Finding Karl, Jean-Paul and Christian in Paris

By Steven Wright

I have been inspired by fashion my whole life. Growing up in small town Ontario, every Sunday evening I would encourage my father to give me a 1/2 hour hiatus from the football game he was watching to follow Jeanne Beker and Fashion Television. Jeanne was a heroine to me, she traveled the world, was on the front line at prêt-à-porter and couture fashion shows each season, and got to interview amazing designers at interesting locals. Paris is known as the mecca of fashion, beyond The Avenue des Champs-Élysées, come with me on my search for Karl, Jean-Paul and Christian.

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is undoubtedly the most famous shopping strip in the world. From the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe, stroll along the spacious sidewalks, enjoying the clipped Horse Chestnut trees. The strip is lined with luxury shopping, quaint boutiques and flag ship designer stores. You can grab a snack and people watch on sidewalk patios. Travel through the underground passageway to explore the Arc de Triomphe, before shopping the opposite side of the Avenue.

It’s worth a stop at the flagship Louis Vuitton store (Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 101). The window displays will be the first thing to catch your eye, even from the opposite side of the street. On the main level find leather goods including bags, luggage, wallets and other accessories adorned with the iconic LV brand pattern. Explore the upper levels for men’s and women’s apparel and accessories. Work with a personal shopper to find the perfect Marc Jacobs designed piece for your collection.

Any trip to Avenue des Champs-Élysées is not complete without paying homage to The Grand Palais. The building is famous for its rounded glass ceiling, not to mention the fact that it has been the home of Chanel runway shows for the past number of years. Karl Lagerfeld brings his many visions to life, and amazes the fashion crowd here season after season.

For the ultimate luxury shopping experience, ditch the crowds on Avenue des Champs-Élysées and head north-east of The Grand Palais to Avenue Montaigne and L’avenue George-V. All of the luxury brands boast a spot on this coveted strip and it is also the location of many of the head offices, and thus an opportunity to run into, or stalk, depending on your preference, the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Jean-Paul Gautier, Marc Jacobs and more.

Highlights for me include the leather goods at Hermés, the stand alone Jean-Paul Gautier store, the Christian Dior store including separate boutiques for men, women, children and infants, and the Chanel corner. You can also find Chloe, Dolce & Gabanna, Georgio Armani, Prada, Valentino, Fendi, Gucci, Versace and much more in this area.

Take a break from shopping at Chez Francais, 7 Place de l’Alma. Grab a seat on the terrace for an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower and Liberty’s Flame, the Princess Diana Memorial. Chez Francais was recently featured in a scene in Inception with Lenardo Dicaprio and Ellen Paige. If that is not enough, the 5* service and amazing food wine and coffee keep patrons coming back for more. This would also be an ideal location for a romantic dinner or wedding proposal, I’m just saying.

No luxury shopping trip to Paris is complete without stopping at the Christian Louboutin boutique, 19 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau. To best shop the store I would suggest window shopping first, at the entrance to the store and then around the corner through the Galerie Véro-Dodat. This gives you the best opportunity to view the show stopping collection with the patten red leather soles. Then head inside to see the rest of these amazing creations and to arrange to have your purchases shipped home.

Stop at Aux Deux Ecus, 1 Place Deux Ecus, for a coffee and croissant before heading to the Louvre or on with your day.

France Posts:
Enjoying My Cake in Versailles Gardens
Pasta in Paris, Brunch in Blue – My guide to finding good eats
Sightseeing on the Seine
Shopping Posts:
La Rambla is just a warm up to shopping in Barcelona
Outlet City Metzingen
Shopping in Berlin – ja, das ist gut!
Chic Outlet Shopping – Europe

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