Sunday, February 7, 2016


Jolie laide means, quite literally, pretty-ugly. It's a wonderful little French phrase that, apparently, the French don't really use (becoming popular mostly thanks to Serge Gainsbourg's song "Laide, Jolie Laide"). Today you'll see it everywhere, a convenient way to describe actresses, trousers, armchairs, modern art, and just about anything that evokes a feeling of pleasing imperfection. It's not a compliment, it's not an insult; it's an observation, one that requires a bit of close looking and an appreciation for the details.

Jolie laide has always been one of my favorite terms. It seems to perfectly capture the quality that makes me fall immediately in love with something (ok, often a pair of shoes) that's totally surprising. I've justified a lot odd decisions (ok, often purchases) because I couldn't stop thinking about something offbeat or unusual or downright weird.


(Confession: sometimes I label something jolie laide when it's really just tacky)

But for me, jolie laide is also a bit of a world view. It's an appreciation of the messy bits, a celebration of ugly duckings and late bloomers, a search for something more than the superficial.

When I was trying to figure out a blog name that I wouldn't hate in three months, this useful little phrase felt like a good place to start. jolie x laide (literally, the collaboration of pretty and ugly) is all about the balance. Pretty alone is boring. I prefer pretty special, pretty different, pretty weird, pretty amazing.

I'm not a blogger, not really, but I am a chronic time-waster daydreamer. I wanted a place to gather all of the wonderful bits that like to occupy space in my head. Food, fashion, design, travel, books -- jolie x laide will be a little of everything. These are the things that distract and delight me; I hope you love them, too.

PS -- if you love that Pantone Confetti image as much as I do, you should definitely check out MariaMarie, and also follow her Instagram account (@cestmaria) as it is full of the most dreamy sherbet-hued images.

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