Paulaner’s German Christmas Market in Shanghai

Paulaner Christmas Market in Shanghai

Paulaner Christmas Market in Shanghai

I had no idea they did Christmas markets in China. Honestly, the first Christmas market that I ever experienced was last year in Paris on the Champs-Élysées. I didn’t even know what they were! In case you are as oblivious as I was, a Christmas Market is basically a street market held during December with multiple food and shopping stands. While it started in Europe, Christmas Markets have spread across the globe.

Christmas Market Goods

Christmas Market Goods

Rain boots

ADORABLE boots that you can paint and decorate yourself!

Every year, German brewery, Paulaner Brauhaus, holds a Christmas market in the French Concession (150 Fenyang Road; 汾阳路140号) for one weekend. My friend Vanessa* (name has been changed) invited me to go. We had such a great time looking at the different local stands and examining possible Christmas gifts for friends and families. They even sold mini Christmas trees! I had to stop myself from buying a Christmas wreath.

Christmas Tree

Giant Christmas Tree and Cute Ornaments Being Sold

Banana Pancake Dessert

Banana Pancake Dessert

Pork Bratwurst

Pork Bratwurst

Mulled Wine

If you ordered mulled wine, you got a collectable porcelain cup. I love how they warmed them up in hot water first.

Of course, the best part of any Christmas market is the food. Vanessa was so happy to see real German food and I was over the moon when I spotted mulled wine!!!

Continue reading

Celebrating my Name Day in Paris

Galerie Vivienne in Paris

Galerie Vivienne in Paris

I love this whole European concept of a “name day” and I wish I had known about it earlier. Basically, every single day of the year is associated with a specific name of a saint. The church would then have festivals for certain saints on certain days. In today’s world, it’s basically a 2nd birthday and a great excuse to treat yo self!

Technically, I had a belated name day celebration because Saint Jacqueline’s day was February 8 and my workload was too heavy to partake in any festivities. Fear not, I made up for it this weekend!

I first stopped by the Pinacothèque de Paris to check out the latest Hiroshige and Vincent Van Gogh rêves de Japon exhibit. There was two different exhibits: one focused on Hiroshige and the other focused on how Japan’s artwork influenced Van Gogh’s work. I enjoyed both a lot, but if you only have time to visit one, I’d recommend the Van Gogh exhibit. They had banners up showing Hiroshige’s art and you could directly compare it to Van Gogh’s; it was really fascinating to see the direct influence. If you don’t read French, be sure to ask for an English translation at the information desk. The two exhibits are in town until March 17, 2013.

Galerie Vivienne in Paris

Adorable Alleyway, Galerie Vivienne and a Poster from the Pinacothèque

Afterward, I decided that I was going to walk the 3+ kilometers from Madeleine to the Marais and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air in Paris. I loved stumbling upon Galerie Vivienne, an alleyway full of restaurants, cute boutique stores and even a vintage bookstore. I came really close to buying that print of a girl holding a heart. It was a still a fruitful day of shopping at Comptoir Des Cotonniers and at FrenchTrotters. FrenchTrotters is this hip store in the Marais that totally reminded me of a French Anthropologie. The store features local French designers and they also produce their own line of clothing. At FrenchTrotters, I couldn’t resist a retro, multi-colored weekend bag and I have a feeling I will be stopping by the store every time I go to the Marais.

Breizh Cafe

Cider, savory crêpe, salted caramel, banana and Chantilly cream crêpe.

I had a specific destination in the Marais– Breizh Café. Originally from Japan, Breizh Café serves the most delectable crêpes in savory and sweet forms. I already knew that the actual restaurant would be crazy and full (you have to make a reservation) so I headed next door to the L’Epicerie Breizh Café, which is a small gourmet food store. They have one communal table with six seats, but they serve the exact same crêpes! I ordered the savory crêpe with cheese, egg, ham and artichoke hearts and also a salted caramel crêpe with pears and Chantilly whipped cream (not pictured). I’ve eaten savory crêpes at many establishments and I’ve come to the conclusion that I like sweet ones much better. Don’t get me wrong, my salty crêpe was good, but I just think the dessert ones are SO much better. Straight from Brittany, the salted caramel  has that perfect smokey, acidic taste to complement the sweetness from the fruit. I like how the salted caramel wasn’t too sweet and wasn’t overwhelming. It was definitely the best crêpe I’ve had in Paris. 

Parc de Belleville

Gorgeous View from Parc de Belleville

Continue reading

Chanel’s Little Black Jacket Revisited; International Herald Tribune Celebrates 125 Years

Chanel's La Petite Veste Noire

Chanel’s La Petite Veste Noire Exhibit

I’ve become extremely efficient with my time in Paris. Yesterday, not only did I meet up with three different friends separately, but also I visited Chanel’s “La Petite Veste Noire” exhibit at the Grand Palais. Two days before that, I caught the last day of the International Herald Tribune’sEye on the World” exhibit, a photo montage to celebrate the newspaper’s 125th anniversary.

Chanel's Little Black Jacket Exhibit

Why yes, that is Yoko Ono dancing in a top hat (middle).

