Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I was sitting in Le café de Flore on Monday, sipping a chablis on a surprisingly warm, wet, and indecisive day, trying not to stare at a woman who looked remarkably like Kristin Scott Thomas and probably was (though I haven't given her much thought before she looked effortlessly elegant in a very YSLish safari suit). Next to me were two older women, old friends and regulars. The waiter greeted them warmly, evidently not having seen them for some time; I've moved to St. Tropez one of them informed him as they continued with their teatime snack.

Where else in Paris can tourists and natives blend so easily, one ignoring but charming, the other oblivious? Perhaps assuming I could not follow their conversation the old friends chatted on and on, grabbing things from my table as though I weren't there, overflowing with cups and plates from their table to the bench. I wasn't bothered, and did my best to maintain the disinterested but observant expression that the natives seem to adopt.

I was in a reverie, enjoying half understanding the conversations around me (so much better than catching all or nothing), when a newspaper seller burst in announcing the special edition for the passing of Yves St. Laurent. It was a moment, a passing, but perhaps then approrpriately received in this city where such events merit special editions and a collective introspection (the end of an era - what was that era? what is this era?)

It was an era in which it was French fashion, French food, French passion that inspired the world. Perhaps that era was itself a coda, the long and tumultuous end after the end of another truly great era. Perhaps. But she is still elegant, beautiful in this periphery of vision.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks BB for this YSL post, I'm moved. although when I think of him, it's not France I think about, it's more how he (and Coco Chanel before him) really managed to change the way women dress (and therefore behave)in the past century. Thanks Yves!

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