Paris's Best New Boutiques

Posted by Jennifer Ladonne on February 28, 2013 at 10:59:02 AM EST | Post a Comment

Good news for fashionable travelers: the mid-winter doldrums haven't dampened the Paris fashion spirit. Spring is just around the corner, and these brilliant new openings herald a scintillating roster of exciting new things to come.

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Chloé's glamorous new Saint-Honoré flagship, opened just in time for the fashion house's 60th anniversary, is also the new world headquarters. Softly feminine and elegantly modern, the store's creamy marble floors and signature rosy beige walls are the perfect backdrop for Clair Waight Keller's fluid, layered designs. Visitors are met with the kind of sincere attention that's all but extinct in most high-end Paris shops, as Chloé has set out to revolutionize customer service: whether you want a handbag or a whole new wardrobe, VIP rooms and professional stylists are available to anyone who calls for an appointment.

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This spanking new concept store's all-black facade, minimal interior, and smoky glass walls etched with the designer's unmistakable profile are pure Karl Lagerfeld. And it doesn't end there: Mr. Lagerfeld's immutable getup is a running theme through the iconic designer's two new collections, available only here. The Karl line, overwhelmingly black, white, and grey with a few splashes of crimson, sky blue, and a brightly fetching floral, targets a youthful crowd—lots of cropped jackets, peek-a-boo tops, hot pants, minis, and skintight jeans. The more sophisticated KLP label has enough of a range to appeal to stylish men and women of all ages and shows that inimitable (except by himself) Lagerfeld elegance.

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Fauré Le Page, arms-maker to 18th and 19th century French royals, nobility, and revolutionaries, is the latest—and one of the best—to ride the recent mania for resurrecting ancient pedigreed French companies and elevating them to luxury status. Like well-known 19th-century luggage-makers Goyard and Moynat, whose prestige bags bear the marks of their legacies via logos, hardware and function, Fauré Le Page's distinctive bags and maroquinerie (small leather goods) refer to their unique place in French history. Take the pochette gun, a tiny pistol-shaped purse modeled after a 19th-century design. These superb bags and accessories are sure to be instant classics.

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How fitting that Lancaster chose the posh rue Saint-Honoré for their first dedicated boutique. A futuristic interior all in black, chrome, and mirrors, the undulating space provides the perfect backdrop for Lancaster's brilliant palette, as seen in the classic Versailles bag, which comes in 15 shades of patent leather or cowhide. Other bags, like the jaunty Inès Sixties bag, in velvety calf with a mod chain handle, go seamlessly from day to evening, and the Exotic tote in burgundy or black faux croco is Lancaster's spin on the Birkin bag. The range of styles is impressive, from tiny evening bags and clutches to oversized satchels and totes, including a selection of limited-edition models with reptile insets available only in the boutique.

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With zillions of perfume brands out there, who has the time or stamina to make the switch from the old tried and true to something new? The partners behind Nose, Paris's new fragrance concept store, have brilliantly tackled this dilemma with a personalized service designed to identify your ideal aroma. The bright, 2,000-sqare-foot loft space just off the rue Montorgeuil is a world away from hectic department store counters. Cozy up to the zinc bar for a complementary coffee, tea or mineral water while a bilingual specialist takes you through a seven-step diagnostic to determine your olfactive profile and give recommendations from the store's 60 niche fragrances. There's also a line of body lotions and bath gels and a home-fragrance bar.

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Posted in Shopping Tagged: Paris, Shopping, Style, Clothing, France

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