Paris is the city of love, light... and fashion. Make the most of your time here by perusing the crème de la crème of the Paris fashion scene. On your marks, get set, shop!
Just a few metres from l’Hôtel Amour, the Pigalle offers a good range of streetwear and designer brands. The concrete and velvet décor is reminiscent of the red light district and is inspired by the history of the local area. Pigalle offers clothing for men and women as well as accessories and shoes from Japan, Europe and the United States. The selection is handpicked and the prices are often high, but it’s worth a visit.
After five years spent as Kolam, the owners of 9km decided to reinvent their concept. The new name represents the exact length of a piece of cotton long enough to sew a whole T-shirt. A little in the style of American Apparel, there are a range of T-shirts here in all colours, and a multi-brand space where you can find the famous organic brand Kolam as well as Natural World T-shirts (between €15 and €25) and sweatshirts, Shifumi necklaces and Monkee Genes jeans.
In the same genre as its neighbours Chez Prune, Maje, A.P.C. and Claude Pierlot, Medicine Douce doesn’t upset the neighbourhood’s balance of hip elegance. Inside, white and grey walls and a total absence of decoration put the spotlight on the jewellery, all designed by Marie Montaud, who launched her brand in 2000 but didn’t have her own boutique until 2007, once she was already well known. Her quick success is thanks to her delicate gold jewellery mixed with pastel colours, discreet but remarkable.
When Stéphanie Allerme opened this boutique in November 2012, she didn’t want to sell her designs from behind a counter, but rather to display them as if in her sitting room at home, complete with sofa and coffee table. Elegantly laid out ‘high fashion’ jewellery in bright colours are everywhere, in a style that’s both feminine and rock’n’roll. Prices are around €90 for a bracelet (100% Made in France, always plated in 24 carat gold or platinum), and as well as necklaces and earrings there are products from other designers.
Don’t expect a warm welcome from the aloof staff at this boutique – but perhaps it’s all a sign of success, as the pieces from Alix Petit’s proudly cosmopolitan label are worth the visit all by themselves. Created in 2007 with Delphine Delafon (who left the brand in 2009), Heimstone offers a colourful, feminine wardrobe, rich in lace, silk and knitted raffia. Petit, who studied at Atelier Chardon Savard and worked as a stylist for Michel Klein for almost a year, has been making prêt-à-porter for the last six years.
The 9th arrondissement is perfect for a Sunday stroll, complete in a plethora of great (and expensive) little boutiques – the sort that make you want to throw out your entire wardrobe and start all over again as an epitome of classy French style. One of these is Vanina Escoubet, the eponymous brand from a designer who has had her workshop and boutique here for the last three years. It’s a cosy space with stone walls, done out in vintage and second-hand finds. The feel is a modern, feminine take on retro styling.
The sort of place where you can’t help but leave smiling – it might be the bright colours and the original cuts, or the charm and enthusiasm of the owner, who opened this boutique in its little corner of Montmartre over 10 years ago. Ysasu shows a range of young designers discovered in New York, Tokyo and London, before they launch their own collections – from head-turning skirts to well-cut trench coats, Ysasu dresses stylish women with a confident taste for colour.
The new French Trotters flagship store occupies no less that 200 chic square metres, just down from the road from the old boutique at 116 Rue Vieille du Temple. It brings together all facets of the store that was originally created in 2005 by Carole and Clarent Dehlouz. But French Trotters’s heart remains in its clothing boutique, full of great pieces from respected designers and quality workshops in Denmark, Brazil, India and France – and including the fabulous French Trotters own line, knitted in Brittany.
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, with ’20s-style jackets and coats, sportswear (sweatshirts with lace trims), fancy knitwear and bags. The biggest pieces don’t exceed €200 and you can even pick some items up for as little as one or two euros.
Rumour has it that before this space was Qhuit, it was Daft Punk’s studio. A pret-à-porter collection for men influenced by street art and urban culture, the pieces are simple but sophisticated enough give the wearer some style to flaunt. Here you’ll find top quality original, often humorous t-shirts by talented graphic designers (also available for women and children), denim shirts, thick-knit cardigans and fisherman’s jerseys. Expect to pay around €35 for a t-shirt, €95 for a jumper and up to €250 for a jacket.
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. A delicate limited edition lamp will set you back €68, lip-shaped handbags €28.
The idea of a commerical centre might not appeal to fans of concept boutiques, but don’t speak too soon – Centre Commerical in the Rue de Marseille (alongside APC, Maje and Claudie Pierlot) will thrill fans of quality fashion. The shop's founders also created Veja, the famous brand of hip, affordable trainers. Sébastien Kopp, one of the co-founders, has embraced a socially and ecologically conscious type of fashion for trendy youngsters; however annoying young hipsters might be, at least they don’t buy ‘made in China’.
For the last seven years, Joy has stood out from all the other little clothing boutiques in the neighbourhood by stocking a selection of big name French designers: See by Chloé, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel and Cacharel for clothes, Velvetine leather goods and Les Délices de Candice jewellery. The cosy space is hung with pretty dresses arranged by colour, making the best use of the space, enjoyed as much by window shoppers as by those intending to buy.