Merci boutique

Fashion’s Final Frontier in the Haut Marais of Paris

Seven years ago, when Paris’s queen of concept stores, Merci, pioneered in the nether regions of the Marais, the term “haut Marais” barely existed. In contrast to the neighbourhood’s boutique and tourist-crammed midriff, the rabbit warren of tiny streets in...
Erès

Boutique Beat: From the Sublime to the Sporty, Lingerie Shopping in Paris

Where else but Paris to shop for the world’s most beautiful lingerie? Parisian women are known for their no-nonsense approach to sexiness, it’s just a fact of life. You’ll notice while strolling through the city’s streets and boutiques that Parisians rarely...

Boutique Beat: Handmade Luxury Goods in Paris

Ever since Louis XIV organised artisans – from perfumers to saddlers – in guilds to serve his gargantuan palace, France has been a world leader in the design and production of handmade luxury goods. Now that France’s global behemoth brands (you...

The Carrefours of France in San Francisco: Hayes and Gough/Octavia

During the 1849-50s Gold Rush, many French came to San Francisco to find their fortune.  It was San Francisco that grew rich with the addition of French culture, and that continuing influence is seen...

Hermès: A Family Affair

Within the Hermès family the words luxury and profit are never spoken—as if even pronouncing them would be incredibly vulgar, almost indecent. They use the word elegance, of course, but mostly they talk about...

A History of the Breton Stripe

Fresh, nautical and undeniably chic, la marinière worn by the sailors in the French Navy is the shirt we call the Breton stripe. For over 150 years these stripes have been seen on board the ships of the Marine Nationale...

Fragonard: All in the Family

Almost everyone has heard of the painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard, a major 18th-century French artist, but few know that he was born in Grasse, France’s perfume capital, and the son of a maître gantier et...
The Art of Travel at the Lalique Museum

The Art of Travel at the Musée Lalique in Alsace

A visit to the Musée Lalique in Alsace is a surprise not just for the fantastic permanent collection and the spectacular natural setting, but also for the quality of the temporary exhibitions, guided by a different...
Alexander McQueen in Paris

Paris Shopping: Alexander McQueen on rue Saint-Honoré

The much-missed McQueen earned his credentials as a fashion legend long before the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s posthumous blockbuster exhibition, Savage Beauty. In the wake of his untimely death, McQueen’s creative director and his successor,...

Haute Handbags by Renaud Pellegrino

Once in a great while a lucky shopper comes across an item so original and compelling that it seems to exemplify the designer’s sheer delight in act of creation. This is rare in a work...