{Street Spotted} Paris, where every week is Fashion Week

A photo essay on French style by Geri, who yearns to be French in her next life.

I think everyone in Paris is tres chic, from the bebes in their hand-knit sweaters…

to the octogenarian who tilts her beret just so.

The moment I stepped into Miller et Bertaux, on Rue Ferdinand Duval,  I knew I was going to buy something.  I am wearing my purchases, a featherweight raincoat in eggplant…

and a gorgeous silk dress and scarf—with an ever-so-slightly different pattern—that designer Francis Miller adjusts perfectly.

Francis’s friend Katherine stops by his shop to say hello, wearing a belted denim skirt with a short leather jacket, that’s definitely on trend.

Saleswomen Yvette does justice to her employer’s clothes.

…nor this one, which teams a leather shirt jacket with a short-sleeved open sweater. “This is a hot trend,” said FOF Frenchwoman Cecile, who I spotted checking into a flight to New York.

So, my views are clear, but what do you think of French style?

{What Do You Think of This Look?} Zany Ladies

You’ve seen them before — zany FOFs donning uber-artsy duds and strutting the streets practically crying out to be photographed. Popular street style blogs such as Advanced Style and the New York Magazine Lookbook are quick to call these women “stylish,” But do you agree? Just because an FOF dresses zany, does that mean she’s stylish?

“I’m a walking collage. I bring art to the street, it has nothing to do with fashion,” says Sue Kreitzman, one such ‘zany lady’ who we met on at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City, last week.

On Sue:
Necklace — Anna Tai
Bracelet — Old Earth Creates
Jacket — Sue found the fabric at a store near The Antiques Garage flea market, Lauren Shanley a well known fabric artist sewed it into a coat
Glasses — Eley Kishimoto

Image Sources: Advanced Style, New York Magazine Lookbook

{Street-Spotted} Mary Valentine and Cara Rowe Groenings

FOFs Mary Valentine and Cara Rowe Groenings share a very close friendship and a very preppy wardrobe. Cara (right) works for the Ralph Lauren store in Greenwich, CT, and Mary (left) is Cara’s client and friend. (Mary is also the daughter of former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca and the wife of former Mets manager Bobby Valentine). FOF spotted the pair outside the Ralph Lauren show wearing–you guessed it–head-to-toe Ralph Lauren.

Names: Mary Valentine (left) and Cara Groenings (right)

How would you describe your style?
Cara
: Tweed, casual and elegant.
Mary: Connecticut…. Comfortable, wearable, stylish.

You guys do look comfortable.
Mary:
We are not victims of heels today.

How long does it take you both to get dressed in the morning?
Cara: It depends…
Mary: Are we counting makeup or not?

Let’s say, without makeup
Mary: When you have a closet full of wonderful Ralph Lauren clothes you can mix and match in five minutes.
Cara: I’d say without makeup, five minutes. Longer, if you have a blouse with, like, 25 buttons.

On Cara and Mary:
Ralph Lauren (all items)

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{Street-Spotted} Lisa Feldmann

Bon voyage and bon ensemble! FOF Lisa Feldmann’s global getup hails from more countries than we can count. Japan, Italy, France… we are getting jet lag just thinking about it!

Name: Lisa Feldmann

How old are you? Over 50

Where are you from? Switzerland, but I have an apartment here in New York as well.

What do you do? Editor for AnnaBelle. It’s a Swiss magazine.

What are you doing today? I just left the Isaac Mizrahi show for Fashion Week.

Do you have a favorite designer? I think Celine is doing a great job. I love watching what Jil Sander is doing for Uniqlo as well.

On Lisa:
Blazer-
Uniqlo (Japanese designer)
Pants–
Céline (French designer)
Blouse–
Commes De Garcons (Japanese designer)
Bag
Chloe (French designer)
Shoes
Corso Como Milano (Italian designer)
Necklace
— From Dover Street Market in London

Images by Katherine McPherson for faboverfifty.com

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{Street-Spotted} Marilyn Kirschner

Tell us FOFs: Who’s your style muse?

Your most fashionable friend? Your mother? A celeb style icon?

We commend Marilyn Kirschner, an FOF we met on the street, for her honest answer: “Me!” says Marilyn.

Name: Marilyn Kirschner

How old are you? 61

What do you do? I’m the editor-in-chief of LookOnline.com and a long-time fashion editor.

Do you have a favorite designer? I love Chanel. I love looking at what Balenciaga does. It varies each season. I like a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I love Michael Kors. I love Celine–what they’re doing there. I love bits of Prada. It really depends.

Where do you shop? I am an ‘equal opportunity’ shopper but one place I would have to say is Ebay! I’ve been very lucky and some of my most treasured possessions were scored there. I have long been a vintage devotee and have been lucky at great thrift and consignment shops. I also love Uniqlo, the Gap, J. Crew and Banana Republic.

How do you describe your style? Classic but with a twist. I am really a classicist at heart (and the older I get the more important those amazing classic pieces become), but the they have to be distinctive with a lot of personality. I like to add playful, whimsical elements or an element of surprise. I don’t like to look like everyone else.

What style advice do you have for other FOFs? I don’t believe that just because you’re over a certain age, you cannot have a great fashion persona. Look at Iris Apfel!

