Tuesday, January 25, 2011

ETAM Fashion Show at Le Grand Palais !!

Kate Moss, Boy George, Eva Herzigova, Beth Ditto, The Kills, Lou Doillon, Frederic Beigbeder, Arielle Dombasle, Julie Depardieu, Louis-Marie Castelbajac, Mickey Green, Alexa Chung, Elsa Zylberstein, Charlotte Casiraghi, Natalia Vodianova, Karen Elson and Joey Star in the same place at the same time? Scantily clad models running around in their underwear? And in a national museum nonetheless! What’s going on?
No worries, it was just Etam’s lingerie fashion show at le Grand Palais in Paris on Monday night. Natalia Vodianova showed off her collection as Kate Moss and her new BFF Charlotte Casiraghi giggled in the front row before Moss’ Monsieur Jamie Hince and the Kills provided live music, along with Beth Ditto, Boy George, Joey Starr, Uffie and Karen Elson. The fashion world was buzzing as everyone in town crowded into le Grand Palais for the spectacular show. Color was everywhere as the models showed off bright oranges, yellows and pinks and itsy bitsy teeny weeny polka dotted designs. The vibe was great as the audience continued to cheer and Ditto, Elson, Boy George and friends took to the stage for a final dance party before the show wrapped. Shout out to Beth Ditto who recently is making Paris Fashion Weeks much more fun and energized. A nice, upbeat change from the haute couture ice layer spreading over Paris this week. An OVER-the-top event for UNDER-wear and an all-around great show. Bravo, Etam!

Friday, January 21, 2011


"And the nominees are..."
My stories on today's César Awards nominations at:

The Hollywood Reporter



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chaumet, Champagne and Cassavetes !

France's Academy of Film Arts and Sciences bejeweled Paris' chic Place Vendome with France's top young talents when luxury jewelry house Chaumet hosted a "Revelations" cocktail and dinner to honor 32 up-and-coming actors and actresses Monday night in Paris.
American director Zoe Cassavetes presented her photos and short film featuring the young stars who will vie for nominations in the most promising actor and actress categories at February's Cesar Awards ceremony.
Chaumet joined the academy for a cocktail and photo expo at its headquarters, followed by a dinner at nearby hotel Le Meurice, with the young talents and their older, wiser and famous mentors, chosen by the talent themselves, including directors Bertrand Tavernier, Nicole Garcia, Fred Cavaye, Christopher Thompson and Xavier Beauvois plus actresses Emmanuelle Devos, Lou Doillon and German star Hanna Schygulla.
"I'm here because two of the actors in my film were chosen and asked me to come," Tavernier said of The Princess of Montpensier co-stars Raphael Personnaz and Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet. He added: "I loved working with them, so I was happy to see them again."
This year's young talents include several fresh faces from famous French film families, like Lea Seydoux, granddaughter of Pathe producer Jerome Seydoux; Ana Girardot, daugher of actor Hippolyte Girardot; and Audrey Lamy, whose sister Alexandra Lamy is an A-list actress in Gaul. Breakout stars in the male category include Edgar Ramirez from the Golden Globe-winning film Carlos plus Olivier Barthelemy, star of Toronto Film Fest title Our Day Will Come, and Nicolas Maury and Johan Libereau from Festival de Cannes Critics Week title Belle Epine.
"It's the first time in the spotlight for these young talents. When they walk into the cocktail and see all of the cameras and photographers waiting for them, it's a dream come true," Chaumet CEO Thierry Fritsch said of the unique event.
Chaumet partnered with the Academy to host a pre-Cesar Awards event seven years ago and has been hosting the young talents night for the past five years. "We wanted to introduce everyone to these kids who represent the cinema of tomorrow," Fritsch said.
Cassavetes took a series of photos of the stars and directed a short film that is now screening online on the websites of both Chaumet and the academy.
"It's a Polaroid of a moment," Fritsch said of the event, adding: "It's like a class photo that we'll look back on years later and ask, 'Where are they now?' It's a time capsule."
The class photo analogy is appropriate since Cassavetes chose school as the backdrop for her photos and one-minute video. "It's a mix of the old, respected house of jewelry Chaumet and bringing that into modern day with music, youth and energy," Cassavetes said.
Chaumet gave Cassavetes carte blanche to do anything she wanted with her photos and short film. "I thought the archetype of a school was very universal. It has more of a U.S. vibe than a French one, but it's part of movie history so I thought everyone would instantly recognize it."
Only 14 of the 32 talents selected will earn Cesar nominations, but that didn't stop them from enjoying their time in the spotlight.
"I hardly had to tell them to work -- they were so into it. It made my job easy," Cassavetes said. She added: "I liked the fact that they're so alive and not surrounded by entourages. No one came with an agent. It was such a pure moment. An event like this could never happen in the U.S.. As soon as these kids were seen as bankable, Hollywood would jump on them. French cinema is less like that."
Plus, the choice of Cassavetes to take the photos and direct the film is interesting in itself. She's a U.S. director chosen to represent this very French event sponsored by an exclusively French brand.
Cassavetes herself is now living and working in Paris and is now at the heart of the French film biz. "I feel so fortunate that I've had the chance to discover a whole new culture and make it a part of my life," she said of the transition, adding that: "I realized that I've changed when I go back to the U.S. I had to learn how to slow down a bit and notice things."
While Chaumet still hasn't set up shop in the U.S., Hollywood stars have come calling for Chaumet's jewelry, including Angelina Jolie, Hilary Swank, Julianne Moore, Andie MacDowell, Angela Bassett and even Oprah Winfrey. Actress Sophie Marceau has been the brand's longtime muse. "We have a real love for cinema here at Chaumet," Fritsch said.
There's no product placement involved in the event, so why does the jewelry house fund such an expensive evening?
"The reward is their eyes when they're being photographed," Fritsch said. "It's magnificent to see that they dreamed and this dream came true."
After the cocktail, guests headed to le Meurice to sip Tsarine champagne and dine on foie gras, scallops and "Saint Honore" pastry. Cassavetes and friends joined John C. Reilly, in Paris filming Roman Polanski's God of Carnage, at Le Meurice bar for a drink as the evening came to a close.
The 36th annual Cesar awards will be held Feb. 25 in Paris. Stay tuned for my coverage of the events and nominees announcement SOON!

