Tuesday, December 06, 2011

99 Objets - the first installment

I'm always intrigued by lists - the perfect wardrobe, the necessary objects etc. So when one of my favorite authors tackled this idea, I had the book in hand pronto. (available here from FNAC - ordering books from France is great fun!)

Dominique Loreau is a French woman who has lived in Japan for many years, and has written a handful of books which merge her innate French love of beauty and elegance with her acquired Japanese aesthetic of simplicity and clarity.  The books are written in relatively simple French which I find quite clear - this isn't like tackling Balzac in the original...

So my interpretations of what Dominique lists as HER essentials will follow, over a few day's time.  Please note that these are MY interpretation of HER list of items which she finds necessary and sufficient - not a list that's designed for anybody else in the world.  That said, it's tremendously thought-provoking, as are all of her writings.

Shirt – Thom Browne, Tunic – Etro, tee shirts – Galeries Lafayette, cardigan – Rag & Bone, pullovers – Galeries Lafayette

Wool & silk long-underwear – Hanro, pants – Donna Karan, Jeans – Levi’s, Khaki trousers – Old Navy


  1. I'm fascinated by that kind of lists, too!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. It looks very interesting so far!

  3. Very interesting. I'm listening with rapt attention!

  4. Wonderful series--thank you.

    I have the question about the idea of a tunic--especially as it's so high up on the list of items.

    You talk about customizing items from "essentials" lists by identifying the role the item is supposed to play in the wardrobe. What's the role of a tunic?

    It's the rare tunic that is flattering on me. I'm short with short legs, so usually tops and jackets need to hit around mid-hip or higher, or long (around fingertip-to-above-knee) in order to be proportional on me.

    Also, I tend to look better in slim and/or waist-defining cuts, and a somewhat tailored cut (sleek knits, collars and lapels, blazers, waisted styles, and wrap styles are all good, in fabrics that are either crisp or flowy, but not stiff or slinky).

    What would I do about a tunic, since the few I have owned tended to shorten, lumpify, and de-focus my shape?

    Thanks for all the great advice, insight, and inspiration you give on this blog!

  5. These kind of lists are fascinating to me too.
    I keep a spreadsheet of all my clothing that lists what I have and what I am looking for.

    I just had a look and it adds up to 127 items (including underwear, shoes and handbags, but not including socks, hats, gloves, scarves and jewellery). There are currently 5 items on the replace list, and 7 on the wish list.
    Given that there are probably 40ish items that I wear less than once per year, a list of 99 seems reasonable. I will be really interested to compare the lists!

  6. I honestly don't think that a tunic is an essential for every woman - there are a lot of people upon whom tunics tend to be singularly unflattering. I think her intention here is a comfortable, relaxed and feminine alternative to a white shirt - so think of silk blouses or soft sweaters as an equivalent option.
    thanks for asking!