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And So To Bed…

UPDATE! Rumor has it that between my last visit and now, the Porthault Linen factory in Rieux-en-Cambresis has closed. According to the D. Porthault website, their factories are located in Normandy, on the west coast of France, and in Cambrai, in northern France.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Spp01lcDVZI/AAAAAAAADfM/4PAmXRKxFys/s400/Diva+Bedroom.JPG” border=”0″ />The Antiques Diva™ theory on bedroom decorating is “Keep it simple & peaceful for a good night’s sleep!” This is where The Diva & husband rest their weary heads at night.

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Research says we spend one third of our life in bed – thus, putting your money in the mattress isn’t such a bad idea if you want to get a good night’s sleep! First off, I love American retailers such as TJ Maxx, Tuesday Morning and Bed, Bath and Beyond to buy high thread count, Egyptian cotton sheets and duvets at bargain-bin prices and, though I live in Europe, I often shop these discount stores while in the good ole’ USA. On my annual visit to America, I stock up on savings whilst guaranteeing a good night’s sleep the rest of the year!

But if you’re a Princess-and-The-Pea-sort-of-girl, I’ve got a brand for you. In my opinion the best linen in the world is made by D. Porthault, the first French linen firm to introduce printed bed linens after being so inspired by Monet, Renoir and other Impressionist painters that they decided surely one would sleep better ensconced in printed French blossoms.

to 10px; WIDTH: 267px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Spp018F11FI/AAAAAAAADfU/vOCG6ccUzJE/s400/victoria+mag.jpg” border=”0″ />Image from Victoria Magazine – D. Porthault collection

Of course, being ensconced comes at a price – a set of D. Porthault sheets can set you back thousands of dollars. But why pay full price when you can pay a mere fraction of that? Instead of shopping retail, spend the savings you’ll realize to cover the cost of an airline ticket to the D. Porthault factory outlet, just outside of Lille, France in Roubaix.

to 10px; WIDTH: 150px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 150px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Spp02jl96_I/AAAAAAAADfk/Y6A2SI7Nc94/s400/d.porthault2.jpg” border=”0″ />Roubaix is the former heart of the French textile industry and now the center of mail-order shopping in France. The city used to be known as the ‘city of 1,000 chimneys’ and the old factories and their chimney’s still stand. Getting to the D. Porthault factory is certain to cause confusion on your GPS, but stay the course and you’ll be rewarded when you arrive at the destination:
D. Porthault
19 Rue Robespierre
Rieux-en-Cambresis, France

to 10px; WIDTH: 183px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 280px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Spp2fxrkz2I/AAAAAAAADf0/b8vWLg75DKs/s400/C%27est+la+Vie.jpg” border=”0″ />But you don’t have to take just my word for it, take that of my shopping idol, Born to Shop expert Suzy Gershman. She writes in her memoir, C’est La Vie, “A one thousand dollar sheet costs about ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS at the outlet. The Porthault outlet store is located right within the factory. Most of the world’s top hotels have Porthault robes. The Porthault factory outlet sells both commercial lines as well as consumer lines, both are deluxe brands released (in the factory) at a small fraction of the regular retail price.” If it’s good enough for the world’s top hotels, then it’s good enough for me! Of course, with the plethora of guests I’ve been hosting since my recent move to Berlin, I might have opened a B&B; for friends and family and not even known it!

While you’re in Lille, you’ll want to maximize your shopping time. That’s why you want to go to Lille, France the FIRST WEEKEND in SEPTEMBER every year for their Grand Braderie – literally a town-wide garage sale! You can stock up on French furniture and antiques to go with those gorgeous sheets and table cloths you’ve just purchased. And before leaving Lille, you’ll naturally have to hit ALL those other factory outlets – my favorite is L’Usine – an outlet mall with three floors selling 200 brands of discounts of up to 60 percent off. If you don’t find anything at D. Porthault (sadly there’s no guarantee you’ll find the bargains Suzy talked about in her book) then you’ll definitely find something at L’Usine … Check out the Deschamps outlet store and keep your eye open for linens with labels such as Cristian Lacroix, Pierre Frey, Yves Delorme – all, bien sur, at deeply discounted prices!

to+bed+diva.jpg”>to+bed+diva.jpg” border=”0″ />L’Usine
228, Avenue Alfred Motte
59100 Roubaix, France
L’Usine Website

Until Next Time, Bonne Nuit!

