Archive for March 10th, 2022

March 10, 2022

My favorite gardens of Paris !!

And here I am taking another favorite subject of mine. I have written on many of them already in my blog but this is an overall look of them and to help others enjoy them as I. OF course, this will be in my black and white series, no pictures. Hope you enjoy the post and can use well the information on my favorite gardens of Paris!!

The aim of the classical gardens of Paris was to glorify and offset the royal palaces, endowing them with a grandeur they had not previously known, These are the beautiful gardens we enjoy today in my eternal Paris. A great place to walk among beautiful architecture and history!

In the 16C ,Catherine de Medici built a palace (palais des tuileries now gone) on the site of a former tile factory, attached to the site was an enclosed garden, André Le Nôtre turn it into a French style garden in 1666, the Jardin des Tuileries. Le Nôtre erected two large terraces forming a broad alley that even went beyond the limits of the palace. This followed the route later was the future of the Champs-Elysées and beyond to the Grand Axis, armée, la defense etc, This perspective ran from the Louvre to the Grande Arche de La Défense, The garden is divided into two parts, ; next to the former palace there is a wide open expanse adorned with parterres, there is also a wooded area, The Tuileries garden was one of the first gardens in Europe to open to the public. In the 18C, they became the model for public gardens throughout France and elsewhere in Europe. There are about 100 17C to 20C sculptures including some by Aristide Maillol. And of course, you know I worked for several years just across the street of rue de Rivoli in rue de Castiglione!

The Carrousel garden, was built in the 19C after the palais des Tuileries was burned down ; the triumphal arch later became a gate to the Tuileries, Aristide Maillol sculptures were introduced and later became the Louvre garden, It open out into a terrace belvedere that was constructed over the underground path on the exact site of the former palace terrace once used for balls and parades, Adorned with a central stairway the terrace descend to the Tuileries where Le Nôtre designed the manicured Grand Carré and the wild thickets of the Grand Couvert.

We come to the Jardin du Palais Royal which now virtually nothing remains of the original design of the garden built close to the Palais Royal in the early 1600’s. The garden was bigger than it is today, consisting of parterres with box hedges decorated with pools and statues where to the north Louis XIV went for fox hunting as a child. The construction in the 18C of the streets and buildings (Haussmann) nearby reduce the size of the garden and was turned into an English style garden. Today the garden covers an area of 8 hectares shaded by a double row of lime trees ; the central pool with its fountain is flanked by two expanses of grass bordered by single flower beds decorated with 19C statues, Leading up to the French revolution and Directoire this was the liveliest spots in all of Paris!

The Jardin du Luxembourg, which Marie de Medici ordered built for her palace is laid out around a central parterre dominated by terraces, Thousands of Elm trees arranged in a square once frame a view that ended abruptly at the Carthusian monastery, The monks refused to give their part of the land therefore the southern extension was not carryout until the 18C after the monastery was torn down by the French revolution. The garden was restored by Chalgrin during the First Empire (Napoleon I),built in English style and was rarely used for grand festivities. The 19C saw the introduction of a bandstand , a merry go around by Garnier, and numerous shelters, some for entertainement has been added more recently, There are about 80 statues distributed around the garden, the work of 19C artists including Cain, Frémier, Bourdelle, and Marquese, There are 3 fountains such as the Medici fountain whose pediment bears the coat of arms of the queen, the Regard fountain of 1869 commemorating Eugéne Delacroix decorated by a bronze statue of 1890 by Jules Dalou, Plenty of flower beds, and chesnut trees, an orchard on the remains of the Carthusian monastery with thousands varieties of apples, and pears, The observatory gardens were laid out in 1867 and recently renamed Robert Cavelier de La Salle and Marco Polo gardens,It has the four corners of the world fountain completed in 1874 after plans by Davioud, The statue of four women supporting the globe symbolizing the four corners of the world are by Jean Baptiste Carpeaux.