Here's the video!

And some color from the cocktail:

Photo 1 by Nyima Marin http://www.nyima.book.fr/

Bobbi Brown: Pretty and Powerful from Montclair to Paris

Dear Bobbi Brown,
You’ve changed me forever. It’s a miracle. You’re my hero. I’ve never been so happy, healthy and glowing.
Rebecca’s skin

I had the opportunity to meet Bobbi Brown (yes, THE Bobbi Brown – she’s a person, not just the label on your favorite makeup item) last week in her - and my ! - hometown of Montclair, NJ at her home base studio. Bobbi was vibrant, healthy, fun and beautiful - exactly like her makeup products with which I am now officially obsessed. I walked into the makeup session looking like Shrek and walked out looking like Gisele (well, from the neck up at least, they’re makeup artists not plastic surgeons). The “extra” moisturizer just rescued my dry skin from months - and years - of abuse from the cold. The eye cream, cleansing oil and hydrating face tonic are amazing (miraculous, really), and then there’s the makeup - oh là là! Bobbi has a color and a texture for everyone and every season, and it’s all surprisingly very easy to use - nothing complicated about it. I love the store in Paris on the rue des Francs Bourgeois so it’s a nice taste of home - from Montclair to le Marais, like moi! In fact, le Marais clientele mirrors the down-to-earth yet chic population of Montclair so it’s not surprising that Bobbi has set up shop in both locations. The Bobbi Brown look aims to make women look like their best selves, and it does. Bobbi’s new collection of “pretty powerful” palettes features great colors and a wonderful message - the idea that women are pretty before they put on their makeup, and powerful after. I love it. “Belle et puissante” – for once, it sounds better in English. But looks good on either continent. Bobbi is very into health, inside and out. She recently opened a yoga and spinning studio in Montclair next to her shop, and was sipping mint herbal tea when we chatted. Merci beaucoup, Bobbi Brown (or, in French, Bobbi Marron). Hey, if it’s good enough for the first lady (yes, Bobbi put makeup on Michelle Obama- yes she can!), it’s good enough for moi!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

11 Things I love about ...NEW YORK in 2011

1 Taxis

Not only can you actually FIND a taxi when you want one in New York, but you can pay with credit card AND watch TV at the same time. It’s quite extraordinary really. And special shout out to my Haitian taxi driver who THOUGHT I WAS FRENCH and is now my new favorite person in the world.

2 Whole Foods

Because, quite simply, it’s the greatest place on earth.

3 Mani/Pedi- love

I had the best manicure and pedicure of my life this trip to NY. It was also the most expensive (literally cost an arm and a leg...or at least a hand and a foot), but worth every penny. Iris Nails on the Upper East Side is the caviar of manicures. I may not be able to pay my rent next month, but my hand and toenails have never seen such beauty and comfort. Not to mention that NYC boasts nail salons on every street corner, most of which are affordable, clean and efficient. While I do love OPI’s new salons in Paris, it just doesn’t compare to the NYC nail salon experiencej. They’ve nailed it in Manhattan.

4 Snow Plows

Yes, they DO exist. And Mayor Bloomberg, though harshly criticized for the blizzard aftermath a few weeks ago, knows how to use ‘em. Imagine the concept- It snows. Large machines remove the snow from the streets so people can get on with their daily lives. Again, incredible. Perhaps the French government might think about investing in such innovative technology? Whaddaya say, M. Delanoe, put it on the budget for 2012? I hear it might snow. It does that sometimes in winter.