The Antiques Diva
(Seen Right at Le Grand Hotel Intercontinental Paris)

An Interview with La Mom & The Antiques Diva – Visiting The Best Flea Market in France

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SrM4nZc5V2I/AAAAAAAADiM/Chrsf5rmc7M/s400/Antiques+Diva.jpg” border=”0″ />Photo of The Antiques Diva & La Mom’s Empty Chair
top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>The smell of ham mixed with hundreds-of-years-old antiques is in the air… It’s that time of year again when the Parisian’s mouths begin to water in anticipation of France’s best brocante. While in most countries “ham & antiques” isn’t a natural combination automatically going hand-in-hand, in France tou/foire/acc.htm” target=”_blank”>La Foire Nationale la Brocante et aux Jambon is the country’s largest antiques and gourmet food fair and it’s back again this fall in the Parisian suburb ile de Chatou between September 26 – Oct 4, 2009. La Parisian, La Mom, recently sat down with me and chatted about this fair, asking all those deep-probing, La Mom-esque questions!

To Read the Interview discussing THE BEST FLEA MARKET IN FRANCE,visit La Mom’s blog today!

If this interview Chez La Mom catches your attention, don’t forget that there’s still time to join me at my favorite flea market in France during the to-join-two-special-antiques.html” target=”_blank”>Fall French Flea Market Extravaganza! Better yet, book ahead – Email me toma@antiquesdiva.com for details on the upcoming Spring 2010 Trip to tou/foire/acc.htm” target=”_blank”>La Foire Nationale la Brocante et aux Jambon! And remember, though La Mom writes her blog incognito, she does offer Antiques Diva clients a chance at learning her secret identity. When you book a 4 day Paris Tour, La Mom makes a guest appearance at an ultra-exclusive local, revealing her secret identity to you and you alone!!! No camera’s or last names given, but you’ve got a free-for-all to query how she comes up with these sensational posts about La Vie a Paris!!!

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva™

Parlez-vous brocante?

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Spp6fAaJ14I/AAAAAAAADf8/tmggqXqZiyU/s400/086.JPG” border=”0″ />top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Parlez-vous brocante? Do you speak French flea market? While the “Armoire” is the best known piece of French furniture, did you know that if an armoire only has one door then it is not an “Armoire”? Instead, it is a “Bonnetiere” deriving its name from the rounded top which looks like the shape of a bonnet worn by “Breton” ladies ( women from a region in northern France called Brittany). Sometimes you’ll see this bell-shaped armoire top referred to as a “Chapeau de Gendarme” or a police man’s hat. But if that “Bonnetiere” is divided by a drawer then this piece becomes an “Homme Debout” (or “Standing Man”).

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Spp6mNwXP8I/AAAAAAAADgk/a66CoW5KcNY/s400/hommedebout.jpg” border=”0″ />This Beautifully Carved Walnut Homme Debout can be yours from 1st Dibs Garden Court Antiques

