Standing on a corner in the Marais, waiting for the bus # 29…
Marie Antoinette Paris, is the name of the tiny little boutique with a cheerful red façade at place Sainte Catherine in the Marais. Chéri and I discovered it a couple of years ago and were completely immersed in the charm not only of the space and décor of the store itself, but also the charm of Antonio de Figueiredo, the shop owner. I have never met anyone who loves perfumes, scents and eaux de toilette so much! His eyes sparkle when he tells you about the famous perfume worn by the lover of Sasha Guitry, or he swoons over the benefits of the mens skin care line that he sells, and he smiles and giggles while expressing his appreciation for the line of Portuguese perfumes and scented candles he has carried since he first opened. Antonio LOVES what he does. Continue reading
Guest post by Bonney Bailey
Paris has to be one of the most popular shopping cities in the world. Here, high-end chic rubs shoulders with vintage fashion, making this the ultimate city to shop ’til you drop. Whether you’re spending a romantic weekend away or taking the kids to Eurodisney Paris you’ll never be far away from some first class shopping opportunities.
1. Avenue Montaigne and Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
Dedicated to high end fashion, Avenue Montaigne is the place to shop – and be seen. This famous street is home to fashion houses such as Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Fendi, Ralph Lauren, Christian Lacroix and Bulgari. You can easily do some credit card damage here, although there’s nothing wrong with window shopping! The fashion continues along neighboring Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, where you’ll find the flagship stores of Hermès, Lanvin and Lancôme. Not surprisingly, it’s also where you’ll find two of the major Parisian powerhouses – the President of France at the Élysée Palace and the headquarters of French Vogue.
2. Les Puces de Saint-Ouen flea market
There is nothing like a Parisian flea market to bring out the bargain hunter in even the most high-end fashionista. From antique jewelery to vintage perfume bottles, this is a magical place to rummage for treasures, whether to find souvenirs, gifts for someone special, or a beautiful trinket to call your own. Get in early for the crème de la crème of clothing, jewelery, art and home goods.
3. Le Marais district
Vintage fashion has had something of a revival over the past few years. Yet, while this now seems to extend to the shiny polyester collections of second-hand stores of England, Parisian vintage fashion is on another level of style altogether. Les Marais is home to one of the greatest concentrations of vintage shops in Paris. From appointment-only costumiers to general vintage stores, a determined rummage might reveal a rare Chanel jacket or Hermès scarf. Prête-Moi Paris’ very first blog post was on one such of these vintage stores!
4. La Vallée Village
Even Disneyland Paris holidays can involve some Parisian retail therapy. (Why should the kids have all the fun?) La Vallée Village is a luxury outlet center featuring a huge collection of major designer brands at over 95 boutiques, and everything is at a reduced price. Conveniently, it’s only five minutes away from Disneyland Paris, so you can spend the day enjoying the rides with the kids and then take a little shopping spree with them afterwards. (There’s even designer children’s wear available here!) For those staying in one of the Disney hotels, there’s a dedicated shuttle service that runs straight to La Vallée Village. This shopping haven is open 7 days a week (excluding Christmas day, January 1st and May 1st) so you can easily fit your shopping trip into your Disney trip.
5. Les Galeries Lafayette
This 10-storey department store in the 9th arrondissement of Paris covers everything from bedding to bridalwear. There are some huge designer names here, from Burberry to Vivienne Westwood, but there is plenty for those whose budget won’t quite stretch to luxury brands. There is even a gourmet food and drink department with all manner of foodie indulgences, and an on site travel agent. Its huge glass dome and art deco interior makes this one of the chicest department store experiences you can have.
Another perk about this department store is the free fashion show held there on Fridays to show the different designers that the store features!
As you’ll have gathered, Paris offers a diverse selection of unrivaled shopping experiences, so break out the credit cards or save up your euros, wear comfortable shoes and hydrate and feed yourselves. This is not shopping to be taken lightly!
