Valentine's day will be upon us in less than a week, and here at Kreateur’s Paris office, we’ve been discussing how to keep this sweet occasion, authentic, romantic and unique to you and your true love -because let’s admit it, unless you make the effort to own the occasion, it just seems to keep on getting more and more commercial and homogenous.
Personally, I’ve always had a soft spot for the occasion, and even remember making “anonymous” Valentine’s cards for my mother as a 5-year old child. And living in the city of lights, and with a hint of spring time in the air… well the cliché is true, Paris really does seem like the most romantic city in the world. So how can you “do” Valentine’s day, while keeping it authentic and meaningful?
Here is our advice for celebrating the day, in your way:
This is the moment to be generous in the true spirit of romance. Because this occasion is not like Christmas or a birthday, when frankly you don’t have a choice, giving a gift to your loved on Valentine’s day is somehow more touching. A Valentine’s day gift (and you guessed it we are advising that you stay way from synthetic teddy-bears holding hearts) is your chance to give something whimsical… fanciful, dreamy, something sensual, beautiful, aesthetic. An adornment, like jewelry, something that touches the skin, like an item of clothing. This is not the occasion for practical gifts. This is the moment to give something original, hand-made and something that’s harder to find, certainly not mass produced. Here is our selection:
French Independent Designer Gifts for Him...
For the man in your life, our top picks include, yes the trusty scarf (that’s so Paris). Check out this Maxi Print Cotton Scarf, perfect for any stage in the relationship, discreet, elegant, add a drop of your favorite fragrance to keep in sensual.
This Blue Snood in jersey Coquet again from French independent men’s brand, Monsieur Charli is always the right choice. Simple, chic and relaxed. They all do some awesome leather men’s satchels check out the whole selection here.
Is he a a jewel of sorts? Go for masculine and down-beat with at twist, these hand-made U-Turn Bracelets, from French men's brand Ursul, are the ultimate mix of stylish and chic, while keeping things discrete.
And finally, yes you can give a sweatshirt, check out these, very French, sober fun designs from young designer French brand, P'tit Velo, a tee and sweatshirts specialist.
Ok and last one, (for him that is) a watch is a timeless gift, get it? Timeless :) These are our top selling men’s pieces from Menthe à l'eau, a French brand named after the favorite Mint syrup in water drink it’s a refreshing, colorful and natural concept. These watches are fun and accessibly priced (ehm and still on sale! So like very accessible)
French Independent Designer Gifts for Her...
And for the ladies our top picks include our best selling Alice Hubert Gold Necklace Red Lips, La Fumeuse.
A very playful rock’n’roll piece, and as a necklace it can be given at any stage of a relationship. Cool, French, Chic.
Get sensual, buying lingerie can be daunting, but with a bodysuit all the questions about fit disappear. Our pick is this Nude Tulle & Microfiber Bodysuit from French brand Madame Aime, this designer names all her collections after Paris streets, so if you want to make reference to the city of lights, this is for you, or her as the case may be.
I can’t resist putting another body here, this is Black Lace Body Irresistible from Fifth Sense Lingerie, another French independent brand, with a modern sexy feel, based in traditional hand-made processes. Bodies are the perfect gift because it’s the one item of lingerie that women may not buy for ourselves.
And, I’m adding another creation from the incredible Alice Hubert (stand by for next week’s article -she’s our designer of the month). I love this Amulette matchstick bracelet -an amulet (amulette) is an object whose most important characteristic is the power ascribed to it to protect its owner from danger or harm. So you can offer protection in the form of a romantic gift.
Ok so you’ve got the gift sorted! Now whatever you do -don’t leave making plans until the last minute! You think you might cook dinner at home? So take the time to plan it now, this way you it takes the stress of you—because you’ve ready got everything you need and you actually know what you’re going to make and how long it’s going to take—and it means you can propose something different and special. Just meeting for a drink, a walk with your loved one or special friend decide now what you’ll wear, and where you’ll wander. And, I hope I don’t need to say it, restaurant: book now!
But most importantly, do something. Anything. Big or small. Having love and romance is one of life’s gifts, so celebrate what you have.
Make it a Surprise...
So you have an idea of what you’ll do, or maybe a little gift you can give (we’re getting to that). Now the fun part and really this silly detail is what makes it romantic: Make it a surprise. Simple right? Invite, check they’re free (and slyly make sure your surprise won’t clash with their potential surprise). But it’s the element of unexpectedness that creates the romantic moment. So hint if you need to, but please don’t ask “so, what are we doing for Valentine’s day”.
Justin Bieber said it first, but remember self-love trumps… well just about anything. Lovers don’t get exclusivity on Valentine’s day. So if you happen to find yourself having some alone time on this occasion it could be a most excellent moment to indulge in a little self-love and pampering. Don’t you deserve a little treat? Any of these gift ideas are just as sweet when you give them to number one -yourself. If you enjoyed our tips and selection, check out this article (in French) for even more specific Paris-based things to do on the day and an extended curated collection of authentic, designer gifts.