Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas - Galeries Lafayette

maje - presse sale

So, I get a weekly email from 'my little paris' which is the equivalent of 'daily candy'. Last week they said they had invitations to the Maje press sale. You initially feel kind of special, but then you realize that you are not the only one getting this email, but are hoping people do not have the time to go.
Maje is a very hip label which is very bobo parisien. Bobo stands for bohemian bourgeois and the style is quite specific. Slightly hippie, but with elements that are clearly expensive and well thought out. I do like the line and I have a few pieces. The price points start at 50 euros for a hat etc. up to 300 euros for a coat. As a result of the affordability, it is quite popular with the working fashionista in Paris.
So, I went to the sale and I could not believe what I saw. I showed up in the Marais and there was a line of at least 200 girls. There were security guards at the front gate with ear mics. and they were all dressed in black. The location was a loft that I assume is rented out for many such sales. The line started on one side of the sidewalk and then switched to the other side due to a government building. We could not block the entrance. This was a Wednesday, a working day and girls were lined up!!! After a long wait, I finally got in.
It was chaos inside. We were not allowed to try anything on. The selection was from this season, so it was pretty interesting. There were tables of sweaters and sales girls behind the table taking people's orders. The tables were being pushed by the shoppers and every now and then the sales girls would push the tables back violently to regain some space. I also assumed it was a way to release some stress! There were racks and racks of dresses, coats and pants. If you were caught trying anything on, the security detail would throw you out. I saw this happen! The price points were great. Sweaters normally 135 euros on sale for 50 euros. Anyhow, I bought some presents and finally got out of there. I am seeing more and more of these sales going on, I think the economic crisis is affecting even retailers here, so they are getting a head start on getting rid of stock. By having an 'invitation only' sale, I believe they get around the french laws for sales. Normally, the sales happen twice a year and the government decides when. Nonetheless, judging by the line, I guess the crisis hasn't affected a certain sector of shoppers; the parisien fashionista.
Check out for the styles or

Friday, November 14, 2008

marc jacobs staff sale!! i got in!

So in Paris, there are alot of people who work for the LVMH group. Luckily, one of my husband's friend happens to work there. He knows nothing about fashion, but when I hinted that I would LOVE to go to a staff sale, he quickly invited me to the Marc Jacobs sale. I was over the moon!!

I arrived at the sale site early and I was able to chat to one of the sales woman taking a cigarette break. She said the line was long that morning and that people were in a total panic trying to get the best items before the person next to them. This sale was only for the folks who worked at LVMH, so it wasn't even open to the public and it was madness!

I watched with envy as women walked by with bags full of MJ shoes, bags and clothing. I spotted a very styled out Asian fashionista lugging a bag and she had on the required fur hat of the season. I asked myself if these people took the day off or they just took a very long lunch to shop??!
Anyhow, I got in and the atmosphere was thick with anticipation and stress. I found Marc by MJ bags for 100 euros. A very long table full of bags and all of them were the same price. I watched women carrying on one arm six bags and talking furiously on the phone to their girlfriends clearly filling orders or just describing what was available. On another table, I found Stam bags for 350 euros, but they were not moving much. The bag is several seasons old and it is far too heavy to carry around. Nonethless, most of the MJ line bags were 200 euros and up. I found racks and racks of clothes. I got a MJ red shiny raincoat for 100 euros, a frilly blouse for 40 euros and a wool skirt for 45 euros. The prices were really interesting but there was so much stuff, that you felt overwhelmed.

I wish I could have stayed longer, but my sponsor was eager to leave. I just hope I get invited to more sales, or maybe I should just get a part-time job at LVMH???

les petites - another 'stock'

There is a certain style in Paris that caters to women from their 20's to early 40's. The stores that covet to this clientale are boutiques like Maje, Sandro, Les Petites, Vanessa Bruno, Isabel Marrant etc. The price points are usually between 50 euros for an accessory to 300 euros for a fabulous dress. They are several steps above Zara, but much cheaper than YSL, Gucci, Prada etc. So, you can imagine, the look they advocate is fairly popular. This is what really influences the style in Paris. Of course, this clientale starts mixing up pieces with higher end accessories, so you get a very chic street style. At the moment, what you find at these boutiques are lots of leggings, low boots, tunics, long sweaters and rabbit fur vests. You see this everywhere at the moment. So you can imagine how excited I was to find a 'stock' or outlet of Les Petites in Paris. It just recently opened and the prices are fabulous. Cashmere sweater tunics for 60 euros, trench coats for under 100 euros, lots and lots of dresses, all under 100 euros. The stock is changing constantly so it is a great stop if you are around the Pompidou center/Marais. It is located on 2 rue du caire in the 2nd.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Azzedine Alaia- Outlet

So littered around Paris are outlets or 'stock' as the french call them. They are often a bit hidden and never have big signs on their storefront. I had heard of the Alaia boutique from a girlfriend bragging about her beautiful new shoes. Alas, I decided to check it out myself.

I ventured on Rue Verrerie to find this infamous outlet. This street is in the heart of the Marais, close to the metro 'hotel de ville' and to the most comfortable Starbucks in the city. So I knew the area well since I spend alot of time around this neighborhood. I walked up and down the street and I could not find it. I finally went past an archway and I spotted a plaque/intercom with ALAIA engraved on it. That was all. I walked through the arch to a courtyard and saw a door. All the windows were frosted. I entered and there I found a small room with loads of clothes and even more shoes.
I was not familiar with Alaia's wares, but I can vouch that if you wear his shoes and clothes, you could moonlight as a dominatrix. Everything fits tight to the body and the shoes make you look hotter than hot. I tried on a pair of boots made of leather so smooth it felt like butter. It laced in the front with a square toe and a heel that demands attention. The original price was 1000euros and it was on sale for half of that. Thus, most of the items started at 800 with 50% off. You feel like you are part of a cult when you are there or that you belong in a George Michael video from the 90's. Definitely worth the visit. 18 rue verrerie, 4eme.