Part 1. The French Connection.
There is nowhere more magical than Paris. It is the City of Lights. It’s tempting to think that Paris is unchanged, that there is always a corner of the city where you can really catch a glimpse of Fitzgerald or Hemingway at Brasserie Lipp, or stumble across Miles Davis en route to Saint-Germain. But the truth is that Paris is a city of constant change. Paris is a even more enjoyable place to be in today. It is more relaxed, the hauteur has softened. There is a certain joie de vivre there. Yes, the past is still alive —with its grande dame hotels, fashion flagships, and Michelin-starred eateries, but many have undergone a contemporary redesign or simplified their style.
On my recent visit, I stayed in one of the chicest neighborhoods on the Left Bank in boutique hotel, Esprit St-Germain, in the district of Saint-Germain, the heart of fashion boutiques, art and design galleries, and a thriving café society. Not sure what to expect, the hotel and the staff surpassed my expectations. Not only did I get free Wifi, a non-existent entity in Paris, but a complimentary petit-déjeuner (breakfast), and wonderful staff who put up with my feeble attempt to speak like “une parisienne”.
I love Paris because high heels click-clack down the narrow cobblestoned streets like castanets, while Chloé-clad commuters start their day. So chic!
We all have our fantasies of the perfect Parisian day. There may be no city that takes shopping more seriously than Paris, the birthplace of haute couture, and a place where mere browsers are made to feel snubbed. My goal in three days was to shop like a local – and get to the coolest looks in town. Because just like them, I was born with the shopping gene! 🙂
With many boutiques and boulangeries’ closed for the month of August, I really had the streets of Paris to myself. I was oblivious to the direction I was heading (damn the GPS), I stumbled upon Merci, the ultimate fashion destination. Housed in an old factory, this concept store mixes contemporary and vintage fashions along with seasonal products. Cheap sits next to chèr. Then I made my way through the maze-like district of the Marais.
From there, I headed to The Right Bank to start at Colette, another arbiter of Parisian cool. Colette houses an eclectic mash-up of high-end designers like Lanvin, Hermes, and Chanel mixed with quirky young labels like Christopher Kane and Rodarte. Finally fashionistas have their temple.
After a long day, I had a wonderful oh so chichi Parisien meal at Thomineux. And, to top it all off, I headed for the majestic Tour De Effiel.
As I write this blog entry, I am dreaming of Paris. Me, right there smack in the middle of Paris Fashion Week. watching some of the best designers shed their talents in the world of haute couture. Yes, this is a dream. Yes, there’s always next year….
Here is a snap shop of one of my new favorite designers, Carven with a look for Spring. This dress…!
Stay tuned for more Paris coverage!