The Botanical Gardens date from the Renaissance and were first used for educational purposes during the reign of Louis XIV. Also used for experiments ,conservation of exotic specimens brought back from foreign expeditions.

We have in Paris, the Jardin des Plantes which initially was built by Louis XIII as the Royal Medicinal Herb Garden in 1633 for the use of medical students, In 1640, it became the first garden in Paris to open to the public. The garden were enlarged and became a place of scientific learning with the coming of the Jussieu brothers who were botanists ,The collection of dahlias etc extended from the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution to the railings by the entrance, There is also a Rose garden, an ecological park, rockery in the Alpine garden with 2K species of alpine plants, The maze built around 1640 with a bronze house on top, the oldest metal building in Paris, The two hothouses , the Mexican and Australians were built in 1834 the first time iron was used for this type of construction, The columns at the bottom contains the tomb of Daubenton. The menagerie (petting zoo) was added to the garden during the French revolution after the Royal menagerie was confiscated (including from Versailles) laid out in English style had cocodriles, and snakes.

The Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil was laid out in 1898 by Jean Camille Formigé on the site of Louis XV former nurseries and included greenhouses. It is Paris official orchard and the supplier of indoor plants for the Hôtel de Ville (city hall) and some of the mayor’s offices, The Serres d’Auteuil is also a botanical garden with the most remarkable feature a series of greenhouses to form a great hothouse ; this is 98 meters (325 feet) long and a central dome of 16 meters (53 feet) high, It contains a palmarium and an abundance of tropical flora.

The Parc Floral de Vincennes opened in 1909 as a site of horticultural exhibitions,It covers 76 acres and abounds in valleys, artificial lakes, and rivers,The style of the pavilions and patios design of the ponds, and fine statuary anchor the park in the esthetic traditions of the 1970’s.

You have picturesques gardens or the anglo chinese gardens very fashionable in the 18C, here we have a land of illution dotted with curious and exotic ruins and buildings.

One that comes to mind is the Parc Monceau, the Chartres folly of Louis XVI’s brother the Duke of Chartres built near the hamlet of Monceau in 1787 ; it was the first anglo-chinese garden style, and Carmontelle built it as an open air pandora’s box of curiosities and as a location for festivities, A number of extravagant construction were built of which only the Egyptian tomb and the Naumachia remains. The park was enlarged in 1793 to include the rotunda by Charles Nicolas Ledoux. The Haussmann renovations hurt the Monceau park as half the land or about 20 acres were sold to the Pereire brothers who built streets, private houses, and the park was encircled by railings with a monumental gates, Several trees planted in the 19C with a number of rare species including a fruit beating fig tree and the extraordinary Davidia or handkerchief tree.

The Bagatelle or Artois folly in 1775 Louis XV’s brother, the Count of Artois had Bagatelle’s castle and park built in only two months in response to a challenge by Marie Antoinette. The park was design in the anglo chinese style introducing waterfalls, grottos, a pagoda, and a lover’s pavilion, The grounds were further extended in the 19C with an orangery and stables, A subsequent owner, Sir Richard Wallace (of the Wallace fountains) ,added two hunting lodges and the Trianon, The property was bought by the city of Paris in 1904. The park provides a remarkable cross-section of garden design spanning three centuries, The English garden with its undergrowth, ponds and shady areas, a French style garden with parterre and an extraordinary rose garden built in 1904 by JCN Forestier the warden of parks and gardens and a friend of Monet.

