Deanna Littell's Charm School


In Editor's Desk on September 19, 2009 at 5:41 pm


I’ve just come back from Paris and everything is buzzing with upbeat charm. No recession worries here-we need the latest fashion-mostly all black, slightly punk, leggings and leather.

La Rentrée translates into back-to-school. You see how much more charming everything is in French. So charming-all those little children in little loden jackets with their wheeling schoolbags and chic mothers. Sadly gone are those old fashioned brown leather briefcases worn on shoulder straps that my sons had.

The most charming excuse of the week-Victoria Beckham missed her childrens’ first day of school in favor of Fashion Week. “Mommy’s going to NY to do a test,” she told WWD. “You have math tests, mommy has a fashion test.”

For MY rentrée I decided to see how many things I could come up with in NY to prolong my Parisian experience. First we found Merci-a concept store from Paris that has partnered her with the Gap. Starting Sept 10th for one month only, Gap is importing Merci to Fifth Ave with everything from an aluminum spoon to a vintage jeweled pin (Merci/Gap – 680 Fifth Ave. at 54th St, 212.977.7023).

Famous Parisian Steakhouse, called Le Relais de Venise L’ Entrecote, has opened a NY outpost-but they don’t do ketchup. The waitresses look like French parlor maids in a forties revue. The menu unchanged since 1959 consists of salad, l’ entrecote (rib-eye steak) and frites with the house “secret sauce.” Prix-fix $24 -OO LA LA (French for OMG).


Or you could take a free trip to Paris via the photographs of Jacques Henri Lartigue at the Howard Greenberg gallery. So Francais- grab dinner at Le Bonne Soupe to complete the Paris effect.

Speaking of food-they’re always doing that in Paris-check out the Le Fooding D’Amour Sept 25th and 26th at P.S. 1.

More speaking about food-tired of restaurants? Be inspired to do it yourself-go see Julie & Julia and learn about Julia Child, the woman who brought French cooking to American shores. Amy Adams is charming but Meryl Streep is brilliant. Go get her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, at Kitchen Arts & Letters-the cookbook emporium (contact them at french

And if YOU want to go back-to-school, try La Maison Francaise at for a wonderful fall lineup of French culture, including films, and talks about politics, literature, and food (what else?).

Dust off those pumps & have a good “rentrée.” See you soon. In the meantime stop by my website at

P.S. Charm School Reading
The Wilder Shores of Love by Leslie Blanche-soooo French
Queen of Fashion-What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber

  1. Bien que la critique française était nulle, j’ai beaucoup aimé le film. Ton blog est formidable

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