In the Hollywood version of Paris Fashion Week, editors in Prada mules and smudgeproof Ruby Woo-red lipstick waltz into paparazzi-strewn runway presentations and parties, drowning themselves in champagne and caviar. The reality is…not that far off, actually. But there is a lot more business going on than bacchanal: Hustling from Jacquemus to Saint Laurent in well-worn Gucci loafers and subsisting on pains au chocolat and espresso is a more realistic situ. Savvy fashion peeps work a few days of sightseeing into their hectic schedules so they can connect with the best the city has to offer. Here are some ELLE-editor-approved spots.
STAY: THE PENINSULA PARIS
The Peninsula Paris lobby with its handmade Lasvit glass sculpture
This hotel, located near the Arc de Triomphe, is ground zero for celebs visiting Paris – but you’ll have to look hard to find them. Most famous faces book under a pseudonym, and the employees are known for their vaultlike secrecy. And while celebs may hitch a ride in one of the hotel’s fleet of vintage and new Rolls-Royces (which will take guests anywhere, including patisserie after patisserie – we checked), blink and you may just miss them. Star spotting is at a high during Fashion Week, and some of the best parties are held in the ornate ballrooms. Burberry held a bash here last fall and lent trench coats to guests staying in the hotel’s suites.
THE DREAM ROOM At 318 square metres, the Peninsula Suite is the largest one-bedroom hotel suite in Paris and boasts a grand piano, marble bathrooms and a dining room with enough chairs for every friend you’ve ever Instagrammed. Also found in each room: seated dressing tables, a walk-in closet and a nail dryer for last-minute manis. After painting your nails, head up to the hotel’s rooftop restaurant, L’Oiseau Blanc, for a glass of champagne with a so-close-you-can-almost-touch-it view of the Eiffel Tower. Or, if carb loading is your mission, book afternoon tea in the Le Lobby restaurant.
WHAT’S NEW The 1,800-square-metre Peninsula Spa now offers bespoke Biologique Recherche hair treatments. Guests take home personalized products, guaranteeing 24-7 French-girl hair.
EAT AND DRINK
DERRIÈRE, 3ÈME ARRONDISSEMENT If being on the scene is not your scene, we recommend this quirky, unassuming spot. The interior looks like your cool friend’s cozy apartment, and the food is better than any home-cooked meal. Your mission: Find the resto’s foosball table, which is concealed in a secret room.
CAVIAR KASPIA, 8ÈME ARRONDISSEMENT Beyoncé loves this Parisian institution. So, if you can manage to tear your eyes away from the menu’s seven types of caviar, you just might lock eyes with an A-lister.
HOLYBELLY, 10ÈME ARRONDISSEMENT Parisians love brunch almost as much as Brooklynites do. The tables here are charmingly cramped (all the better to chat up that Jean Dujardin look-alike), and the hearty food will cure any hangover. The lineups are long, but a second location is opening just up the street.
WHERE TO SHOP
COLETTE This beloved Paris haunt turned 20 in March. Pop by the clothing boutique/curiosity shop/café for a bite or a souvenir or just to take in the beautiful madness.
NOSE Finding your perfect fragrance is a lot easier now thanks to this perfumery co-founded by Canadian Nicolas Cloutier. Cloutier and his team designed a test to determine your fragrance profile, which they use to match you with scents from niche labels like Memo Paris and By Kilian. Bonus: Christophe Robin’s hair salon is a few doors down, so you might as well stop in for a root touch-up.
SAINT-OUEN FLEA MARKET If you have any euros left, wrap up your weekend with a Sunday-afternoon hang at this famous swap meet.
Step away from the croissants for a bite of culture.
Musée des Arts Décoratifs lesartsdecoratifs.fr
1. Balenciaga, Working in Black, a collection dedicated to the late Spanish designer’s favourite hue, runs at the Musée Bourdelle until July 16.
2. Across the Seine and opening on July 5 is a retrospective on Christian Dior at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
3. If you’re planning to enjoy autumn in Paris, Yves Saint Laurent’s studio turned museum off the Champs-Élysées reopens this fall after extensive renovations.
This article was originally published in the April 2017 issue.
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