Andy Laird is a musician from Brooklyn, NY, Justine Pringle is his wife, they have a little thing for chocolate… just a little thing… that became a much bigger home grown thing, dubbed Nunu chocolates. Self taught chocolatiers, they use all organic cacao from a family run farm in Santander Columbia, and make hand-made incredible little chocolatey edibles… Their little endeavor started out as an idea of something different to sell at Andy’s music performances… and now they have their very own shop in Brooklyn, and are able to come promote their lovingly made wares in Paris France of all places.
The event on April 15th was to promote this couple was given a little help friend their friends at Yelp Paris, Zeva B and Elodie F.
At the Brachfeld gallery in the Marais : 78 rue des Archives 75003, and accompanied with wines from La Cave du Barav (a fine gourmet goods and wine boutique at 10 rue de la Corderie 75003)… the evening was a delicatble experience of pairing wine with chocolate and sharing great conversations with my pals Jenny of http://www.jennyphoria.com/ and Kasia Dietz designer of très Parisian ‘it’ bags http://www.kasiadietz.com/ Nothing like a little chocolate and wine to enhance an evening apéro!
Nunu Chocolates will be at their pop-up boutique at the Brachfeld gallery until April 26th.
I hope Andy and Justine have many years of making chocolates ahead of them!
Repetto just opened a new boutique in the marais…
A welcome return after the fire last October destroyed the store on rue du Perche. It was so odd, because I had just been in that store the afternoon before… And then the next day my friend Kasia tweeted about how the store had burned during the night.
This new boutique is on the corner of rue des Francs Bourgeois and rue Vieille du Temple, and just opened it’s doors this past Friday April 15th 2011 at 10:30am.
Repetto is one of my favorite French brands (but then I think all ballerinas or former ballerinas like it, non!?!). It was a brand for ballerinas and dancers, but had the know-how (thanks to Jean-Marc Gaucher) at the turn of the 21st century to branch out to the general public and sell them ballerina style street shoes, and clothing. It’s been a hit ever since!
And another reason I love this brand is that is was started by the mother of Roland Petit, who is one of my favorite choreographers. Plus their point shoes have always been and still are fabricated in France.
…and other beauty moments from the quartier de l’horloge…
Tucked away in a pedestrian section of the quartier de l’horloge near the Centre Pompidou is a happy little beauty salon. Aouva Beauté; where men and women alike can get their beauty fix.
I had an appointment for an evening that happened to be mighty cold outside, to get an oriental pedicure with polished toenails. Upon entering the small salon, I saw two clients getting their foot care done up and an esthetician on a stool carefully filing away. I was early and took a seat on one of the wicker stools indicated to me… right next to the cutest little long-haired chihuahua ever! It’s name is Bounty (like the candy bar), and he immediately hopped into my lap in order to be pet. Ok, my day was just totally made!
I sat there tweeting and petting the dog, but no one else in the small room was saying anything. I found it slightly odd. And even more odd, when I realized that the two other clients that where present, knew each other and had come in together. How weird to sit there silently and not talk to your friend that you are getting a” beaté des pieds” with! Anyway… after they left and I hopped into the pedicure chair, I chatted away with Anaïs, my esthetician for the evening. I asked her a thousand questions about the beauty salon and her job, and she graciously answered all of them.
Aouva Beauté has been there for a year. Three exotic women welcome their clients as if they were friends. Aouva, Anaïs and Morgiane. They have been written about in Femme Actuelle, My Little Paris, and have had deals with Groupon Paris and DealGroop. (the Groupon deal was a little too successful, but it is bringing in many clients through their door).
They offer just about everything you could hope for in a beauty salon :
Mani-pedis of course.
Massages (that Aouva told me were the real deal deep tissue Californian massage, hallelujah! –she lived in LA for some time, and speaks perfect English–)
Hair removal (with wax or thread –indian style) for men and women!
Permanent make-up (make-up tattooing)
And what’s better than this? : They are open Monday to Sunday (closed Saturdays) from 10am to 8pm!
6 rue Brantôme; 75003 PARIS; Tel : 01.42.33.36.94