Friday, April 15, 2016

A Big Parisienne Advantage: Costume Jewelry, April 2016

While I know that some of us don't wear and don't like costume jewelry, there are others among us who cheerfully indulge when something makes our heart sing. And Paris is the best place I've ever been to buy costume jewelry.

In the US, the "fashion" jewelry industry is dominated by the 4 "department store" brands (which shall remain nameless), and thus we have to do some creative searching in order to find something out of the ordinary. But in Paris, it's a different story. Want a pair of earrings that look like pansies? Easy... a bracelet that looks like a row of ducks? I can find that... earrings that look like gorillas hanging from your ears? check the Diwali store just south of Notre Dame; they were in the window last week!

First up, Paris is fully of those incense-scented stores that sell all kinds of things from India, Nepal, and other countries I don't remember. The jewelry is like that from Novica, except that after you shop in one of these, your clothes smell funny for days afterwards...



I forgot to mention it when I was talking about what Paris women were wearing, but we saw a few women wearing unapologetic combinations of yellow and black, with nary a bumblebee aesthetic in sight. And if you're in the market for a necklace in turquoise, yellow, blue and green, I can hook you up with that!


These 2 windows are from Diwali. I know that I talk about them a lot, but they are an overwhelming source of jewelry and necklaces - you can easily find inexpensive treats that will brighten up your wardrobe for a season or two. Nothing of investment quality, but tons of small treats.

But you MUST have at least a clue about what you want before you go into one of the stores, or you'll be completely gobsmacked by the abundance, and walk out either with nothing, or with the entire store!


Conventional wisdom used to tell us not to wear earrings larger than our ears, but that seems to have gone by the wayside... If you're looking to make a statement with a large piece of jewelry (or two) there are lots of options:



If you prefer more subdued choices, there are plenty of pretty things for you too! I still don't know how I had the discipline to walk away from that necklace in the background of the 2nd photograph...


Really, you'll see more jewelry in Paris than you can imagine..


Another pair of windows from Diwali. They always tempt me to distraction...


And no matter what Pantone tries to tell people, someone in Paris is going to ignore their advice completely.


Red pearls? A strand of beads in orange, green and brown? Or beautiful pearl, red and gold necklaces? Heck yes.


And for all of those other colors, glass jewelry is available in every shade and nuance in every rainbow ever seen:


I still have all of my photographs of the shop windows, including Hermes....

love,
Janice


NOVICA

22 comments:

  1. This is so fun. And jewelry is such a good travel souvenir. Most of my jewelry has a story. A couple of necklaces I got at Petra in Jordan after I'd scaled a near-sheer falaise, only to discover a Bedouin at the top with a donkey and jewelry, and that there was an easier way to get to the top. A fabulous necklace made of bones from Timbuktu. Lots of bone jewelry from Kenya, as well as lots of beads, some made of seeds. Some costume pieces that were my mother's, many of them gifts from my father. Art Deco earrings from a retro shop in Brussels. Amber earrings and a bracelet from Cracow. I wear the jewelry and think of the people and places.

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  2. From Margie in Toronto - a friend that I travel with a lot always tries to buy some jewellery on her travels as its so compact and easy to pack - and I myself have indulged on more than one occasion - still regret not buying either some garnets or amber in Prague.
    I'm afraid that Diwali would tempt me terribly - I think I'm part Magpie so I find shiny things very distracting!
    Can't wait to see the Hermes windows. We have a Hermes store in Toronto now and the window displays are always gorgeous - but very elegant!

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  3. Janice,
    I totally missed the Diwali store when in Paris, darn ! If I can't find any fun costume jewelry as a souvenir as we travel, I retain a small silver coin of the particular countries's currency, and have a jeweler attach it to my charm bracelet, so that I can travel round the world whenever I wear it ! It may be out of fashion, but at my age, or any age, who cares ! It gives me pleasure.

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    Replies
    1. Fashion smashion! I abhor the kind of fashion that tells us that things we love, and things that make us feel beautiful, are "wrong." How can some self-proclaimed "expert" sitting in some office far away know what's right for individual women far away? They can't, and they're wrong, and nothing will convince me otherwise...

      Happy Friday hugs,
      Janice

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    2. What a wonderful idea. IMO a charm bracelet or and necklace forms a personal piece of deep meaning.

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  4. I love window shopping in Paris through your blog, Janice!

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  5. I passed the Diwali near the Panthéon almost every day and it beckoned to me. So cheerful and bright. The birds of Cécile Jeanne
    earrings seemed perfect for spring! Fashion really is about what we want to wear. Today, you inspired me to visit Paris in my accessory drawer. Merci.

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  6. More loveliness from Paris. I also like to buy a piece of jewellery on each special trip and i prefer artistic pieces to "real" ones. Now there are some extremely fabulous and artistic "real" pieces out there but they are far beyond my budget!
    Deb from Vancouver

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  7. Please, please, please send me that entire aqua and purple window! wow!

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  8. I missed The Diwali jewelry shop when I was in Paris...looks like a candy shop filled with yummy treats!
    I can see how one would be overwhelmed going in...and coming out laden with purchases.
    Gifts for those at home and perhaps something for oneself?
    Yellow in Paris!...
    which reminds me of an older, very chic femme that I saw walking down the boulevard in the 6th last year, she was dressed in a sunny yellow outfit. Snapped a picture of her as she was so gorgeous and confident I could not help but being impressed.
    BTW I finally found the illusive yellow silk scarf to wear with my navy and white polka dot trench, on Salt Spring Island of all places!
    Will post it soon...

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  9. We're going to Paris next month - yay!!! - though only for a couple of days on our way to and from London. I've googled the Diwali shops and, though there isn't one that close to where we'll be staying, visiting one is now definitely on my list of things to do. Note to self: do NOT google Hermes!

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  10. We're going to Paris next month - yay!!! - though only for a couple of days on our way to and from London. I've googled the Diwali shops and, though there isn't one that close to where we'll be staying, visiting one is now definitely on my list of things to do. Note to self: do NOT google Hermes!

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  11. So beautiful! I prefer costume jewelry when traveling. If lost or stolen not such a big deal. Plus, I just love to shop for it! I bought a new leather bracelet last week on my trip to San Diego. These windows do remind me of candy stores. I wish I would have bought more things while I was in Paris. Sigh....

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  12. Pansy jewelry ! On my list for my next trip to Paris. --photographer friend

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    1. You can find it on the Internet, if you want to wear it now!
      http://www.hollyyashi.com/product/pansy-earrings-IN10038.html

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    2. I have a few pair of Holly Yashi earrings I picked up in San Francisco many years ago.

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  13. My favorite costume jewelry is a pair of earrings that are little books with real pages and blue and pink covers!

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  14. I'm really glad you dodged the fake pearls; even if the design is pleasing the pearls are soulless. I really like inexpensive pieces made from agate and quartz, or the resins. Looking at costume in Pris, I am inevitably drawn to the more costly pieces, as they have better workmanship. Then I think, "If I passed up three of these, I could have a pair of real yellow jade earrings".

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  15. PS. There are many small boutiques whose artisans make 'real' jewelry in Paris, too- do you visit those, too? So tons of price leeway between the costume and Hermès.

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  16. I'm ALWAYS tempted by Diwali, and have succumbed a few times. Aren't their displays beautiful and enticing? I wish they had a shop in Aix! Although it's probably better that they don't...I'd be tempted every day! And I, too, have noticed so much of that mustardy gold these last weeks....even in the south of France. I wonder if it will continue through the spring and summer.

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