couture au chocolat is a food and fashion blog that has its home in Northern California with San Francisco at its center. Although we try hard to achieve a perfect balance between food and fashion, the scale inevitably tips one way or the other. We assure you that we love both equally, it’s just that we live in an area that has an embarrassment of culinary riches and people who can go to the Opera dressed in jeans and Birkenstocks.
Our site takes it’s name from a delicious French pastry, the pain au chocolat, called chocolate croissant in English. Often seen on the streets of Paris in the morning, whether being eaten on the go in its wax paper wrapping, or flaking luxuriously onto a plate next to a companion cup of coffee in a little café, it is an epitome of French culture. The other half of the name, ‘couture’ literally means sewing or a seam in French, but in English has come to be synonymous with high fashion.
We met when one of us started dating the other’s boyfriend’s brother and immediately found out that we had a lot in common. We both love to cook, draw, dress up, travel, take photographs, shop, eat out, and look at beautiful things. In February of 2010, we decided to start documenting our adventures.
Liza is a Senior Copywriter for Tiny Prints, part of Shutterfly Inc. and does Russian to English translation on a freelance basis.
You can email her at email@example.com.
Part time freelancer, full time web designer at Wide Umbrella, Vicky is an illustrator, painter, cook and doting wife. You can explore her work at vickychendesigns.com.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How would you define fashion?
L: Fashion is what others dictate as cool – stores, designers, celebrities, movements. Something can become fashionable overnight and for no good reason so fashion is arbitrary.
V: Fashion is fleeting.
What is your earliest fashion memory?
L: I had a pair of yellow silk panties with white ruffles all over the back when I was four that I was in love with.
V: Sneaking into my mom’s closet and trying on her pair of high heels, which were 10 times too big, and walking down the hall, swaying my hips and getting caught by my mom.
What is the difference between fashion and style?
L: Style, unlike fashion is totally unique. It is a set of choices that others can deem fashionable or not. You can choose to wear sweats and dirty t-shirts every day and that can still be called your style. Style in a larger sense encompasses all the choices you make in life.
V: Style is how you use fashion to express your personality.
At what age did you become fashion conscious?
L: In middle school, but I made really terrible fashion choices and cringe looking back at the acid washed jeans, frosted eye shadow, old navy perfume, scrunchies and anything L.A. Gear.
V: I think it was kindergarten or first grade, when I asked my mom if I could pick out my own clothes.
Who are your fashion icons?
L: Old school Hollywood glamour and black and white Italian films from the 60’s are the top for me. I love Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor, Anouk Aimee, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Lauren and countless others whose names don’t pop into my head right now.
V: I am really into how people style and choose to mix and match their clothes. Current inspiriations: Emmanuelle Alt, Fashion Director of Paris’s Vogue magazine; Kate Lanphear, Style Director of US Elle; and Erin Wasson – I love how she styled Alexander Wang’s runway collection.
5 wardrobe essentials men/ women?
L: Women – 1) comfortable but sexy classic black pointy pump, 2) well-fitting, feminine collared white shirt, 3) straight leg, slim black pants or dark jeans, 4) tuxedo style, fitted blazer, 5) a dress in a fabulously bright, flattering color in a shape that shows off your best features.
Men – 1) Flat front dark jeans in a slim cut, 2) plain white collared shirt that fits well and is not too long or too short, 3) pinstripe blazer, 4) a pair of well made ankle boots in an enduring style, 5) a nice cashmere v or crew neck sweater in a bright, flattering color.
V: Women – 1) dark skinny jeans, 2) blazer (my favorite lately is the boyfriend cut), 3) lived in white t-shirt, like Kain’s super soft modal t-shirts, 4) pair of super sexy black heels, 5) a piece of really great statement jewelry, whether it’s a necklace, bracelet, ring or earrings.
Men – 1) dark well fitted jeans, 2) lived in white t-shirt, 3) a nice jacket that fits perfectly, 4) casual loafers, 5) cashmere sweater.
What would u wear to seduce someone?
L: A low cut (but not too low) dress that feels great on (nothing scratchy), and that I am comfortable in. A great pair of high heels, stockings and a garter belt, long, dangly earrings and my favorite perfume.
