Of all the cities in all the world, Paris is the first one that springs to mind when people think of fashion. After all, this is the birthplace of haute couture. Across the globe, French women and men, particularly Parisians, are renowned for their stylish elegance. There are plenty of other cities that have developed their own fashion scenes – London, Milan and New York, for example – but that Paris remains at the core of the fashion world for all the right reasons.
In June 2019, Paris previews men’s fashions for Spring Summer 2020 in a week that includes all the world-class designers’ collections, such as Louis Vuitton, Issey Miyake Men, Berluti, Dior Homme and Hermès, to name just a few of the classic labels. The men’s show is followed by five days showcasing haute couture.
Paris has more than its fair share of some of the most famous and absolutely charming grand boulevards, elegant avenues,and narrow cobbled passageways in the world. This is a city that is steeped in history, culture and heritage, and fashion has played a part in all of that and continues to do so today. In terms of shopping for fashion items, there are a few important places to go.
The major fashion centres are along the Rue Bonaparte ideal for those in search of chic garments. The Avenue Montaigne is the destination for designer labels, such as Celine, Dior and Yves St Laurent. The Champs-Elysées is an especially good place to have a lazy coffee at a pavement café on a Sunday morning just to watch the fashionable Parisians and their lapdogs on parade. These pets are often dressed and groomed in the popular canine fashion of the moment.
History and heritage
Travellers visiting Paris are often struck by the wealth of opportunities to explore the huge range of museums, palaces and chateaux that the city affords, in addition to the iconic monuments such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame, that suffered colossal damage from a fire. From the tiny museum dedicated to Rodin to the massive Louvre (the biggest in the world) and the exciting Musée d’Orsay, Paris offers a unique cultural experience that is designed to uplift the spirits and enrich the soul. The same is true of the contemporary features that attract visitors, such as the architecture and heritage museum that opened in 2007.
Of course, Paris also has a very special museum reflecting the city’s style heritage: MuséePalais Galliera, described as the museum of Paris fashion. The permanent collection is extremely fragile, representing Parisian styles from the 18th century to the present day. The museum presents a series of temporary exhibitions throughout the year so as not to risk compromising its precious garments. Dresses from the 18th century, costumes from the 19th century, and fashion from the first half of the 20th century are supplemented by haute couture and contemporary clothing. For the Palais Galliera schedule, check the museum’s website for upcoming temporary exhibitions.
Making the most of a visit to Paris
Paris, the City of Light, is open for business all year-round,with a host of events, fashion shows and festivals on offer in the capital to please the international guests who travel there from all over the world. Naturally, at key points in the fashion calendar, hotel accommodation for visitors can be difficult to find and expensive. Luckily, there is a wonderful collection of vacation apartments in Paris offering centrally located residences that are ideal for trips to the fashion and shopping districts and particularly useful for those who also like to take in museums, concerts,art galleries, Paris nightlife and city festivals.
Among the key events in 2019 are Paris Fashion Week for women’s clothes in September and Men’s Fashion and Haute Couture in June. These events are repeated annually with slight changes to dates. An October visit also offers the chance to see the biggest art international art fair in the city, FIAC, from 17-20th October.
In June, more than 2,300 gardens of all descriptions are opened to the public, while the Palace of Versailles hosts the Musical Fountain Shows, which continue until the end of October. There are both daylight and evening shows, with some performances featuring fireworks. Take the time to visit this special city and enjoy the beating heart of Paris.