Notebook pages: spreading the Christmas magic

It’s the 5th of December, which means that tonight marks the beginning of the winter holidays, as we’re celebrating St. Nicholas tomorrow (I shared our beautiful tradition one year ago). It’s one of children’s greatest joys, so I couldn’t resist sharing a little Christmas magic. Inspired by the film Beauty and the Beast, Bonpoint has dressed up its 6 rue de Tournon Parisian boutique, filling with mystery and fantasy every nook of the store and transforming it into an enchanted castle, a fairy tale. And by the way, I hope I’ll find something nice in my boots tonight.

And here are my latest finds and news from fashion, style, film, photography and beautiful living, sprinkled with a little Christmas inspiration.

• A classic gift: Norman Parkinson: Portraits in Fashion. If you are interested, you can see all my book recommendations here and read my book reviews here.
• You’ll love this Christmas Morning scene from The Thin Man
• Jewellery is always, always a good gift idea
• Beautiful Christmas wrapping
• Warm your friends’ hearts these holidays and give away some home-made Chai tea
• The idea of coming home for the holidays is dreamt up by Tiffany & Co for their holiday window displays in their traditional magical way
• Men’s style: Made to Measure: if the suit fits, wear it!
• Visit the Christmas markets in your town, especially if it’s for a good cause

Now I have to bring up the big fashion news of last week, the naming of Alexander Wang as new creative director of Balenciaga. I did not see this coming! But I guess it’s clear now the direction the fashion house wants to take. Balenciaga wants to become more commercial, yes, I get that. It only confirms my beliefs that fashion is indeed business. And Mr. Wang has won a wide audience with his eponymous line. But Suzy Menkes’ point of view that “the real secret behind Mr. Wang’s appointment may lie in his ties to China” as “he speaks Mandarin, and Balenciaga has expanded rapidly in China in recent years” (The New York Times) … I find this a little … exaggerated, not to use another word. How exactly is that relevant? I don’t think I will find this skill in the résumés of the designers at the helms of other luxury houses that have expanded massively in Asia.

photo: 1,3, / 2,4-Fabrice Laroche (2-Anne Valérie Hash Mademoiselle Winter 2011 ad campaign; 4-Anne Valérie Hash Mademoiselle Winter 2010 ad campaign)

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