Paris: Fashion and the French connection in the city that dresses to impress –


Dresses exhibited in the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, The Eiffel Tower and a Citroën 2CV

THE THREE-STOREY mansion on the nook of Avenue Marceau, a stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysées, is all the things I wished it to be.

Usually Parisian, with its panelled limestone partitions and ornate railings, it’s arduous not to think about Catherine Deneuve skipping down the stone steps in her trench coat and heels as she so famously did in the movie Belle de Jour.

However that is an deal with that’s particular in some ways. It was right here in the coronary heart of the French capital a few years in the past that one in all trend’s most fabled names moved in with goals as excessive as the ceilings.

Twelve years into his already thriving enterprise, Yves Saint Laurent, alongside along with his enterprise (and life) companion Pierre Bergé, relocated his couture home right here.

Now, 30 years later, this historic property is as soon as once more enjoying host to the legendary designer in its new incarnation as the newly-opened Musée Yves Saint Laurent (


The late designer Saint Laurent at work in his studio

The bottom flooring was the place he would obtain his shoppers for fittings for the newest tuxedo, or a costume impressed by the geometric color blocks of painter Mondrian after his exhibits (which befell there for the first 4 years) whereas his personal design studio is up on the first flooring.

As we go to, the exhibition is new but there’s already fairly a crowd gathered exterior in the solar, a mixture of fashionable vacationers and trend-ahead college students which introduced again reminiscences of my early visits to the city that impressed me to turn out to be a trend journalist.

Inside although, it’s surprisingly calm thanks to the handiwork of set designer Nathalie Crinière and decorator Jacques Grange.

It has the authentic ambiance of the high fashion home: the gentle carpet, gilt statues and chandeliers in these intimate l getting there Small Luxurious Inns (0800 048 2314/ presents doubles at the Grand Resort du Palais Royal from £331, room solely.

Eurostar (0343 218 6186/ presents return rail journey from London to Paris from £58. Paris tourism: but decadent rooms maintain it very a lot an up-close-and-personal expertise.


Get pleasure from the Marais district’s mixture of boutiques and interiors shops – and tasty snacks

We research authentic sketches, with cloth swatches, dressed mannequins and screens of video footage, and listening to Saint Laurent’s voice retains his presence felt all through.

My favorite room included his usually Parisian type: androgynous, monochrome items – together with, in fact, the notorious tuxedo go well with and the jumpsuit (that he championed) – shifting to the items from his Moroccan-influenced collections.

A very vivid orange cape stood out for me. The color and the delicate craftsmanship to create a 3D impact of petals had such a up to date affect. He appeared to have the artwork of turning the conventional into trendy.

Upstairs, his studio is kind of because it was with a desk filled with sketches, half-made toiles and materials all on show to the sound of his favorite opera.

There are additionally pretty touches to remind us of the man behind the identify, comparable to his specs on his desk and his pet bulldog Moujik’s bowl on the flooring. Extra trend enjoyable awaited elsewhere.


Dior dresses on present at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Yves Saint Laurent started his profession as an apprentice at Dior, who additionally has an exhibition in Paris, working till January 7 at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs ( Titled, Dior: Designer of Desires, it’s an actual showstopper, cleverly taking timeless collections from the previous to the current, displaying them in a approach that takes us into the future.

It was fascinating to see the documentation of his early days; personal letters, sketches and newspaper clippings ranging from when he started his profession establishing an artwork gallery. Who knew Dior exhibited the works of many artists, serving to propel the careers of Salvador Dali, Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso, to identify however a couple of?

There are 23 rooms exhibiting outfits from his first present in 1947, persevering with into collections from his successors: Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, the newest recruit Maria Grazia Chiuri and, in fact, Saint Laurent.

One lodge that wins in the type stakes is the Grand Resort du Palais Royal, positioned only a brief stroll from The Louvre and the retailers of Rue Saint-Honoré in a neighbourhood dwelling to a lot of up-and-coming designers.

The property oozes type with its black trendy lobby set off with white orchids that leads to Lulli’s, an elegant cocktail bar. It has 68 rooms, two of that are roof-terrace suites with balconies and views over Paris. 


Yves’s sketches and concepts on his desk at the Yves Saint Laurent museum

It’s had an entire redesign by Pierre-Yves Rochon and the clear traces and monochromatic color palette proceed to the rooms.

It’s additionally softened with botanical prints in pretty shades of apple inexperienced, cloth cream headboards and tonal leaf print curtains. A brief stroll away is Spoons, a restaurant from famend chef Alain Ducasse that opened barely a month in the past.

Occupying the city’s authentic stockmarket constructing, its trendy however quirky inside is darkish and minimal with unusual touches comparable to poems hanging from mobiles above our heads.

The fusion taster dishes have been mouthfuls of worldly flavours: shrimp ravioli, tandoori hen, matcha tea cake and salted caramel ice cream. Style is a strong sense, however so too is scent.

And candy aromas abound in Paris. If you need to uncover a bit extra about what goes into making the fragrance you spray on your self each morning, or simply fancy visiting the final idea fragrance retailer, then the Grand Musée du Parfum ( is the place to go.


Grand Resort du Palais Royal has had a up to date makeover

Set in a 17th-century mansion, which as soon as housed the trend home of Christian Lacroix, with glass French doorways overlooking a quaint courtyard, the floor flooring is an all-white retailer, scientific but opulent, stocking excessive-finish fragrances (from Calvin Klein to Tom Ford).

There are additionally pure merchandise comparable to Voga soaps in the prettiest printed paper packaging, making them the excellent stocking current. Issues get severe upstairs the place there are interactive shows designed to improve your information of the origins of various scents.

We went one stage additional and ventured into the lab to make our personal, mixing our favorite scents collectively. It’s fairly a thrill to come away along with your very personal fragrance.

My private favorite was Neroli, because it jogged my memory of honey and orange blossom and bergamot for a wealthy spicyness with floral and citrus undertones. I mixed the two with a bit jasmine to add a calming impact.

Smelling fabulous, it was time for a fast chunk in the 1st Arrondissement at Le So, a bohemian bustling spot for brunch with daring blue partitions and huge spherical tables full of Parisian households consuming earlier than a strenuous afternoon hitting the retailers.


An exhibit at Saint Laurent Museum

Procuring in Paris needn’t break the financial institution. Head to the Marais district, a nice 15-minute stroll from Resort du Palais du Jardin, and browse the classic shops and small boutiques promoting a mixture of designers at simply above excessive-road costs alongside some nice interiors and classic retailers.

Fleux is a should-go to for individuals who need to add a bit eccentric type to their properties. Suppose animal-formed lamps and pineapple-print cushions.

Close by Rue Vieille du Temple was additionally significantly good for retail remedy adopted by a decide-me-up crêpe at Breizh (

It was a candy finish to my Parisian journey.

Fairly shamefully, it had been 5 lengthy years since my final go to however coming again and experiencing the city’s regeneration while nonetheless paying homage to its fashionable roots jogged my memory why I fell in love with trend in the first place.

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Paris: Fashion and the French connection in the city that dresses to impress -