Michael Williams Image by: Michael Williams
Her inspiration: Old-World Paris
Born in the wrong era: Never did a phrase ring more true than for Lisa Ray, our guest editor, who has long fantasized about "a great, tragic artist life" set in early 20th-century Paris. When she moved to Europe (dividing her time between France and Milan) for three years to live with an Italian fashion photographer, her Parisian fantasy remained intact. "It's the single most stunning, inspiring place on the planet," she insists, gushing about traipsing through her favourite neighbourhood (Le Marais), noshing on galettes (a French pastry) and soaking up the architecture. "Parisians mix the old and the new," she says. "There are beautiful 18th-century buildings side by side with the Centre Pompidou, which looks like the building's guts have been turned inside out." Ray says she can almost feel the ghosts of past decades roaming the cobblestone streets.
The city's joie de vivre is also a source of inspiration. "Live for the moment. That's the kind of Parisian attitude I love," she says, thinking of Frenchwomen who embrace individuality, strive to age gracefully and eschew trends. A true Parisian finds her best accessories in small boutiques, not big-box stores. "You can go into a shop where they've been making gloves for 200 years," she says, smiling. "Well-made pieces give your whole ensemble personality—that's what you keep." Ray treasures purchases from her time in Paris and still wears a fragrance she picked up while there. Her heart belongs to the City of Light.
Audrey Hepburn in Charade (1963), which was set in Paris (Getty Images). Lingerie top, $65, and bottoms, $29, ohhhlulu.etsy.com. Shoes, $650, and detachable heels, $70, tanyaheathcanada.com. Hat, $20, sears.ca.
Suit jacket, $535, tedbaker.com. Dress, $75, gapcanada.ca. Silk twilly, $205, hermes.com. Fendi handbag, $1,900, holtrenfrew.com.
"The fragrance I wear is from Paris, but it's inspired by the perfumers' travels to India. It includes cedar, sandalwood and saffron. It's gorgeous," says Ray.
Lancôme City Miracle CC Cream Color Corrector Daily Defense Care SPF 50, $46, lancome.ca. Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector in 05 Red, $22, clarins.ca. Miller et Bertaux A Quiet Morning Eau de Parfum, 100 mL, $150, lothantique.ca. Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils in Noir Haute Density, $36, sephora.ca.
Check out Lisa Ray's favourite Paris haunts