Ah, Paris – the city of lights, love and, of course, fashion. But where does one shop to find the ultimate Parisian look? There are the obvious stores – Christian Dior, Goyard or Chanel – but where can one have an authentic Parisian shopping experience without blasting through all of one’s Euros? Travora turned to fashion expert and professional Paris tour guide Anne Muraro to help us with our clothing binge.
Muraro insists the best place for vintage handbags and accessories is at Gabrielle Geppert in the Galerie Montpensier at the Jardins du Palais Royal.
By far the most vintage fun can be found in flea markets. Muraro suggests heading to the the Saint Ouen flea market – open every Saturday, Sunday and Monday – and searching for the Olwen Forest stall, which specializes in Schiapparelli and Chanel. The stand is located in the Serpette market section, alley 3 stand 5.
Another stand to search for in Saint Ouen, is Isabelle Klein, located next to Restaurant Paul Bert in the Paul Bert market. This celebrated store has “very affordable vintage haute couture,” Muraro said.
If you’re not interested in pre-owned clothes, then go to an outlet to find a deal. For discounts of up to 70 percent off retail, the outlet l’Habilleur in the Marais has been a fashionista secret for the past 15 years. The store offers designer names such as Paul & Joe, Giorgio Brato and Belle Rose at insane outlet prices – just expect a bit of a crowd.
But, as Paris is the birthplace of new design, why not shop at the up and comers’ boutiques? Muraro’s favorite young designers are Gildas Pennec and Victoria Herando, who design “Margareth & Moi,” conveniently located near the famous Colette concept store. Muraro is quite taken with the duo. “The designs are elegant, stylish, original, and the cut and shape of the clothing are influenced by the fine arts,” she said. “Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O would have loved it for sure!”
So, off you go! Or contact Muraro directly and get your own personalized Parisian fashion tour: Anne Muraro, firstname.lastname@example.org
More from Anne!
Paris is a gastronome’s delight. Muraro recommends blowing a night’s budget on Alain Decasse at the famed Plaza athenee, calling it “enchanted!” Other high end must eats are: Le Meurice. Located on Rivoli street in the prestigious Meurice Palace hotel, Yannick Alleno is the chef.
Next up: Gagnaire - Near Champs Elysées – it has “discreet and elegant décor with an exceptional menu and perfect service. “
On the cheaper side are the typical Parisian bistros -Café de Paris, near the Orsay museum is high on Muraro’s list as she notes: “if you want to feel like you are in a Manet painting this is the place.” Also making the list is Petit Riche. Located in the Drouot Auction house district, Petit Riche hosts art dealers and collectors on a regular basis and boasts excellent Loire Valley wines.
Near the Louvre is Racines 2, a neo-rustic, trendy bistro designed by Phillipe Starck. According to Muraro, “The quality of the food is the only rule!”
As for brasseries, Muraro recommends Café de la Paix and Boffinger,
Trendy and gastronomic (and affordable with a 45 euros lunch menu) : Camelia at Mandarin Oriental for the chef Thierry Marx and the top manager
Tea parlour in the afternoon, don’t miss the Saint Honoré , parisian specialty with puff pastry and caramel : the best in France !
1. What are your favorite touristy places and why?
I’m very proud of Pompidou Center created in 1977, located in the very center of the city : I love the idea of making art accessible to anyone. Moreover it’s the first Art Museum for Modern and Contemporary art in Europe and the second in the world after the Moma ! even french people are not aware about it ! the found is amazing : 60,000 art works from 1900 (fauvism) to today but they can only display 1000/1200 in the museums spaces that’s why they change the hanging each 18 months, they renew it totally, so even parisian can discover jewels from our national collection from Matisse and Picasso to Bill Viola, Anselm Kieffer, Ed Rucha and many other…
The temporary exhibitions are great too : right now we have Gerhard Richter retrospective, one of the greatest painter alive today.
The view from Pompidou Center top floor is the best on the city, especially at the end of summertime, I love to watch sunset : gorgeous !
I love Tuileries garden too, designed by Lenotre, the gardener of the sun king Louis XIV. I feel like beeing in a Monet painting, I enjoy the view from the pond , on one hand you have Louvre, on the other hand the view on Orsay museum, and the open perspective to Concorde square is majestic.
I’m lucky to live Avenue de l’Opéra, so each morning when I go out of my building, the first vision I have is Apollo holding his lyre on the top of Garnier Opera house,standing against parisian sky ! I love conceptual and minimalist art for 20th century but I’m so Napoleon IIIrd style for for 19th , exactly the opposite ! lavish gilded decor, crimson velvet curtains, cristal chandeliers, mosaics floors, very cosy atmosphere…
2. What are your favorite places that locals go to?
-I’ve just mentioned Garnier Opera house which is still a great place for classical dance (ballet) and sometimes contemporary productions too. Parisian love to go out : concerts, theatres, operas…it’s a part of parisian life, our city is definitly not a sleeping beauty, still alive with greatest festivals too, like Chopin festival that just open one week ago with piannists from Russia.
