TREE TIME: When he designed the Château de Versailles planters, Le Nôtre could hardly have imagined that the castle’s gardens would still utilize the same style 350 years later — and that they would become fashionable and chic in 21st- century gardens. Today, the French company Les Jardins du Roi Soleil builds replicas of Versailles’ planters and supplies the 17th-century castle with cast-iron and solid-oak cases designed to last 150 years. They can also be found at the Elysée Palace, in the Tuileries gardens, the Danish Presidential Palace and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. More contemporary settings include Dior’s London store and Ralph Lauren’s Paris flagship. Hubert de Givenchy and Valentino Garavani are said to have some in their private gardens. The smaller size goes for 1,379 euros, or $1,730 at current exchange rates, and the largest for 9,681 euros, or $12,420.
This story first appeared in the July 27, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Les Jardins du Roi Soleil
32 Boulevard de la Bastille, 75012
OIL RUSH: Cédric Casanova’s handkerchief-size store, La Tête Dans les Olives, is a magnet for gourmands across Paris and beyond. It’s stuffed with Sicily’s best products, especially beautifully perfumed olive oil, stored in shiny metal bins, each of them bearing the name of its producers, like Marco, Paola or Francesco. Casanova, 39, was previously a Cirque du Soleil performer. He moved back to his native Sicily in 2003 and decided to sell the precious oil produced by his friends there. He now splits his time between Paris and the Golden Island, so he may be involved in the harvest and the extraction of the oil at the mill. Today, Casanova supplies the best French chefs, including Alain Ducasse, Olivier Roellinger and Inaki Aizpitarte. A liter of olive oil at his store sells from 16 to 24 euros, or $20 to $30.
La Tête Dans les Olives
2 Rue Sainte Marthe, 75010
SWEET SURRENDER: Famous for its delicious pastries and macaroons, Carette, the pastry shop and tea salon located at Trocadéro since 1927, has opened a new address on the posh Place des Vosges in the Marais. Hubert de Givenchy — the nephew of the famous retired couturier, who shares the same name — designed the interior in an Art Deco style with large mirrors and pink-granite pedestal tables. The pastry counter — brimming with colorful macaroons and yummy strawberry tarts, lemon tarts or Paris-Brest — stands under beautiful stone archways. The icing on the cake is that this amazing location also offers a large terrace under renovated arcades facing the exquisite 17th-century square.
25 Place des Vosges, 75004
BEAT IT: With more than 100,000 vinyl discs in stock, Monster Melodies is the go-to music store for collectors and music aficionados. The 26-year-old store is brimming with boxes of records, which are arranged by genre from rock and pop to classical and dub. French songstress Vanessa Paradis is said to favor the venue for interviews, and Christophe Lambert was filmed in the store for his role in the 2003 film “Janis and John.” The most popular records are from Pink Floyd and The Doors. Prices for vinyl records start at 3 euros, or $3.77. Rare finds run much higher, such as Prince’s limited edition “Black Album,” priced at 2,500 euros, or $3,236.45.
9 Rue Des Déchargeurs, 75001
LOUD AND PROUD: Once you have some old vinyl, why not pick up an old — as in very old — record player at Phonogalerie, a boutique in the Montmartre district that specializes in gramophones, some of which are more than 100 years old. “We have over 200 models,” said Gallal Aro, who opened shop six years ago in a district known for its thriving music scene. All the record players are fully functional, including the oldest that dates back to 1890. Prices range from 150 euros, or $188, for models from the Fifties, and up to 10,000 euros, or $12,580, for the more vintage pieces. The atmospheric store also sells vintage posters and discs and was the venue for French synth-pop band Pony Pony Run Run’s “Walking on the Line” music video.
10 Rue Lallier, 75009
MATERIAL WORLD: Le Marché Saint-Pierre, the near-century- old fabric store that sits at the foot of the Sacré-Coeur, is a veritable temple for affordable textiles. Spread over six floors linked by an imposing staircase, the no-frills store boasts enormous containers filled with fabric reels stacked one over the other, leftovers from factories and designers. The wide offering ranges from handmade lace, embroidered silks, lush velvets and fake furs to linens and textiles for upholstery and interior design. A selection of loud leopard and floral prints in vivid hues such as fuchsia or gold are also on offer. The demographic is equally as diverse, from style-savvy Parisians and aspiring young designers to women hunting for colorful ethnic prints for traditional homemade garments.
Also nearby is Le Chatmaille, a yarn store on what may be the smallest street in Paris. A riot of color, the store — open since 1984 — overflows with bundles of yarn of different types and knitting paraphernalia for everyone, from beginners to expert knitters. Advice and tips are also offered by the owner and by regular clientele, as well as lessons.
Le Marché Saint Pierre
2 Rue Charles Nodier, 75018
2 Rue Cazotte, 75018
RAIN DAY: One would be hard-pressed to find a wider selection of upscale umbrellas than in Alexandra Sojfer’s namesake store. Stepping inside the intimate shop feels like visiting a florist. Umbrellas and parasols bloom with ruffles or Crystallized-Swarovski Elements cascading from buckets or hanging on walls. They are all double-lined, making them resistant not only to rain but also to pesky gusts of wind. Their handles are removable and interchangeable, ranging from a crystal-encrusted version to ones in wood shaped like animal heads. Umbrella prices run up from 180 euros, or $233, with special orders taking anywhere from two to four months. For gents, there are classic umbrellas and canes made from exotic woods including ebony. For those with a worse-for-wear Napoléon III parasol laying about, Sojfer can also make restorations.
218 Boulevard Saint Germain, 75007
CLEAN SCENE: When delicate fabrics need that specialist touch, Marie Lavande detergent is the go-to soap. Developed by an expert in the restoration of vintage fabrics and lace, the product is available in just one outlet in Paris: embroidered linen specialist Noël. This fall, Marie Lavande will launch a revamped Web site where collectors will be able to swap tips and seek advice from founder Joëlle Serres.
1 Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 75116
— Chantal Goupil, Emilie Marsh, Joelle Diderich, Natasha Montrose and Tyler McCall