As Anglophones, when we hear “Commode” we think of a toilet, but in France a “Commode” is a chest of drawers and is considered the finest piece of furniture made for a house! While Anglophones tend to use “chest of drawers” for storing clothes, the French would use a “Coffre”. We might be familiar with the term “buffet” used as a side table in the dining room, but did you know a true buffet is higher than a commode with 2 doors on the bottom and 2 drawers at the top? Meanwhile, a “Buffet a Deux Corps” is literally a cabinet with 2 bodies. The bottom is usually traditional, but then a 2nd upper body is placed on top. However, if the top part has a plate rack, instead of doors, then it becomes a “Vaisselier”.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Spp6glS0G4I/AAAAAAAADgU/mKyuFnIyseo/s400/commode.jpg” border=”0″ />This Louis XV Style Commode in Kingwood & Tulipwood, c. 1850 is similar to the one I have at home! Shop like The Diva at 1st Dibs – William Word Fine Antiques

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Spp6fy7NqiI/AAAAAAAADgM/PfqwhYPvUkE/s400/buffetadeauxcorps.jpg” border=”0″ />This Louis XV Cherry Buffet a Deux Corps, Circa 1760 is from
Richard Norton Antiques at 1st Dibs

A shelf (or even a floor in an apartment) is called an “Etage” but if a piece which sole purpose is shelving, then it is called an “Tagre”. However, if you’re storing books on that “tagre” and it has enclosed sides, then it is called a “Bibliotheque” which happens to be the same word for library in France. Wouldn’t it be confusing to ask how many bookshelves a certain library has?

All this thinking in a foreign language probably leaves you tired. You might as well take a “Siege”!! No, don’t attack a foreign city, instead take a seat – in fact, any seat, this is a general term for “Canapes, Fauteuils or Chaise”. You might know chair is “chaise” in French, but are you familiar with “Fauteuils”? This is nothing more than an armchair from any period. But if that armchair is upholstered, has an exposed wood frame and enclosed sides, then it is considered a “Bergere”. While you might be hungry don’t assume you’ll get an hors-d’oeuvre when you hear canapé mentioned – for a French man is probably asking you to sit on an antique wood-framed couch or love seat!

to 10px; WIDTH: 399px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Spp6fhWjpEI/AAAAAAAADgE/yZ7Tg4XzBB8/s400/bergers.jpg” border=”0″ />Another item you’ll find chez moi, this Pair of French Louis XVI Style Painted Bergeres are from the late 19th Century. From Alhambra Antiques – 1st Dibs

If you want to kick back and relax, you won’t find a Lazy Boy in France, but you will find a “Chaise Longue”, a chair long enough to support your legs! But if the “Chaise Longue” has a back rest at both ends it is known as a “Recamier”. Meanwhile a grand chair with matching ottoman would be called a “Duchess Brise”. If a chair has a footstool but it doesn’t match, that’s “un pouf”! Of course, if you’re looking for a chair that looks like a stool to sit at the side of a chair but not sit your feet on, then that’s a “Tabouret”!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Spp6g791xxI/AAAAAAAADgc/7VsHQ7myuzg/s400/Duchesse+Brisee.jpg” border=”0″ />I’ll be looking for something like this for my bedroom at Diva Tours French Flea Market Fall Extravaganza. ThisThree-piece Louis XV style Duchesse Brisee was made in 1870 and is available on line from, you guessed it, 1st Dibs.com
Vendor: Alhambra Antiques

Last but not least, you might need a “Lumire” to read by! While chandelier sure sounds like a French word to me, the French do not use this term – they call them “Lustre”. Finally, we come to something simple – a lamp is just “une Lampe”, but that’s where simple stops! If I were to say “Appliques” what would you think it means? Me? I think of an embroidery or iron-on patch, but in French this is the word for a sconce! That’s it!!! I’ve had enough French furniture vocabulary for one day! I’m going to bed, which in French is “Lit” pronounced “lee”!

“Bonne Nuit!” Good Night!

The Antiques Diva™

< a href="http://twitter.com/TheAntiquesDiva">tons.com/images/ex/twit7.gif” width=”180″ />

Diva-scovery: Unopiu

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>While browsing the stores at Berlin’s Stilwerk last week I discovered Unopiu – a store whose motto proclaims itself as having “the world’s largest range of outdoor products”. While I was entranced with their gorgeous collection of furnishings for verandas, terrace’s and pool houses, I’m lucky to be able to fit a gas grill and tiny table and chairs for two on the back balcony of my urban apartment. Though I was enchanted by Unopiu’s outdoor collection – as delicious as it might have been – that wasn’t what caught my eye.