Landscape gardens inspired by English parks ,came into being during the Second Empire (Napoléon III) ; these hidden gardens offered private , winding paths for quiet walks, Among them are :

The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont conceived by Napoléon III. The decision was made to build Buttes-Chaumont in 1863, Jean Charles Alphand use dynamite charges to give new forms to the Buttes-Chaumont , results included a lake , several waterfalls, and rivers, embankments and large plantations, The park opened in 1867 on a typical Haussmannian design paths plunging deep into the undergrowth chambering up rocks, and then opening up into higher land and winding their way throught the countryside,It includes a temple ,and a grotto with stalactites as well as a wonderful flora,

The Parc Montsouris was designed a copy of Buttes-CHaumont and laid out by Alphand between 1867 and 1878 over the site of old quarries that have been turned into catacombs in the late 18C. There is an aritificial lake , waterfalls, and grottos with grassy areas, The highest point was once occupied by the Palais du Bardo which burned down in 1991 had moorish design built for the Universal Exhibition of 1867, The park also has a meteological station constructed in 1947 next to the south bearing of the old Paris Meridian that once stood in an observatory designed by Vaudoyer in 1806.

And there are some nice modern parks/gardens in Paris too, My favorites and many others are:

The Parc de la Villette built in 1987 on the site of the old halles crossed by the Ourcq canal and 86 acres of land making the largest green space in Paris, It links two important cultural centers, the Cité Des Sciences and the Cité de la Musique as well as the Grande Halle. Notes for its nice walks, day and night entertainement and displays of modern arts, There is an architectural promenade and a Bamboo garden,

The Parc de Belleville of 11 acres ; it has a vine, several open air cafés on wine growing area that once was , artificial grottos and waterfalls as well as pools which reminds you of the water that still flows undernearth, As it sits in one of the highest point in Paris, there are wonderful views of the city from a belvedere at the summit.

The Parc de Bercy built on the site of bonded warehouses once stood and designed as a garden of memories, paved tracks, warehouses, ruins of the Château Bercy and about 100 trees, Built on a classical model with grass , parterre, and a terrace that runs down to the Seine river, There is a romantic garden constructed around a canal and ending in an island.

The newest is the Parc André Citroën which since 1993 is at the center of a new district constructed on a site of an old Citroën motor car factory. The White Garden closer to the city and denser and the Black garden with the reverse effect, the main area runs down to the quays by the Seine river,There is an esplanade with a huge greenhouse with surrounding 120 water jets, There is a grassy section with a waterfall and a large canal, There is a line of 6 gardens each dedicated to one of the senses, Also, two large greenhouses one is an orangery and the other has Mediterranean flora.

And then, you have the woods, bois of Paris, and love them.

There is the Bois de Vincennes, the forest of royal hunt from the 12C turned into a public park since the reign of Louis XV, Early on in the 19C was used by the military, Encourage by the Bois de Boulogne, Napoléon III decided to do one on the east in 1857. Alphand built three lakes, Minimes, St Mandé, and Gravelle, Lake Daumesnil was added later. The forest was 2460 acres and was reforest with new trees, alleys, greenery etc. The forest acquired a hippodrome in 1863, the imperial farm in 1859 and in 1867 , the school of Horticulture was established. Other attractions were later addes like a Zoo 1934 Floral park 1969 ,and the George Ville Farm 1989. The Vincennes Zoo replaced the Zoological Garden lait out temporarily for the Colonial Exhibition of 1931.

My favorite is the Bois de Boulogne 2100 acres of good times and plenty of good memories for my family, Extends from Boulogne to Neuilly with wooded areas, lakes, footpaths, bridle paths, cycle tracks, sports facilities, and restaurants. Within it are numerous gardens such as the before mention Bagatelle, also, the Pré-Catalan, Shakespeare, and the before mentioned Serres d’Auteuil. The Bois de Boulogne are now separated from the old Rouvray forest of medieval times, It became a royal park in the 13C and acquired the name Boulogne after Philip the Fair had a small church there in 1301 to commemorate pilgrimage to Boulogne sur Mer (Pas de Calais dept 62) . The forest was open to the public by Louis XVI in the 18C with a reputation for loose living after François I turned the Château de Madrid into a lover’s rendezvous, and the nobility built the castles of La Muette,Neuilly, La Folie St James, and Bagatelle. The Moulin de Longchamp among the ruins of the Longchamp abbey founded in 1256 and destroyed during the French revolution,However, the windmill is still there !!

