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ON THE HUNT WITH ELIZABETH NICHOLS: REMINISCING AT PARIS CDG

 Finding herself with a quiet moment while in transit from Maison&Objet, Taigan.com’s CEO reflects on her recent travel blitz and looks forward to fall.

BY ELIZABETH NICHOLS
Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton

 

As I await my departure from Paris CDG, having just spent several days at the amazing design and décor show Maison&Objet, I eat one last pain au chocolat, drink one more café au lait, and let my thoughts drift happily between summer and fall.

When I was growing up, I dreaded the end of summertime and the freedom associated with it, and I hated the transition from homegrown tomatoes and watermelon to sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and squash. As an only child I was generally glad to get back to school, but I loathed the pesky morning alarm clock, my school uniform, the endless hours of homework, and that moment when the leaves would suddenly all be gone and everything would look gray and forlorn—and it would only be 5 p.m.

Now, I yearn to see sculptural bare branches against a crisp blue sky, and I’ve come to appreciate the flattering effects of waning light. I have finished drinking rosé for the year, at least until St. Barth’s at Christmas, and I’m ready to open a great bottle of 2007 VGS Cabernet. I am eager for sweater weather and leggings and over-the-knee boots. However, I know that the cold-weather clothing will make my suitcases heavier as I travel this fall and winter, and I’ve made a note to track down some lighter, still-stylish luggage, both to lighten my load and to offer our shoppers on Taigan.com.

I certainly put my current set of luggage to good use these past few weeks. I spent only 21 nights in my bed in Nashville this summer! Most of the time I was hunting for treasure in such places as Las Vegas, New York, Marin, Aspen, and L.A., and I uncovered some extraordinary finds. To share them with you, here’s my list of the things that absolutely knocked my socks off during this recent round of trips:

  • The seasonal pasta tasting menu at flour + water in San Francisco (specifically the ravioli-like borage pansotti with ricotta, walnut, and mint)
  • Nyes ice cream sandwiches, which I first sampled at Washington, D.C.’s Fancy Food Show and will have customized for an upcoming wedding party
  • Tomate mozzarella en verrine revisité par notre chef Jacques at Le Christine Restaurant in Paris—this is the chef’s version of a tomato-and-mozzarella starter, a teeny mason jar filled first with fresh tomato aspic then layered with creamy mozzarella and fresh pesto
  • Karen Hemphill’s stainless steel-and-leather embossed cufflinks at MRKET, in New York City. As a collector of miniature chairs, I particularly love the ones embossed with Arne Jacobsen’s Ant Chair
  • Michael Sosin’s hand-blown Pinzette Glass—I have owned a number of his charming little pitchers for years, and I finally tracked him down in his studio while visiting Berkeley
Pinzette Glass by Michael Sosin
Pinzette Glass by Michael Sosin
  • The windows of housewares store William-Wayne & Co. on Lexington Avenue in New York, and the Louis Vuitton storefront of Yayoi Kusama amidst her dots on Fifth Avenue
William-Wayne and Co.
William-Wayne and Co.

The list could go on and on—and now I must also add Maison&Objet to it. This show was the most beautifully styled of any that I have ever attended. Leave it to the French! Put a visit to it on your bucket list if at all possible.

With all these adventures behind me, I’m looking forward to what the autumn holds. My thoughts are turning to fire pits and cashmere and suede—though I’m wondering if I can get away with wearing my white jeans after Labor Day.  And I am certainly relishing the idea of dinner at home, in Nashville!

 

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