1. Where to stay in Paris
Fashion Week demands an oasis. When you return to your hotel room at night, enthralled but exhausted from a busy day zipping around the city, the last thing you want to do is navigate a packed hallway, overhearing “OMFG. The pink fur? Obsessed.” The ideal Fashion Week hotel is like the aloof cool girl in high school—chic, quiet and with access to great booze. I found all of this and more at Les Jardins de la Villa, a jewel-box boutique hotel tucked away on a side street north of the Arc de Triomphe. Other hotels are grander, sure, but I know that I wouldn’t have felt as comfortable commandeering the Ritz’s gym to change from my plane outfit into a black dress because I arrived hours before check-in— but minutes before the Ann Demeulemeester show. (An extra-kind porter brought me a beautiful restorative cappuccino flanked by a chocolate biscuit.) By the first night, I’d taken over my room like a wartime general, with fashion detritus—invites and high heels—strewn over the magenta velvet couch, and was enjoying the rare confidence of one who has a perfect Wi-Fi connection in Europe.
Paris's best FASHION ADDRESSES
Each morning, I awoke early to map out my metro connections and fill up on organic strawberries and fresh, flaky croissants in the hotel’s book-lined restaurant. At night, I collapsed into the soaker tub, visions of Lanvin’s film-noir heroines blurring into the pearlescent bubbles. Before checking out, I snapped pics of the two-metre-tall black “stiletto” chaise longue in the lobby—a literal fashion totem in an environment infused with style.
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The Jardins de la Villa's cozy, chic breakfast nook.
2. You should go:
On my next visit, I hope to indulge in the Villa’s other amenities: the honesty bar, the leafy garden patio and the full-service gym (in that order!). The hotel has also partnered with Printemps, the luxe department store, to offer a special package that includes a two-night stay, champagne, macarons and a personal-shopping experience ( jardinsdelavilla.com). Metro stop: Porte Maillot, on the #1 line, which offers a straight shot to the Jardin des Tuileries, the site of fashion shows such as Viktor & Rolf and Issey Miyake.
FASHION TIPS & TRENDS in Paris
The restaurant at Hôtel Costes, where the only thing more beautiful than the courtyard is the clientele. Metro stop: Tuileries.
Septime La Cave, a cozy wood-panelled wine bar with a welcoming vibe and a great by-the-glass menu, starting at $4. Metro stop: Charonne.
The Broken Arm, a Marais concept store determined to give Colette a run for its euros. Metro stop: Temple.
Palais de Tokyo, ground zero for avant-garde exhibitions. Bonus: Monsieur Bleu, the brand-new bistro offering views of the Eiffel Tower. Metro stop: Iéna.
Air France, the last word in fashionable French travel, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. Its stylish history includes ultra-chic flight-attendant uniforms designed by Carven, Balenciaga and, currently, Christian Lacroix.
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