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Paris – the capital of fashion, the home of illustrious couture houses and a city with a history of sartorial savoir-faire – has also made a name for itself as a top destination for vintage shopping. From high end to affordable, this selection of Paris’ best vintage boutiques will suit every style.
Didier Ludot set up his eponymous shop in the 1st arrondissement’s regal Palais Royal gardens in 1975, and still sells a judicious selection of luxury vintage clothes, accessories and shoes for both men and women. The museum-worthy pieces include couture gowns and suits from French fashion greats such as Chanel, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. This is the address for fashion insiders seeking unique pieces with serious cachet, where well-coiffed grand dames drop off their unwanted pieces for sale and stylists seek out clothes for glossy magazine fashion shoots.
Célia Darling (5 rue Henri Monnier, 75009; 01-56-92-19-12) is a chic and stylish vintage shop in Paris’ trendy 9th arrondissement, selling clothes, accessories and a few vintage knick knacks too. Clothes ranging from the 1940s to the 1990s are sourced from all over France and Belgium, then cleaned, mended and sometimes even customized in the workshop at the back of the shop. Unique creations include a range of denim jackets with dog portraits embroidered on the backs, somewhat reminiscent of Givenchy’s recent dog motifs.
Mamie Vintage and Mamie Blue are two shops on the same street in the 9th arrondissement, packed floor to ceiling with rail upon rail and pile upon pile of shirts, dresses, hats, shoes, bags and suits for men, women and children, with pieces ranging from the 1900s to the 1980s. They also offer retro makeovers, creating a vintage hair and makeup look for you to match your new clothes.
Kiliwatch is a vast and bustling shop in the 2nd arrondissement with a large array of vintage and second hand items that have a youthful, fashion-forward focus. Whatever the sartorial flavour of the moment may be – denim shorts, biker jackets, Cossack hats, for example - you’ll find plenty to choose from. There is also a good selection of shoes, scarves and hats, and all are reasonably priced.
Kim Laidlaw Adrey is the Paris Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes www.unlockparis.com.