parlez-vous français?

it's a fact. french people are cool. they sound cool when they talk. they understand the art of simplicity better than any american i know. they don't fall prey to the abercrombie/hollister/american eagle nonsense that americans seem to think is fashionable. they walk everywhere. they don't wear crocs. they cook better. they don't go to wal-mart. and they understand moderation when it comes to portion sizes. i'll admit i'm a little jealous.
i studied french for seven years in high school and college but unfortunately, aside from my ability to communicate with shopkeepers and restaurateurs in paris ("je voudrais le poulet", or "i'll have the chicken", isn't too hard to remember), my memories of important vocabulary and conjugation rules are slowly slipping away. for christmas, i received un petit livre (or a little book) called "french for le snob: adding panache to your everyday conversations" by yvette reche (don't their names even sound cooler than ours?). it's a really fun little book (in tiffany blue) that focuses on american uses of french words, what they mean, and how to incorporate them into our conversations to sound smarter and more sophisticated. interested? i thought so. thanks to madame reche, i am introducing "parlez-vous français?" mondays, where you, readers (and myself), can learn an applicable new vocabulary word each week and work it into our most chic of conversations.

so introducing today's word...
atelier - pronounced a-tel-yay, refers to "a place where seamstresses, carpenters, painters, and artists could create their products. it was a place where they shared their ideas and found inspiration and answers to their questions. ateliers promoted research, support, and self expression."

usage examples:
1. after watching the chanel spring 09 runway show, i was impressed with the breathtaking work that came out of karl lagerfeld's atelier this year.
2. this year, i vow to spend more time in my atelier, working on my paintings/cards/pillows/collages,etc.
3. oh, to have an atelier that is even half this beautiful...i could be so much more creative!

try it in a sentence this week!
images: 1.photograph by juergen teller 2.la-story.com; definition via "french for le snob: adding panache to your everyday converstaions" by yvette reche, fall river press

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