On Marilyn:
Necklace-
– It was my mother’s
Pants–
J Brand
Shoes
— Vintage
Belt
— Vintage
Sunglasses-Chanel
JacketMarc by Marc Jacobs
BagDior

Images by Katherine McPherson for faboverfifty.com

{Street-Spotted} Beverly Roseman

Gray is one of those colors that tends to fall into the, well… gray area. It can be a great classic neutral to build upon or it can totally wash a woman out. Not Beverly Roseman, a buyer for Filene’s Basement who declares it the color of the year. “I wanted to have some flexibility,” she says of her charcoal dress. “It’s appropriate for a business function but will make an easy transition if I go out to dinner after.”

Name: Beverly Roseman

How old are you? Over 50

What do you do? I’m a buyer for Filene’s Basement.

How do you describe your style? Classic with a twist. I like to add contemporary touches to update my look a little bit.

Where do you shop? I do a lot of consignment shopping and discount shopping. I’ll shop anywhere and everywhere, although I’m not big on department stores.

On Beverly:
Dress-
Ali Ro
Jewelry
Vintage
Bag
Longchamp
ShoesSigerson Morrison

{Street-Spotted} Dora Wong

She’s not senior, older or even aging.  “I’m an antique,” says FOF Dora Wong. We spotted the 80-year-old former dress designer at NYC Fashion Week where she shared with us her most sage shopping advice.  Like an antique, Dora gets better (and wiser!) with age…

Name: Dora Wong

How old are you? 80. I was born in the 30s.

Where are you from? Originally Shanghai, China, but I live in New York right now.

What do you do? I owned a dress company, Pandora, for 15 years.  We made couture dresses and evening gowns.

Do you have a favorite store? No, I just walk by and when I like what I see, I go inside. I buy things everywhere. I don’t care where as long as the pieces are good. You can buy something in an auction house and pay a million dollars. You can buy the same thing in a garage sale for $5.

Favorite designer? I don’t have one. Some designers have one piece that will be good and I’ll buy it. Then the others I don’t like. They’re human beings. You cannot be successful at everything you make.

What fashion advice do you have for other FOFs? It’s not about the brand. You have to have an eye and the opportunity. If you see something you love, that’s the opportunity. Buy it, even if you have to borrow money.

On Dora:
Jacket-
Carolina Herrera. “It sells in Saks Fifth Avenue for $7,000. I got it for $700.  I go to Carolina’s showroom with my friend who knows her manager and gets discounted samples.”
Earrings–
David Webb
Ring
— “It’s a diamond from a Russian princess that I had someone help me redesign.”
Bracelets–
Tiffany & Co.
Bag
— “I bought it in a thrift store for $5.”

{Street-Spotted} Jamee Gregory

Like the perfect party gift, Jamee Gregory’s outfit was finished with a shiny red bow. Jamee’s no stranger to parties; she’s a writer by day (an Elle Decor contributor) and socialite by night (she attends NYC’s most-exclusive fashion soirees). Her book New York Parties Private Views hits stores this week and offers a glimpse into the private celebrations of New York’s glitterati including Michael Kors, Tory Burch and Evelyn and Leonard Lauder.

Name: Jamee Gregory

How old are you? Over 50.

What do you do? I’m a writer. In addition to New York Parties: Private Views, I also wrote New York Apartments: Private Views.

How do you describe your style? I’m a big fan of Chanel, and I love color.  So when I got dressed today I said, “The hell with it, I’m not wearing anything fall or winter yet.”

On Jamee:
Dress-
Chanel
Belt
Chanel
Bag
Chanel
ShoesManolo Blahnik
BraceletDavid Webb

{Street-Spotted} Sarah Wolfe

Not everyone can pull off head-to-toe orange. Botched attempts could leave you looking like a pumpkin, jailbird or worse: Hillary Clinton in this picture. Here’s an FOF who did it right….

Name: Sarah Wolfe

How old are you? 61

What do you do? I’m a fashion lover and Couture Council Chair member at FIT.

What does the Couture Council do? We support the Museum at FIT, it’s a fashion museum.

How do you describe your style? Classic with a mix of vintage.

Do you have a favorite designer? Right now I’m really liking Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton.

Where do you shop? Mostly Paris and New York

Which stores? A favorite is Colette in Paris.

On Sarah:
Dress-
Chanel Haute Couture from the Spring 2000 collection.
Bag
Fendi
Shoes
Louis Vuitton
Watch— Vintage Bulgari

{Street-Spotted} Judy Scales

When we spotted this elegant FOF and her stunning silver necklace, we hunted her down for a photo. Turns out FOF Judy Scales was on her own hunt; she and her team from Grand Rapids, Michigan, were at NY Fashion Week scouting new merchandise to carry in their shop, Leigh’s.

Name: Judy Scales

How old are you? Over 50.

What do you do? I’m a buyer and a stylist for a clothing store in Grand Rapids, Michigan, called Leigh’s.

What are you doing in New York? We are here on a buying trip.

Have you found anything good? Lots of good stuff this season. It’s probably one of the best. The colors are gorgeous, lots of feminine dressing.

What kind of store is it? It’s upscale women’s clothing. We have shoes and cosmetics. We carry Douglas Hannant, Escada, Phillip Lim….

How do you describe your style? Easy chic. Or avant-garde classic.

Where do you get your style inspiration? From Patrick… he’s our creative director at Leigh’s. Or Grace Kelly.

Favorite designers? Isaac Mizrahi, Carolina Herrera, Calvin Klein–and Nima is a new one.

On Judy:
Necklace-
Kenneth Jay Lane
BraceletKenneth Jay Lane
Shirt–
Vince
Pants
Vince
Shoes
Elie Tahari
Ring– “It’s my wedding ring. It was made in Hawaii”

Interview by Sara Wald for faboverfifty.com
Images by Katherine McPherson for faboverfifty.com

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