Carmen Ragosta has been running her quirky little boutique-restaurant on the popular Rue de la Grange aux Belles for over ten years. The clothing rails hang by the tables where shoppers can sample vegan Italian dishes (take note of the €20 brunch), and there's a workshop in the basement to complete the incongruous setup.
Carmen trained in fashion design in Rome and worked in prêt-à-porter Paris boutiques before setting up on her own. She offers a full range across the seasons in wools, silks and cottons that are elegant yet sober, with occasional geometric structural flights of fancy. There's a ’60s vibe too, with high collars, trapezoid patterns and formal materials used for more casual designs. Prices range from around €100 for a dress off the rails, to €600 for a custom-made version. Shoes come from the Brazilian brand Melissa, whose artisanal production methods support South American communities.