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1er Arr: Paris’ Made-To-Order Treasures

Any fashionista worth her Birkin will tell you that for timeless elegance and faultless craftsmanship there’s only one true fashion capital. And with some of the world’s finest artisans on your doorstep, well, it would be rude not to invest in some made-for-life made-to-measure treasures.

We have cherry-picked a selection that sits neatly in Paris’ Palais Royal area (1st), all navigable on foot. So walk this way…

Have a cab drop you on rue de la Sourdière, where leather lovely laContrie stitches luscious handbags, briefcases and accessories in its bi-level maroquinerie. First, choose a model, then an exotic skin, colour and lining, before getting measured up for straps to suit your frame, and finish with a hot-stamp flourish. Or if you simply cannot wait eight weeks for custom, walk away with one of their elegant off-the-shelf samples.

Exit right and right again down rue Saint-Honoré, taking the first left down rue du 29 Juillet. Now beeline for Jay Ahr’s hushed closet of clingy, draped, red carpet-worthy gowns which can be adjusted to your curves or bought off the peg, be it for an evening ensemble or a bridal showstopper… Bringing us neatly onto our next stop.

Returning to rue Saint-Honoré, continue onwards and slink right into the venerable Place Vendôme.

Here awaits appointment-only jazzy joaillier Lorenz Bäumer, who will hand-render the kind of knee-weakening sparkler that is guaranteed to elicit that all-important ‘yes’.

Gents should now continue out the other side of Place Vendôme, towards rue des Capucines. The world’s first ever shirt shop, Charvet, opened in 1838 and has been producing bespoke and RTW shirts, neckties, blouses, and suits for the Parisian elite ever since. Their luxurious, monogrammed jim-jams are considered to be the ultimate symbol of success. Bravo!

This article originally appeared on PenCities Paris, January 14, 2016.

laContrie, 11 rue de la Sourdière, 1st, Paris, +33 1 49 27 06 44,

Jay Ahr, 2 rue du 29 Juillet, 1st, Paris, +33 1 42 96 95 23,

Lorenz Bäumer, 19 pl Vendôme, 1st, Paris, +33 1 42 86 99 33,

Charvet, 28 pl Vendôme, 1st, Paris, +33 1 42 60 30 70

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