French Friday #16: Trompe L'oeil


This Week's French Phrase
by Mademoiselle Love
Trompe L'oeil
Pronounced:   | tʁɔ̃p lœj |
Translation: Trick of the Eye

I've always known that New Orleans was a trippy kind of a place, but I didn't know to expect this...
I saw this ad in the Gambit and thought, "This is a weird Tasse de Café waiting to happen". So, here I am at Sacred Grinds, a Zombie-themed coffee shop, and I got inspired to post about trompe l'oeil.


Trompe l'oeil means "trick the eye," so it's the term used for optical illusions, for example... 
two faced optical illusion 
You may have seen this French term come up in the context of fashion because recently, it has become quite fashionable for details like collars, belts, jewelry or even buttons and pleats to be drawn onto clothing, creating the illusion that those elements are actually there. Simone knows what I'm talking about...

Amy Lynn: Simone, I love your sweater. What a cool collar!

Simone: OMG, Amy Lynn, it's not actually a collar. 

Amy Lynn: Then, what is it? It looks like a collar to me.

Simone: It's a trompe l'oeil collar. Duh!

Amy Lynn: Woah!!! Trippy, man!

I guess the collar on Simone's sweater looks super real, just like this zombie hiding behind the simple sugar!
 So many trompe l'oeil today! Man, did someone spike my coffee??
Should I say something about the cemetery?

Merci Beaucoup,
Mademoiselle Love
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jenée here: It's true that this use of trompe l'oeil, once reserved for paintings, has become a fashion statement. My favorite use of trompe l'oeil, as a handbag designer, are the cheap cotton tote bags with a drawing of a very expensive, iconic bag like an Hermes Berkin Bag. This becomes quite the piece of art. Is it a joke about the insane price of a Berkin? or is it about a girl stopping at nothing to get a Berkin even if it's only a drawing for now?  
Is it tricking your eye?
Bag for purchase on Etsy
It appears that perhaps Simone found her sweater at J.Crew
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The Origin of "La Tasse de Café", French for "the cup of coffee"
Is a morning radio show out of Ville Platte, Louisiana on KVPI-FM
My dad listens to it regularly to keep up with his Cajun French as he now doesn't have much opportunity to speak it in Louisiana where the language is disappearing. 
Since I'm from Cajun land in Louisiana, with a serious interest in fashion and my friend, the author, a Louisiana girl too, who is head over heels in love with everything French and everything coffee, it was only fitting we pay tribute to our roots and our new found loves.
Tune in to KVPI every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 8:45AM (NY time) for your Cajun French lesson and come back to the blog every Friday for more French lessons from Mademoiselle Love. We will discuss useful French  words or expressions for the fashionable girl. But to make it even more enjoyable, we will do it over a very fashionable cup of coffee.