Sabrina Goes to Paris: Part 5

Catch up on what happened before…

Sabrina Goes to Paris: Part 1

Sabrina Goes to Paris: Part 2

Sabrina Goes to Paris: Part 3

Sabrina Goes to Paris: Part 4

Now…where were we?

Ahhh…heartbroken in Paris. That’s where we were.

I walked home alone slowly coming back down to earth. I had my Parisian fantasy romance…for 5 whole hours. As I walked home along the Seine, past The Fontaine Saint Michel some drunk Parisian man decided to target me. While he was yelling something in French I turned around and stared right at him (how dare he interrupt my night) and in my best heavy bogan aussie accent screamed “Farrrrk off mate” he seemed incredibly shocked and while he may not have understood the words, he certainly understood the meaning. As I turned around to walk off I had a chuckle. The French loved my heavy aussie bogan when I pulled it out, but I don’t think that dude did.

It must have been after 3am when I got home. I managed to remove my makeup and crawl into bed. As I lay there, despite having slept happily alone for over a decade, I saw the other side of the bed for the first time as a place for someone else…as opposed to where my art supplies go when I paint in bed. Or instead of a place for my vintage books to go while I am writing a post for the blog. Or a place for my arm to lie straight when my RSI is playing up. It was quite strange.

Sunday was spent wallowing. Well after waking up and hoping she had emailed to say she had missed her plane and telling me it was time to run away together. She made her plane and was on her way back to new york. I indulged in chocolate, tea, bread, cheese, some painting and a long hot bath.

Miss Fairchild

My favourite photo of me taken in Paris…the only productive thing I did that day

Monday it was time to tourist. I packed myself a turkey, camembert & cranberry baguette and headed off into the sunshine. Yup. Monday was super sunny. Not at all expected as I had been lulled into a false sense of security with all the lovely greyness that had been around since I arrived. I then lined up for over an hour to get in to Notre Dame Cathedral.

Notre Dame

For those of you not aware…Churches freak me out. So I am not quite sure what I thought would happen when I went to a mega church tourist attraction. I felt horribly uncomfortable as it was, but with all the souvenir shops INSIDE and being able to pay to have things blessed or get a commemorative coin with the popes head stamped on it…well it was all a bit too much for me. I stayed only long enough to snap some photos and get busted sniggering at a mural that looks like a nun feeling up another nun before I headed out. As I am deathly afraid of heights it was unlikely I was ever going to go on the tour through the top of the cathedral and it became even less likely when it was yet another line and more money.

I did stop long enough to sit in the garden next to the cathedral (looking out onto the Seine) to record a video message for Miss 15. Each of the girls picked a tourist spot they would have liked to visit if they were in Paris and I recorded them a message from there. It was a fun way of connecting with them while I was gone as no matter how frequently I skyped no one was interested in talking.

I headed to the metro after my sitting to take a train to …I forget where, but so that I could walk up the Champs Elysee to the Arc de Triomphe. I stopped in another garden and ate my baguette (which was delicious…french bread, butter & cheese oh how I miss thee) and watched some people pull down tents which must have been from fashion week or something. While I was walking I found a legitimate silhouette cutter.  It was fascinating to watch him go.

Paris

Of course having always wanted to have this done I hopped in line and voila…

Miss Fairchild Silhouette

I love it so much! I mean look at the detail…where he could see light through my hair and my glasses. You can see my head scarf. I only wish I had been wearing a hat. That would have made it more fabulous.

I kept walking and slowly I started to see the Arc de Triomphe in the distance.

Miss Fairchild - Paris

Yup…I am in the middle of the road. I dashed out when the lights went red and snapped this quickly. 0 out of 10…do not recommend.

Eventually I got to the Arc de Triomphe and stood confused on the other side of the road (it is on a very large round about) trying to figure out how I was suppose to get over there with no traffic lights and fencing around the road. Turns out I had to head underground and then line up and then pay and then walk up ten billion stairs.

