Caffeine Fix: Cafe de Flore
Best Hot Chocolate: Lili’s
Best Tea & Dessert: Le Loir dans la Theiere
Best Two Hour Lunch: Priori Thé
Best Hamburger: Ferdi
Best Authentic Bistro: Bofinger
La Maison des Bonbons a Parisian penny candy store.
Izrael: L'Epicerie du Monde-one of the most remarkable spice shops in the Marais.
FYI the Musee du Branly features one of the largest vertical gardens in the world on the outside of the building)
Le Bistro de Paris-typical French Bistro fair with a modern twist, conveniently located near Saint Germain on the Left Bank.
Cafe de Flore-the café to see and be seen in Paris on Boulevard Saint Germain, always a celebrity or extreme fashionista in the crowd.
La Fontaine Gaillon- a men’s dining club inspired, owned by Gérard Depardieu.
Le Loir Dans La Theiere- a funky café/hang out with remarkable food and sky high desserts, in the Marais.
Bistro Volnay—a contemporary take on French bistro food and fair.
Kusmi Tea—café and shop featuring exotic teas with fabulous packaging.
Pierre Herme—neck and neck with Laduree for the best macaroons in Paris.
La Maison de La Chine —located inside Shanghai Tang, light Asian fair with a twist.
Laduree—tea and macaroons in traditional French style, a must stop on the French tour.
Chez-Bogato—a whimsical yet modern bakery and candy shop tucked away in a residential neighborhood in the 14th .
Ferdi-best cheeseburger in Paris and largest personally owned Vintage toy collection adorns the space.
Cinq-Mars- a modern French eatery on the Left Bank with great desserts.
Perigot- great nylon accessories for the home and travel.
Poggi- dramatic to delicate costume jewelry.
Colette- the most avant garde clothing and gadget shop in Paris...a must stop on the shopping trail.
Antik Batik - hippy chic tunics and accessories.
Assouline- rarefied tabletop book shop.
Fragonard- fragrances and personal accessories specializing in whimsical embroideries on crisp white cotton.
Au Bain Marie- unique kitchen and dining accessories.
Misia Reve- whimsical family portraits hand painted on canvas bags and accessories.
Astier de Villatte- hand thrown white glaze pottery and dinnerware.
Servane Gaxotte- whimsical French jewelry.
Anne Maisonneuve - photo real floral images on tee shirts and other accessories
Antoine et Lili - Paris bohemian...vibrant colored clothing and accessories from across the globe.
Le Prince Jardinier- upscale gardening accessory spot.
Jamin Puech - handmade bags with attitude and novelty details.
Herve Chapelier- the originator of the gutsy nylon travel bag.
45 RPM- hip denim and laundered cotton casual wear.
L'Eclaireur- one of the best designer clothing collections in Paris, features a fornasetti adorned restaurant with various locations around Paris.
Les Cocottes- cookware.
La Mere de Famille- fabulous French chocolates with numerous locations throughout Paris.
BEST OF PARIS SHOPPING
Best Souvenirs: Fragonard
Best Department Store: Le Bon Marche
Wildest Shopping Experience: Tati Department Store
Best Shopping Streets
Rue du Cherche Midi
Rue Faubourg St-Honore
Rue des Francs-Bourgeois
Rue du Mont-Thabor
Paris is a city colored by grey, taupe, and beige where everything is sort of fuzzied. Contrast to that is its dedication to style. Through the mist, style is a critical component in Paris. People take the time to think about what they are going to wear. It is an intelligent city steeped in culture. It is a city that appreciates a cup of coffee sitting at a café, taking time out of their day to take off from work. It is a city that takes culture, food, and joie de vivre very seriously. There is not a lot of humor in Paris but a level of love and appreciation for things. Everything sensory in Paris is part of an art form, but there is very little laughter. There’s something magical, almost mystical about Paris. When you cross those bridges, you see the most beautiful sites in the world. You just need to be a little more lighthearted about it.
This week I am going to highlight some of our favorite stops in Paris during my semi-annual trips.
Victoire- a store located on Place Victoire and features established and up and coming European designers (also a location on the Left Bank).
Colette- the first stop on the fashion train in Paris is always Colette. Setting the bar high in trend, unique gifts, and ready-to-wear items.
Zef- a kids store on the Left Bank with very chic mini adult wear for kids through ages 14.
JC de Castelbajac- a master pattern and color designer and has been involved for many years in the world of Paris fashion.
Merci-the new venture by the founders of Bonpoint and is setting the bar high for new lifestyle and ready-to-wear concept stores. A must see in the Bastille area.
Bonpoint -long heralded as the pinnacle of children’s fashion in Paris and around the wolrd. Bonpoint continues as the trendsetter in childrenswear. Various locations throughout Paris.
Bonton - the casual spinoff of the Bonpoint family featuring infant to primary school ready-to-wear and amazing gadgets and gifts. Located on the left bank.
Laduree- epitome of pastry and tea offerings in Paris. Locations on the left and right banks. Don’t miss the macaroons!
Tapestries abound in the interiors’ world this season. Flocked, painted, woven, and printed. Exaggerated to delicately detailed renditions of damask and jacquard weaves prevail. Best in color with white or cream, these romantic patterns remind us of eras gone by. These embellished looks twin perfectly with regimental stripes and are highly inspirational to the fashion world. Bolder, bigger, and brighter is better!
We continue to love the remarkably overpriced cache of the Goyard bag. Emblazoned with customized racing stripes and monograms, the Goyard look is timeless yet very personal. We love the “OMG” bag because it’s irreverent yet steeped in the (Goyard slipcover)…it’s highly functional yet unforgettable. It cleverly capitalizes on texting lingo, which makes it the highly sought after bag du jour. In this world of sameness, individuals who want to stand out are putting their stamp on stationary, clothing, and accessories. The MONOGRAM is back!
Dance inspired underwear for outerwear impacts Spring fashion in a sexy, refreshing way. Layers of lace, tulle, chiffon, satin, and gazar create an ethereal yet contemporary look. Taking its cue from layers on the youth in the streets, this look is at once avant-garde and nostalgic. Remember Madonna in the Virgin Tour and in her role in Desperately Seeking Susan where lingerie became her go-to look. There is a fine line between over exposure and tasteful layering…go there if you dare.
We spied collections of unusual items used in window display and in store ambiance throughout Europe. Some of our favorites were most unexpected…from clusters of light bulbs at Bluebird to white porcelain monk statuettes at Conran, collections instantly create atmosphere and set the stage for directional fashion and home looks. Perhaps the most absurd was a series of pink balloons slip covered in women’s lingerie. The beauty with collections is that you can create art that makes you happy out of the most mundane or unlikely objects.
SCOUT is using retro black and white photos throughout our Spring/Summer 2010 campaign (with our colorful SCOUT products added). We were inspired and delighted to see the plethora of black and white imagery and typeface used in the fashion windows and signage all over Europe. Black and white is the perfect foil to color for the season and becomes a timeless way to illustrate contemporary fashion dimensions.