Competition Time at Barneys!

Dear art lovers,

If you’d like to win a year’s subscription to Ideal Home Magazine, head over to the Barnebys Auctions Facebook page to enter the competition. Good luck!

 

All the pretty things 😉

xoxo

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My Favorites: Vintage Shopping in Paris

Why is it that the French are painfully stylish? Every time I visit Paris (which is often) I learn something new about how to dress well and yet when I’m back in London I simply cannot replicate what I’d learnt in the city of light. The answer is simple, scattered around Paris are the most amazing vintage shops, vintage shops that are far and few in London. They’re not your typical second hand shops but true vintage boutiques. Quality items of clothing are sourced (and God knows from where because I am yet to figure out that little secret) and sold at affordable prices. By affordable I don’t mean £20 for a pair of vintage high-waist denim shorts (a la London Portobello Market) but five Euros for a pair of leather shorts or 15 Euro for a faux fur jacket. I once even scored myself a pair of cowboy boots for 5 Euro! This is why the French do fashion better.

I’ve even started doing most of my vintage shopping in Paris as it’s still much more affordable to look good on the other side of the river.

Here are my top Parisian vintage shops:

 

Free’P’Star

Everything you can possibly imagine, Free’P’Star have it. With two branches in Le Marais, you will be sorted for all of your vintage shopping needs. This is where I source out most of my vintage goods from leather satchels to faux fur coats and battered converse high tops. They also do summer discounts on winter clothes and vice versa so you can always stay ahead of fashion for half the price.

You can find Free’P’Star at these locations:

8 rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie

61 rue de la Verrerie

20 rue de Rivoli

nearest metros: Hotel de Ville and Saint-Paul

check out their website:

http://www.freepstar.com/

Free'P'Star

Free’P’Star

 

Kilo Shop

Vintage Kawaii  as they call it at the Kilo Shop in Paris. Does exactly what it says on the box: choose, weight and wear. With an array of summer dresses, autumn jackets and winter boots, the Kilo Shop has various branches scattered around Paris from Le Marais to Saint-Germain and Beaubourg.

Check out their website and look book here:

http://kilo-shop.fr/fr

 

Vintage by Ramin

Another little vintage beaut in the heart of Le Marais. Check out their fantastic stock of accessories and be sure to visit the shop on a Thursday when shop ‘muse’ Yva of Paris offers her services as personal stylist to customers. If you are keen to be spoiled by your very own personal stylist for the day make sure you book in advance.

Vintage by Ramin can be found on at no. 17 rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie.

Check out their rather enticing website here:

http://www.vintagebyramin.fr/

 

Chine Machine

Slightly pricier but definitely worth a visit, Chine Machine at the butte of the Sacre Couer in Montmartre houses some fantastic vintage designer goods at a decent price. The staff are super friendly and sweet too 🙂

 

You can find them hidden away on rue de Martyrs, take rue la Vieuville and follow it up on the right side.

Nearest metro: Abbesses

Check out their blog here:

http://www.chinemachinevintage.com/

 

And there are plenty more to discover, especially in Le Marais. Enjoy!

 

 

My Favorite Paris – Montmartre

My preference for arrondissements has changed over the years. From historical centre 1st, to spreading out slightly to the 2nd, trendy 4th over to Latin Quarter 5th, back to 3rd, pass by 11th, touristic 7th to the canal in the 10th… but the 18th shall always hold a special place in my heart.

Montmartre lies perfectly at the tip of the 18th. Though a popular tourist attraction, the crowds of tourist with flashy cameras can easily be avoided if you know how…

The Sacre Coeur is one of my all time favorite displays of magnificent French architecture. I always pay homage to it on my visits to Paris. It sits peacefully and elegantly on top of the hill. One place I do avoid (at all costs) is the Place de Tetre behind the church, which is heavily populated by tourist and souvenir shops.

Sunny Day at Montmartre

Sunny Day at Montmartre

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Eating out in Montmartre can either be expensive or disappointing if you end up in a tourist trap. One lesson I’ve learnt is never to order a crepe from a place that has a pile of precooked crepes on the side waiting to be filled. The French are famous for their emmental filled crepes though it’s best to look for a place that makes them fresh from the batter on the spot, unfortunately I haven’t yet found a decent creperie in Montmartre. What I have found are fantastic bakers and cheese shops (yes shops that solely sell cheese).

I Heart French Cheese

I Heart French Cheese

Rue des Abbesses and the roads that follow down from it to Pigalle, such as Rue Lepic are my favorites for boulangeries, fromageries, fresh fruit and veg and fresh fish (oyster bar anyone?).

I’ve blogged about it before and I’ll blog about it again. Le Relais Gascon is my favorite restaurant in Paris. I like to convince myself that I’m eating healthy by ordering one of their huge salads. The food is a treat, the wine is decent (and decently priced) and the service is quick, most of all it’s not pretentious and doesn’t try to be “typically French”, it just is. I especially love sitting outside as the view down to Pigalle is great for people watching, even on a rainy day.

"salad" at Le Relais Gascon

“salad” at Le Relais Gascon

I’ve come to realize that the main reason people in Paris dress so well is the availability of inexpensive fashion a la vintage shops. Though not the centre of vintage (which I shall discuss in a later post), Montmartre has it’s fair share of decently priced vintage boutiques (5 Euro boyfriend coats for example…). My friend and I spent well over an hour inside one particular shop that not only sells vintage clothing but shoes, bags, furniture, books… you name it, they sell it.

The shop: Les Billes de la Gamine, the owner: Cecile. Cecile is a connoisseur in all things vintage. She just has to look at you to pick out the perfect item that you will instantly fall in love with. The star buy was my friend’s 30 Euro pair of Doc Martins boots in ivy green. Cecile’s little shop can be found at 66 Rue d’Orsel, at the very tip of Rue des Abbesses.

Vintage Cool at Les Bille de la Gamine

Vintage Cool at Les Bille de la Gamine

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Other great vintage shops that I shall definitely be visiting again include:

Chine Machine

100 Rue des Martyrs

75018, Paris

and Vintage Desir (for those 5 Euro boyfriend coats)

28 Rue Yvonne le Tac

75018, Paris

(sadly they don’t have a website or a Facebook page)

Sunday is flea market day in Montmartre, Rue de Clignancourt boasts stretches of market stalls selling all sorts. I felt absolutely chuffed to have discovered it by chance one day! Nearest Metro stop in Montmartre is Chateau Rouge though it’s a 5 minute walk from the Sacre Coeur. You can also stop at the very tip of the market at Metro stop Porte de Clignancourt where they have the bigger more serious stalls, I believe these are also open on Fridays and Saturdays.

early morning just as the flea market was opening

early morning just as the flea market was opening

Most of all I love Montmartre for it’s slopes and slides, green open spaces and quiet little back streets. The sky always appears bluer in Montmartre, I can only imagine the influence the landscape would have had on the great French Impressionists who populate this area.

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