Friday, March 1, 2013

Paris diary & flagships that'll ruin window shopping forever

This is a wee bit belated as it has been a couple weeks since we returned from our wonderful babymoon vacation in Paris. Mind you, the hefty credit card balances have not been paid yet but lets stick to funner topics! In between showing my dear hubby around the city and stopping all places touristy and romantic, we did squeeze in a couple hours to visit a few of my fashion-related points of interests.

The place to be in Saint Germain de Près

1) Cafe de Flore - There's not one Paris Fashion Week-related story that does not mention this little iconic bohemian cafe. Garance Doré holds some of her interviews here and we did arrive on a wet snowy evening and had an early dinner of soup d'oignon and omelette de champignons along with the customary très petite café. We must have drawn some attention as we were the only ones really eating more than a shared piece cake. They figure we must be gluttonous North American. Most other patrons chatted and nursed their lone cafés for their long stays. There was an interesting, affluent-looking threesome that were seated next to us that we somehow started talking to. The two gentlemen were mature (ie one looked like he was in his 70's or 80's and the other was probably in his 50's) and the younger lady was probably Japanese and in her late 20's. Anyhow, she was also 8 months pregnant... the kicker is we were unsure of which gentleman was the father. By the end of the evening, we figured it was the older guy- given body language and how she nearly sat in his lap. Nevertheless, very nice and very eclectic people and their suggestion for sight-seeing around the city? Hire a car and leave Paris! Of course...

Hermès rooftop garden, which I would have loved to see!
From the street, you only see the man on horse statue.

2) 24 rue Faubourg Saint Honoré - Most definitely I needed to visit this 3+ story Hermes mother flagship. Of course, the museum and jardin sur tôit were off limits (don't even ask me why I bothered enquiring!) but the place was pure magic in my shopping geek eyes. Despite the ratio of security guards & sales associates to customers being 1:1, it was not at all intimidating. Ask dear hubby the same question and he may have a different answer. There was a glass wall full of Hermès' new Berline bag- in every colour.. a leather saddlery in the back room with life side horse-back mannequin.. and in an alcove lounge area, there was a white-gloved unveiling of a gorgeous 30 cm pink crocodile Birkin for a young Japanese shopper (who already had significant stash of luxury boutique shopping bags next to her chair). Lucky girl.. I can only dream! And every second customer (most being Asian or aristrocratic-looking Europeans) carried a Kelly or a Birkin. I did try on some comfy Corfu sandals, scarves, and looked at perfume and jewelry. And I fell in love with a lovely S/S 2013 linen écharpe imprimé. The anchor print looks a little like animal or leopard print from a distance, but its not. Anyways, about the experience in general, every other H boutique I visit from now on will never be as enchanting!

3) 31 rue Cambon - Hands down the biggest Chanel boutique I've ever been to.. and surprisingly, Karl's army (phrase borrowed from Aleisha :) were not snobby at all and you were bombarded by "Bonjour! Bienvenue!" at every corner. Not surprisingly though, Coco's famous apartment was not open for visits. I was smart enough not to ask, this time! The walls were full of ready to wear -so lovely to touch and fondle but I had no time to try anything on because we waited such a long time in line for Ladurée macarons and we had dinner reservations at L'Hotel Beaux Arts *sniff sniff*. And it's interesting to see the abundance of small 2.55 Classic flaps hung off the walls like the polyurethane bags at H & M stores. One of my dear friends had a requested I bring her back a red classic flap from the flagship, but that personal shopping assignment was cancelled before our trip. For myself, my search there was for a pair of canvas espadrilles which will soon will be my spring/summer "mom" shoes. Unfortunately, the Cambon store did not have them in my size so no 31 rue Cambon shopping bag to bring home.. however, I found the espadrilles down the street at the Chanel in the Gallerie Lafayette. Mission pseudo accomplished!

4) Christian Louboutin - Last to share about but not least, the mecca of red soles. Being over 7 1/2 months pregnant, I had no business being there, really. There were these gorgeous blue snakeskin Ron Ron stiletto pumps that I did try on (just for kicks). First question hubby asked me was, "How much?" I told him "795 euros, so don't worry I am not getting them even if I like them, honey!" He may not have believed me at first but seeing me teeter totter in them gave him more assurance. Ah, after baby comes.. it'll all be fair game again for me and sky high heels. :)

Before I end this long saga, honorable mention goes to the Printemps, Bon Marché, Petite Bateau, and a couple other boutiques. Unfortunately, I did not make it to Collette, Isabel Marant, or Vanessa Bruno..which is alright. There is no point to buy clothes in the third trimester anyhow. We really squeezed the window shopping expeditions into a couple of afternoons or so for the entire week in Paris. I can't complain though.. only so much willpower can ward off such concentrated temptation!

Have to share- hooded cardi's from Petite Bateau for our lil Bambino


  1. I'm glad you had a good time and that you found some things that you were looking for. It sound slike you guys had a great time. What was T's favourite part of the trip since it was his first time there?

  2. We had a great time! He totally loved the city in general and loves that its an open museum under the sky. We'd live there in a heart beat! :)