Napoléon III renovated the area badly damaged during the French revolution and allied occupation of 1814-15. The Bois de Boulogne was linked to Paris by the Allée de l’Impératrice (now Avenue Foch) and it was designed by Alphand who between 1852 and 1858 built 60 miles of paths, constructed lakes, and rivers, and planted 400K trees, There are children’s areas such as the Jardin de l’Acclimatation 1860 , Pré Catalan garden 1855, followed by Longchamp and Auteuil racecourses in 1857 and 1873 respêctively. It made the Bois de Boulogne one of the most fashionable promenades of the Belle Epoque!

There you go folks, a beautiful natural promenade in gorgeous Paris! A visit to these gardens/parks is a must while visiting the capital of France. Hope you enjoy my favorite gardens of Paris, as I and do visit them when possible.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: ,
March 10, 2022

Paris, world capital of cultures !!

Many have said, France is the melting pot of Europe and for good reason, We have welcome the world over the years and especially around the bigger metro areas, there is a vibrant population of immigrants and French of other lands descendancy, I like to treat the subject from a cultural aspect on this post, Paris, world capital of cultures !! Of course, this will be treated in my black and white series, no pictures, Hope you enjoy it as I.

Since the 19C at least, Paris has been a refuge for large numbers of Eastern Europeans especially Polish and Russians fleeing revolutions and repressions, These groups have left their mark on the city creating neighborhoods that acts as a magnet to attract even more as well from Italy, Spain, and Portugal making these groups the largest foreign communities in Paris.

The White city, Paris has a Russian air about it in the 1920’s when aristocrats, and bourgeoise settled in the city fleeing the Russian revolution, Cossacks and White army officers became factory workers, taxi drivers, or dancers and musicians. The masterpiece of all this is the Saint Alexandre Nevsky Church at 12 rue Daru built between 1859 and 1861 by the architects of the imperial court, It follows the traditional Orthodox design with onion domes and grounds in the shape of Greek , cross but the exterior is Muscovite. Besides this church, Paris has several other of churches in the 15éme and 19éme arrondissement with the most attractive those of St Séraphin de Sarov and St Serge , the latter decorated with frescos of Dmitri Stelletsky and 16C iconocastic doors.

Anti semitic pogroms in Russia ,Ukraine, and Poland brought thousands of immigrants to Paris between 1880 and 1930. Many settled in the Marais around Rue des Rosiers and place St Paul, Guimard was commissioned to built a synagogue in Rue Pavée in 1913.

From 1831 , Paris became the place of refuge for Polish exiles. One of the main Polish centers was on the ïle St Louis with the Bibliotheque Polonaise and a museum dedicated to the revolutionary poet Adam Mickiewicz, The museum also , has an impressive room on Chopin. The Church of the Assumption was presented to the Polish community in 1844. The Polish school was founded in the Batignolles neighborhood in 1842.

At the start of the 20C, Paris attracted artists and intellectuals from all over the world, These included Picasso ,Miro, Juan Gris, and Dali, The Cubism and Surrealism of Spain. The Spanish Civil War produced a steady exodus to France which lasted until the 1960’s.

Peasants from Piedmontese Alps and the Apennines streamed into France from 1870 onwards, The immigration from Italy reach its peak between 1920 and 1930 when Paris became the center of Italian anti fascism, Italians form the largest foreign community in France. Today Italian presence is everywhere.

The Portuguese community in Paris gathers around the Bastille. The Cité Internationale Universitaire built between 1923 and 1968 has many student houses such as the Italian House 1958 and the Deutsch de la Meurthe Foundation 1925.

