Shopping in the Shadow of the Tour Eiffel

Dear Diva Readers,

tour-eiffel.jpg”>tour eiffel” src=”” alt=”” width=”600″ height=”340″ />

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 100px; line-height: 90px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Our friends at Perfectly Paris posted on my Facebook wall, sharing this fantastic news that I could not help but to share with you.   From now until the 29th May, you can literally antique shop in the shadow of the Tour Eiffel at Le Salons Antiquaires et Galeristes taking place at Pont D’Iena and Quai Branly in Paris 7eme arrondisment!  Talk about chic shopping!

And while this Antique Market is only on for a week, don’t forget that the famed Paris Flea Market in St Ouen is on every weekend!!!   Baron’s has recently posted an excellent article calledA Guide to Merchants at the Paris Flea Market”, sharing their top picks!  The article is a good resource if shoppers want to shop the market without a Diva on their arm – but don’t forget, for those of you who would like to shop hand-in-white-glove-hand with one of 4 great Paris-based Antiques Diva Guides don’t forget to reserve your summer Paris flea market tour!  

tours/france/” target=”_blank”>The Antiques Diva® popular 1 Day Paris Tour will take you by the arm, starting the day at “The Other Paris Flea Market”, visiting Porte de Vanves to pick up some perfectly-packable treasures and then just as your stomach starts to grumble we’ll stop for a typical brasserie lunch in a restaurant crowded with locals.   After a bite to eat, we hop on the metro and head to the pièce de la résistance, the famed Puce de Paris St Ouen – but this isn’t a typical flea market filled with makeshift tents.  Instead, it’s well-organized permanent structures housing millions of euro of inventory complete with 13 districts, 2,000 vendors and 7 miles of alleyways! It’s easy for one to get lost in the maze of alleyways and streets, but with The Antiques Diva® Guides by your side, we’ll weave into nooks and crannies you’d never find on your own, introducing you to our favorite vendors, and showing you the hottest items in the market today – plus pointing out a few frauds! While we stop often on tour for coffee breaks as needed to give your feet a break, at the end of the day it’s time to stop yet again – this time for a parting coup de champagne or vin! 

Our tours were recently mentioned in a variety of summer travel sources – including a great article in Independent Traveler on 8 Tours for People who Don’t Like Tours as well as Travel + Leisure’s website listing of 134 Things to do in Paris!

Bonne Shopping,
The Antiques Diva®  (seen below shopping with one of my Paris Diva Guides – Kim)

Chic That Thing in Paris…. Guest Blog from La Mom!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />The Antiques Diva sitting with La Mom (note her hidden identity means she had to vacate the chair before I could get someone to snap our picture…)!

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>With The Antiques Diva’s™ upcoming Paris Tours – to-join-two-special-antiques.html” target=”_blank”>The French Flea Market Extravaganza – I thought it was ONLY appropriate that here at Diva Enterprises we give you the Diva Dish on what the well-dressed woman is wearing in Paris these days. It certainly helps your packing for the trip and gives you a few items to add to your shopping list on the day we spend touring St Germain doing chic shopping!

When I first thought that it might be a nice idea to post a blog on “What to wear in Paris…” I thought, “Who better to deliver the message than La Parisian – La Mom?”

If you haven’t heard of “La Mom” let me first tell you…. You don’t have to be part of the “kiddy-set” to enjoy her posts. La Mom is an American expat who has been living in Paris’ 16th arrondissement for over a decade. She spends her days raising kids and her nights blogging about the French and the English-speaking expat world. Before setting down to her blog, I always pour myself a coup de champagne, kick off my high-heels and settle down for some juicy fun! Check out La Mom blog for the real deal about Parisian playdate protocol, snooty book clubs, and charming French foibles. La Mom’s your best friend in Paris minus the international phone bills!

Chic That Thing in Paris – La Mom’s 7 Tips For Parisianista Style

La Mom’s been living in Paris for a très long time. She learned Parisian chic years ago as La Single Girl by paying close attention to Parisian girlfriends. But you don’t have to have a BFF in Paris to steal some French style! Count on La Mom’s insider tips to make sure you take the Fashion Capital by storm on your next trip:

1. Get a Gerard Darel handbag
Don’t even think of leaving your Parisian apartment without your Darel! GD’s bags are all you need to go from day to night, from a Parc Monceau playdate to a Mom’s Night Out at L’Avenue. These bags can do double duty as diaper and evening bags. (Psst – chic Parisiennes discovered Gerard’s bags way before Eva Longoriaista did!) to 10px; WIDTH: 277px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 257px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />
2. Invest in a pair of Roger Vivier ballerina flats
If Jackie O, Liz Taylor, Sophia Loren, and Catherine Deneuve (the essence of Parisian chic) wear them – you should too. Or get a good imitation. They’re nothing less than jewelry for your feet. Best of all, they don’t pinch, pull, or give you blisters. Perfect for hoofing it to find the real antique deals with the Antiques Diva! to 10px; WIDTH: 172px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 238px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />

3. Go to H & M for the basics
Don’t want to spend a fortune on tops that will be out of style in six months? Then stock up on several trendy and affordable styles here. Even the most snooty Parisienne knows how to mix high and low fashion. Further proof that cheap can be chic!

