Between sniffling, snuffling, sneezing and shopping it's been quite a week. Cherie is checking into a spa (with her antibiotics, essential oils and cough syrup) for some much needed TLC so prefers to get right to it, right this second.
And your questions are. . .
Q: Mme. Anonymous: Dear Cherie, Personally I'm subdued in my dressing and prefer little ornamentation, I prefer to let the quality of the garment speak; however, those of my girlfriends (50+) who display cleavage and lots of bling get all the attention. Has anyone else had this experience and, more to the point, should I even care?
A: My, my, my dear Anonymous, Your question certainly resonates with Cherie. Let's set the record straight: Your style reflects a perfect French aesthetic.
And let's pose the more relevant question: Do you want to be remembered for toi meme (yourself) or your cleavage? Once cleavage and bling gets attention, can she maintain it through sparkling, scintillating conversation, clever repartee, unforgettable elegance? Build your reputation on solid ground, chere Anonymous. It's much more enduring and never tips over into the ridiculous.
(You feel better already don't you?)
Let's talk cleavage and bling, shall we. Never let it be said that Cherie has anything against, what those of us in the biz call "important jewelry" -- Cherie has plenty of it. However, worn en masse, what's the point? In Cherie's opinion, mirroring that of Coco Chanel, not coincidentally, masses of pearls are always magnificent and one could throw on a major cuff bracelet or two. But that should do it.
Please listen to Cherie: Anything unattractive draws the curious eye, like a wrinkled chest and shocking cleavage, things that sparkle -- think about crows for example, something shines, they're on top of it. Real beauty is far more subtle, calming and sustainable.
Final reflection: In the more than two decades that Cherie and You-Know-Who have lived in France, neither one of us can remember ever seeing a Frenchwoman flaunting major cleavage, most certainly not after a certain age. Where's the mystery? It's fun when young, but those of a certain age have other tricks up the sleeves they may be obliged to wear. . .
Q: Mme. FAF: Dear Cherie, I live in Paris and as usual You-Know-Who forgot to tell us the address for what appears to be a fabulous boutique, the Compagnie Française de L'Orient Et De La Chine. I would like to see if I agree, but where is it?
A: Dear Mme. FAF: It seems as if Cherie spends half of her life correcting and amending the unfinished business of YKW. Although there are several boutiques, Cherie's favorite is at 170 Boulevard Haussmann, Paris 8ème.
Oh yes, just wait until you see the other side and downstairs in the boutique. The objects and furniture for the home are irresistible.
Fashions from the top: Does anyone honestly think a woman could walk into a room of cleavage and bling and not be noticed in these ensembles? Of course not. The divine Monique L'Huillier red gown is a show-stopping entrance maker; the two Elie Saab LBDs are forever after keepers -- add on the pearls, bangles and strappy sandals or satin pumps to the simple version, leave the other one alone except for major reflect-the-light earrings; you could probably leave that hat thing at home, but the rest from Giorgio Armani is unforgettable; the simple Calvin Klein LBD is perfection and the last two numbers from Pucci are definitely collector's items.