Fall is the best time to make new discoveries in Paris. Here are four contenders for the best of the new boutiques, just in time to refresh your wardrobe—or home décor—in the newest styles fresh from the fashion capitol.
The superb new N15 boutique offers one-of-a-kind vintage couture, jewelry, and accessories from the 60s and 70s, alongside a "curated" selection of prêt-à-porter and evening wear from top contemporary designers, like Haider Ackerman, L'Wren Scott, Halston Heritage, and Martin Grant, with many pieces exclusive to the boutique. Exuding a very French sex appeal and elegance from every square inch, the boutique is a revelation.
The shops on rue Saint Honoré—the Paris equivalent to New York's Fifth Avenue—run the gamut from fashion giants, like Chanel and Hermès, to the ultra-chic concept store Colette alongside scores of scintillating smaller boutiques.
Founded in 2005 on the trendy rue Charonne, FrenchTrotters has become one of Paris's premiere outlets for the best in French-made clothing and accessories. The new rue Vieille du Temple flagship now features the boutique's own label alongside a roster of select European brands that offer modern riffs on timeless classics. Expect handmade fishermen's sweaters from Brittany alongside Avril Gau leather boots or an exclusive line of Swedish skin care products and an irresistible selection of house wares.
The Marais is fashion paradise. Troll along the rue Vieille du Temple, rue de Charonne, and rue de Poitou for some of Paris's more original and ultra-fashionable boutiques
Back with a gleaming new boutique, Stella Cadente sits at the crossroads of two of Paris's trendiest neighborhoods. In an earlier incarnation, her shop was a mainstay for young fashionistas looking for sweetly subversive styles in a range of dreamy colors. The new boutique, all dressed in gold leaf, brings a dramatic new edge to sleekly feminine designs— a cape in iridescent coq plumes or floor-length marabou skirt, tons of leather, and plenty of accessories with Cadente's signature shooting star.
Just across the Blvd Beaumarchais, the concept store Merci is the one-stop shop for every fashion need, from clothing, jewelry, and lingerie to housewares, stationery, and perfume. Drop in to the cantine downstairs for a healthy risotto or the book-lined café for a frothy cappuccino and a slice of lemon cake.
The legendary fashion house is back. After closing its doors in 2009, starlets and socialites bid a sad good-bye to the opulent styles that defined an era. Housed at the same address, the newly renovated Christian Lacroix features accessories like sunglasses, jaunty totes, scarves, and some classic vintage jewels, and eye-catching housewares—elegant scented candles, jewel-like goblet, and carafe sets and signature paper products. Although there's no plan as of yet for a revival of the womenswear collection, a corner of the shop is devoted to menswear.
The rue Saint-Sulpice is loaded with superb Paris-based boutiques, including Carven, Vanessa Bruno, Tila March, Maje, Antik Batik, and a slew of new acquaintances you'll definitely want to meet.
Photo credits: N15 courtesy of Thomas L. Duclert; Stela Cadente courtesy of Stella Cadente; Christian Lacroix boutique courtesy of Christian Lacroix