Monday, 12 December 2011

Paris' Hidden Vintage Treasures

Paris is a city where you'd expect to find a lot of beautiful clothes... but for the discerning (and sometimes value-concerned) fashionista, the question of what remains when you step away from the delights of luxury stores on the Champs Elysees or high street hits on Rue de Rivoli can seem pretty daunting if you don't know where to look.

Luckily, as a lover of all things vintage who happens to have made Paris her home, I have made it my mission to scout a few of the best vintage stores around the capital for the perusal of the online community. In short the upshot is, if you're in Paris don't miss THESE...

1. TILT Vintage, 7 Rue de Rivoli, Paris

Looks can be deceiving- this shop may seem small from the vantage point of the Hotel de Ville across the road, but step inside and you will discover that it is bursting with fresh and desirable vintage pieces worthy of London's Brick Lane or Los Angeles' Rosebowl. 

 Providing all the classics such as fur coats and wool jumpers, as well as some funked-out accessories (like these trippy sunglasses) Tilt will not disappoint you (and probably won't break the bank neither).

The view from the back of the shop ;)

2. Richie's Vintage
56 rue Jules Vallès, Marche Aux Puces, 93400 Saint Ouen

This delightful store can be found hidden deep within the legendary March aux Puces de St. Ouen, in the North of Paris (19th Arrondissement, Metro Porte de Clignancourt). A rich and vibrant collection of international vintage, you can find a great selection from wonderful everyday bargains to that extra special evening something (see the bodice below which I had great trouble resisting)..... 

Monsieur Richie himself...!:)

3. Lina from Paris...rue Jules Vallès, Porte de Clignancourt, Paris

Facing Richie's but casting a completely different vibe to it's neighbour, this charming brocante-style vintage stall is really one of the highlights of the flea-market.
In the ten minutes I spent outside, I found Rykiel Homme, unique bijoux, felt hats garnished with old feathers, ball gowns worthy of Belle and authentic military wear, to name but a few things:)
Featuring a range of beautiful and unique clothes on aloof and characterful mannequins, this stall will reveal more to you the deeper you dig.

The proprietor, Lina, adds to the experience too...her unique look provides a refreshing balm to the typically tired Chic Parisians you tend to see stalking the streets of the capital...

Watchful mannequins preside over the vintage treasures.....

A dress worthy of the débuantes of the 20's... If I can't find an occasion to wear this in the next few months, I will consider myself a failure...:)

You wanna doctor's bag? Medicine not obligatory...

4. Les Merveilles de Babellou
Marché Paul Bert dans Le Marché aux Puces de St.Ouen, Stand 13, Alleé 1 et Stand 77, Alleé 6...

Step inside this well presented chest of top quality vintage treasures, ranging from Yves Saint Laurent, to Chanel, to Dior, and you will not be disappointed.
Evocative of a lost golden age of couture, the delights of Babellou will have you dreaming back to a time when Dior's New Look reigned supreme and sophistication could be found on every Parisian street.
Although nowadays the story is not so different, with specimens such as these on offer you could really create a magic wardrobe (provided you have the time and money.) As expected for true vintage pieces, these do not come cheap but as long-term investments they are worth it (though I think you'll need good luck in trying to choose...)

Quel beau chapeau! with these in mind, happy vintage searching next time you're in Paris ;)


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