Friday, July 8, 2011

Shoes on the Streets...of Paris

Before my final post on France, let's announce the lucky winner of the Lesley Evers dress.  We have just randomly drawn the winner and it's...Erika of Cafe Fashionista! Congratulations Erika! Contact me at with all your details!

What Parisians wear on their feet is fascinating - brogues, ballet flats, bicycle boots - with whatever they please. No rules - and somehow it all looks fabulous. In the St Germain area, someone called 'Meyer' (any of you heard of him?) was being snapped by the photographer Didier Gicquere. I didn't know either of them but judging by the wave of excitement, I had to get a picture too. The photographer told me: "He is a big rock guy, Rolling Stones and those guys." Clearly he's living the dream in his pinky-red leather trou and black bicycle boots. A gallerist nearby told me photographer Didier is respected in his own right. He was certainly very polite and did a good job of hiding any annoyance when I did a wee dance around him trying to take my own photo.

Earlier that morning in the Marais, we were lucky enough to catch sight of this kilted chap, Wilson Claude Balda, who tells me he does political commentary on television. He wears his own kind of boots, scooter-ready.

Back to Saint-Germain, at the sumptous Le Societe restaurant (the website seems to be so avant garde you can't actually click in to anything) we decided not to take a table -  grubby travellers' feet again -  but two of the staff were happy to show their footwear.

Outside, crossing the road, this immaculate gentleman shows that skinny is the style for both jeans and suit trousers.

On the other side of the street is the oldest church in Paris, a fully-standing structure from the 10th century (oh yes, said our Paris Walks guide, there are those who have contested the "oldest church" claim, but one dug-up brick does not the oldest church make). There are many men's stores in this area which use the word "dapper" and I can see why. This man was supervising some artisanal work outside the church and I loved that his purple socks highlighted the purple in his jacket.

Even the casual guys had put thought into it...

A couple of steps away, this wonderfully romantic woman, complete with bonnet, was walking past, wearing an outfit from another time. Just one photo, she said, I have to run.

Besides the skinny leg look, pleated high pants were everywhere, as seen on this woman who was racing off to work.

Actually I did find most Parisians walk very fast, because they are not checking their cellphones all the time. (And then when they are seated for lunch they are content to sit alone gaze out to the street and savour the food hands-free.) One incredibly fast walker was this chap on the left, who was on his way to the national library. At first I thought he was friends with this local couple but he just saw me taking the picture and though he would get in on the fun. Pierre Burger he said his name was - he took us to the library around the corner where he is writing a book - due out in November - about Iran.

This other couple just up the road were dressed for any eventualities with practical matching sneakers.

Our one brief foray off the streets and down into the Metro was eventful. We were pick pocketed - both our wallets gone - by a tiny woman and her tinier daughter who refused to move out of the way of the train door. After reporting it to the police in the Champs Elysees - who were friendly but befuddled and strangely shocked to be filing a robbery! - it a lovely sight to see a busload of brides from China fill the bridge and streets. This bride gracefully lifted her layers of tulle to show exquisite red floral heels.

This guy, Anthony Spinello, told me he has a blog as well. An edgy vibrant site called Dirty-Mag (and yes it's safe to click in) about art, news and street style and based in Miami.  "I know what you want" stepping each way into the light, "I've been taking these photos all week....Now I'll take one of you" he said getting out his camera, making me feel for a Paris instant, just a bit hip.

There are beautiful shoes everywhere here...they even sold in flower shops

This artful flower shop was called Rosebud, with a poster of Citizen Kane .

This couple were leche vitrine-ing near the Place Vendome. She is wearing Vuitton and works for Paris Vogue  - and he has started designing men's shoes, a pair of which he is wearing.

At the end of this road, the bullet-holed Place Vendome was scene of the last shoot-out between the allies and the Germans.  Just around the corner and pretty much at the same time, Ernest Hemingway pulled up to the Ritz in his jeep and walked to the bar. "How can I help you?" said the barman. "I'll take 100 martinis" said Hemingway. It was not known whether he drank them all but he didn't leave for three days. Hope he had his drinking shoes on...


  1. Well, they are all well-prepared to to put their best feet forward, in their amazing shoes.
    Good catches, Jody!

  2. I forgot what frivolity can be enjoyed every day with ones closet. Will step out next week with something different. Thanks for the inspiration, Jody!

  3. such stylish parisians. Love that the bride is wearing red shoes!

