From royal palace to hotbed of Paris nightlife, the magnificent 17th-century Palais Royal gardens are enjoying yet another resurgence, this time as one of Paris's elite shopping spots. American designer Rick Owens pioneered the Palais Royal in 2006, followed by fashion giants Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Acne, and the sought after French label, Maje. Yet tucked between big-name shops and venerable antique stores you'll find scores of tiny boutiques stocked with treasure that can only be found here. For more on the designer shops, see this feature. But for only-in-Paris picks, keep reading.
Maison de Vacances: Prêt-à-Porter for the Home
"Dress your interiors as you'd dress yourself," urge the designers behind the sleekly modern Maison de Vacances. Mongolian lamb poufs, zebra-stripe and metallic leather rugs, and fur pillows and coverlets bring a Parisian pizzazz to any home. Who can resist a rainbow-hued smiley face pouf in sheared rabbit?
Delage: Fit for a Queen
Luxurious shoes and bags handmade in rare and exotic skins—iguana, crocodile, shark, and kid—combine high fashion with exquisite old-world detailing. Pressed crocodile leather riding boots, turquoise suede boaters, or a demure stingray tote to stand out in a crowd can all be found at Delage.
Corto Moltedo: Updates the Classics
Scion of the Bottega Veneta clan, Corto Moltedo's exuberant handbags are made in Florence and range from tiny pochettes to python carryalls. Adorable evening clutches might sport a skeletal hand or a metal tarantula and are pure ingenious fun.
Épice: Sophisticated Shawls
Parisians love their scarves and shawls, and the upscale versions at Épice, in opulent blends of wool, cashmere, linen, cotton, and silk, draw an urbane clientele. Handsome florals, multicolored stripes, colorful ikat, and sleek solids transcend the fashion trends.
Avenches: Body Art
Sensuous jewels resemble small works of art. Made in a Paris atelier with consummate skill, these inventive jewels at Avenches are as much a pleasure to look at as they are to wear. Prices range from easily attainable to a king's ransom, but hover in the mid-range.
Mary Beyer: Second Skin
Incomparable gloves made-to-order in 60 shades of kid, plus an ever-changing selection of chic styles in supple goatskin, boar, reptile, crocodile or doeskin with mink, fox or chinchilla detailing. Fingerless models for easy phone access and a special bespoke service for delicate or injured hands.
Thinking of a trip to Paris?
For up-to-the-minute hotel and restaurant recommendations, plus the best planning advice, check out our online Paris Travel Guide.
Photo Credit: courtesy Corto Moltedo