4.5 Snow Days

While snow plows do make life efficient, the lack thereof can make for some wonderful memories. I may have been cursing the snow when my flight to NY was delayed for hours and hours, but I absolutely loved the snow days home with my family this year - magical ! (Just don’t snow again please - I have another flight to catch tomorrow :)

5 The Bread Company, Montclair

I confess that after more than six years of living in Paris, France, aka the bread capital of the world, I am un snob de pain* (*a bread snob.) They just don’t make crispy, doughy, magical baguettes in the US like they do on nearly every street corner here in Paris. That said, the Bread Company, a tiny shop offering organic breads and pastries in Montclair, NJ, has won me over. Their spelt, six-grain and olive and oregano loaves are delicious and their muffins are healthy, not-too-sweet and always tasty. They also have options for the gluten-free or dairy-free among you, though I can’t get enough of their gluten-icious wheat loaves and rolls or their incredible challah bread. Not to mention, the staff are always warm and friendly and greet me with a huge smile (not always the case in Paris, as good as their bread may be!) So merci to the Bread Company for feeding me well when I’m in the Garden State and, if you’re near Montclair, definitely spend your dough on their dough.

6 Banana Republic

A sale...on sale. 50% off of 50% off of the sale price. For no apparent reason. Great sweaters for $50. A down jacket for $35. G-d Bless America.

7 The Today Show, The New York Times Crossword Puzzle and American breakfast

There’s no better combination. I’ll miss this moment in the day the most.

8 Blue Mountain Organics

I arrived back in New Jersey with a package waiting for me. The box was filled with almond butter and cookies. Who was responsible for this? Santa? In fact, it was from Blue Mountain Organics who sent me two of my favorite things in the world in one box - namely, almond butter and cookies. The raw almond butters - the italian version and the classic version - are delicious, and deliciously healthy, and GMO offers a “butter” for pretty much every nut you can think of under the sun (but only the sun, none of the nuts are roasted, just soaked, rinsed, dried and cooked at low temp). The cookies are addicting, namely the vanilla snackaroons, the “love bites” (both for their taste and their title) and the chai and protein cookies. Just call me Raw-becca. Blue Mountain Organics has a fabulous website and they’ll even deliver internationally for those people (cough cough) nut butter-deprived overseas. Definitely one Mountain I’ll be climbing for awhile!

9 Candle 79/ Candle Café

Oh Candles, how I wish I could blow you back to Paris with me. 79 for lovely ladies lunches and the Café for the best (and most efficient, may I add - thanks to all who managed to feed me well and allow me make my train the other day) takeout ever.

10 The Colbert Report

Yes, I watch this show on my Slingbox in Paris, but it doesn’t compare to the real thing. Stephen Colbert lives in Montclair, NJ, he “went to Dartmouth” (OK, he actually didn’t, he went to Northwestern, but his TV persona went to Dartmouth) and he pretends his last name is really French though it’s not, so already we have so much in common. He’s officially the funniest man in America (sorry, Jay Leno and Eric Stonestreet, I still adore you). Cher Colbert, you should absolutely film an episode - or deux - in Paris. I mean, what’s funnier or more politically incorrect than the French? ;)

11 Pure Food & Wine

I went to one of the best restaurants in NY the other night ... and my food wasn’t cooked! Scandal? Mais non! Pure Food & Wine is a raw vegan restaurant - the food isn’t supposed to be cooked. That said, it’s magnificently prepared. While I’ll admit that “raw vegan” ostensibly involves tasteless vegetables, Pure has taken a unique culinary approach to the movement. The slick dining room was filled with a lively, young clientele, far from the grungy hippies often associated with that style of cooking. Plus, it is called Pure Food & WINE so cocktails and le vin were flowing. We were lucky enough to sample many items on and off the menu including individual mushroom tartlets, a salad with endives, pecans, cashew cheese and huckleberries, hazelnut crostinis with a “caper béarnaise,” small pizzas with almond rosemary crusts and “cheese” (I don’t know how they do it, but I swear it tastes creamy, salty and très cheese-like), tomatoes, mushrooms, olives and pesto and their signature dish (and my favorite), a raw lasagna with pesto, tomato and cashew cheese, a spanikopita and a mushroom with turnip puree and root vegetables. And for dessert, a delicious tarte tatin with caramel sauce, plus an extra scoop of their to-die-for vanilla ice cream (made out of cashews) and, I confess, a stop next door at their take-out counter for a ginger cream cookie to top off the meal. The staff were friendly and informative and I love that they don’t judge non raw foodists (I did happen to be wearing a fur coat when I arrived and may have told the waiter “oooh this lasagna tastes like the one I made last night oozing with real cheese” and he did NOT respond, to my surprise, “what? you eat from cows? you WHORE.”) Pure is definitely an out-of-the-ordinary experience both for your taste buds and your health. Hey, if it’s good enough for Bill Clinton, Gisele and Tom Brady, Gwyneth Paltrow, and [insert your favorite movie star here, he/she has likely dined at Pure] isn’t it good enough for you?