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Nov 2017

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Posts Tagged ‘Eiffel Tower’

Breakfast with Patrick Jouin at the Eiffel Tower


Appointment with: French designer Patrick Jouin
Where: 58 Tour Eiffel (Alain Ducasse restaurant on 1st floor of Eiffel Tower)
Date: June 9th, 2009
Time: 10am
On the agenda: Learn about Patrick Jouin’s 10-yr retrospective in São Paolo as part of the Year of France in Brazil


I have been living in Paris for ten years and until last month I had never climbed the Eiffel Tower. Somehow I just never got around to it. I wasn’t deliberately avoiding it but the thought of waiting in line for hours to squish inside an elevator full of scarily-clad tourists (e.g. the kind who wear “I love Paris” varsity sweatshirts with mint green leggings, Birkenstocks & socks and backpacks worn over chests), and shell out the price of an excellent bottle of wine just to do so, never appealed.

Call me blasé, but I needed more incentive…


The calling came in the mail in the form of a 3-D rendering of Paris viewed from the sky. Even without the words “Le Paris de Patrick Jouin” splayed across its center, it had the prolific designer’s named all over it. The raised-type medallion was an invitation to preview Jouin’s first monographic show, a traveling exhibition that kicks off in São Palo this July at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake as part of the Year of France in Brazil (Brazil is returning the favor after being featured in France in 2005).


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Bijoux Commelin’s Couture Charms

commelin-charms-various3As a kid, my dad would take me to the mall to pick out new charms for my charm necklace. Despite his best intentions, the process was excruciating. Somehow all of my preteen identity angst turned charm shopping into total trauma. Was I supposed to highlight my roller skating obsession or divulge my nerdy violin skills? Share my BFF status with my cool new friend or faithful childhood pal? Wear my initials in girlie curlicues or badass Brooklyn fonts?

Belying their diminutive size, charms have a way of saying a lot. Scaled-down renderings of our pastimes, dreams and preferences, each tiny charm brings to vivid life an intimate part of our personality. Viewed together as a collection, they can be quite revealing indeed.

So here I am, two decades later, faced with the ultimate charm challenge: navigating the holy grail of French charms without crying out for daddy.


Recognized as an “Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant” (Living Heritage Company), Bijoux Commelin is a 19th century family-run jewelry company that specializes in charms and translucent enamels. One of the oldest manufacturers of charms in France and the only company in Paris to perpetuate the art of handcrafted miniatures, Bijoux Commelin boasts over 2,000 miniatures in its ravishing repertoire.

(A word of advice: peruse their site to get your bearings before your visit.)

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