The influence of the Mediterranean is tangible in Paris. Virtually all the communities of North Africa and the Middle East are represented in the city,. North African are the largest community of which Algerians are the most. You have the Institute of the Arab World, with one of the most beautiful views of Paris on the top floor, and the Algerian Cultural Center. The Goutte d’Or neighborhood is the main area for North African settlers since the 1950’s,

The Grande Mosquée de Paris built between 1922 and 1926 on the model of the Fez mosques. Many Parisian grocery stores are run by Moroccans from Sous and Tunisians from Djerba. The Passage du Cairo facade of 2 place du Caire was built between 1798 and 1799 and incorporate Egyptian style motifs, The markets of Barbés, Belleville, and Aligre are meeting places for the North African communities with Mediterranean souks styles and products from their home countries.

From the 1920’ss the rhythms of drums and of the biguine West Indian dance took Paris by storm and an Afro Caribbean elite became established with a growing Black community since the 1960’s with the arrival of immigrants from French speaking Africa, and French citizens from overseas territories like Guadeloupe and Martinique. Between the WW, Paris flocked to the black dances or bal négre with the jazz of Josephine Baker and the West Indian biguine danse, In the 1980’s Paris became the world capital of Afro Caribbean music venues included jazz clubs like New Morning, Hot Brass, and LSC and discos such as Keur Samba, L’Alizé, BB Antilles, and Cinquiéme Dimension, You had West Indian festivals such as in the Zénith ; the Paris Overseas Festival took place in the 12éme arrondissement at the end of June. African arts can be seen at the Musée des Arts d’Afrique and the Musée de l’Homme, many galleries and the Musée Dapper founded in 1986 now closed but the Fondation Dapper continues the presentation by other means . See fabric stores in the Château Rouge neighborhood, the hub of Afro Caribbean life in Paris.

Paris already had a few Chinese restaurants, craftmen and trinket sellers at the beginning of the 20C. However, since the 1970’s refugees from South East Asia have established their own distinct neighborhoods within the city, The first Chinese neighborhood came after WWI close to the Gare de Lyon, China had entered the war in 1917 on the side of the allies, and several thousands chose to stay in France at the end of the war, Hidden away in the 2éme arrondissement is an unobstructive Chinatown with folks from Zhejianh, the Wenzhou Chinese immigrating since the 1920’s speaking a dialect even not understood by other Chinese, They took over the businesses in the Arts et Métiers neighborhood devoted mostly to the leather trade, However, the most famous is the Choisy triangle located in the 13éme arrondissement between Avenue d’Ivry, Avenue de Choisy, and Boulevard Masséna. The area came into been in 1975 when large numbers of refugees came from Indochina, such as Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians. Most of the population here is of Chinese origins in the 19C and many came from Teochew in southern China, You have here the famous Tang Fréres in Avenue d’Ivry that came from Teochew to Laos and then France. There is a huge Olympiades building at the heart of the Choisy triangle houses two Buddhist temples, the meditation center of Teochew and the altar of the Cult of Buddha. There is or was the International Buddhist Institute of Paris with the Grande Pagode de Vincennes open to Buddhist of all persuasions located in the Bois de Vincennes in a group of African buildings from the Colonial Exhibition of 1931.

There is a group of buildings in China Square along the Seine joining with the Marne built in 1992, Designed in the Manchu style as a showcase for China past and present. The first Asian restaurants appeared in the Latin Quarter at the beginning of the 20C ; more followed in the 1950’s when the war in Indochina brought the first wave of Vietnamese and another followed in the 1970’s end of the war. You have the Maison des Cultures du Monde based in the theater of the Alliance Française established in 1982, It brings together the cultures of Chinese operas, Japanese theater, African, Islamic and Indian music. Tai Chi Chuan has caught up in Paris and now practice in the Bois de Boulogne, Jardin du Luxembourg, and the parc Buttes-Chaumont, The Gallery of Asian Arts 48 rue de Courcelles built between 1926 and 1928 following instructions from patron Ching Tsai Loo a Chinese antique dealer ,inside there are decorations in lacquer panels some dating from the 16C.

