Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Babette's "Closet"

Let's start with a confession: I have no idea whether Babette has an armoire, an open the door/doors, look inside closet or whether you can step right in and walk for miles (kilometres). 

I've never seen her closet.

What she does have is three boutiques and in my opinion that's a fashion fantasy world she's living in. For example: She can choose to wear anything her little heart desires every day of the year; she will never make a ridiculous, badly thought out impulse purchase; she can wear the accessories for demonstration purposes and then put them back out for sale (i.e. she's showing her customers all the clever ways they can be combined with her clothes) and whatever she decides to keep she has only paid wholesale. Un monde du rêve I tell you.

Her boutiques reflect her easy, comfortable, feminine way of dressing -- nothing strict or restrictive except for the occasional jacket or sweater that caresses the body. If one were to use labels, which I hate, but they're sometimes useful, I would call her style "bohemian chic." For those who are afraid of the word "boho," in her choices it can mean flowy, but often it's the pretty details of embroidery and open-work on silk blouses and cotton voile dresses and tunics that make her collection special. Her boutique offers something for every age. As usual, it's how the pieces are assembled. 

(And remember, if you don't like your arms and are afraid to wear the exceptionally pretty ankle-length Madras APC sundress above, add one short sweater, a bolero, a shawl, whatever you prefer -- you've done it before; you can do it again. And remember empire is VERY, VERY flattering.)

As with my other subjects, in this on-going survey, I put this question to Babette: "What are your three to five favorite pieces, the ones you've worn over and over this summer because they always make you feel bien dans votre peau?

You can see in Babette's case this is a tad tricky, but she quickly pulled out some of her favorites, all pictured here. 

I apologize in advance for my artless photography and lack of photo styling. In the future I'll do better, or better yet try to talk my subjects into being photographed in some of their favorite things. I've decided to buy the beautifully detailed silk blouse/tunic which is particularly badly photographed, but I assure you it has great possibilities offering a certain lingerie feel without being too frou-frou which I hate. (En plus it's on sale: 50% off, ahem. . .) Just below is a silk dress from Virginie Castaway, i.e. season-less; and the two other dresses are from Stella Forest. Babette wore the deep plum one in what she calls vert d'eau, a light, light water color green, but they were sold out.  Note the last dress can be worn off the shoulders and it comes with a cotton slip beneath so there are no transparency issues.

I'll be visiting Babette on a regular basis, one of her boutiques is in the village next to ours. Hope you approve.

Tomorrow:  Edith's summer skirt, version 2009, and all its myriad possibilities.


Marsi said...

Very pretty. I love the tunic you're going to buy. What's the detailing around the collar like? Looks like a lovely little shop.

I am so excited for your next posting on the inimitable Edith. She has quickly become my wardrobe hero. Suddenly, all of the black in my closet seems so heavy. I definitely intend to make a fuchsia skirt for myself. It still fascinates me that Edith's managed to make these assertively colored bottoms seem so essential, so wearable, so adaptable. I wasn't really bored with my black-on-black wardrobe until the yellow slacks post; that one just pushed me over the cliffs into ennui.

I have given this some thought, and what's occurred to me is that I have certainly made my attempts to incorporate color into my wardrobe, but it was always colors on top and black (or dark-wash jeans) on the bottom. I might've considered a fuchsia top with a black skirt before, but now I'm thinking that no, it has to be a black top with the fuchsia skirt. That's where it gets more interesting and exciting. And no wonder it was such a struggle to figure out how to accessorize with scarves and jewelry; the color on top was too confusing, but if it's black on top, then, as Edith says, "What doesn't go with black?" Voila. I am so glad finally to have this figured out.

knitpurl said...

Fascinating. I like the simple colorful styles from Babette's boutique. Her summer faves would be assets to any of us. Color is a mainstay of my wardrobe because I am pale, blonde, of a certain age and did I say pale?

Loved the previous book selections and Grand Mere Marie's journal idea. I do have to find the pig watering can here in the States!

Waiting for Edith...

Bonjour Madame said...

I love all of these looks. I really love them. *makes mental note to visit Babette's store if i am lucky enough to return to France*

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