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Going Forward To A Fancy Restaurant With Friends

Let’s pretend we are going to eat lunch, New Year’s Day, with a group of women friends. Let’s make it extraordinary by pretending we’ll be in Paris, at the very fancy Le Pré Catelan. Finally, let that group of friends be the bloggers who participate in this endeavor. They have agreed that today we write about Going Forward. Oh, and to my great pleasure, What We Would Wear.

Et voilà, context established.

I think we all have a few choice moments when life seems to have found its footing. When Going Forward means, simply, getting enough sleep, paying attention to the plan, and keeping one’s promises. In that personal context, lunch at this restaurant, with engaged, talented, communicative peers, would be a time for inner celebration. Let others talk, you can offer counsel and support. When we draw a bye in the Throw Life Up In The Air And Catch The Tatters tournament, we can take care of those bedeviled by change.

We know our turn will come again. Besides, it’s bad manners to self-congratulate.

Looking at this photo, I can almost hear the clink of silver on china, feel the beading of water on wine glasses. Feel the passing of waiters, swift and quiet. I’d take a breath full of gratitude, and cross my fingers for continued good fortune.

On the other hand,  in my culture, no matter how much Zen we attempt, we’re going to want to wear something appropriate. Probably we’re going to consider the shade of our saffron robes very carefully, and wonder if the dye lot wouldn’t be improved by more marigold.  High WASPs just can’t help themselves.

For lunch at Le Pré Catelan, I’d have to go French. Mostly. It’s only polite.

Review Lanvin’s offering, nah. Browse Chanel, nah. Remember, this is a pretend world where one is quite picky. How about the, as Style says, “Left Bank insouciance” of Chloé? But of course. A snakeskin print shirt dress? That’s the kind of subversive act anyone can support. Very ladies who lunch, so on trend, so chic.

New Year's Day 2012 At Le Pré Catalan

Blush Louboutins. just because I’ve always wanted a pair. And patent leather feels a tad naughty. Give in to the Lanvin belt because Alber’s brand compels me. A strand of pearls, of course, since we’re in shirtdresses, but Duchesse has convinced me that Keshi pearls are interesting as an astringent to ladylike. And then, finally, because Oh Say Can You See an American Handbag, the saturated color of a Proenza Shouler PS1 satchel.

Damn I love that bag.

Imagine the 30-year old Saks Fifth Avenue black cashmere coat has been handed to the coat check. The black cashmere Loro Piana watch cap too. Sure, that meant redoing the hair, but Sturdy Gals refuse to suffer a cold head for vanity. Even in the face of crystal, tablecloths, and white orchids.

Settle into the elegant seat. Put your napkin in your lap, as your mother always told you. Butter a roll, order some Sancerre, laugh. Happy 2012 to you all, whether you’re jousting this year or sitting in the royal seats and watching.

A votre santé!

To read other posts in a similar vein, and see more pictures of this restaurant, (faint, swoon), go here.

Le Pre Catelan by alainfusion, via Qype

26 Responses

  1. Very nice. I could even make it, if lunch was on Tuesday. I just need a couple of days to recoup from the holidays. Has anyone seen my sunglasses, and please whisper.
    Happy New Year,
    SF Bay Area

  2. J’adore your outfit Lisa. It’s perfect for Paris. Your description of that fabulous restaurant made me feel as if I were with you and Marsha and the others.

    Since you’re in France, I’ll wish you bonne année et bonne santé.

  3. Oh, how wonderful it would be to be part of such a luncheon. Great conversation, a delicious meal and the best clothes, all in Paris. Perfection.

    Happy New Year to you!

  4. Oh my, I love each and every item you picked! Just perfect for the occasion I must say!!
    Hope you had a simply wonderful evening ushering in the New Year, sending you my very best wishes for 2012!!

  5. Lisa a most elegant choice and I too have wanted a pair of the blush pumps! I would be honored to join you!

    Happy New Years & All the best in 2012!

    I hope you will enter my Giveaway From Serena & Lily!

    Art by Karena

  6. Sanserre? Oh my dear one, you are living virtually aren’t you? This is a delightful, insightful and totally wonderful post, Lisa. Thank you for participating on New Year’s Day 2012. Sending love…

  7. Hi Lisa, so lovely to meet you for the first time thanks to Marsha’s invite to join you girls today! Now, what a gorgeous outfit!! I am swooning in delight here over that bag and those shoes, being a shoe and bag girl (who isn’t??). What a lovely post and I adore the way you did the mosaic!

    Happy New Year

    Tassels Twigs and Tastebuds

  8. Wonderful outfit, fashionable but not too contrived, perfect! What a fun outing this was…the perfect way to usher in a new year filled with promise, untold successes, new friendships and good health!
    Cheers and wishing you all of lifes best in 2012!

  9. Lisa,
    As I was reading your sumptuous post I thought of an artist’s palette–your refined selections and descriptions–splendid.
    Now imagine all the wonderful posts that await us
    in 2012.

  10. My dear, you are the chicest WASP I have met! quite a step above the likes who lunch at the Somerset. Happy new Year, looking forward to reading more from you in 2012

  11. You and Pseu will have to be sure to sit together — you’ll both be so pretty in the most sophisticated pinks around. Best of the New Year to you!

  12. You’ve outdone yourself with this ensemble Lisa! That dress is so very chic (and I don’t use that word very often!), it has a very glamorous and beautiful touch of the exotic about it…so perfectly Parisan!
    I appreciated your sweet comment very much…and wish you all that is great and good in 2012!!
    xo J~

  13. What an elegant outfit Lisa. Channeling a bit of the Grande Dame I see (yes, yes I know about the coat and hat). Love the rich color of the bag with the neutrals too, practical and lush, it should satisfy all sides of one’s sartorial personality.

  14. In case you want to make any of this virtual, that dress is on sale at Bergdorfs.
    Yes, I know, still very pricey. Yes, LOVE that bag too. Not fond of the Keshi pearls with it though, but you do smell delicious.

  15. The restaurant looks stylish. The perfume is unknown to me, makes me curious..
    Although I like reptile on bags and shoes ( the real stuff ), I could not wear it as a cloth. But that´s just me.

  16. One of the most memorable meals of my life was at Pre Catalan, where I was taken to lunch one day in my early twenties by an older friend of mine, when visiting Paris on holiday, It was magical and sublime, and I vividly recall that a number of the fashionable Parisian ladies dining there had their well-behaved small dogs with them at tableside. It seemed beyond chic to me! So civilized and understated, yet sumptuous to a degree unfathomable to this east coast city boy from the States. Layers of white table cloths and gliding waiters, and dishes containing the most exquisite food imaginable whisked about in rooms of transcendant beauty. If I were to return for a weekday luncheon today, I would wear a flannel suit, likely navy, well-polished shoes, and a discrete tie, prefereably a recent Hermes one with a whimsical pattern upon it, such as jockeys in silks jumping over ponies. For a weekend luncheon I would favor tweeds and worsteds, and a discreet tartan tie, and sturdy brogue shoes for traipsing about the Blois afterwards.

  17. A rafinée, gorgeous ensemble. And I would wear the pearls and the bag with everything, on more real-life days.

  18. I see on the polyvore that the pearl vendor does not list size (in mm) or length of piece. I think they should!

  19. You will look stunning in that outfit, of course, but right now, post holidays, I am tired of festivities, just want to slim down and focus on quieter things.

    But if you’re up for more celebrating, go for it!

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