Arc de Triomphe

At this point I couldn’t see the bottom or the top and was getting quite panicked

Just in case you didn’t realise, like me, there is an elevator for those who are less mobile. I very much wish I had known that. The stairs are located in one of the legs of the arch. The solid part at the top is a museum and shop and on top was a viewing platform. All things I did not know until that day. I was so exhausted when I got to the top I took a quick look around and then sat. I realised it wasn’t far off sunset and decided to stay up there and watch the sun set over Paris. By now there was no sun, and not really a sunset…but watching the Eiffel tower slowly light up (from the bottom upward) and the street lamps turn on was just magical. I was ready to head home when I remembered the Eiffel tower did a light show every night on the hour, so I stayed a bit longer and watched it light up and go crazy. It was like a giant Christmas tree on crack.

Paris at Night

Paris, I am missing you like crazy

As I was about to start down the stairs I noticed an elevator. I was saved! Then home on the metro and promptly fell into bed after some soup and bread.

The next few days I spent sore from the “endless stairs of doom” and it was Thursday before I ventured out to anywhere except the supermarket. The official halfway mark of my trip was spent heading out of the city to visit a Parisian Milliner, Estelle Ramousse. I spent the day playing dress up in her studio and watching her be fabulously french, with a cigarette in her mouth while arranging feathers on a piece she was working on for “St Catherine’s Day“. St. Catherine is the patron saint of milliners and St Catherine’s day is to French Milliners what Spring racing carnival is to Australian milliners. I was really disapointed I had forgotten about it. Next time I go back to Paris I will definitely be there on the 25th of November (St Catherine’s day).

Estelle Ramousse - Paris

Estelle was so kind in letting me visit, play dress ups in her amazing hats, talk shop with me and give me a list of suppliers I should check out while I was there.

After I left I headed off to one of the big fancy Parisian cemetaries everyone told me to visit. I was much more relaxed there than I was at Notre Dame. I sat myself down after a bit of wandering and ate another turkey and Camembert baguette. I didn’t look for anyone famous. I just wandered a bit.

Paris

I headed back to my apartment and turned in as the next day I had to be up early to go to LONDON BABY!!!!

Stay tuned for my whirlwind day in London with Catherine & Fay. It was such a fabulous day and it deserves a post all to itself.

Miss Fairchild xoxo

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Sunday Best

Miss Fairchild - Sunday Best

As you may know I like to get dressed up when I travel. I have heard it helps you to get an upgrade…but as the only airline I have flown with in Australia in the last 5 years is Tiger…that doesn’t work. But I enjoy it anyway. Plus I was extra excited as I was off to visit my BFF in Sydney. I usually visit when her husband is off at sea (he is in the Navy) and we have fun playing girl room mates. We eat a ridiculous amount of meat and watch bad tv and have lots of naps. It is the best. Though with her expecting my god baby in May…this was probably our last hurrah. And it was more baby shopping and naps and nursery making and dumplings than meat & bad tv.

Miss Fairchild - Sunday Best

While slightly impractical – I always wear my largest hat on the flight…this way I don’t have to pack it. Beware the wind on the tarmac. Either pin it to your head so even a cyclone wouldn’t get it off, or carry it if you are hitting the tarmac…especially in windy Melbourne. Miss Fairchild - Sunday Best

Hat – Miss Fairchild Millinery (aka Moi!)

Sunglasses – Alex Perry for Spec Savers

Brooch – Op shop

Lipstick – Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Nude-ist

Miss Fairchild - Sunday Best

Top – ASOS

Skirt – DIY 8 layer tulle circle skirt

Handbag – Vintage “Spilene” bag in White (I have this exact bag in navy, red & brown as well…it is the PERFECT size)

Shoes – Wittner “Colla” Ballet Flats (aka the most comfortable shoes in the world)

Another reason to take off your hat…its either hold your hat on your head or hold onto your skirt…Normally I am fine with a bit of a Monroe moment, but it was ugly knickers day thanks to my uterus exploding. Learnt this the hard way. Miss Fairchild - Sunday Best Trench – Bombshell Vintage (see previous posts on why I will never recommend buying from them)

Another travel tip to get around baggage limits is to wear your coat. Even if it is a million degrees either end. Carry it until you check in, put it on and take if off again at the other end. Planes always seem freezing to me anyway.

