Polaire Singing

1923 recording of the French performer Polaire singing:

Polaire was the stage name for Émilie Marie Bouchaud, who had a tragic early life, some pretty racy costumes and an excessively small waist (possibly mostly due to tight corseting).

More on the whole corseting thing here.


Paris Metro 1950′s

Not much happens in this little piece of film featuring the Metro in Paris in the late 1950′s — but I like it to look at the fashions of that time and also love anything to do with train journeys (and Paris, of course).

The last time I went on the metro in Paris I got off at the wrong stop but ended up in a beautiful neighbourhood where there was a local market and also a travelling brocante in full swing. It was such a happy accident — I had one of my best days ever: one of those days which sets in the memory as special and magical.

Everything was perfect that day: sun shining, smiling people, happy families, tables groaning with giant fruits and vegetables, the scents from the flowers, countless stalls full of the weird and the wonderful, shady tree-lined squares, the entire heightened feeling of being truly alive.

I thought I’d landed in heaven that day but when I tried to find that place again on another trip I just couldn’t locate it (I wrote down the name of the area at the time but lost the notebook). I know Paris is full of places like that but it all came together so perfectly that day.