Last week for her birthday You-Know-Who received the book, "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. (It was Cherie's birthday as well obviously, since we are twins -- identical, but oh, so different -- Cherie received diamond and pearl earrings, you see the difference. . .)
But Cherie digresses, You-Know-Who totes this ridiculous book around and is actually applying the tricks and secrets within to be obsessively, obnoxiously nice to everyone. It is beyond annoying. Furthermore Cherie, who has no time for nice -- polite suffices -- isn't sure whether YKW's niceness is sincere or merely a practice exercise.
No matter, let's get down to your questions. At least Cherie can always count on you to be honest, sincere and on special occasions, snarky.
Q: Mme. H: Dear Cherie, I thought that birdhouse thing YKW showed us on Wednesday was adorable, but I didn't really understand what she was talking about, "a birdhouse for balconies" how does that work?
A: Dear Mme. H: Normally Cherie doesn't feel it is her responsibility to explain what You-Know-Who does, but today she will make an exception. The little maison is on the end of a very, very long faux "branch" which one affixes someway or other to something or other and it extends out over a balcony. (Just look at the picture.)
While we're on the subject of YKW, Cherie noticed she said "sight" when she meant to say "site" -- it has been corrected.
Q: Mme.B: My dear Cherie, Are there any specific French fashion magazines that one could say are particularly interested in les femmes d'un certain age?
Femmes magazine claims to hold the market, but it's a snare and a delusion, except of course for the anti-age ads. In that respect it is true to its mission statement.
It must be said though, French women know how to cull through Elle, Madame Figaro and Vogue to pull out what works for them at every age. It's a Gallic gift.
Q: Mme. F: Dear Cherie, I am in the position of being surrounded by women who have more than everything they need. I, myself, am a member of this group. Our closets are bursting with designer duds, our jewel boxes are over-flowing -- well enough about me -- you get the picture.
I was wondering the other day: What would Cherie give to her friends who have everything as a small cadeau that says, "I'm thinking about you, but you don't need anything and probably wouldn't appreciate it anyway, but I have to give you something?" Any ideas?
A: My chere Mme. F: So amusant Cherie was confronted with just this conundrum recently. Cherie admits it can be a challenge. Even though Cherie has never -- would never have been -- a Girl Scout she is always prepared.
This is what Cherie offered a friend who has more houses than Cherie has shoes: A small child's suitcase made out of cardboard -- very chic, very French btw -- filled with cookies from the Bon Marche in the form of clothes and accessories. In other words, Cherie packed a suitcase of edible ready-to-wear for her friend. She laughed so hard she dribbled her champagne.
Q: Mme. D: Dear Cherie, Many times, many of us have asked YKW to try to snap pictures on the street of women who have decided to let their hair go gray or white. To be fair, she has tried to include them when she can. What is your take on the subject?
A: Dear Mme. D: Cherie, who considers herself open to all expressions of style and elegance, thinks well cared for gray and white hair can be stunning. Most women are afraid to make the leap. It is, Cherie has been told, a bit of work keeping it shiny and healthy as opposed to the Einstein electrical shock style, which of course is a look in and of itself.
(Cherie is convinced the woman in the second picture has natural gray hair. It probably instantly went gray when she saw that spider crawling down her cleavage.)
Interestingly, Cherie found these off-beat beauty touches from the collections Rue de Mail, Giles and Tim Van Steenbergen. Odd how those faces don't quite coincide with the tresses, even more bizarre is the idea that gray hair growing out is a fashion statement.
Q: Mme. J: Dear, dear Cherie, I love it when you find things to entertain us, that may or may not have anything to do with anything IMPORTANT in the marvelous monde de la mode. Anything up your manche this week?
A: Chere Mme. J: Cherie is so pleased you asked. As it happens this is a particularly rich week in that regard. Cherie prefers to think of these items as "strange, but true" and "why would they" or "why would anyone"?
First we have t-shirts emblazoned with the images of -- are you ready (?) -- Bernadette Chirac and la Baronne Nadine de Rothschild from Comme Marc.
Madame Chirac, wearing Chanel and pilot sunglasses, is the wife of France's former president, Jacques, and Nadine is the self-made arbiter of good taste, fine manners and living proof anyone can marry up.
Second in the "believe it or not" category are these Jimmy Choo shoes. They're aptly named, "Zap" because the platforms, built with Plexiglas, light up as one walks or probably more likely dances in them. You too can own a pair for 1745 Euros.
When one thinks about it, apart from the clear and terrifying danger involved in merely walking in them, they might be worth the investment. It's not every day one can find an accessory that will make one truly unforgettable.