Fashion

PARIS NOUVEAU

Our resident Parisian, Tina Isaac, explores the streets of the city’s newest hip arrondissement


PARIS NOUVEAU
Our resident Parisian, Tina Isaac, explores the streets of the city’s newest hip arrondissement

Paris


 
Paris

At a time when the luxury behemoths of the avenue Montaigne find themselves in a pinch, elsewhere on the Right Bank smaller designers and quirky boutiques are flourishing. In between the sleepy mom-and-pop shops and picturesque ateliers out of a bygone era, hip boutiques seem to sprout weekly in the upper Marais, in the third arrondissement—worldwide economic crisis notwithstanding.

Some have the gift of timing. The new-generation concept store Merci (111 boul. Beaumarchais) is one of them. The brainchild of Marie-France Cohen, founder of the beloved children’s clothing brand Bonpoint, Merci offers a feel-good twist on shopping; with a portion of the proceeds—whether from the Annick Goutal fragrances or a tightly curated selection of labels, including Maison Martin Margiela and Yves Saint Laurent—earmarked for charitable causes in Madagascar. FYI: If you’re visiting in the fall, check out the season’s selection of Gablonz jewelry, a colourful art deco –inspired bestiary of creatures crafted between the First and Second World Wars. Since these jewels are no longer in production, scoring one guarantees you a pièce unique for life.

The charms of this neighbourhood revolve around architectural marvels such as Hôtel Salé, better known as the Picasso museum, and hidden passageways. Starting from the Picasso museum gardens and working northward toward République, the rue Vieille du Temple is studded with boutiques whose names make up the basics of every chic parisienne’s closet. Highlights include Les Petites (98 rue Vieille du Temple), Vanessa Bruno (No. 100), Tara Jarmon (No. 106), A.P.C. (No. 112) and Antik Batik (No. 113). A good place to start (or finish, depending on your accessorizing philosophy) is Yukiko’s tiny eponymous shop at No. 97. The designer offers a selection of vintage (think ’80s) costume jewelry and handbags by Chanel, Hermès, Dior and Roger Vivier. Be sure to check out the capsule collection of her own designs as well.

Monsieur Philippe, who runs the consignment shop La Belle Epoque (10 rue de Poitou) was among the fashion lovers who pioneered this onetime working class neighbourhood more than 10 years ago. He’s a passionate lifelong collector of hats and major labels that have marked fashion history, so expect to find Poiret, Vionnet and YSL. His shop is open September–April (1–6:30 p.m.) as well as by appointment. With his enthusiasm for exceptional design at reasonable prices (60–200 euros), it’s not surprising that his clientele includes fashion editors and international clients seeking one-of-a-kind statement pieces. Rue de Poitou and rue Charlot have blossomed with directional multi-brand boutiques, such as Shine (15 rue de Poitou). Best known for its shoe selection, Shine is also a go-to address for Acne jeans and pieces by Chloé and See by Chloé.

HAUTE EATS: A few addresses for keeping your energy up as you shop

• Rose Bakery (30 rue Debelleyme). It’s the newest Paris outpost of the Dover Street Market bakery in London. Healthy salads, mini-pizzas and quiches take the sinful edge off the sticky-toffee desserts.

• Café Charlot (39 rue Bretagne). The hand lettering and retro tiles in this restaurant give it a vintage allure. The hamburgers and daily pastas make it a lunchtime favourite among local fashionistas.

• Glou (101 rue Vieille du Temple). The name evokes the sound of drinking— with relish. Located opposite the gardens of the Picasso museum, this wine bar is also one of the neighbourhood’s top (and most affordable) foodie destinations.

• Jacques Genin (133 rue de Turenne). It’s the first boutique/salon/laboratory by the chocolate maestro to the city’s palace restaurants, located in what was once Marie Antoinette’s orangery. Treats du jour vary from hot chocolate to ganache and caramels.

• Marché des Enfants Rouge (39 rue de Bretagne). The oldest covered market in Paris is packed with stalls offering everything from sushi to French favourites. Enjoy the buckwheat pancakes on site.

“Paris Nouveau” has been edited for FLARE.com; the complete story appears in the Septemer 2009 issue of FLARE.

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