So lovelies, what do you wear when you jet off to some exotic destination?

Miss Fairchild xoxo

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Fabulous Hat Friday

Miss Fairchild - Lilly Dache

This fabulous hat is my very first hat by Lilly Dache. Lilly Dache is my hat icon. I don’t tend to love a lot of her hats, but admire her life and how she went from nothing to having a store on 5th avenue with 6 stories of millinery fabulousness. He book “Talking through my Hats” is my all time favourite autobiography.

Miss Fairchild - Lilly Dache

As far as I can tell “Dachettes” was a diffusion line by Lilly Dache. Probably for the younger crowd. Designed by her (but made by staff) and probably sold more mass market. This hat is a flat pattern (sewn), as opposed to blocked, hat of faux leopard fur and trimmed very simply with some black petersham ribbon. It’s a very simple hat and yet makes quite an impact. I wore it out to see the debut of Borsalino City at ACMI as part of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival.
Miss Fairchild - Lilly Dache I even won a prize for having such a fabulous hat! One of my favourite fashion documentaries by one of my all time favourite style icons “Diana Vreeland”.

And with that I leave you with a quote from Lilly Dache

“You see, a woman’s hat is close to her heart, though she wears it on her head. It is her way of saying to the world: “See, this is what I am like!” Or – “This is how I should like to be.”

-Lilly Dache

Miss Fairchild xoxo

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Wise Words Wednesday

Ashley-Graham

For me, wearing lingerie isn’t about anyone else but me. If I dressed for others I would be a miserable person.

-Ashley Graham

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Scent & Seduction

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I am sure I am not the only gal whose mind is on feeling & smelling sexy. Even if I am totally single, don’t have a date and will probably be at home eating pizza in bed and watching youtube in my pjs.

Last year my marriage officially ended after over a decade of feeling unattractive and unwanted. There were lots of reasons (including the fact that it turns out I am a big fat lesbian) it didn’t work. But for so long I had left the control of how I felt about myself in the hands of someone else. If he didn’t want sex, we didn’t have sex. If he didn’t notice what I was wearing, there was no reason for me to wear sexy lingerie. If he didn’t care how I smelt, then what did it matter if I wore perfume…or even showered? I felt unsexy and unfeminine.

It’s been around a year of me being “officially” single and “officially” on the dating market and I am still very much single. But I am determined to not let anyone else be the reason I do something. I wanted to feel sexy. I wanted to feel feminine. And if I don’t have anyone to have sex with, I will use a ridiculously expensive grown up vibrator! (as opposed to the cheap $20 thing I got at a sex shop when we were young and broke and having good sex without needing anything battery operated)

So instead of making new years resolutions to visit places or go to the gym more, I made a list of the things I wanted to make me *feel* sexy. That eventually whittled down to two things: Finding a Signature scent and overhauling my lingerie wardrobe.

Lingerie

“A woman’s age and social position are not of the slightest influence in this particular field. In fact, it is often the most elegantly and expensively attired women who wear the least underclothes, for all of their dresses are lined with silk and many of their gowns have built-in bras. And yet there exist in every price range perfectly charming lingerie ensembles in bright or pastel colours and even in prints, which would make their undressed appearance much more attractive.

Women are making a mistake in neglecting this potential added attraction to their charms.” 