V: Sky high black strappy heels, super skinny black jeans, corset tank, dangly earrings and some Pamela Love rings.
Fail proof outfit?
L: Just about any kind of black clothes layered with white with an accent of red thrown in somewhere.
V: Anything black layered with more black mixed with a lot of rings and bracelets and some Jeffrey Campbell boots.
What is your favorite fashion era?
L: I love the 20’s-50’s
V: I love the 80s and 90s for their iconic ugly clothing that I would love to mix in with my everyday wardrobe.
Rules meant to be broken or obeyed?
L: Rules, what rules?
V: Rules are meant to be learned so that they can be broken.
How old is the oldest piece of clothing you own?
L: The black coat my great grandfather made for my mom when she was fifteen.
V: My mom’s fur coat.
What s your favorite store?
L: It really depends on what I’m looking for. I love little gem like boutiques, but Barney’s, Loehman’s, Banana Republic, Neiman Marcus and Saks all have a slot to themselves in my wallet.
V: How about online stores? I shop online about 90% of the time. Some of my favorites include shopbop.com and lagarconne.com.
Favorite painter/work of art?
L: I love so many, but anything impressionist never fails to thrill me, and if I had to really narrow it down then it would be Van Gogh and Picasso. Seeing ‘Starry Night’ at the MOMA in New York blew my mind.
V: Jackson Pollock. I’m a big fan of art that takes on its own organic course and admire the controllable and uncontrollable factors in the way Pollock paints.
L: Anything I am in the mood for that day. Right now I’m listening to classic jazz-Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday and the like.
V: Tupac and MJ for life!
L: I own most of the Diptyque store. With that said, light not cloying florals, deep, musky ambers and anything citrusy. Also lavender. In the world I love the smell of a wood-burning fire outdoors.
V: Diptyque’s Do Son and Oyedo.
L: Again there are many. I am always excited by Marc Jacobs, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Rick Owens, Valentino, Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith to name a few. I also usually like the designers featured in Barney’s co-op.
V: Alexander Wang, Balmain, Isabel Marant, Rag & Bone and most recently, Haider Ackermann.
Nice dinner or new item of clothing?
L: That could really go either way depending on whether we’re tipping the scales of food or fashion that day.
What are you drooling over right now?
L: I’m trying not to look, but a pair of nude Christian Louboutins is high on my wish list.
V: At the top of my list is the Alexander Wang Diego Bucket bag in black, along with Pamela Love’s Cage ring and Grey Ant sunglasses.
If you had 10k to spend on fashion right now how would you spend it?
L: A fabulous new leather jacket, two – three pairs of gorgeous shoes, an amazing cashmere sweater and the rest on dresses.
V: Everything that is on my wish list above, and a Chanel Quilted 2.55 bag in black, some Christian Louboutins, a Iosselliani Snake & Zircon Ring, a Bliss Lau Riot bracelet – you can tell I’m really into accessories right now.
What would someone wear that would seduce you?
L: My favorite look on a man is a nice pair of jeans that fit in all the right places, but are not too tight, a nice fitted white button down shirt with a white tank top underneath, a sexy, masculine watch, leather ankle boots that are not too trendy, a fitted leather motorcycle jacket and a dash of cologne, but nothing that smells like a department store.
V: Leather boots, well fitted jeans, leather motorcycle jacket, tight worn in white t-shirt, and self-confidence with a smidge of cockiness.
What do you wear on your day off?
L: Either I go all out or if I’m not in a mood to dress up something loose and comfortable.
V: I usually gravitate towards boyfriend jeans, a tank top and flat boots or Rainbow sandals.
Would you dress up to go grocery shopping?
L: I like to pick up touch and smell the produce when I’m grocery shopping so I would never wear anything I wouldn’t want to touch a piece of broccoli or a nice ripe mango, but I wouldn’t wear my pajamas either. Jeans and a casual t shirt would be my best bet.
V: I definitely don’t go grocery shopping in my pajamas if that’s what you mean. Hate it – at least change into sweatpants! With all the different variations of the slouchy pants in jersey/sweatpants like material – you can still be comfortable and chic when grocery shopping.
All photos are taken and ©coutureauchocolat, unless indicated otherwise.