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Life à la MF

What is "Life à la MF" ?

 

Little stories about everyday life

 

A passion for beautiful things 

A passion for fashion, food, family, friends, travels, objects, art, animals, a passion for life.

‘Mine is a simple story, it is the story of an ordinary life that became extraordinary’  (Wallis Simpson)

Should iPhone or not

Should iPhone or not

Is there anything more annoying than having dinner, with family and friends, at home or at the restaurant, and one of your dinner companion, spends his entire evening on the  'phone'… I have attended dinner parties, when each and every guest has spent more time texting… then talking to each other. Why is that ? When the cell phone did not exist, and that was not so long ago, did we actually sit down for dinner, and speak to each other? Yes. ( if there were no TV in the dining room, yes.) I have taken this beautiful cigar box, and have converted it to a 'telephone' box. I will have each guest deposit their mobile phones into my box, before... Read More

RSVP: Simple Sophistication. Effortless Entertaining

I am proud to announce the launch of my first Coffee Table Book! published by Thames & Hudson’s; the photographs were taken by my dear friend Herbert Ypma of the Hip Hotel series. The book is now available in Hong Kong bookstores, and will soon be available all over the world. Raphael Le Masne, CEO of Shanghai Tang, has kindly offered to host a book signing Thursday October 18th, at Shanghai Tang The Mansion Hong Kong. Everyone is invited!!!!!! I would be honoured if you could attend. My brother in -law Jean Claude has also promised to come and support me. I am not Martha Stewart nor Colin Cowie, both great lifestyle gurus, but I wanted to share a few ideas... Read More
RSVP: Simple Sophistication. Effortless Entertaining
What to Wear in Miami

What to Wear in Miami

How to wear the sarong/caftan:  wear the sarong over swim suit with jewellery at the neck or lots of bangles for a boho chic look / wear the caftan over the swim suit or with a long cami to avoid any transparency. Barefoot Chic: to walk across the pool area, to the bar, out to the beach: wear a sarong with big piece of jewelry/ or a sheer caftan with bathing suit bustier. Working girl in very hot weather outside/ very cold inside : wear a printed long cami dress with dark grey Havana flip flops, a big hat to keep away from blazing sun/ a long drapy cardigan to wear over long cami, highest sandals to give an instant chic... Read More

St Tropez comes to South Beach!

Thank you! Julie Earle Levine for the article in The Financial Times on 'Marie France Van Damme Cool Kaftans' We were so excited to see our name on the front page cover of the weekend FT July 27th , next to the article of one important Swim event of the year. My last trip to Miami dates back to the 80’s… I was staying at the Fontainebleau Hotel, everyone stayed there in those days, the 'glamour hotel' of the 50’s …well, everyone over the age of 60. Miami was then a city for people looking for some warm weather during the cold freezing months of winter in Montreal, New York…and many people retired there. Today, I  discovered a city full of life;... Read More
St Tropez comes to South Beach!
Never judge a book by its cover!

Never judge a book by its cover!

I bought ‘50 shades of grey’ at the Miami airport to read on my way to LA. I am a black and white person, and my favourite colour is grey. I was attracted by the book cover, and the title of the book . ( yes, I know, this is quite pathetic ) I did not expect what I was about to read. The 5 hour plane ride went so fast ! I think everyone this summer, and everyone’s sister and brother, has read '50 shades of grey'! This is l’Histoire d’ 'O', 40 years later ( the movie ‘Story of O ‘came out in the 70’s, it originated from the French erotic novel published in the 50’s about love,... Read More

7 Way Sarong

I took for granted everyone knew how to wear the sarong until a girlfriend saw me on the beach and exclaimed: “Oh this is what it’s meant to look like” If I could only bring one piece with me on holiday, I would choose the sarong. It can be worn from morning to night, with a bathing suit, with a T-shirt and accessorised for a chicer look It’s a dress, its a skirt, everyone these days makes their own version of the sarong which is a large piece of fabric worn by women in South Asia..and in some places even by men. Here are a couple ways to wear it...and there are many more! Read More
7 Way Sarong
In Vogue

In Vogue

One morning in March, out of the blue, I received an email from Vogue...Preetma was requesting swimsuits for a photo shoot for Editor Tonne Goodman and photographer Mario Testino..how did Preetma find us, who is Preetma..? we had only recently launched our brand. I met with Preetma in New York on my following, trip, and asked her. Thru the internet.( thank you Preetma/thank you internet!!) Preetma has her own blog’ the working girl(esq) , you can see how great she looks in our silver python dress! See how great we look ! Read More

Time for Tea

The English ceremony of Afternoon Tea dates back to the 1840s. The story says that it was a Duchess  who had the idea of asking her maid to bring all the tea making equipment to her private boudoir at 5 o'clock so that she could enjoy a cup of tea with a slice of bread and butter. The duchess found this afternoon tea such a perfect refreshment that she soon started inviting her friends to join her in her room for this new social event. And it really was more of a social event than a meal. Ladies did not go to afternoon tea gatherings to eat but to meet their friends, catch up on gossip, chat about the latest fashions... Read More
Time for Tea
Shanghai Tang: Bigger & Better then ever

Shanghai Tang: Bigger & Better then ever

I  have just completed my first coffee table book entitled R.S.V.P (Simple Sophistication. Effortless Entertaining) with Thames & Hudson's which will be launched this October. The idea of the book came from my good friend Raphael who is CEO of Shanghai Tang. An improvised, last minute dinner on a deserted white sand beach in Thailand, convinced Raphael that I should share these moments with friends and others. I had created a simple decor, black grey plastic dishes, grey disposable linen napkins ( from Merci in Paris )  fresh flowers in great plastic vases (from Ikea) and gorgeous plastic Bordeaux wine glasses ( from Wine Enthusiast online shopping ) Later that year, I was most flattered when Raphael asked me to work on... Read More

Vert de Gris is my khaki inspiration

The khaki collection inspiration comes from my newest ''vert de gris'' 40 cm Birkin bag. "How pathetic" my friends will say!! If you have not read ''Bringing home the Birkin'' by Michael Tonello, run and buy this really funny book, great beach holiday reading ...and it is all so true! From walking in to an Hermes store to going to the right salesperson ( never a woman ) and asking very casually about which Birkin is in the back in stock that could be yours. I was in Paris Faubourg St Honore Hermes, spotted the ''new khaki'' Birkin... a Chinese customer was admiring it. When I asked the salesman if I could see it, I was told that unfortunately, it... Read More
Vert de Gris is my khaki inspiration