Gauthier Borsarello, men’s wear fashion consultant and style director of Holiday Boileau
When it comes to dressing, Gauthier Borsarello sees himself as a back-to-basics traditionalist. The designer is working on launching a new brand with a heritage French factory near Angers that stopped producing its own label in the Seventies and is looking to relaunch it.
What makes his heart beat are the old-school addresses specializing in one product, like Swann & Oscar for shirts, or L’Aiglon for belts. “You can go there and choose your colors and patterns, and it’s made in France,” he said.
A lot of the city’s classic institutions like Arnys or Old England have disappeared, he lamented.
But there are still “some gems” that could do with promoting in order to keep them alive, like Berteil, an old house dealing in classic Parisian style (think: a pair of brightly colored corduroys, a flannel jacket or blazer and button-down shirt), said Borsarello for whom the future of men’s wear lies in “a return to the traditional way of making clothes and mixing it in a modern way.” He sees French style as “the art of mixing Italian, American and British style, and Arnys were the best at it.”
He can spend hours at Anatomica, a pint-sized boutique run by an eccentric veteran of Paris’ men’s wear circles, Pierre Fournier, who in his lifetime has owned two other cult clothing stores: Globe in the Seventies, and Hemisphere in the Eighties and early Nineties. “He’s really skinny, drinks a 100 coffees a day. He’s a real personality,” said Borsarello.
The store carries its own apparel line made from premium fabrics and based on popular, workwear and military garments from France and the U.S. in the early 20th century and the Fifties and Sixties. They also sell exclusive lines by brands including hat specialists Drake’s and Herbert Johnson; an exclusive shoe form by Alden, and a canvas sneaker by Japan’s Wakouwa.
Asked about his favorite footwear address, Borsarello replied: “Edward Green forever.”
For bespoke suits, he swears by fourth-generation tailor Cifonelli, from which he just ordered a double-breasted flannel suit in navy with horn buttons. The house has a store specializing in made-to-measure and ready-to-wear on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, and an atelier for bespoke orders on Rue Marbeuf. “Everything is handmade,” said Borsarello. Or there’s Husbands for demi-measure suits –“an extraordinary address with extraordinary founders.” The brand is moving into new digs by the Palais Royal in time for Paris Men’s Fashion Week.
14 Rue du Bourg Tibourg, 75004
57 Rue de Richelieu, 75001
Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7p.m.
83 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008
Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7p.m.
Swann & Oscar
1 Rue de l’Arcade, 75008
Monday 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
16 Rue de l’Arcade, 75008
Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7p.m.
3 Place Saint-Augustin, 75008
Tuesday to Saturday 10:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
199 bis Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75007
Monday to Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.