No, instead it was the Interior Collection that was one part Tuscan and one part French provincial with the remaining third being an extra dose of European country style. I could see any of the pieces fitting comfortably on the pages of Kathryn Ireland’s Classic Country book, bedecked with her brightly colored fabrics and vintage finds. A visit to their website lured me further into their folds – thus today’s DivaScovery is Unopiu.

Unopiu was started in 1978 when 2 partners with a craze for gardens started a utopian project to create furnishing solutions for open spaces as though they were part of the house, with the same care and the same elegance – 30 years later this small handicraft store has 30 showrooms in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, Austria and publish 3 million copies of their catalog (containing over 2000 items) in 6 languages!

Best of all, Unopiu offers online shopping – so you, dear Diva Readers, are only a click away from today’s Diva-scovery!

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Image from an article titled “La Dolce Vita with Unopiu” on Hidden in France blog

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Image from tos/displayimage.php?album=4924&pos=2″ target=”_blank”>Info Jardin

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Images above and below from Polyvore

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Until Next Time, Happy Shopping!
The Antiques Diva™

What is Diva-scovery?
A fabulous find or shopping discovery – be it an Antique Shop, Vintage or Home Decorating Store – that will entice diva’s on parade to stop, shop and drop some dough!

Do you have a Diva-scovery you’d like to share? Perhaps a favorite antique shop, an excellent brand or divalicious home decorating store. Whether you’re in Paris, Texas or Paris, France or anywhere else around the globe, I’d love to hear your Diva-scoveries!! Email me at to:toma@antiquesdiva.com”>toma@antiquesdiva.com

Fall France Brocante and Art Market Calendar Update

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SkY2KOn9WAI/AAAAAAAADMc/yzeeQXIeIpk/s400/248.JPG” border=”0″ />Dear Diva Readers,

Joel Garcia, Paris’ pre-eminent organizer of brocantes, art salons and antique fairs just released their upcoming “CALENDRIER DES MANIFESTATIONS A VENIR”. Add these dates to your agenda!

ANTIQUITES BROCANTE / VIEUX PAPIERS – Antique Markets and Flea Markets/ Old Paper Markets

23 Octobre – 1er Novembre : Salon du Livre et Papiers anciens – Paris – Espace Champerret / 23 October – 1st November: Old Books and Papers Salon

5 – 15 Novembre : Salon d’Antiquités Brocante – Paris – Place de la Bastille / 5-15 November: Antiques and Bric-a-Brac Market – Paris – Place de la Bastille. Read more about a special Antiques Diva Tour of the to-join-two-special-antiques.html” target=”_blank”>Place de Bastille Brocante.

GRANDS MARCHES D’ART CONTEMPORAIN / Large Contemporary Art Markets

3 – 6 Septembre : GMAC – Valbonne – Le Pré des Arts / 3-6 September: Valbonne (Alpes-Maritimes region) Art Fair

15 – 18 Octobre : GMAC – Chatou – Ile des Impressionnistes / 15-18 October Chatou (Paris suburb) Ile des Impressionnistes

27 Octobre – 1er Novembre : GMAC – Paris – Place de la Bastille / 27 October- 1 November Paris Place de la Bastille

Find more information on the Joel Garcia website!

