Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Midnight At Deyrolle In Paris

Midnight In Paris HERE

Have you ever wanted to live in another era, in another time in the past? Do you feel you were born too late? Do you love to wear vintage clothes, watch old movies, listen to golden age music, or decorate your home with antiques and vintage things?

When I was a young girl I was obsessed with time travel and "olden times". I think this came from a love for my grandmother and her home. To me it was a treasure trove of all the things I didn't have in the home I shared with my parents. Everything was mysterious and glam and funny and interesting. And my grandmother was so kooky and indulgent, and she wore bright red lipstick, to which I have been hooked on since I started to wear make-up.

I have had many favorite eras. For some reason Paris and artists always played a part.

Imaginary scene #1: Paris in La Belle Epoque, picture me a courtesan, a model for Toulouse Lautrec. I didn't exactly know what a courtesan was, but I knew Greta Garbo played one called Camille.

Imaginary scene #2: Paris in the 1920's. I was a madcap, an artists model, a glamorous bohemian.

Real scene # 1: New York in the 1970's. I was an art student (and an artists model, working my way through art school) shopping the vintage clothes stores like Bogies and Trash and Vaudeville, slinking around town in bias cut chiffon dresses from the 1930's, and dancing in beaded dresses from the 1920's until they literally fell to pieces on the dance floor. I furnished my apartments with deco before it was deco, and listened to Billie Holiday on old record players.

Real scene #2: New York in the 1980's. I slowly left planet nostalgia as I segued into my rock and roll life. But no matter what era I felt drawn to, as a young person I felt born in the wrong time and maybe even in the wrong place.

I always imagined myself living my old age looking like Colette and living in Paris surrounded by young people at my feet listening to me tell stories of my interesting life.

Real scene #3: Alberto and I have stolen away for some afternoon delight, which means stealing away to a dark movie theater in New Orleans on a hot humid weekday afternoon. The movie: Woody Allen's 41st film Midnight In Paris.

To say I enjoyed this is an understatement. When you know every location, every artist, every writer, every reference, every Zelig like moment, the delight just creeps in everywhere, until you laugh and glow with recognition.

I know you will all love this frolic, this fluff, this mash note to Paris.

Oh yes, one last scene: New Orleans today, and me smiling at the mantra I picked up from Baba Ram Das in the 1970's: Be Here Now. And I am. Joyously.

And here's a little visual round up of one of the locations that made me smile the most. It is Deyrolle. Since the resurgence of taxidermy in current decor, Deyrolle has become known to decorators and bloggers. What a treat to to see a party scene take place in Deyrolle in Midnight In Paris! It was a perfect mix of fantasy, glam, and wit! I wish I could throw a party for all of you there.

Little animals frolic forever at Deyrolle

It was especially nice to see Deyrolle filmed so beautifully, restored after a tragic fire there just a couple of years ago. Deyrolle is such a beloved place in Paris, that a zillionaire and many artists came to its rescue allowing it to be restored in record time. I love that Woody Allen chose this for a location, perhaps obscure to most movie viewers, but not to my fellow visual vamps!

Deyrolle when it burned via

You can see what a great Parisian house Deyrolle is in

So what is your favorite era in the past that you would like to live in? And did you see Midnight In Paris?


pve design said...

I always loved "Last tango in Paris" but truthfully, I would love to live in the future....I want to see grandkids and all! I would not want to go back in time, with cigarettes and all that formality.

Sabina said...

I would have loved to be an adult back in the 50's and early 60's, living in NYC, when mambo was king. Vacationing in Cuba. Going to Florida to buy all the furniture I need in my house now. Being able to find clothing that is feminine and made for women, not stick figures. Only without the cigarette smoke...

Jan said...

Love your imaginings Valorie.
N.Y. in the twenties is one of mine
Only if were filthy rich though.

Anonymous said...

The 50's for sure with music on 78 rpm that had that certain crackle we don't hear any longer. Diners that serve up the simplest burgers that taste devine and drive through ice cream. Vintage kitchen cabinetry with built in flour bins large enough to hold your dough bowl, small Coke a Cola that had the zing of seltzer and huge automobiles that from the backseat you needed a megaphone to speak to the driver. Oh so very nice to think about.

Janette@the2seasons said...

Loved the movie. I saw it on opening day. Owen Wilson is one of my favorites, but I really didn't like the way Rachel McAdams played her part. I thought the hair and make-up were wrong. And what was with all of the shots of her rear-end? Other than her, I LOVED it. Would love to see it again.

Nita Stacy said...

Great post. I am dying to see this movie...I will see this movie this week. I have always had a passion for the 20's and 30's. I too used to buy vintage beaded dresses and wished to be a flapper. I'm fascinated by Paris in the 20's. Hemingway and Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby is just about my favorite book.

I'm going to go check movie times right now.

nanne said...

still waiting on your novel/memoir that will eventually be made into a fabulous movie....

nanne in indiana by way of alabama

Debe said...

Yes, saw the movie!! Woody Allen certainly can make unusual movies. The concept was fascinating! How cool for you to be aware of so much of Paris! Deyrolle...can anyone go there? Amazing!! Just started reading The Paris Wife about the Heminways and then saw this movie. That was such an interesting time...

Tin Lizzie said...

Best movie of the year IMO. Laughed, cried and was completely entertained. I'm an artist and a Hadley Hemingway (after reading The Paris Life and then re-reading A Moveable Feast), Fitzgerald fan so I was hook lined and sinkered into this wonderful movie.

Notes From ABroad said...

We are still waiting for it to arrive in Buenos Aires but we will definitely see it!
My started going to Paris in the 80's and continued up until about 5 years ago .. My husband was there in the 60s too, lucky guy !
I would live there .. imagining how wonderful it would be to have Deyrolle and those galleries on those little streets in the 6th, there, waiting for us any day of the week .. all year round.
I thank you for stoking this desire that is building, at my house, to go live in Paris next :)

cigalechanta said...

deyrolle is one of my favorite places in Paris. I have some framed insects I bought there.
the opening scenes of the film were a Valentine to Paris.

Erica said...

This is a wonderful movie! I am dying to see this.

Year Old Birthday Party Ideas

Simply Grand said...

As long as I can divorce aesthetics from real-life problems, I'd like to live in the late 1930s, when everything in mass culture--buildings, furniture, cars, trains, blenders, dishes, even women--was given a streamlined makeover, the better to carry us all into the shiny future that industrial designers promised us. Sure, the promise turned out to be hollow & the Future blew up in our faces in September 1939, but the sleek artifacts of the time still offer the same glimpse of earthly perfection. Oh, to see a 1939 Cord with 1939 eyes.

Meanwhile, I'm going to see this movie.

Anonymous said...

in bias cut chiffon dresses from the 1930's

What a coincidence. Kathryn Ireland just used this exact phrase on TV, two weeks ago.

24 Corners said...

I'd love to be in a "movie version" of any period between the mid 19th century to the fifties...without all the 'icky stuff' that happened during those times...oh yes...and with loads of cash...I know, I'm a wimp!
Going to try and see the movie this weekend...can't wait. I heard Woody 'did' Paris beautifully.
xo J~

vicki archer said...

I haven't seen it yet but looking forward to it....xv

debra @ 5th and state said...

oh, i am calling my sister, now i know i must see this film.

i was exactly the same, actually still am; 1920's paris, the arts scene.........i am so not this era; except for the computer

WendyB said...

I really enjoyed that movie! My husband and I had a good laugh over Hemingway, in particular.