Sunday Style

08.02marieclaire-idees-06-09The other day at the bookstore I treated myself to a French magazine. They can be pricey but always provide a different angle on style and fashion as well as a new vocabulary word or two.

My faves are the Elle family, especially Elle à Table, but today’s selection was Marie Claire Ideés. It had a bicycle on the cover — no contest.

This magazine, which has no American equivalent as far as I know (maybe one of Martha Stewart’s line?), is full of beautiful photos of craft projects, theme parties, fashions, etc., and then contains instructions for doing them yourself at the back.

Unfortunately, the only bike project they had instructions for was a saddle cover — but the inside spread provided a lot of inspiration for customizing your bicycle.

Ma petite reine!

Ma petite reine!

Sorry for the crappy photos — I don’t have a scanner. But this adorable bike had been custom painted with polka dots.

This “Vélo de nuit” page featured a black and yellow bike with matching accessories. Some of the ideas are breathtakingly simple (fastening those glow-in-the-dark ceiling stars to a black wire basket, for example) but effective. The pump and helmet are decorated with stickers, and the seat has been painted with some sort of special metalic paint. The box is a recycled plastic container that has been painted in a checkerboard pattern — guess it’s supposed to go on the rear rack?

Starry starry bike

Starry starry bike

Again, the ideas on this “Vélo fleurie” page are simple: cover your seat with a flowered fabric. Paint your helmet and attach flowers to it (the caption says this makes it more like a hat than a helmet — I am itching to do this with my sporty summer helmet). Put plastic flowers in your spokes. Paint and decorate your bell and a basket (to carry the obligatory baguette).

Flowers and bikes are a natural combination

Flowers and bikes are a natural combination

Where do you find bicycle inspiration? And do any of these ideas appeal to you?

  • http://lemondropvintage.com Lemondropvintage

    I love the basket and wheels with flowers! That makes me want to get off the couch and ride now!

    • http://letsgorideabike.wordpress.com Trisha

      I like the basket, too. Wish somewhere near here had a baguette that authentic to put in it!

  • http://myhyggelig.blogspot.com Sigrid

    Funny, I picked up this very magazine about a month ago and almost bought it for the same reason. It is a great magazine. There is a picture of a house in there – black, with windows in red ~ send it my way, I know now my future must have a house like this! I’ve regretted not buying the magazine ever since I saw it. Thanks for sharing! I saw a lady today who had duct-taped a very large brim onto her helmet, does that count? I think not…

    • http://letsgorideabike.wordpress.com Trisha

      Ha. I’ll have to look through for the house you mention. There was a spread with a clubhouse type building they’d painted vines onto that I loved…and I might also steal the H20 bathroom stencil idea. I’ll email you a pic of the house once I spot it.

  • http://lacyclechic.blogspot.com Cosmo

    I love this. Since I now have all of these bikes sitting in my house I am constantly trying to think of ways to make them perfect. I love the flower helmet and the basket. Fun.

  • http://letsgorideabike.wordpress.com dottie

    I love the flowers-on-helmet idea, too! It would be overkill on my pink Nutcase, but would look great on my silver sporty helmet. Fancy magazines are fun :)

  • Catherine

    A close US magazine is Martha Stewart’s “Blueprint”. A little craftier than “Living”, and focused on a younger, more urban audience. I haven’t gotten it in quite some time, but when I did get it, I loved it :)

  • http://www.fullhandsx3.blogspot.com sara

    People may think we’re over-the-top decorating our cargo bike but we LOVE it that much more with it’s multi-colored streamers, red dice valve covers, and now POLKA DOTS on the cargo box. We used those vinyl wall decorations that can be removed once we feel like moving on to some other design…

    http://fullhandsx3.blogspot.com/2009/07/two-birthday-boys-in-box.html

    One of my sisters has blue & silver flames painted on the sides of her minivan and I figure this is our equivalent.

  • http://lovelybike.blogspot.com Lovely Bicycle!

    I can’t seem to keep my hands off my bikes when it comes to customising them. I made the handlebars on my mixte look like organic tree roots, then attached faux cherry blossoms to the front. This gets lots of comments! On my Pashley Princess, I installed a custom skirt guard that looks like wrought iron in place of the one it came with, and have also twined and shellacked the rubber gear shifter! Yeah. So I am pretty big on velo DIY!

    Most of the projects in this Marie Claire spread are a little too girly and colourful for me, but I love the spirit of the idea! That helmet with flowers at the end is pretty cool. Not sure what paint they are suggesting to use though. One has to be careful painting these sorts of surfaces, because it does not always look good and will start peeling if you use the wrong kind of paint for the surface.

  • http://www.academichic.com Academichic

    The flower one and the polka dot one are great! I love the flowers in the spokes and the cute flowered wicker basket and the polka dot one is just too chic! Lovely ideas! Maybe one day I’ll get to customizing my bike like that. If you do, definitely post pictures! S.

  • http://letsgorideabike.wordpress.com Trisha

    How fun! Have you shared pics? Did I miss them?

    Yes, I would execute some of these ideas differently, but they’re still inspirational. I really like the idea of those glow-in-the-dark stars on a basket (or in the spokes!) for a kid or adult interested in astronomy. You’re right about the paint. They didn’t give explanations of what’s best…however you could always just reapply.

  • http://letsgorideabike.wordpress.com Trisha

    I will! I don’t think I’ll customize the Bat much, at least not in the way of paint, but I do have some plans for Le Peug if life ever slows down.

  • http://melanger.wordpress.com Julia @ Mélanger

    Lovely. Gorgeous. Cute. I love getting foreign magazines from time to time. I usually get Elle, too! I’ve not seen this crafty version one even though we have a Marie Claire magazine (fashion, etc.). I think it’s mandatory for a bike to have a cute basket, non?