Karl Lagerfeld

Chanel’s Classic Revisited by Karl Lagerfeld

Chanel Photos

Up Close and Personal With Some of the Photos

After seeing New York fashion editors Instagram and blog about La Petite Veste Noire earlier in the year, I knew I had to see it. The exhibit is small (but free!) with two rooms featuring Karl Lagerfeld’s photos of celebrities wearing a Chanel classic, The Little Black Jacket.  I loved the photography, most of it in black and white, and how Lagerfeld was bringing back old Hollywood-like glamour.

International Herald Tribune's Eye on the World

International Herald Tribune’s Eye on the World Exhibit. Photos of Claude Monet and Paris’ Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore (top right).

International Herald Tribune Turns 125

Gene Kelly in an American from Paris (top left); Franklin D. Roosevelt giving a speech before the 75th Congress (bottom left); Coco Chanel (right)

Continue reading

Chloé. Attitudes. At Le Palais De Tokyo.

Chloe Today

Chloé’s Fashion Today

Paris never ceases to amaze me, especially when it comes to the arts. You know what else amazes me? Social media. It’s because of Instagram (thank you @refinergy29; follow me @rbjello) that I learned Chloé opened a brand-new exhibit last weekend.

Palais de Tokyo

Backside of Palais de Tokyo

Paris is full of so many museums and passing exhibits. Everyone knows about the Louvre, Musée D’Orsay and Le Centre Pompidou. But have you ever heard of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris? I had no idea it existed. It dates back from 1937 and reopened in 2001. It’s a crazy building because the outside is Art Deco, but the inside has a warehouse feel with lots of concrete and exposed pipes and brick. It’s one of the largest sites dedicated to contemporary art in Europe. Oh, and the museum is open until midnight. That’s unheard of!

Inside the Exhibition

Inside the Exhibition

Chloe Dresses

Dresses Galore

Gabriella Anoka

Photos of the Creator, Gabriella Anoka

Continue reading

Learning Embroidery at Maison Lesage


The Embroidery Sample and Beads to Use

This week, my classmates and I were able to visit Paris’ oldest embroidery studio, Maison Lesage. I always assumed that embroidery meant just sewing thread or yarn on material, but I learned it encompasses much more. You can add beads, sequins, pearls… basically any material to cloth and it would be considered embroidery. Founded in 1858, Maison Lesage works with major designers and fashion houses–Dior, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier, etc.– to create masterpieces for their haute couture and ready-to-wear lines.

Minaudières Trésor Brode

Louis Vuitton’s Minaudières Trésor Brodé (2010 collection) were embroidered by Maison Lesage. For quality control, they only allowed three master stitchers to embroider all the bags.

We were able to tour the fabulous studio and caught a few glimpses of sketches from next week’s Paris Fashion week (hence no pictures were allowed inside). At the Maison Lesage, fashion designers approach the studio with a certain theme and the team brainstorms and creates small samples. They store ALL of their samples, which date back to the 1850s and include over 60,000 pieces!


Framed Sample in the Maison Lesage

Continue reading

Pig, Pie and Jean Paul Gaultier

One of my favorite pieces at the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit

I’m so happy that I got to see Jean Paul Gaultier’s exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco before it ended this weekend. I made a whole day excursion to the city visiting the de Young, eating delicious angel wings at Marnee Thai and meeting up with friends for dinner #1 and dinner #2 (more to come on that). The exhibit was gorgeous, showcasing Gaultier’s exquisite works of art. It reminded me of Alexander McQueen’s exhibit at the Met, which I visited last year in New York.

Iconic Corsets

Costume Designs for Madonna

Holographic, Moving Faces on the Mannequins

Totally Looks like Body Worlds

Loved the Fluorescent Rope Dresses

Besides visiting the de Young and catching up with wonderful friends, I inadvertently tried a new restaurant in the Mission, Pig & Pie.  My friends and I had just finished a lovely meal at Dosa, but we all wanted dessert. I wanted pie, but I already knew my distaste for Mission Pie. Anne did some research on Yelp, discovered Pig & Pie and away we went!

Shaker Lemon Pie with Homemade Ice Cream

Pig & Pie Bratwurst

Pig & Pie Bratwurst

I love the concept of Pig & Pie. It’s literally sausage and pie. That’s it. They’re open until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays. Freaking geniuses. Because after a night of partying in the Mission, what else could a person want other than a slice of homemade pie and a delicious sausage? P&P serve three types of pie: pecan, shaker lemon and a seasonal flavor. When we went, they had a summer berry pie. I loved that the crust was buttery, flaky and everything that pie crust should be. My slice of shaker lemon pie was good, but I wanted it to be more sour (I always want my citrus desserts more sour). The berry pie blew my friends and me out of the water. One of my friends said it was the best pie she’s ever had.

Even though I had dinner and pie, I was ready to try P&P’s sausage (having two dinners is kind of the story of my life). Anne and I split their bratwurst, which was served with sauerkraut, caramelized onions and spicy beer mustard. Anne could not stop raving about how “amazing” the bratwurst was. P&P grind and case their own meat. We asked where they got their bread and it turns out it was P&P’s recipe and the bread is baked across the street at La Victoria. I highly recommend Pig & Pie and I like their sausages even more than Rosamunde Sausage Grill (I hope I don’t get hate emails from that statement).