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva™

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__________________________________________________

THE ANTIQUES DIVA™ TOURS – CLOSED FOR ANNUAL VACATION DURING AUGUST – REOPENS SEPTEMBER

An Invitation to Join Two Special Antiques Diva Tours in Fall 2009

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sn63bbWaMNI/AAAAAAAADag/Vc7ojDEOZP0/s400/090.JPG” border=”0″ />Dearest Diva Readers,

You’ve heard me dish about my dalliances in Paris time and time again. I’ve talked of sipping champagne alongside the Seine, sashaying past the crowds at Les Puce de Paris, promenading at the Porte de Vanves Flea Market and doing the Diva-Loca during Les Soldes. I’m constantly dazzling you with details of miscellaneous brocantes in the city of light, tossing out frivolous French addresses and tempting you with stories of antiquing conquests! But I have an important question to ask:

“Why just READ about it when you can LIVE it?”

Join The Antiques Diva™ for A French Flea Market Extravaganza!

Here’s a Special Invitation to join The Antiques Diva™ in Paris for one of two upcoming divalicious tours this Fall 2009 in a French Flea Market Extravaganza!

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What:

Not only will we shop the traditional Paris flea markets, oohing and ahhing over everything Louis and beyond, but we’ll also hit the Mother Load of Divadom at one of The Diva’s two favorite French flea markets: la Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons on the île de Chatou or The Antiquities Brocante at the Place de la Bastille (depending on the dates of your tour)!

When you think you’ve literally shopped until you’ll drop, The Diva will revive you with champagne or café au lait – you name your poison – we’ll leave the flea markets behind, stepping into Hemingsway’s Paris, hitting a bar named after him and parading through the Ritz as if it were built for us alone. On another day The Diva will take you, arm-in-arm, strolling the streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, showing you the hottest shops, the best boutiques, the obvious and the out-of-the-way in her private Paris, sharing memories and making new ones! We’ll even make a rendez-vous to meet up in person with some of the best Parisian bloggers and online personalities! Should food or wine be your thing, let Diva Tours know and for an extra cost we’ll schedule French cooking lessons or steal some time for a wine tasting or two!

Picture it. You, The Antiques Diva™ and Paris. It looks good, doesn’t it?

When:

Option 1

tou.JPG”>tou.JPG” border=”0″ />Option 1 takes place during the famous La Foire Nationale Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons, a fair going on annually in the Parisian suburb of Ile de Chatou since the Middle Ages! Tour includes trips around Paris to the Porte de Vanves flea market as well as the world-renowned Paris Flea Market at Clingnancourt. We’ll hit a few Paris tourist sites to check some Paris Must See’s and, as this is Paris, we’ll shop the clothing boutiques and vintage fashion of St-Germain-des-Prés! Dinner plans will be discussed before the tour. Dinner is at your own cost but Diva Tours will secure the reservations. Hotel and Airfare are not included in tour cost; however, we can make hotel recommendations and suggestions on which area of the city in which you should stay!

Tour 1: Sunday Sep 27 – Wednesday Sep 30, 2009

Tour 2: Friday Oct 2 – Monday Oct 5, 2009

Option 2

Includes everything mentioned in Option 1; however, replace La Foire Nationale Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons with the Antiquities Brocante at the Place de la Bastille, where we’ll storm the antiques and flea market finds in this square chocked full of tales from the French Revolution!

Tour 3: Friday Nov 6 – Monday Nov 9, 2009

Tour 4: Friday Nov 13 – Monday, Nov 16, 2009

Where:

Do I really need to say this… where else do you think, mes amies? We will meet in Paris, bien sur! (this said with a French accent and the wiggle of my fake moustache). To best optimize your time, please schedule your flights or train schedules to arrive a day before and depart a day after scheduled tour dates should your Parisian trip not extend beyond these Divalicious tour dates!

How Much:

Four Day Antiques Diva Tour: 1,000 Euro (approximately $ 1,400) *

Girls Trips always earn special discounts as do married couples!

Email toma@antiquesdiva.com for further details, to book your trip or to learn about special discounts which might apply!

* Price is set at 1,000 Euro. Price in USD will be set at booking based on current f/x rate but will never exceed $1,400 as Diva Tours will absorb any exchange rate risk above that threshold.

