Home to the heavyweights of fashion and considered the capital of haute couture by many, Paris is a treasure trove of delights when it comes to fashion. However, unless you happen to be a magazine editor, celebrity or industry insider of some sort, fashion week is largely off-limits to the likes of you and me. But that doesn’t mean you can’t plan your own pilgrimage to pay homage to the streets that birthed some of the most iconic designers. Here’s my favourite fashion stops in the city of lights…
1. 31 Rue Cambon. Once home to a hat shop known as ‘Chanel Modes’, 31 Rue Cambon is considered the birthplace of Chanel by many (although Coco actually opened her first clothing boutique in Deauville, a small seaside resort in Normandy). Whether you’re there to buy or browse, Rue Cambon is worth a visit for the infamous glass staircase that Coco used as her vantage point for her fashion shows.
2. Avenue Montaigne. It’s hard to believe this quiet street is just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of the Champs Élysées. Lined with shops of the biggest names in fashion, their clients are just as interesting as their beautiful window displays. For fans of Sex & The City, here’s where you’ll find the Dior shop that Carrie slips over in the final episode. There’s a great photo op with La Tour Eiffel at the end of the street too!
3. Foundation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent. When I visited the Foundation, it was more of a showcase of Yves Saint Laurent’s impressive art collection, which provided an intimate look into his life. However, I’ve just read on their website that it’s currently being renovated to present the work of YSL, including his haute couture salons and studio – set to open in Fall 2017 (you can bet I’ll be returning for that!!!).
4. La Galleria (Musée du Mode). Right across the street from the Pierre Bergé Foundation stands La Galleria. Tiny though it may be (there’s usually just one exhibition running at a time!), this museum holds an impressive archive of fashion through the ages.
5. Le Marais. Fashion fan or not, this quirky district of Paris is well worth strolling through regardless. I’ve included it in this list purely because its maze of side streets are home to an unrivaled selection of unique boutiques; from upcoming designers to vintage. It’s here that I found these glitter wedge trainers in a tiny unnamed shop.
6. Galeries Lafayette. I’ve yet to visit a department store that doesn’t seem to possess some sort of magic of its own. Visit the flagship store of Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann and marvel at its cavernous, cathedral-like interiors. Bonus points if you time your visit with Christmas; they do it up so beautifully!
7. Les Trois Marches de Catherine B. This is the only stop on the list I’ve yet to personally visit, but despite online reviews warning of rude staff, my curiosity is still piqued. Catherine B boasts a treasure trove of vintage Hermés and Chanel, each and every piece handpicked by Catherine herself. I’d love for my first Chanel bag to come from here, though if the Trip Advisor reviews are anything to go by perhaps I’ll take my money elsewhere and just stick to browsing!
What are your favourite spots to take in the Parisian fashion scene?