4. Wear an unforgettable accessory
A chunky pearl necklace, a Celine or Chloé belt, an oversized Lalique crystal cocktail ring…nothing makes a statement like something simple yet unforgettable. to 10px; WIDTH: 288px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 288px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />
5. Don’t forget the scarf
Brrr…there’s a chill in the air when it’s time for France’s best antique fairs and brocantes! Lucky for us, nothing finishes an outfit like an eye-catching scarf. Whether it’s silk, cashmere, or knit, make sure it’s long enough to casually loop around your neck for a glamorous, “I just threw this on” Parisian look.

6. Buy a great pair of jeans
Yves Saint Laurent said it best, “I wish I had invented blue jeans. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.” No matter what your budget, the Galeries Lafayette Jeans Bar has a great selection of jeans for everyone. You’ll be sure to find the pair that fit like a glove and make you feel like a million euros!

7. Go “Au Naturel”
Absolutely no perms, no fake acrylic nails, no war paint, no peroxide blond hair allowed. Parisiennes have mastered the old adage “Less is more”.

Mysteriously yours,

La Mom
(and don’t forget: you can find out my true identity when you book a 4 day Diva tour in Paris!)

Extra, Extra Read All About It… Parisien Salon & Lonely Planet!

The Antiques Diva is in The News!!!

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Women reading newspapers by Bert Hardy, 1957

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>This week’s blog interview between The Antiques Diva™ & La Mom was so stimulating that the glossy travel planning & destination e-magazine “Parisien Salon” picked it up & posted our Paris Insiders Discussion in an article they titled, Hamming it Up with The Antiques Diva™”.

Visit Parisien Salon to get inside information on what to see, do, buy & eat while in Paris in this e-magazine written by people who don’t just love Paris but who know it like the back of their hands, taking you beyond the landmarks & giving you exclusive entrée to a Paris usually limited only to locals!

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 182px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />And if that’s not enough, Lonely Planet then picked up the “Parisien Salon” posting, adding The Antiques Diva & La Mom’s “Hamming it up in Paris” interview under their heading “Blogs We Like”!!!

Until Next Time, Happy Reading!

The Antiques Diva™

Reader Question: Eiffel Tower Collection

THE ANTIQUES DIVA™ TOURS – CLOSED FOR ANNUAL VACATION DURING AUGUST – REOPENS SEPTEMBER While my tour guides are taking a much needed holiday and I’m away for the month of August sipping champagne at sunset on a Mediterranean Cruise (after taking a driving tour of Italy), I haven’t forgotten you, my loyal readers, in my absence. August 2008 you’ll enjoy a multitude of guest blogs, pre-posted light blogs and miscellaneous reader questions. Don’t worry, I’ll be back with more great addresses and shopping tips this fall! All email inquiries or posted comments will be responded to come September!


top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Dear Antiques Diva,

In the photo showing the raspberry lining of your husband’s suit in the ton.html” target=”_blank”>Mangas & Café Coton blog, there is a tray of what looks to be Eiffel Towers in various sizes to the left. I could never convince my husband to be bold enough to wear that bright suit lining, but I think I could convince him to go for the tray of towers. As a Paris expat, I would love to have something like this in my own home. Can you show me a better picture of the Eiffel Tower Tray?


“Forever in France”


top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Dear Forever in France,

Bien Sur! You happened to hone in on my favorite “We’ll always have Paris moment”.

This is only part of the original collection – you’d be surprised how many forms of Eiffel Towers there are!

tower+collection.jpg”>tower+collection.jpg” />Just before moving from Paris to Amsterdam, my friend Lady Lotus hosted a killer going away party, allowing me to bid adieu to “tout mes amies”. In lieu of collecting money for a more traditional going away present, she asked each of my Parisian pals to bring an Eiffel Tower statue to the party so that when all was said and done I’d have a collection to remember my friends by.

