson of all.  

Nearly 80 years later they still speak of fine craft, thoughtful design and respectful care.