The Opéra neighborhood has the largest Japanese shops restaurants and bars and it is known as the Japanese quarter of Paris. You can see the influences in the Musée Guimet and in the Japan House of the Cité Internationale Universitaire. The painter Fujita produced two magnificent works for this building combining Japanese and Westerne techniques.

Up to the early 1970’s India was still a mysterious continent whose music ,dance, and cinema was known only to a few in Paris. However, the last 30 or so years increasing numbers of Indians have arrived in Paris. The Indians do bazaars, groceries and cassette stores sprung up at the top end of Rue du Faubourg St Denis, and close to the Sentier where many of them work, Many Indians and Pakistani from the Punjab region have come to Paris since the 1970’s. The Indian community includes those coming from Gujerat as well as the Punjab but also includes Tamils from Ski Lanka and many from the Pondicherry Territory who chose French nationality after the French trading post there was closed down. You see many around the Passage Brady and the Rue du Faubourg St Denis, and the Boulevard de Strasbourg.

There you go folks, indeed this is just a primer and there are a lot more, Paris has them all everywhere. So the cuisines of the world are here too done by nationals and very tasty indeed, try it. Hope you enjoy this briefer on the cultures of Paris as I.

And remember , happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: ,
March 10, 2022

The fashion of Paris and the World !

I worked in luxury establishments in Paris and had the opportunity to meet some of the best in fashion especially during fashion week Paris. This will be on my black and white series, no pictures. I like to tell a bit on the fashion history of Paris. Of course, all started here you know……

When the Second Empire (Napoléon III and Eugénie) was proclaimed it foretold the demise of the small exclusive dressmaker , and the rise of haut couture or high fashion with the coming to Paris of English born Redfern and Worth and the Frenchman Doucet.

Jacques Doucet inherit a lingerie shop at 21 rue de la Paix and in 1821 turn it into a fashion house, It had a reputation for expensive gowns designing clothing for Sarah Bernhardt and Réjane. A disciple of Doucet and Worth early on was Paul Poiret who influence the world of fashion since 1909 until the interwar years, He shocked society by introducing shimmering gowns with matching turbans to be worned without corsets. Charles Frederick Worth moved from London to Paris in 1845 at age 20 and worked in a draper’s shop until he was able to open his own shop at 7 rue de la Paix, specializing in well cut clothes, One of his innovation is to use live models for the fashion shows!

Paris had an inspiration for these designers since the 19C and many streets honor them such as by the corner of Avenue Montaigne and Rue François I to the following Jeanne Paquin a dressmaker from the Rue de la Paix who designed the Directoire look, and Madeleine Vionnet famous for her bias cup crepes who opened her own house in 1912, and the Callot sisters.

Jeanne Lanvin was done by a design by Paul Iribe for the company logo in 1927 symbolized by Lanvin love for her daughter, her main source of inspiration.

Parisians women are acknowledge paragons of elegance, charm the world over, the creators always have them in mind when creating new outfits. Many inspired this movement such as Henri Becque who wrote La Parisienne, Colette wrote of the provincial women when they came to Paris in “Claudine à Paris” and in 1950 Jacques Laurent launched a literary review called “La Parisienne”. They allowed the opening of salons to show off their culture and curiosities. The most celebrated salons included those of Countess Anna de Noailles a noted storyteller and poet ; Duchess of La Rochefoucauld who received the writer Paul Valéry in the Place des Etats Unis and the Countess de Fels who wrote on her invitations, « a little tea a little conversation » Continue with the inimitable Parisienne in Léon Gozlan « Parisian Mistresses » who describe them as « She is a composite of grace and sensitivity, an inehaustible source of woman you dream about when you are sixteen, and only one you remember when you are sixty ».

The tailleur bar created by Christian Dior after the end of WWII symbolized the return to opulent, affluent living standards after the privations of Nazi occupation, These days the catwalks are largely dominated by foreigners, however, even though Parisian women are sometimes born outside Paris, they can always be identified by their impeccable knowledge of the city, their open minded, curious manner and their way of choosing what they like. A virtual laboratory for French fashion and taste, haute couture brings together people with astonishing creative talent, A fashion house can be describe itself as haute couture only if meets certain criteria relating to fittings and presenetations of collections in January and July, These collections many times were shown in my hotels even thus you will not see their names in the passarelle !

