France

Paris shoping shortlist

Paris and shopping are two words which go well together but it’s more fun to scope out the new designers than schlep down Faubourg St-Honoré with the Eurotrash. Montmartre is a great place to see what younger French designers are up to—and Les Créateurs des Abbesses is a good place to start.

Rue Houdon by Metro Pigalle has seen an explosion in the number of trendy boutiques and galleries in recent years. Like Anis at no.19 where designers Galina and Sandrine, have converted their shop into a working atelier. Visit the shop and you will see them cutting and stitching their collection together in the workshop behind the till.

Nearby is Pamp’Lune, on the angle of rue Houdon at no. 4 rue Piemontesi. They sell childrens clothes made from bold 70’s fabrics, not the usual wishy-washy pastels, more like miniature versions of Sharon Stone’s leisure wardrobe in “Casino”.

Across the street at no. 16 is Patricia Louisor. It’s not exactly high quality but the designs are clever. Cheap and cheerful if you just MUST have a new top for a night out.

No. 20 is Series Lemitees by Mag & Val with some great Japanese fabrics, inspired jewellery and handbags. Strictly for Chloe/Cacharel type girls.

But the best of the batch is the Caverne a Fripes vintage clothing store in the basement of no.25, run by an aging Dandy who hardly raised his nose from deep in a book by Chateaubriand. I found an original Breton top in the perfect size for 10 euros.

Tatiania Lebedev’s boutique has been here (no. 23) for about two years but has undergone a re-fit. The Russian designer’s clothes have a more hard-edged feel, more of a Hoxton or Williamsburg look than Paris. The choices of fabric are great though with materials like industrial denim and red leather coming into use.

You’ll hit rue des Abbesses at the top of the hill so reward yourself with a café crème or a beer at local dive Le Saint Jean bar/café on the corner.