Day Tours Also Available

Perhaps this all sounds like great fun but you are not looking for a full four day Diva Tour. E
mail toma@antiquesdiva.com to check availability on attending a one-day-only tour
of La Foire Nationale Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons (between Sept 27 & Oct 4, 2009), Antiquities Brocante Place de la Bastille (between Nov 5-15, 2009) or either of the Paris Flea Markets – Porte de Vanves or Les Puce at Porte de Clingnancourt!

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

The Antiques Diva™ Tours are taking pre-bookings for March and May 2010!

Some of you may be thinking you’d love to come this fall but these dates simply don’t work in your agenda. Never fear! As they say, the early bird catches the worm. Both The National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham and The Antiques Flea Market at the Place de la Bastille in Paris occur not only in the Fall but also in March and May 2010! Email me at toma@antiquesdiva.com to discuss dates and opportunities for Spring 2010.

Hope to see you on one of these exciting Paris Flea Market tours!

The Antiques Diva

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Diva-scovery: Cocotte Antiquitaten – Stuttgart, Germany

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>While visiting friends in Stuttgart, Germany a few weeks ago, my husband and I stumbled into a sensational little antique shop on Katharinenstrasse called Cocotte Antiques – I think owner Steffen Vetter might have purchased the best of France and transferred it into his discrete little well-lit boutique, jam-packed with crystal chandeliers, sconces, antique furniture and object d’art.

to 10px; WIDTH: 339px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sk9wukZeoKI/AAAAAAAADTM/GcZ4Ohj9H4s/s400/cocotte.jpg” border=”0″ />Founded in 2004, this store has acquired a cult following with collectors around the world. Steffen explains why so many people like his style and the items he offers for sale by writing:

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 280px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sk9wvZVa8mI/AAAAAAAADTk/Swq1bqDYH5A/s400/cocotte3.jpg” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 322px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sk9wvPe4mXI/AAAAAAAADTc/0WQyATuMS80/s400/cocotte2.jpg” border=”0″ />”I suppose it’s because of my preference and my nose for things with an individual and unique aura. For me, to find such things is not just a kind of profession, it’s rather an art. And it’s much more an art to combine these pieces in a way that every object keeps its own personality and, additionally, enhances itself in the interaction with others. I love objects in which (their) history can be touched, and I love authentic pieces full of grown patina. You enjoy these items as well? May be we should know each other…”

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 283px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sk9wu5i06FI/AAAAAAAADTU/gKV09t7LBlA/s400/cocotte1.jpg” border=”0″ />Know each other indeed – you’ll thank me for introducing you to today’s Diva-scovery – Cocotte Antiques!

Cocotte Antiquitäten
Katharinenstr. 35
70182 Stuttgart Germany
Phone: +49 (0)711 5532335
Web: www.cocotte-antique.com
Email:
to:info@cocotte-antique.com”>info@cocotte-antique.com

What is Diva-scovery?
A fabulous find or shopping discovery – be it an Antique Shop, Vintage or Home Decorating Store – that will entice diva’s on parade to stop, shop and drop some dough!

Do you have a Diva-scovery? Email The Antiques Diva™ at toma@antiquesdiva.com, giving all the details of your find: write a quick blurb telling about your Diva-scovery, the name of the store & their website, including address & phone number. Plus, include a link to your blog (if applicable) and a photo of yourself!

Happy Shopping! Tschüss!

The Antiques Diva™

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Les Soldes Paris – Part 1


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Late Breaking News!

Get your charge cards ready… On your mark, get set, it’s time for the Paris Sales!

Les Soldes start June 24th and run until July 28th, 2009

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>All over Paris (and France for that matter) prices will be slashed, cut and discounted and rumor has it that the discounts will be unbelievable this year – tout le monde is discussing la crise economique and shoppers can cash in on unbelievable savings!

