Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Late Francophone Friday: Les Marchés aux Puces and 30x30 Outfit 8

Skirt: Thrifted in Paris / Shoes: Clarks / Top, Earrings: Gabes (Express, Monet) / Necklace: Ruche / Belt: J Crew final sale

Bonjour from Cannes! We've been roaming the Côte d'Azur, or the French Riveria. The photos up top are taken at la Croisette, the famous Mediterranean beach in Cannes. I'm way behind on my 30x30 posts, but I'll catch up. This is actually outfit # 8. I still need to post #5-7, but I was getting ridiculously behind on this Francophone Friday post, so I wanted to get it in first. It's on, as promised,  Paris's famed Marchés aux Puces, a true marvel of antiquity. Here's what you need to know:

1. Marche aux Puces translates to Flea Market.  Paris features several of them. This is a great article about them.  I got the above skirt at the one at the Porte de Vanves, in the south of Paris.

2. Puce is also a term of endearment in French. Ma petite puce, which literally means my little flea, is a common love moniker.  Think of it as the French version of the love bug, though the connotation's a bit off :)

3. Paris's market at Saint Ouen is the largest vintage market in the world. It originated long ago when rag and bone pickers, known as les pêcheurs de la lune {moon fishermen- because they worked at night}, went through rubbish outside of royal homes and fortifications to sell on the streets. Their products, having been disposed of, were often flea-ridden. The pickers soon banded together and legend has it that someone looking down from the city fortifications exclaimed that it was nothing but a "market of fleas" and the name caught on.

4. Today, you can find charming vintage furniture...

...frames and paintings and pictures...

...random antiquities...

...and jewelry, like these brooches.

I just realized I didn't buy any of these. Clearly, my brain was already at lunch. I think I may be sick. They're gorgeous, versatile, from Paris, vintage, and reasonably priced and I passed them right up. Looks like I need a new alibi for my secret scheme to become friends with Jentine.

5. By early afternoon at Vanves, most vendors leave, some antiques vendors stay and put out clothes, and other vendors move in to sell new and used clothes.  This is where I got my goods.

I was overwhelmed. I wanted to buy everything, and most aren't priced and I'm a wretched haggler. I also couldn't  take much with me, so I focused on the used clothing because there were entire tables of items to thrift for 5 euros a piece. I found the lacey top I wore this past Tuesday, a dusty rose skirt and a very French sundress { which I'll feature after my 30x30} , and the skirt you see in the photos above, which is, I believe, the only piece that could be considered truly vintage. It's label-less, with a yellowed tag inside {any markings are worn off.} It's silky, striped, black and white, and pleated, That's about as French as you can get!

So if you ever make it to Paris, and happen to be there Saturday-Monday, you have no excuse not to stop by a marché aux puces and see what treasures you can find. We can't be friends, otherwise. But I might let you make it up by calling the love in your live "my little flea" then letting me know how they react :)

P.S. My friend Jaime asked that I photograph what people are wearing over here. I can't believe I didn't think about that in Paris, which is by far where I've seen the most interesting fashion, but I'm trying my best. It's not terribly convenient to discretely photograph the locals, or easy to get a good shot, but I'm trying!


StephAnna said...

Lucky you..I'm in awww looking at all your photos taken in Paris. A place I would definitely like to visit someday. Do stop by my humble blog too. Would be great to hear from you. Meanwhile, enjoy the rest of your trip and can't wait to read more about your adventures. Cheers, Joanna

Link: http://dunderdogfashionistas.blogspot.com/

Linda Z said...

Oh, how I would love to go to a Parisian flea market! How lovely for you! And I love your jumping pics in the last post!! :)

Le Chateau des fleurs said...

You are so lucky!
have been to the Medieval "bridge" when i was a kid. Super cool pictures and trip.
Talking about you on my blog!

Ana Paula said...


I love antique stores... and that one looks so beautiful! I would have definitely bought a brooch. I hope you get your chance again one day!


Ana Paula - Pretty in Polka Dots

Cassi said...

I know- I'm devastated that I didn't buy any brooches! I think I must've been delirious without sleep or something! How could I photograph them and not buy at least 10??? Not even one!?!

Thanks for the lovely comments, everyone :)

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