  4. When you say 'drinking shoes' I immediately thought of wellies. Well, the liquid would just slip out of sandals. But then I also remembered a time when I used to drink - and I used to wear very high stilletoes. I'd stagger TO the pub in them and then HAVE to get drunk enough to float home pain-free.

    Then you wake up...... Switched to DMs.

    Now I'm back to wellies with all the peppermint tea I drink - and with MY pelvic floor..... need some sort of back-up plan.

    I'm ready for my close-up!

  5. OH this is FAB!!! Love to see your pictures of the people, what a great idea !!
    Welcome back to my page as much as you like :))
    wish you a lovely and magicial weekend//Marie

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jody! I just e-mailed you with my sizing/contact info! I am absolutely thrilled to have won the Giveaway - such a fabulous bit of news to wake up to on Saturday morning!

    I just love this post...and your mention of Hemingway. He will forever be one of my favorite authors! :)

  7. Just catching up on your recent posts...all this French stuff is fabulous, you write so well.
    Sorry about the fish bone episode, I'd be more embarrassed than anything, but it sounds like you shrugged it off with flair, "bonsoir" indeed :)
    Gutted I missed the Lesley Evers post (wedding in Vegas to attend in August, would have been perfect), but that's me: a week late and a dollar (or dress) short.
    Keep writing, I'm loving it.

  8. I love every bit of this (except the part about getting your wallet stolen, that is)! Such a wonderful array of style! J'adore Paris!

  9. I'm ashamed to admit this, but I just ordered my first pair of TOMS & it took me hours... DAYS... to decide! I ended up with the red strip wedges (a big 'leap' of courage for me in the shoe department). If only I had *this much courage! :)

  10. this is such a cool post! i would love to do this too when i'm in Paris. very smart.


  11. congrats to erika! :D

    and wow, those blue shoes are definitely something else! and i am loving the bride's red shoes. :)

    <3, Mimi

  12. Congrats to Erika!! I love her and her fashion blog!! I love that you found a bride on the streets of Paris!! :) I love all of these photos of these fashionable people! Hope you are having a great weekend! Sure you are ;)

  13. Great pics! So much variety

    love love love

  14. Great pics and story Jody


    A couple of lovers sailing around the world.

  15. oh please tell me that high-waisted pleated pants aren't coming back. please please please.

  16. love this kind of post! Makes me want to go so badly :)

  17. Could that bride be any more fabulous? Wow!

  18. Great post! Love all the different footwear. :)

  19. What a great post, Jody. Perhaps I should do one on rural French footwear when we go over to our house in a few weeks. Trouble is it would just be wellies, granny sandals and bunions. Just emphasises how much Paris isn't France.... as the French say! And what were all the Chinese brides doing there?

  20. PS. Never heard of Meyer and can't even find anything about him on Mystery man!

  21. What a wonderful post! I love the fact that you mentioned how the Parisians walk fast, not being addicted to their cellphones or how they can enjoy their meals even alone, just living the moment, not feeling the need to check their cells all the time. That's nice. :)

  22. I'm going to show my Scottish husband that photo of the chap in the kilt on the scooter and suggest he adopts this style for work. Should go down a treat!

  23. This was just insanely great--it puts us to shame, the great style that the french have. I love most that they don't use their cell phones the way we do. And that casual guy would be considered dressed up by orange county standards--you have inspired me to realize that I need a vacation in the worst way!

    xo Mary Jo

  24. wow, what a great post!! I adore the way Europeans dress and it makes us North Americans look downright schlumpy. I also love that they don't endlessly walk around with cell phones in hand. Glad your visit was so great.

  25. Jody- Loved the blue men's shoes the most. How brave to ask to take photos in the street. Did you ask in French? Was anyone rude? Or were you just TOO charming?

    Beautiful photos!


  26. I love the way you captured the people of Paris!! I can't wait to go some day. : )

  27. I love how you did a Sartorialist post! Love it! The man in the skinny grey suit was my fave, I think. I'm jealous of all your summer adventures! :)

  28. what a great post! when i was in paris, i was totally fascinated by their fashions. they are so effortlessly chic! i was so jealous : )

  29. What a wonderful post! I loved Paris when we visited and hope to go again! I loved the bride wearing red high heels! And I'm so sorry that your wallets were stolen. :(

  30. I've only been to Paris in winter so it was great to see such a variety of sandals rather than all the closed brown shoes I saw (well except for one hot 70+ old woman rocking it in thigh high boots!). I'm sorry to hear about your wallets being stolen, it's sad to hear that children were involved...

  31. How fun to see your take on the shoe-wearing rituals of Parisians in summer - definitely inspires one to break out of tennies and flip flops.


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