An American friend visiting me once when I lived in Paris asked, “What’s up with everyone being ga-ga over the Paris sales? What’s so special about them?” After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I explained, “In France, the sales are state mandated. The government regulates the sales and so les soldes occur only twice a year. It’s not like America where there is a sale every week!” My friend, grasping that it was important she understand the finer points of this discussion, inquired “But why would the government care if there were sales all year? Don’t they know it’s good for the economy?”

“Economy-Smonomy!” I responded, “The socialist democracy of France has higher pursuits than the economy!” Barb Wilde, author of The French Gardening blog and owner of the online-shop L’Atelier Vert explains this phenomenon better than anyone else I know. She writes:

“Without government regulation, stores were buying in cheap junk merchandise just for their sales and then pretending that it was good stuff they had marked down. (Imagine!)

To protect the French populace from such outrageous and unfair treatment (on the part of merchants–government bureaucrats are neatly excluded here), the state mandated that sales would take place only for a period of about 5 weeks in January and February, and again in July and August. Only pre-existing merchandise–ostensibly end-of-the-season stuff–is allowed to be marked down.

In fact, this has become an assimilated part of French commercial culture. Before the winter sales, for instance, it’s nearly impossible to find anything springy, for example. May the gods of French shopping have pity on you if you need summery clothes to go someplace warm over the holidays. “Resort wear” simply doesn’t appear at least until the soldes begin–well after the holidays. The markdown of the old wintry stuff miraculously allows the nouvelles collections to start appearing. Out with the old and in with the new. Literally.

The markdowns begin rather modestly–usually at 10%–and then become deeper as the sale weeks roll by, finishing up at a whopping 50 to 70% on whatever’s left at the end. Thus, shoppers play a sort of solde roulette, gambling on whether their desired purchase will stay around long enough to be marked down more deeply. Or if like me, they’re too busy to get out early, they simply get lucky–or unlucky, as the case may be. Wealthy international shoppers are of course crazy about the soldes, and in the large department stores during the first couple of weeks of the sales, you hear almost any language but French spoken by the shoppers who have descended on Paris from all over the world to get a bargain.

But the state-mandated soldes, like so many French rules, have a loophole – promotions.”

Typically stores sneak in mini-mid-year sales called Promotions and thus get around the loophole that stores are only allowed to have sales twice a year.

to 10px; WIDTH: 240px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sjyszda7cuI/AAAAAAAADIY/ulQkZmGsJa0/s320/083.JPG” border=”0″ />Prior to le crise financieres you never saw the words “Les Soldes” used outside of the designated period… but when I was in Paris this April taking Travel+Leisure on an antiques shopping tour with Claudia Strasser of Paris Apartments, I saw something that I have never seen before – Quelle Horror! Les Soldes signs were hanging outside of Galleries Lafayette NOT DURING the official sale period!!! What has happened to France? On recent trips to Paris I’ve noticed that vendors – as soon as they heard my American accent – responded to my French inquiries in English (something which pre-Sarko never happened to me!) and they even smiled whilst doing so! Is it possible that France is changing? And now this… sales during a non-sale period?

Discussions with friends surmised that the economy was so low that the big vendors were willing to face the risk of government fines for “soldes-ing” out of “season”. Further supposition among friends-in-the-know indicates that this summer’s Paris sale might just be the best sale yet! And I’m going to miss it!!! Tant pis pour moi! But, my loss is your gain for this year in a special Les Soldes Antiques Diva blog, I’m going to let you in “behind the scenes” on my typical shopping route for the first day of the Paris sales!

And for those armchair travelers out there – never fear, I haven’t forgotten you! Courtney Traube, Paris Travel Expert on About.com, writes:

“Many top Paris stores, including Galeries Lafayette, have online stores offering sale items. If you’re not too daunted by the French, you can also try navigating specialized websites like 1000 Bonnes Affaires or L’internaute, which provide quick overviews of the best deals being offered in hundreds of stores. Remember, though, that not all stores ship outside of France.”