Some of them and initial location or still there are Chanel, 29-31 rue Cambon 8éme, the byword of Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel, In 1983 Karl Lagersfeld took over the house, and continue the same until his recent passing.

Yves Saint Laurent 5 Avenue Marceau 8éme ; after working as assistant to Dior, YSL presented his first collection in 1962, This was in the house once inhabited by painter Forain in the Rue Spontini, Innovating women in dinner jackets, etc, Francesca Bellettini is general manager since 2013 and Anthony Vaccarello artistic director since 2016. The control is under the fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent.

Jean-Louis Scherrer first show was in a cellar in 1962, since moving to Avenue Montaigne, a house known for lavish styles. He passed away and now own by the groupe JSB International since 2011, with a new store at 111 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.

Christian Dior, 30 Avenue Montaigne 8éme, took fashion by storm with the New Look, Today the house is sustained by Gianfranco Férré, Now part of LVMH since 2017 led by general manager director Sidney Toledano,

Givenchy 3-5 avenue Georges V Hubert de Givenchy the gentlement of haute couture, discovered his vocation on a visit to the Pavilion of Elegance at the 1937 Universal Exhibition, He opened his own house in 1952, specializing in evening dresses and noted for pure sculpted lines, Part of LVMH since 1988.

Christian Lacroix, 26 Avenue Montaigne, a native of Arles devoted his first collection in 1987 to Provence. The couturier eventually left his house in 2009 and pursued his design business, XCLX. Sacha Walckhoff, his “right arm” from 1992 to 2009, is today the creative director at Maison Christian Lacroix.

Olivier Lapidus, 35 rue François Ier 8éme, He inherited the house from his father in 1989 as the newcomer, A tireless seeker of new materials to please refined modern women,

In the 1990’s a new wave of creative designers came on such as Daniel Hechter, Cacherel, Emmanuelle Khanh and Dorothée Bis, Paco Rabanne with gowns of aluminum and Pierre Cardin developed his ready to wear, These currents, gave rise to an avant garde which flourished in the 1980’s in the Place des Victoires,

We have Chantal Thomass 100 rue du Cherche-Midi 7éme on stocking and lace, In 1975 she relaunched the fashion for the chic underwear, including corsets made of silk.

Alaïa 7 rue de Moussy 4éme, a designer who glorified women, The gowns designed by Assedine Alaïa a proud Parisian originally from Tunisia are meant for elegant women who are confident of their seductive powers,

Thiery Mugler, 49 Rue Montaigne, designs inspired by ballerinas with whom it has worked, He has recently passed away,

Castelbajac, 6 Place St Sulpice, Jean Charles Castelbajac with his motifs of colors and unusual materials, Like the fur coat made of teddy bear materials,

Sonia Rykel, 175 Bd St Germain 6éme, creations intended to be worn exactly as the wearer wishes,

Montana, 131 rue St Denis, 1éme, Claude Montana has said wants to design clothes that people will enjoy rediscovering,

Jean Claude Gaultier, 30 rue du Faubourg St Antoine, 12éme, The moves from punk to froak coats, and stayes everything is beautiful if you think it is beautiful !

You have the extras or accessories, See Christian Louboutin’s shoes 19 rue Jean Jacques Rousseau 1éme, A Parisian designer of shoes that opens house at the Galerie Vérot-Dodat, His shoes with wooden heels decorated in gold leaf are minor masterpieces,

Elvis Pompilio,62 rue des Sts Péres 6éme, The Italian designer first went to Brussels and now has a shop in the middle of St Germain des Prés, His kirsch yet chic hats sometimes consists of objects he has picked up in the flea market !