I’ve taken the coordinating towers and placed them on a tea trolley that I bought for a dime at the dearly-departed Depot Vente de Paris. The memory of the day purchasing that trolley while out with “tres bonne amies”, then lugging it across the city on the metro, carrying it up the stairs at Louvre Rivoli, and then finally dragging it, with a loose & wobbly wheel, across the pedestrian bridge towards my home on the Rue de Seine — all the while wearing a vintage, ankle-length fur coat brings me to fits of tears at what was one of my favorite Paris moments. I apparently looked so urban eclectic, crossing the Pont des Arts, that I was photographed repeatedly en route by a rogue photographer who asked me to sign a waiver releasing the pics for his use. Though I’ve never actually seen this photograph in circulation, I’m convinced one of my dear readers will run across it, labeled as “unidentified Parisian”, on the pages of Vogue, Elle or Madame Figaro and I trust you’ll email that magazine with the proper nomenclature – The Antiques Diva™.

When Lady Lotus moved away from Paris, she decided that she loved my Eiffel Tower collection so much that she wanted one just like it! Although after seeing all the varieties of towers I received, she decided against asking for the collection as a farewell present (fearing she’d end up with a few elephant or giraffe-shaped Tour Eiffels) and she hand selected her own chic collection. Because she was buying in bulk, she had major bargaining power.

toma+with+tour+eiffels.jpg”>toma+with+tour+eiffels.jpg” border=”0″ />Another friend who loved the idea of an Eiffel Tower collection now buys one tower trinket every time she is in Paris as her “bonne souvenir”, building her collection as swiftly as she builds Parisian memories.

I’d be curious to know how you’re using your Tour Eiffels….

Until next time, Gros Bisous et Au Revoir!

The Antiques Diva ™

Winter Fair Updates for Holland and Belgium

he Antiques Diva’s mailbox keeps getting fuller and fuller – just this week, three of my favorite people living nearby sent some tips on happenings around Holland and Belgium!

Nov 21 – 25
The Duchess of Orange writes that you must check out the Country Christmas Winter Fair at Kasteel de Haar on November 21 – 25! As this castle happens to be one of my favorites in Holland, I’m itching to go wandering around their castle grounds, letting myself drink in the yuletide air and festivities! The fact that Sinterklaas and his band of Zwarte Pieten arrived in Holland this past weekend (via steamboat, of course) has already put me in the mood for the season and I’m thinking about “Sinterklaas” while my friends back in the States are in the thick of Thanksgiving! At 15.50E, the entrance price to the Country Christmas Fair seems a little steep for an event that I am certain to spend money purchasing goodies once entering, but I had the same impression about La Table and I found their entrance fee of 12.50E worth the event!

Nov 29
The Duchess also writes that from 2pm until 9pm on the 29th of November in the sleepy Dutch village of Breukelen (from which Brooklyn NY got it’s name) there will be a Winter Fair at the Watervoor – at Zandpad 47. While I can’t find out much information about this event, the last time I attended a winter fair in Breukelen there were live camels involved… I’m not expecting nomadic mammals to be at this next fair, but I do think that if The Duchess recommends it, then it’s got to be good!

Nov 29 – Dec 1
Dr. Braai couldn’t have surprised me more when he emailed The Antiques Diva™ with a shopping tip! I thought the good Doc was only good at delivering babies and lighting a mean barbeque…. Little did I know, he was an Antiques Diva at heart! At his suggestion, I’m off to Brussels to see Sablon at Night where the chic Sablon area will be illuminated and the doors to the antique shops will stay open late to inaugurate their year-end displays, highlighting their most magnificent antiques. The taverns and restaurants will welcome customers with even more cheer than normal and period costumed, horse-drawn carriages will be taking tourists around the area! Simply delightful!

January 18 – 27
And speaking of Brussels, my friend The Belgian Beauty writes to mark your calendar in advance for the “Antiekbeurs van Belgie” or the “Foire des Antiquaires de Belgique” or, for those of you who simply want to be less pretentious (or less European) and call it by it’s name in English, simply “”. This fair rivals in its style and grandeur, elegance and class…. It’s sort of like a mini-TEFAF, more similar to Art and Antiques Fair ‘s-Hertogenbosch, but the Belgian version. It’s a simply wonderful Antiques Fair held January 18 – 27 in the Tour and Taxis building, Havenlaan 86 C / B, in Brussels and I believe this fair is worthy of it’s own blog rather than mentioned as a last thought on an blog of winter fairs. So mark the dates, plan to attend, and I’ll catch you later with more details as the date draws nearer…

Until then,

The Antiques Diva ™