Yes, springtime in Paris is beautiful, but I am referring to the department store 'Printemps' rather than the season. Let me preface this by saying that I have an aversion to department stores. My experience is based on the North American ones which rarely have labels of interest, and creep me out because the escalators and exits are difficult to find (I think the idea is that shoppers are meant to get lost, and therefore see and buy more). For this reason, I always bypass department stores, even when shopping in different countries. During this trip to Paris however, I wanted to visit Les Galeries Lafayette for the beautiful ceiling, and Printemps for its rooftop terrace. I was also hoping that I might happen upon the beautiful clothing of Vanessa Bruno and Isabel Marant- if only to gaze upon!- because both labels are ludicrously difficult to find in Canada. So, yesterday I went exploring to see these two Parisian shopping institutions. GL was first..... I gazed at the famous ceiling, trying to engrave it in my mind before heading nextdoor to Printemps. And oh my god, as I stepped off the escalator, the first words I see on the wall in front of me are "Vanessa Bruno".
As if my day could get any better, a few steps past the Vanessa Bruno section was Isabel Marant. I fell absolutely head over heels in love with a vintage cut white silk blouse that had clear, faceted glass buttons running from collar to hem, and a simple slim sash. Just touching it made me think of 1930s movie stars.
All around the elevators at Printemps are pictures from runway shows and fashion parties- my favourite was this one of Carine Roitfeld dancing with Hedi Slimane:
And finally, a night view of Paris from the rooftop terrace at Printemps:
* Sorry for the terrible picture quality. They are taken with a cell phone- I'm working on getting a digital camera. I have to wait until I get back to Toronto to develop my other Paris photos...
the innumerable wonderful things (and temptations) that paris has to offer - have a wonderful visit! stop into les prairies de paris for me...
I prefer Bon Marche to Printemps..... but yes, the view is amazing from up there!
Congrats on being Facehunted - gorgeous outfit! Is the dress from Topshop - looks v. familiar!
What a beautiful sight from the rooftop! Now I wanna go to Paris too!
1. I love the rooftop pic precisely because of the picture quality. It evokes just the kind of hazy impression that is filled with feeling.
2. All in all, I think you're right that department stores on our shores don't compare to those in Paris and London. But I think that Bergdof Goodman and Barney's in New York are not bad. Indeed having been to the Barney's warehouse sale and seen an army of elegant matchsticks climbing all over each other to get their hands on cut-rate designerware, I guess there must be something good there. I rather like Bergdorff Goodman as well, but I think my taste runs a little bit more to the young-dressing-old- to-emphasize-their-youth look than yours. I suppose that’s the point. Department stores in New York (and by extension the US) cater to a slightly older crowd. The Vanessa Bruno’s and Isabel Marant’s would be found in small boutiques down in the village rather than a department store.
3. Enjoy every minute of Paris!
Loving every word.
minny: thank you, and I did stop in at prairies- beautiful!
susie_bubble: I forgot about Bon Marche- noooo! Next time, I will definitely pay it a visit.
Haha, no the the dress isn't from Topshop- I always go there when in London, but the crowd drives me out long before I get to the fitting rooms, let alone the cashier's till! :)
I have not spent very much time in the slightly more upscale American shopping institutions like BG and Barneys [soon to be remedied!] and should probably clarify that the hellish department stores I am used to have mostly been in Canada. Small boutiques are always preferable though I suppose...
julia: Heady praise from 'the flaneur'! Bisous.
I got my first Vanessa Bruno item this summer, and now I'm obsessed! I don't know how I lived without her before. All her clothes just feel so right...
Love this blog by the way!
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