The Fashionista's Paris
By Amy Laughinghouse
A savoir-faire cheat sheet for the stylish traveler in Paris in four steps.
You’ll find trendy styles to suit bank accounts of any size, from plus petits to tres grands, in and around Paris. Rue St. Martin in the funky Marais is the Valhalla of vintage-wear. Shops like Rag et Vertiges (83/85 rue St. Martin) and Planete 70 (147 rue St. Martin) are crowded with everything from mink stoles to minis, sequined shifts and sky-high platforms. For discount designer clothing, check out Anna Lowe (www.annalowe.com), Mouton à cinq pattes (www.moutonacinqpattesparis.com) and any of several La Piscine locations, including one near Montmartre (29 bis rue des Abbesses). Alternatively, bargain hunters can board a luxury coach in central Paris for a 45 minute ride to La Vallee Village (www.lavalleevillage.com). At this chic outlet center near Disneyland Paris, you can bag bargains in 90 shops featuring designers like Givenchy, Armani, Diane von Furstenberg, Jimmy Choo, Lacoste and Valentino.
Less concerned with pinching pennies? Fear your wallet looks fat? Work off those euros with a walk around the Golden (or better make that Platinum) triangle formed by the Champs Elysées, Avenue George V and Avenue Montaigne. In just a few glittering miles, you’ll encounter couture temples such as Louis Vuitton, Pucci, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel and Dior, where you’ll slim that bulging handbag in no time.
For 250 euros, you can hire a personal shopper to help you steer clear of fashion faux-pas and accompany you to shops that cater to your taste and budget, from department stores to haute couture boutiques. www.your-private-shopper.com.
Feast your eyes while nibbling on fashionable fare as models stride through the bar in catwalk creations at Hotel Le Bristol’s Fashion High Tea (55 euros), usually held once a month. Featured designers have ranged from Versace to Chloé, Christian Lacroix and La Perla. www.lebristolparis.com.
Galeries Lafayette, an elegant glass-domed, 10-story department store on Boulevard Haussmann, features a free half-hour fashion show at 3 p.m. each Friday (except August and January through March). To reserve a seat, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +33142823640.
More info: www2.galerieslafayette.com/international/index.do.
Hotel Le Bellechasse by Christian Lacroix offers 34 bijoux boudoirs with over-the-top details like butterflies on the ceiling, silk-paneled walls and zebra print bathrooms. Doubles from around 300 euros. www.lebellechasse.com. Hotel Jules draws inspiration from iconic mid-20th century designs, such as an oversized 50s-style “Cadillac seat” in the lobby and a sleek white “Internet capsule” that looks straight off the set of a 70s sci-fi flick. Guests have included singer Katy Perry. Doubles from around 300 euros. www.hoteljules.com. Hotel Banke, situated in an early 20th century converted bank close to the Galeries Lafayette, has more than its location to recommend it. The two-story lobby, accented by gold leaf, boasts an airy crystal dome, sleek red banquettes and an intricate tiled floor. Many of the 94 rooms retain original features, such as marble fireplaces and parquet floors. Doubles from around 220 euros. www.derbyhotels.com.