Georges Gaspar , the undisputed leader in umbrellas, supply the most celebrated shops, boutiques theater costume, and department stores, He came from Hungary in 1931 and now his daughter Anne Marie continues at 4 Bd Jean Mermoz, Neuilly sur Seine dept 92.

Philippe Model, 33 place du Marché St Honoré 1éme, He revolutinized hat design, a lover of bright colors ; he has gone into bags, gloves, and shoes.

Marie Mercié, 56 rue Tiquetonne, 1éme, She knows how hats needs to be worn, Themes running from Viennese cakes and Zulu to Cubism.

The big department stores in Paris also took off in the Second Empire, these were the Les Magasins du Louvre, and La Belle Jardiniére have gone but surving stores have hardly changed and now include prestigious designer labels among their offering, The windows of the grand magasins are famous the world over.

You have the wonderful Au Printemps dating from 1889 between Rue du Havre, and Rue Caumartin that was built as a city within a city concept, The cupola was built in 1923 as fine example of Art Nouveau with 19 meters wide (64 feet) and 16 meters high (53 feet), This cupola was turn down in WWII,The store was designed by Paul Sedille.

Le Bon Marché 22 rue de Sévres 7éme opened in the left bank in 1852 and was the first of its type, It inspired Emile Zola novel Au Bonheur des Dames ! The dept store was designed by Gustave Eiffel, The stairway was designed by Andrée Putman.

And of course, others like BHV and my favorite Galeries Lafayette.

The Place Vendôme was for the big nice jewelers. You have the house of Cartier from 1847 23 Pl Vendôme. Mauboussin 20 Pl Vendôme established in 1827. Chaumet, 12 pl Vendôme, the imperial jeweler a collection of Nitori founder of the house of Chaumet is kept in the Hôtel Saint James which has housed the shop since 1907,he gained fame when Napoléon I made his responsible for the decorations of his coronation. Boucheron, 20 pl Vendôme gold medal at the Universal Exhibtion of 1867 turned Boucheron into the favorite jewerly house of Paris cosmopolitan high society. It has occupied premises here since 1893. Van Cleef & Arpels 22 pl Vendôme which has been here since 1906, well known for his worldwide search of precious stones.

Some beauties that rounds up these luxury goods are Christofle, 9 rue Royale 8éme founded in 1833 showing gorgeous items in deco arts, Lalique, 11 rue Royale, René Lalique was a jeweler until 1911 when he turns to design of perfum bottles which are now collector’s items, Hérmes 24 rue du Faubourg St Honoré 8éme, silk scarfs sporty and elegant styles and high quality leather designs, Louis Vuitton 54 avenue Montaigne , trunkmaker settled in Paris in 1854, One innovation was a single key that could open every piece of luggage, Baggage with its initials are recognised the world over, Baccarat 30 rue de Paradis, 10éme, The museum here contains items from 1823, It was very near around the corner of my dear late wife Martine job when I first met her and took me here back in 1990, The collection here includes the candelabra commissioned by tsar Nicholas II. Daum, 32 rue de Paradis, 10éme, small shop specialising in hand made glass first opened in Nancy in 1874.

The parfums of course, the classics. They became fashionable in the 19C when they were sprinkled in handkerchiefs and fans, then the Second Empire the women wore Guerlain’s Bouquet de l’impératrice, Guerlain house 2 place Vendôme since 1828, shalimar comes to mind, The legendary Chanel No 5 created in 1921, the most widely sold perfum in the world ! Dior, launched in 1947 Miss Dior, Hérmes with a bottle of Caléche and Amazone in a leather bottle reminder of horseriding that made Hérmes famous. And so on and on …..

The official federation of haute couture and fashion:

The Paris tourist office on luxury and haute couture in Paris:

There you go folks, a wonderful world and yes expensive but worth working for it. The sky is the limits go for it enjoy it savoir the look and be chic and famous in my eternal Paris! Hope you enjoy the post as I and do follow up ok

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: ,
%d bloggers like this: