PARIS - Fashion, history and gardens. It's an only-in-Paris experience at the Palais Royal, where luxury shops line the columned arcades of a 17th century palace.
It's a stellar location for visitors: The Palais Royal sits in the 1st arrondissement opposite the Louvre and near the Jardin des Tuileries. Nestled in its Montpensier and Valois galleries, high-end designers Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Rick Owens and others show both their latest collections and vintage clothing in windows that reflect the trees, serene rose gardens and grand historic architecture.
The Marc Jacobs Collection at his shop on rue de Montpensier sells the American designer's latest shirts, sweaters and accessories. For haute couture vintage fashion, the Galerie Montpensier shop of Didier Ludot features Dior, Chanel, Paco Rabanne and other classic designers. Gabrielle Geppert's shop, Lux & Vintage, has chic, vintage clothing with another boutique next door that shows her own design collection for accessories, including bags, belts and jewelry. Taiwan designer Sophie Hong's boutique resembles a refined jewelry box with a small, precious interior, displaying her unique hued silk fashion creations.
British designer Stella McCartney's shop window in the Galerie de Valois features her line-drawn faces — a motif used on sweaters, tops and jackets. A recent display included a casual look pairing a sweater with her Tomboy Diamond Jeans and other signature clothing. Pierre Hardy, who previously designed shoe collections for Dior and Hermes, creates striking, trendy shoes for men and women, including a spunky high-heeled shoe in a window earlier this fall. The Corto Moltedo boutique has cool, luxury bags by designer Gabrielecorto Moltedo. American designer Rick Owens captivates shoppers with a trompe l'oeil statue of himself dressed in hip garb and viewable from the shop window. His Fall14 Moody Collection includes jackets with off-centre zippers, belts, scarves, bracelets, and the "Moody" cap.
Combine shopping (or depending on your budget, window-shopping) with a stroll along Le Petit Canon du Palais Royal to enjoy the flowers in season, then stop in a cafe for wine or dessert. To add another layer of French history, visit Le Grand Vefour, the classic gourmet French restaurant, which counts Napoleon, Balzac, Cocteau and Colette among those who've dined there since it opened in the palace arcades in 1784.
If You Go...
PALAIS ROYAL: Located in the 1st arrondissement in Paris opposite the Louvre. Shops include Marc Jacobs, 34, rue de Montpensier; Didier Ludot, 24, Galerie Montpensier; Boutique Lux & Vintage, 31, Galerie Montpensier; Gabrielle Geppert Collection, 32 & 33, Galerie Montpensier; Sophie Hong, 3, Galerie de Montpensier; Stella McCartney, 114-121, Galerie de Valois; Pierre Hardy,156 Galerie de Valois; Corto Moltedo, Galerie de Valois; and Rick Owens, 130-133, Galerie de Valois. Reservations and formal dress are required by Le Grand Vefour restaurant, 17, rue de Beaujolais, http://www.grand-vefour.com/en/.