– A Guide to Elegance by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux

As a die hard vintage lover, with a fuller figure and a large cup size I found what worked for me to be limited to what could be found in the nana section of the lingerie department. My underwear drawer consisted of rago girdles (the “619 Panty Girdle” and the
Open Bottom 1359” – the “sexiest” thing I owned), Elila Longline Bras (5415) and the most dismal of all….Bonds Classic Cottontails. While I had them all in Black…I mainly stuck to beige. Yup….beige cottontails. Even my (very volutptuous) gran didn’t stoop that low.

bonds cottontails

Now I have to admit lingerie has always been tough for me. I went through puberty early and while other girls in year 6 were stuffing their crop tops…I was being custom fitted. You see I was minuscule (a size 4AUD) when talking band size and giant (dd/e) when talking cup size. I was 12 when my grandmother couldn’t stand it anymore and took me to get a properly fitted bra. It had to be ordered in especially for me….and it was beige. There were no florals and lace or fun fluros for me. I had my babies during a time before brands like “Hot Milk” showed up on the market and my cotton waffle weave maternity bra from the twins…well one cup fitted over my head like a swim cap. After that it was sports bras. Then when I was obsessed with filing out my vintage dresses properly I found Elila bras to be the ones that fit the best being a 38F. Beige. Full cup. Thick straps.

Miss Phryne Fisher

“A woman should dress first, and foremost, for her own pleasure. Having grown up in second hand flannels, there is nothing quite so devine as the feel of silk underwear. The touch of soft fox. The slither of a satin skirt. If these things happen to appeal to men…well…that really is a side issue.”

-The Honorable Miss Phryne Fisher

It wasn’t until I was thinking about France and French women that I realised I could not go to France with period stained beige stretched and baggy cottontails. NOPE. But I still had a certain aesthetic I was looking for, and $60 for a pair of knickers wasn’t something I could afford. I needed high waisted knickers. But I wanted them to be pretty. All I wanted was a little bit of lace or a bow. Thankfully I found some in target that were pretty enough and ok…but still not quite right.

Dita Von Teese

“Don’t save your good lingerie for dates, wear it for you.”

-Dita Von Teese

Then I saw a Bra that had me in the changeroom before I knew what hit me.

City Chic Mila Bra

City Chic “Mila” Bra in navy & black (now available in black)

No it wasn’t the 3 panel super pointy shape I normally wear….but it was sexy and lacy. I definitely couldn’t wear the knickers as they were weirdly cut (and yet I still bought them anyway)….but I felt so goddamn sexy in it, I walked out of the store with it. It had been at least 5 years since I had bought something other than the Elila bra. I was single. I didn’t have any dates planned. I bought it purely for my own indulgence.

When off to visit a friend a few weeks later I donned the bra, my rago open bottom girdle, black fully fashion nylons with cuban heels (at least I always have sexy stockings) and nothing else, bar a black trench coat over the top. Not for anyone else. For me. I felt so goddamn sexy. And no one knew but me.

Miss Fairchild Paris

I have been obsessed with lingerie ever since, and yet have bought nothing else. I don’t want to waste any more money on things that don’t fit or are painful after a while. This year I am working on finding the best vintage and vintage style lingerie that is both sexy and fills out my dresses. Please link me to anything you think would fit this 46-39-44in/38F gal that is vintage-esque. (Though I am saving up for the truly epic “Cassandra” gown by Boudoir by D’lish…even if I can’t afford anything to wear under it!)

NavyCassandra Gown by Catherine D'Lish

Perfume

“Two principal factors influence a woman in her choice of a perfume. First, the container – which she enjoys displaying on her dressing table if the bottle is elegant, obviously expensive and if it bears a famous label and secondly, the scent itself, if it underlines her personality and adds to her allure. In this regard the only danger to beware of is a chemical incompatibility between certain perfume essences and certain skins. Consequently, the best way to select a perfume is by a method of trial and error; the best way to apply it is with an atomiser;and the height of refinement is to have your toilet water, perfume, hand soap, balth salts, dusting powder, and even sachets for your lingerie drawer, all scented with the same perfume.

An elegant woman usually considered it a point of honor to remain faithful to her perfume, which she considered as a sort of signature.”

– A Guide to Elegance by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux

As a little girl I remember my two grandmothers dressers. My Nana, a single container of a delicate scent…something from Avon. My Grandmother – EVERY DESIGNER SCENT AVAILABLE TO (WO)MAN totally covering the entire dresser top!!!

I can’t remember what my Nana wore, but she always had a soft, sweet scent about her. Quiet and subdued. She was a twinset (acrylic – she is allergic to wool, even cashmere) and pearl (most likely faux, or jewelry from her own wedding day) wearing preschool teacher. She would take us to art galleries and play us piano and read us stories. You couldn’t ever catch a whiff of her perfume unless you were snuggled in close. And even then….was it perfume? Her natural scent? Or flowers lingering from the garden?

avon-calling

My Grandmother mainly wore “Chanel No. 5”. She did own a lot of perfume though. If ebay was around when she passed away we probably would have made over 10k just on seling her perfume! chanel-no-5

She wasn’t married to one scent or brand…as long as it was designer, strong and expensive.  She sprayed herself when she got out of the shower (and was still wet), then when she was dry. Then after undies went on. Then again over clothes…but the worst was in the car. She would spray and spray and spray until the car was filled with the scent. She owned matching creams and lotions and soaps to all her scents. She was a sequinned wearing, swear like a sailor, comedienne/actress/singer/dancer/circus performer who bought all her jewelry on Oxford street at a place called “The Drag Bag”. While Nana took us to art galleries, my gran snuck me in to clubs that were 18+ to see drag shows and topless cancan dancers.

tom haverford cologne cloud

“I just need to spend a minute on my cologne cloud.”

-Tom Haverford (Parks & Recreations)

When she passed away, Ryan & I were given a lot of her things. We had just moved into our first place together and we had nothing and a baby coming in a month. It was well over a year of use and washing before the towels no longer smelt of perfume. I still get sick when I smell Chanel No. 5.

I am EXTREMELY sensitive to smells. I have never really been a perfume wearer. I have tried a few times over the years…but even in highschool when every girl was emptying a can of impulse on herself, I was using scent free roll on deodorant. When I did wear perfume it was often at my Grandmothers insistence.

tresor by lancome

The very first perfume I owned (but rarely wore) was Tresor by Lancome (and it was a large bottle of Eau de Parfum…Grandmama never skimped). I loved the bottle…but don’t remember the scent. Probably because I didn’t wear it unless I was made to. I did buy a bottle of perfume for my wedding. It was very light and fruity. And I was the sort that misted it out and walked through it. I couldn’t even bring myself to spray it straight on my skin. I don’t know what perfume that was…I think I got it at the reject shop!

I had all but given up on perfume….when I was photographing a wedding (back when I was gainfully employed…pre complete physical & nervous breakdown) and the bride spritzed her perfume and all of a sudden I was 6 years old and walking up the steps to my great grandparents house. My great grandmother, who had a very green thumb, grew gardenias either side of the stairs. When I smelt the fragrance the bride put on I was whisked away to the heady scent of gardenias…it was green and romantic and floral…but also had that deep, almost rotten, smell gardenias have. It was grown up, but also sexy. It was a weird mix of the two women I idolised. It was something I could wear while snuggling my girls and reading books (though we are more likely to snuggle and watch the try guys on youtube these days) or something that would make a lover swoon as they kissed my neck. It was cashmere twinsets and real pearls…with silk knickers and fully fashioned seamed stockings. It was everything I wanted in a scent.

White_Gardenia_flower

Sadly…I didn’t ask what perfume it was. I have tried a few Gardenia perfumes without finding “the one”. This year I am going to double down on my efforts. I want to find the perfect fragrance for me. But not only am I sensitive to smells…but somethings smell great in the bottle and then turn rancid on my skin (a bit like every foundation looking pale enough and then oxidising to a charming orange colour).

I will be hounding sales ladies at the Myer counters for samples (I have since learnt I really need to try it on…and a few times…for a few hours…before I can truly judge it), looking into decanting sample services and even visiting a “Master Perfumer” to look into what goes into making a perfume…and maybe even creating something just right.

With those two goals in mind I have started bookmarking things. Contacting smaller lingerie designers asking to have things made in my size. Haunting the perfume counters. Trying things on…even if I don’t think they will suit me (perfume & lingerie).

This year I become my own sexy self. Hopefully I will figure out what that sexy self looks & smells like quickly…as I really have no patience for waiting.

Miss Fairchild xoxo

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