Selling mainly women’s clothes, with a few accessories for men, the shop, although quite small was brimming to overflowing with fantastic leather bags (4 shelves of them), lots of denim and jackets plus clothes and belts. I could have spent hours ferreting around. Unfortunately for me, my hands were already full with my purchases from La piscine and I could only squeeze in another two small vintage bags at the bargain price of only 5 euros each. I was very happy.
In La piscine I spent a blissful hour, or was it two – trying on everything I could find and hunting through their selection of shoes desperate to uncover any size 40’s (yes, I do have rather large feet I hear you say). I eventually managed to find two pairs of Costume National shoes; a lovely black dress from Damir Doma, Martin Margiela belt and cuff, skirt from Pierre Balmain and the list goes on. The shop was on sale and the prices were so reasonable, compared to what you would pay back home, that it made me seriously think how could I come back to Paris every July for the summer sales?
I also liked the clothing in IKKS. I thought the men’s range, particularly the shirts were excellent and value for money, with lots of choices in fabric including floral, stripped and plain. To be honest, menswear looked better than womenswear. Given the number of stores located through-out Paris, IKKS looks to possibly be a ‘chain store’ although perhaps a more upmarket one. I ended up buying a black jacket and tee-shirt. Very happy.
I had to save the best for last. As a huge devoted fan of Chanel, a visit to Paris is not complete without going to one of the lovely Chanel stores. I was surprised that you had to queue outside the store at Lafayette. None of the other designer stores had queues! For me however I wanted to visit the Chanel store located at 31 rue Cambon, for the true ‘Chanel’ experience.
The store was originally opened in 1910 and has 4 floors including workshop, Chanel’s apartment, couture level and ground floor boutique. I cannot put into words how it felt to be in the ‘original store’. For me it encompassed all that was beautiful about Parisian fashion rolled into one. Lucie (my ever helpful ‘shop assistant’) if I can use those words, was so delightful and patient, with my desire to just wander and ‘pretend I could buy’. The store was busy with many 2.55’s (the most popular of Chanel designer handbags) being sold in various sizes, in black. I however asked Lucie to show me what bags weren’t black and were a different design shape.
She came out with two beautiful bags (one in burgundy in more a square shape) and a limited edition black bag (more 2.55 shape) with various French emblems emblazoned on the front. I didn’t want to know the price of the ‘limited edition’ but just looked and admired wishing I’d won lotto. However the burgundy bag seemed to be beckoning me to buy. I loved the colour and shape and it was an un-usual design for Chanel, against her more traditional style. It looked good on me.
As with most things in life, a woman can justify just about anything (should she need to) and with it being my birthday this week – I thought, I’m only in Paris once and doubt will be in this Chanel Store ever again, so why not treat myself and so I did.
I can’t wait to open my present on Monday with all the pomp and ceremony a Chanel bag requires and deserves. Of course I then have to feel brave enough to take it out of the box and start using it.
I am truly in love with everything about Paris.