Jul 122012
 

 Foyer of the restaurant at Laduree, Rue Royale, Paris.

Window display with stuffed white peacock, Palais-Royal.

Chanel vintage cuff, Didier Ludot, Palais-Royal. I’m guessing 1980′s era.

Door handle, 7th Arrondissement.

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Jul 032012
 

I took a wander through Paris and thought I’d post some pictures as a scrapbook. Above, a chiseled street sign on the Rue des Francs Bourgeois in the Marais. Below, the Place Vendome.

Yesterday, Louis Vuitton opened a new boutique on the Place Vendome for its growing fine jewelry collection.

By the way, the company has significantly expanded the selling space in the Champs Elysee store. There is a complex second floor area now that includes a second handbag selling counter, fine jewelry and watches, an expanded shoe area, and several rooms for the ready to wear clothing. Pretty windows:

Pretty door:

Outside the RItz, Glee fans gathered hoping for a celebrity sighting (apparently, actress Lea Michele):

Finally, in my quest to find the perfect macaron, I explored Le Cafe Pouchkine.  Some bloggers are pronouncing these better than Laduree. They certainly seem larger and they have a sort of shimmery sheen on the cookie part.

I cannot imagine why I bought so many. The store is located on the first floor of the fashion (or “mode”) building of Le Printemps. As for a comparison of quality, I think more testing is required. Much more.

 

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Jul 032012
 

I made a fast stop at Colette, an eclectic Parisian store–here’s a link to their website (warning, music will start to play if you click, usually French pop or chill). This store goes “on” and “off” the cool list so often than I (as a non-Parisian) cannot hope to keep up.

The store is full of art books, t-shirts, Celine and Lanvin. There is everything from the ridiculous to the sublime. Apparently, Karl Lagerfeld drops by for books and CD’s. Sometimes Colette stocks little Karl dolls and t-shirts. As it is couture week here, I saw more than a few fashionistas and I believe one prominent fashion journalist.

Current Front Windows at Colette (Fendi Bag Variations)

Colette does have a very tiny, well-curated Beauty Bar on the second floor. The store tends to carry niche beauty brands, usually exclusives. Their mainstays are RMS Beauty and Uslu Airlines.

This time, I picked up a few more Less is More travel sized hairbrushes (7 euros each). They come in fun colors, and they are small but mighty. They pull through my thick hair and take up about as much room as a cell phone in my purse. Seriously, you can tuck one of these anywhere. And they work.

I also picked up an Ilia Lipstick in Arabian Nights (22 euros). Ilia a line I’ve never heard about. But that’s why one goes to Colette-to find things that one’s never heard of. The lipsticks seem very moisturizing but pack a nice, modern color. Also, I liked the stainless-steel tube.

Third, I got a pretty little white handkerchief (well, a few as gifts) that has “Fix Your Mascara–You’re Amazing” (19 euros) in bright pink from Helpful Hankies. Because really, those are five words that I cannot hear enough.

Plus, Colette thoughtfully provided a Diptique skin care sample in the bag. Cute, right?

Colette has a very small and well curated perfume section. Here’s The Nonblonde’s trip report from her walk through the Colette beauty bar in search of gorgeous scents.

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Jun 272012
 

As the famous line from The Devil Wears Prada goes, “Gird your loins!” The French government authorizes only two sales per year. No, I’m not kidding. Today was the first day (except for store cardholders who got to first pick over the past week). It can be an absolute madhouse. If one is serious about these sales, one is waiting at the door at 8 am. This year, I was not one of those people.

By the time I arrived mid-afternoon, the aisles were packed with shoppers. By the way, why are some rolling suitcases behind them? Does any one know? Are they buying so much? Some of the major couture houses had lines outside the door. Guess which line I was in?

As I expected, only very trendy/seasonal items had been marked down and the selection had been whittled down to the unappealing by the time I arrived. Even a discount isn’t really a discount if you’ll never, ever wear it. On a happier note, I did find some patent red Lanvin flats for 30% off at another store.

 Now to figure out how to get that gorgeous box home in my already-overstuffed suitcase. The sales will run until July 31st, consisting almost entirely of the spring and summer items. In the meantime, the stock shrinks, the discounts get deeper, and lines start to put out their Fall 2012 merchandise to tempt you into paying full price for the newly-released items.

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