10 places to splash out
Former stylist Patricia Wang creates looks from the practical to the chic to the unexpected in her boutique, stocked with the creations of European designers. Every season, new names appear: elegant Danes, offbeat Spaniards, dreamy Brits, all creating beautiful clothes. Patricia happily offers advice and has built a roster of regulars who are happy to take her recommendations as to what suits them.
Delphine Dunoyer (alias Aconit Napel) and Céline Saby opened this workshop in the heights of Belleville in 2005 to display their couture creations. They were soon joined by Caroline Halusias and Séverine Balanqueux (Titlee), making a fashion quartet for Beau Travail, a vast and luminous retail and exhibition space full of finely gilded jewellery, screen-printed lamps, unusual badges and bags.
Grazielle (Zazou) and Barbara (Bara) joined forces to open Zazoubara, a powerhouse devoted to unearthing and sharing design discoveries: toys, decorative objects, clothes, jewellery, vintage furniture and more, collected during their travels around the world. They set up shop in a former Société Générale building, a large space where around 50 brands jostle for space on the shelves.
Briton Candy Miller’s boutique is truly girly, offering everything from bird-shaped to iridescent handbags and delicate shoes. Like a doll’s house with a sky blue frontage, the Montmartre boutique opened in January 2011 and is more akin to an apartment that a shop in its layout (dining room, dressing room, bathroom, living room), designed with care by the cinema decorator Anaïs Van Den Bussch.
Its name may be reminiscent of the most extravagant époque known to Pigalle, but in fact this boutique is all about Scandinavian sobriety: welcome to Cancan. Opened in the heart of SoPi in March 2009 this hip enclave offers a choice of designers from around the world, often exclusively, including Carin Wester, Raphaëlle H’Limi and Stine Goya.
Adjoining her workshop, Anne Willi’s boutique is a calm and agreeable space where one can take one’s time to choose THE item that will best fit one’s curves and personality. Pure, feminine lines, fluid materials and sober colours characterise the collections. Willi, who opened her boutique in 1998, finds her inspiration in contemporary art exhibitions and in her Swiss origins.
Sessun offers perfect cuts, a style at once quirky and urbane, impeccable materials, ethnic and fantasy prints, and price which, though far from cheap, are not as insanely overpriced as certain other brands offering the same labels.
Pantheone is one of the brands that plays with masculine codes of streetwear to create a graphic, colourful, sexy feminine brand. Nili, the singer from band Nilly Wood and the Prick, French rapper BAMS and Olivia from The Dø are all fans of Pantheone’s clothing – women at ease in their trainers who give masculine clothing a new femininity.
Beautiful textiles from India and Peru, delicate French laces, Italian leather and Italian mesh fabric – the ladies at Les Fées de Bengale are good fairies, who only work with the finest responsibly-sourced materials. Their resolutely modern collections offer pure lines and colours and androgynous silhouettes, taking their inspiration from nature, fairy tales and legend.
Anne-Cécile Zitter and her and cohorts cleverly mix leather, textiles and paper to create Japanese-influenced rings, necklaces, bracelet, headbands and more. Japan also comes through in the clothing fabrics, with skirts and blouses studded with bits of origami-style colour. Exceptional couturiers, they also propose classic basics.