My So Charmed Life

Paris: Things I Bought + Bonus! Jesse James



Were you thinking it was all about art, literature, espresso, and monuments? Nooooooooo, mes amis. There was shopping. Yes, there was. Today’s post is just the stuff I happen to be wearing here at the office… and there’s a definite color way happening. The shoes above were purchased at Gaspard Yurkievich, deeply discounted as they were (gasp) last season’s stock. I must admit to having not heard of this designer (I know, can you believe it? Whatever!), but apparently he is rather the word, and the price of his clothing & shoes reflects that. Suffice to say, these were a serious score and I LOVE them. They glow. And look great with dark tights. And are even (gasp again) comfortable.


You might be under the impression that I never buy jewelry, and while I don’t often, occasionally I fall in love with something. Such was the case with this dear necklace, which is made of unglazed ceramic or porcelain or something. It’s bone white and just lovely, a lamb under a cloud. I love everything about it, the double dangling design, the simultaneous detail and anonymity, the weird material and the (at least in my mind) pro-vegetarian statement. Lambs under clouds, as they should be, not on plates. We stumbled (literally, severely jet-lagged) into this super cool shop our first day wandering our ‘hood, the Marais District. It was full of amazing designed goods: wearables (including some Vivienne Westwood jewelry!), household stuff, and miscellany. Later in the week, we tried in vain to find the shop again and are awaiting the (third gasp) Visa bill to find out the name of it.


You absolutely MUST buy and wear scarves in Paris. The one above is my favorite, a tattered fringed silk in poppy red, scored for 5 euros in a vintage store in the Marais that we visited several times b/c it was open for late night shopping and was full to the brim with trashy crazy super cheap used clothing. The Marais had tons of vintage stores, some chic, some, like this one, more thrift (as I prefer).


This vintage doctor bag purse was purchased at Gavilane, the store we (and others apparently… NOTE at the link above the hat in the window that looks remarkably like MY Paris hat!!) have dubbed The Goth Store, which had very cool but expensive jewelry and a lovely line of clothing. They also had a trunk full of these old handbags on sale for 15 euros. We met and befriended the jewelry designer, Mssr. Gavilane himself, exchanging cards and receiving a further discount to 10 euros. Who said Paris was expensive?? BTW, Gavilane is next door to Biblioteque Nationale where the Rimbaud Exhibit hangs.


This was NOT purchased in Paris, but started in my studio before the trip and finished up last weekend. I love how it turned out! Why is the Jesse James brooch included in this post? a) I like odd numbers of things and only have 4 Paris objects with me b) the colors were just too perfect and c) shameless self promotion. Available soon in the Pirates collection.

😉 A very super special thanks to the BF for supporting our endless shopping tho mind you, the dude can hold his own in such matters.




The first of several posts about my trip to Paris must be about the exhibition pictured above. Opening on May 6, at Galerie des Bibliothèques, Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris, 22 rue Mahler, 75004 Paris and running through August 1 when it will move to the Rimbaud Museum in Charleville, this event was the impetus for our travel. Thrilling does not begin to describe the feeling of being there for the opening, and experiencing the show.


Beautiful typography in neon orange and acid green, and an installation on the gallery walls, pictured above, welcomed visitors into the museum.


And, in the very first room, my two pieces of jewelry drew attendees to their glass cabinet. The lighting was too dramatic for my digital camera, so I picture the pieces in the 320-page exhibition catalog/book.


It’s a gorgeous book (in French) and as soon as I have a link for purchasing I’ll share it with you dear readers.


Many of you are familiar with the Poet Rosary necklace that curator Claude Jeancolas originally purchased for the exhibit; this piece has been an integral part of the So Charmed Poets Collection for a long time now. When Mssr. Jeancolas informed me about the piece’s inclusion in RimbaudMania as well as his 18th published book on the subject of the iconic poet, I decided to make him a small gift, hoping he might wear it on his jacket to the opening. This was included in the show instead. Pictured above, the piece was crafted from a vintage pin finding and includes a vintage pen nib inscribed with the words Made in France. A limited number of these will be available at So Charmed soon. Although Claude was being followed around by the press and many admirers the evening of the opening, he made time to speak with myself, David, and Molly, remarking how the Internet had brought us together and how poetic that was!


This fun crossstitch/embroidery hung above my jewelry case. Other cultural items in the room described as Objects Fetiches included furniture, clothing, stamps, plates, even an I Heart Rimbaud coffee mug.

Much of the exhibit was organized by medium, the second room being music and film. Patti Smith figured prominently, along with the Clash, and the poster from the Leonardo DiCaprio film, Total Eclipse. If memory serves me, it was via Patti Smith that I first discovered Rimbaud, when I was in college studying art. He was a hero, icon, and muse to many musicians and artists in the burgeoning punk/new wave scene. A novel, Godlike by punk poet/musician Richard Hell was also included in the exhibit.


There were a lot of photographs included, my favorite being the series by Robert Mapplethorpe illustrating A Season in Hell.


One room contained works of fine art from the Rimbaud Museum, including the piece above by Picasso. There were also lovely ink drawings by Jean Cocteau, Fernand Leger, Alberto Giacometti and Jim Dine among others.


Graphic design was well-represented with dozens and dozens of book covers, including the illustrated calligraphic piece above by Leger, one of my favorites in the exhibit.


The most touching room in the show held encased original manuscripts by the poet; seeing these handwritten documents up close was intimate and breathtaking and made us sorely wish we could read French. Speaking of which, I plan to be in touch with Mssr. Jeancolas regarding an English-language version of the exhibit and book for possible travel to the USA. I’ve thought of The Library of Congress, The Smithsonian Institution, and the French Embassy as possible venues. All of these, naturally, here in Washington DC! A great idea, n’est pas?

And, with that sentiment, I’ll leave you with a poem by Arthur Rimbaud and bid you adieu, for now.


In the winter, we shall travel in a little pink railway carriage
With blue cushions.
We shall be comfortable. A nest of mad kisses lies in wait
In each soft corner.

You will close your eyes, so as not to see, through the glass,
The evening shadows pulling faces.
Those snarling monsters, a population
Of black devils and black wolves.

Then you’ll feel your cheek scratched…
A little kiss, like a crazy spider,
Will run round your neck…

And you’ll say to me : “Find it !” bending your head
– And we’ll take a long time to find that creature
– Which travels a lot…