- Le Marais which is the oldest district in the city, not destroyed by Baron Hausman and Napoleon III in the second part of 19th century when Paris was refurbished and embellished. There are stil mansions from 16th and 17th century ! Now it’s also a very trendy area and the best art dealers are there : Emmanuel Perrotin, Yvon Lambert, but also young art dealers like Anne Barrault, or Galerie des Multiples (specialised in editions and multiple by famous artists).
- Saint Germain des Pres with famous Café de Flore and Café Deux Magots :many artists, writers, film maker, haunt this area close to the school of Fine Arts. Very good art dealers around too like Kamel Mennour (Sigalit Landau solo show right now) and the best galleries for design too like Downtown and Kreo, without speakinf of Ladurée tea parlour and restaurant, famous for their excellent macaroons !
3. If someone has been to Paris a million times what is a must see - what are some places they might not know about?
The covered passageways ! they were 137 in 1828, they are only 24 remaining today. They were built before Paris was remodelled by Napoleon III, between 1820’s and 1860, providind a shelter from heat in summer or the rain in winter.It was the beginning of “boutiques” and the art of wandering in the city. Some of them houses now the most fashionable names like Louboutin or Jean-Paul Gaultier , other keeps vintage shops like Legrand Wines. Moreover there are plenty of very good bistrots in it.
The most beautiful are close too Palais Royal area : Vero-Dodat and Vivienne, both created in 1827.
I love the artists workshops from 19th century transformed into museums like Delacroix Museum in Saint Germain des Prés or the museum of Romantic life near Montmartre, countryside atmosphere in the center of Paris for both.
Drouot Auction House is something very exciting too and open to anybody : not far from Opera house, there are auctions everyday (except during school break), you can admire the objects before a sale and there is such an incredible variety ! Wines, paintings, sculpture, antiques, tribal art, photographs, furs, vintage fashion, shoes, accessories, jewellery, decorative art, medals, furnitures…you can bid of course, just raise your arm at the right moment and you leave with the lot if you’re the last bidder and the hammer fell on the table !
We start to have private foundations for contemporay art, you visit on request : my favorite is Rosenblum Collection in 13th district.
4. If it’s someones first time, what should they do? where should they stay? What should they wear?
to do :
1)If they love art, the three most important museums : Louvre, Orsay , Pompidou - then walking tours in Le Marais, and Saint Germain des Pres, even Montmartre.
As monuments : Notre-Dame, Eiffel Tower , Arch of Triomph.That’s a good introduction of the city !
Of course better to do with a guide to uderstand the importance of something that could appear very kitsch at first glance and too much touristy, this is jsut the way you do it that matters.
Actually I have a funny tour for kids for their first time in Paris (and adults ask it also !) the city/gourmet tour : we discover each district of the city through a delicious point of view : the best baguette in Montmartre, the best chocolate near Opera, the best
ice-cream near Notre-dame, the best macaroons on left bank etc !
2) for a short stay I do recommend 1st district between Louvre and Opera : a large choice of hotels from cheap and nice to 5 star luxury like Le Meurice or very contemporary like Mandarin Oriental.
You can do ALL the places I’ve mentioned walking around ! and great restaurants,bistrot all around too of course, without speaking of fashion for shopping. Actually I’m living in the first district and it’ s my favorite !
3) please be elegant in nice places , even a simple white shirt with a jeans with
Converse shoes can be stylished, we don’t have a strict dress code but avoid fashion mistakes like jogging or baggies !
I can’ t stand people in the Louvre dressed as if they were going to the seaside
(yes, I’ve seen that already, not wearing bath suit of course but close to).
5. What are the most unique tours to do?
A dinner cruise on Yacht de Paris (private boat) with your lover in summer.
The Versailles secret tour with someone from Versailles who’s got the keys of Marie- Antoinette private appartments.
Of course all the most unique tours are reserved to high profile clients and I was lucky to visit recently workshops of a famous luxury french brand… I’ve been several times in the private appartments of Coco Chanel, I like the Louvre early in the morning
or late at night without any tourist in company of great collectors and sponsors. I even gave a tour to the Young French Sponsors association of the Louvre, by night, with a torchlight only, in the sculptures department and medieval Louvre : that was such a great experience to admire Michel-Angelo’s Slaves illuminated this way ! I saw also marvels in Cartier and Boucheron high end jewellery flagship boutique on Vendôme square, without speaking of Chaumet and Van Cleef private museums…