In other words, you might want to verify shipping options before you start online shopping!

In the meantime, TaTa for now, I’ll blog to you later!

Bonne Shopping!

The Antiques Diva™

One Minute Diva – Chic Shopping Reveals Hermes Paris Sale Date and Location

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Rebecca writes on her blog Chic Shopping Paris, “the dates for this year’s hermes sale are….[drumroll please….]…..june 24-26, again at the palais de congres, NOT at the Hermes boutiques.”

Until Next Time,

The Antiques Diva™

Paris Brocante Calendar – May and June 2009

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Diva Tip!
In Paris during May & June, brocantes (roving flea markets) are held almost EVERY weekend!!

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Recently, while in Paris collaborating with the sensational Claudia Strasser of Paris Apartments on a behind-the-scenes Paris flea market tour for an upcoming Travel+Leisure article this Fall 2009, I picked up a flyer at the Eglise d’Auteuil Brocante advertising the following upcoming Paris brocante dates!

May & June, 2009 Paris Brocante Calendar

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Avenue Secretan Paris XIX
Metro Stop: Bolivar anticipated 100 vendors

May 15 – 17 Friday – Sunday
Rue de Courcelles Paris XVII
Metro Stop: Courcelles/Perreire anticipated 150 vendors

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Boulevard Edgar Quinet, Paris XIV
Metro Stop: Edgar Quinet anticipated 120 vendors

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May 23 – 24 Saturday – Sunday
Avenue de la Republique, Paris XI
Metro Stop: Parmentier anticipated 100 vendors

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May 30 – 31 Saturday – Sunday
Rue Lecourbe, Paris XV
Metro Stop: Sevre Lecourbe anticipated 120 vendors

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June 6 – 7 Saturday – Sunday
Rue Cler, Paris VII
Metro: Ecole Militaire anticipated 120 vendors
Note: This market is an Antiques Diva™ favorite as is the charming Rue Cler! Stop for lunch at Café du Marché.

June 13 – 14 Saturday – Sunday
Avenue des Gobelins, Paris V
Metro: Les Gobelins anticipated 120 vendors
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June 20 – 21 Saturday – Sunday
Boulevard Voltaire, Paris XI
Metro: Charonne anticipated 100 vendors

June 27 – 28 Saturday – Sunday
Rue d’Alesia, Paris XIV
Metro: Alesia anticipated 50 vendors
Note: Depot Vente d’Alesia, a favorite Antiques Diva resource for dirt cheap and dusty bargains, is in the area!
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Village St Paul, Paris IV
Metro: Saint Paul anticipated 50 vendors
Note: Check out the antique vendors of the Village St Paul while there!

July 2 – 5 Thursday – Sunday
Quai de la Tournelle, Paris V
Metro: Maubert-Mutualité anticipated 90 vendors

MARKET HOURS: Most flea markets listed run from 7am – 7pm.

All these spring flea markets are coordinated by SPAM – Société Parisienne d’Animation et de Manifestation. To check dates for SPAM’s upcoming flea markets, visit the SPAM website. Sadly the site is only in French but is easy to navigate. The home page lists “prochain brocantes” (or next flea markets) on the right hand column giving dates and addresses – remember French dates are done Day/Month and not Month/Day – so May 7 becomes 07/05 in French – in other words 07/05 DOES NOT MEAN JULY 5th! To go further into the site, click the second tab on the top marked “Brocantes” and a list of upcoming dates and addresses will appear!

Word to the Wise: From time to time, the roving flea markets simply don’t rove – in other words, brocantes are always subject to cancellation if they don’t get enough vendors, the rain is torrential or the mayor has a hidden agenda and needs the boulevard kept open on a particular day. While brocantes are not cancelled often, it’s good to be aware that cancellation is always possible.

Bonne Shopping!

The Antiques Diva™
(seen right enjoying the blooms with The English Rose)

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